Sorry about the week-long (or longer) silence: Anticipation (the Montréal WorldCon) was great, with one single exception.
I’ve just returned, and after a day of recovering from huge sleep deprivation (not to mention alcohol and great food overindulgence), I’m reading Shine submissions like crazy.
Short remark: a lot of well-aimed submissions in the very last batch. It seems my constant posting about what I was looking for eventually bore fruit. I already have seen more quality stories than I can publish: this is a very good thing, as it makes my life (as an editor) hard, and the more hard choices I have, the better the anthology should eventually be.
So thanks for making my life hard!
Also, I did receive a large amount of positive and encouraging comments about Shine at WorldCon, which makes me hope that the antho will also sell well. QUED, obviously.
Another thing I heared through the grapevine was that Patrick Nielsen Hayden tried to get an optimistic, near-future anthology called Up! off the ground back in 2002, for several years, but had to give up because he didn’t receive enough quality stories (some versions had it he didn’t receive enough stories period). If that’s not true, please feel free to correct me.
Having said that, there were also several editors who asked me something along the lines of “How do you get authors to send you positive, optimistic, exuberant stories in the first place”. I won’t name names, but I can tell all the writers reading this that, contrary to the general impression, there are a lot of editors who would like, no even love to see some upbeat stories in their slushpiles. And I’m talking editors of professional markets out there.
So for all the authors I will need to reject (I have already received more quality stories than I can publish, and I’ve still got about 40 submissions to go), do send the story out to other markets. I will actually mention that in the rejection email, where I will mention *which* markets I think might be suitable.
In short: the more upbeat stories out there, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
As to WorldCon: I will post a much longer post about it once I’ve read and responded to all the outstanding submissions (which will be sometime after the coming weekend).
Nevertheless, a short mention of some of the highlights (and my forgiveness to those I forget: I hope to have a much more complete post about it sometime next week):
- Claude Lalumière helping me out with getting drinks and such for the Angry Robot launch party. Claude is a gentleman, an SF/F/H scholar and a friend in need;
- The first pubcrawl at Wednesday evening: eventually eleven people showed up, while Jim Minz and I made reservations for only six at the first restaurant. It was a blast. Names and incrimianting pictures of all attendees to be released later, depending on the (non-)receipt of bribes…;-)
- The fact that all the panel items on which I was programmed on where attended very well (more than a half full room) to excellent (on one particular item people had to be turned away, and resented it). Kudos to the programming committee;
- A dinner on the Thursday night with Daryl Gregory and family, Adam Rakunas and me at Au Pied de Cochon. I ordered the largest pork chop, because I thought I was hungry. It was enormous: about two pounds of flesh. After a heroic effort I had to give up. I’m sure Mssrs. Gregory and Rakunas will post incriminating pictures on their respective blogs;
- The “Anatomy for Writers, Heroes and Tavern Brawlers” panel, where I assisted Sean McMullen (I was basically his sparring partner, as Sean is the men with the karate black belt and fighting instructor) was a blast. Sean and I had rehearsed in the Green Room a few hours before, and the panel itself was in a relatively small room, which filled up and overflowed very soon. People had to be turned away, and in retrospect we hoped it had been in a larger room. Actually, Sean and I plan to do a repeat at next year’s WorldCon (Sean lives in Melbourne, as does my sister, so we should both be there), and will ask for a larger place. Catcalls and howls of laughter as I stripped to my waist, and fun was had by all. I must also note that I saw a large part of the audience take notes quite fervently, which must have been very gratifying for Sean;
- The Angy Robot launch party on the Friday evening: it was a struggle to get the booze in on time, as we couldn’t get into the suite until after 4 PM (normally 3 PM, but they had a problem with the suite’s lock), and I was on the above-mentioned panel at that time. After much hurrying and stressing all was in place in time, and at 7 PM the party started. All went well until at about 10 PM the hotel told us we had to move, as we were holding the party at the wrong floor. Jesus Christ! It’w where the WorldCon hotel liaison had booked us, and if they think publisher’s launch parties are silent, subdued affairs then they shouldn’t be organising the WorldCon parties floor in the first place. I was fuming, but with the help of the absoluely phenomenal partye guest (many thanks to you all!) we moved to booze to a different location, where the party went on until well into the night.
- (A day later I heared that local TV station CTC did an item about WorldCon in Montréal, and mentioned that these SF fans held parties at the Delta Centre-ville, on the 28th floor, and that everybody was welcome. The line before the elevators supposedly snaked well into the next block, and by 10 PM almost every room at the 28th floor was packed full, at which point the hotel panicked. Four more parties were busted (like ours), one of them the Asimov’s/Analog readers’ awards ceremony in the SFWA suite: people, I feel your pain, most definitely);
- Saturday was, relatively speaking, the least intense day, meaning I had a few hours not fully planned in. Nicest thing was the Nightshade Books launch party of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (and his collection Pump Six, even if that one is out already for a while). At the end of the convention Jeremy Lassen was happy to reort that he sold out all his books at the dealer’s table, and regretted not getting more books. Other dealers were also quite happy with their sales;
- On the Sunday I was Ann VanderMeer’s guest at the Hugo Awards ceremony. Her husband Jeff couldn’t make it to Montréal, unfortunately, so I — having represented Interzone several times — showed her the ropes. My summary, for the ‘best semiprozine category’ was as follows: “You go to the pre-reception, drink and eat as much as you can. Then you attend the ceremony and lose to Locus. Then you get drunk at the Hugo losers party.” I was so wrong, and I was at least as surprised as Stephen Seagal (he and his wife were sitting to my left) and Ann (sitting to my right) when Claude LaLumière announced that Weird Tales has won. The only slight disappointment I had was when we found out that there was only *one* free drink per person at the Hugo losers party. The shame! The lack of booze was adequztely taken care of at the Baen party, courtesy of the ever-reliable Jim Minz;
- On the Monday we did the second pubcrawl (after Sean McMullen did a quick stint of body-guarding at Neil Gaiman’s kaffeeklatch), and while the group was smaller, it was a high quality one (Jim Minz, Jeremy Lassen, Ross Lockheart, Féorag Nicbridhe and Roy something — sorry forgot your last name, Roy!). Many beers were tasted, even some whiskies, and I arrived at the dead dog party relatively coherent;
More in a later post. Now I’ve got to prepare for a short stint at HAR (Hacking at Random) in my home land tomorrow. Annalee Newitz talked me into it at WorldCon, so I hope to see her there again. Submitters don’t worry: it’s a 90 minute train ride to and from the place, which means 3 hours of slush reading.
Someday I’ll get a life…;-)