This is why I don’t go to WorldCon

This is why I don't go to WorldCon

I used to go to WorldCon every year without fail, kind of like the way I go to WisCon now. But long ago WorldCon chafed on me, and I realized that it was far more expensive than other cons and more of a trip to see my friends than an enjoyable con experience. Beyond that, though, it got to be more than a little annoying to deal with the cluelessness around race. WorldCon is big — not Comicon big, but big. Therefore you cannot predict from what quarter the crazy might come at you and thus avoid it.

So when I read posts like Karnythia’s about her first WorldCon experience, it just reinforces my conviction that being there would not be healthy for me. That’s a big ball of fail right there.

I know that I will go back to WorldCon someday. When I have a book out I’ll need to promote it. And when I’m nominated for a Hugo I want to be on the scene in case I win. And I acknowledge that the entire con is not some huge, writhing mass of fail. Like anywhere there are good parts and bad parts and neutral parts and there’s usually a squid, too. But for the amount of money it costs, plus the energy it drains, I’m better off making WisCon and World Fantasy my must-go conventions with a happy dash of ReaderCon on the side.

18 thoughts on “This is why I don’t go to WorldCon

  1. “When” your book comes out? “When” you’re nominated for a Hugo? Jesus Christ, arrogant asshole much?

    1. It’s… called having self-esteem, Jace. You should try it sometime.

      Also, I guess you’re not aware (since you only ever come here to tell me how wrong I am) I do have a book deal. So yes, that’s a when. As for the Hugo, well, I’m pretty confident in my talent, so I consider that a when as well. I don’t have any predictions on how close or far that when is, though. Maybe when I’m 60 or maybe when I’m 33.

      1. Self-esteem != stating as fact one’s own excellence as determined by an outside agency based on a limited sample size. Neil Gaiman – superstar – isn’t arrogant enough to talk about ‘when’ he’s nominated or ‘when’ he wins. Nor do I think Ted Chiang – who has quite possibly the best percentage-wise track record in genre awards – uses such terms.

        Self-esteem is more “I think I’m improving because [X reasons], so hopefully I’ll get to [Y stage] sooner or later. I’m happy with my work and how it’s going.”

        Narcissistic arrogance (cough “famous blogger” cough “editor of some repute” cough) is more “it’s only a matter of time until you all hand me my just rewards in recognition of my genius.”

        Not-so-subtle difference, there.

        1. I wasn’t aware that you knew Ted or Neil and could make these pronouncements about what they do and do not say. I DO know Ted, actually. Though I’m not sure we’ve ever talked about awards and those he might win. Ah well, I guess we’ll both have to guess, then.

          At any rate, I’m pretty confident in my own excellence. I don’t claim to be an Octavia Butler or anything, though I do hope one day to approach that level of awesome. But really, if I were going around being wibbly-wobbly about my own prospects for success I would then not accomplish much. I hear tell a lot of people hate those with confidence.

          Also, I AM a famous blogger, dude. Not for this blog, though. Maybe you’re unaware of my other one. And I am an editor of *some* repute. Magazines I’ve worked on have been praised — not for my work alone, but in combination with the fabulous other editors — and my specific work as an editor has been praised. I has a reputation as an editor, doncha know. Why is it so hard for people to grok these things?

          I guess… it’s really not allowed for me to be proud of my accomplishments and even joke about them. I’m not allowed to be confident, to feel assured of my future success based on my past actions. That’s too much like A MAN.

          1. actually, he’s on selected moderation. I let him out of his cage because I was bored and wanted something to play with. Now I’m bored again, so the lock’s back on.

            it’s probably not coming off again.

      2. Jace is consistent if nothing else.

        How dare you have a book deal? How dare you be part of a community of writers and editors who are regularly nominated for Hugos? How dare you correctly assess that you, like the other professionals who consider you their peers, will be nominated for a Hugo?


  2. I’m still trying to figure out what, exactly, events like WorldCon have that I need, that I cant get elsewhere. It seems like a required event for writers or publishers in the field but otherwise?

    1. It’s great if there are particular authors that you want a chance to talk to or whatever. Like N.K. Jemison was there, and she’s always great to talk to, and I got to go to a little gathering with two authors I really like, although to be fair I see them lots of other places too. There was a lot of interesting programming this year, including an entire track on costuming and crafting, and that had some really neat demos and stuff going on.

      So yeah, you probably can get all of this other places, and I’m certainly not trying to convince you to go or anything, just figured I’d give some of my reasons for going.

    2. Other than promotion for your book/magazine/show/etc., there’s nothing that WoirldCon does for me that other cons do not. Depending on who is running it, who comes, and those sorts of things, it’s a crapshoot whether it will be enjoyable in general.

  3. I have vague plans to go in 2012 when it’ll be right here in my city. But otherwise? Not doing it to myself ever again. I think we’ll check out World Fantasy next year.

  4. Calling grown up women “girls” has been offensive since, roughly, about the time we reclaimed the word “woman” from being a Bad Word you used about female people who didn’t qualify as “ladies”.

    But I wish you’d been there at the Worldcon with your buttonmaker and been able to flood the place with “EXTRAORDINARILY BLACK!” buttons lol. I mean, there’s offensive and then there’s just galactically stupid.

  5. I gave up Worldcon many years ago (unless someone wants to pay my way). Since I’m not a fiction writer and have nothing to promote, this is an easy choice for me.

    I saw all kinds of “missing Worldcon” posts last week, and shrugged my shoulders. I love Montreal, and I wouldn’t mind having met Paul Krugman (and I’m always glad to see Jo Walton) but that’s about it.

    Let’s have a meal or something at World Fantasy.(I don’t do that one either, but it’s local this year.)

  6. I went right after I finished at Clarion West in 2002, because it’s a bit of a debutante event if you’ve just finished the workshop. At the time I was blissfully unaware of much of the issues and accompanying fail around race in SF; I just hadn’t been back because I’ve…never been much for cons, really.

    I’d say that Karnythia’s post shocked me, except that–through reading a lot of what happened during RaceFail 09, among other things–it didn’t. Ugh.

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