Several weeks ago, I purchased tickets to this year’s Nebula Weekend since it was being held within driving distance. I must admit that I bought them in ignorance. I expected it to be more like a convention, with sessions and other related programming set up. Afterwards, I found out that it wasn’t like that at all. It was geared more towards the SFWA taking care of business and its members schmoozing at the hotel bar. After some drawn-out indecision I decided not to go. But at the last minute, I decided what the heck. At least I would be able to meet some folks who I only knew through email.
I’m glad I went because it turned out to be a whole load of fun. It was actually a good thing that there were no sessions because that meant more face time with people.
In the order they happened, here are some of the weekend’s highlights:
- Getting a bag of free books. Who doesn’t like free books?
- Finally meeting artist John Picacio, who took me under his wing and introduced me to a bunch of people.
- Seeing Jayme Lynn Blashcke again who was in shutterbug mode for much of the weekend. If any pictures of me surface, it should be noted that Jayme was using a camera attachment that makes people not look like Brad Pitt. Jayme also told us a great story about once interviewing Michael Moorcock who sheepishly asked after the interview if Jayme wanted to see a replica of Stormbringer…which Mike keeps in his broom closet.
- Having lunch at Threadgills with John, Jayme, and Sanford Nowlin of Boxcar Satan.
- Seeing Chris Roberson again and talking about anything and everything.
- Sitting in the hotel bar listening to Joe R. Lansdale and hanging on his very word. I swear, this guy is one of the nicest, funniest, most down-to-Earth guys you’ll ever meet. He has several Hollywood projects lined up and also talked a bit about Bruce Campbell.
- Meeting Steven Brust and listening to him and Chris talk about history and politics.
- Talking about publishing and other stuff with Tobias Buckell, who, like a trooper, showed up despite feeling under the weather. (Although, if I get what he had, there will be hell to pay. Hell to pay, I say!
- Seeing the awards ceremony – especially Joe Lansdale’s speech. What a great speaker; he owned the room.
- Meeting so many other folks, like Nancy Kress, John Moore, Katherine Eliska Kimbriel, Stanley Schmidt, Sheila Williams, Steven Gould & Laura Mixon, Paul Melko, Kyrinn Eis, Vera Nazarian, William Shunn, Lawrence Person, and Michael Ehart. I’m sure I’m leaving people out – the weekend was all just a blur of one cool moment after another.
- The surreal moment award: Watching Micahel Chabon turn fanboy on Nancy Kress at the elevators.
OK, so maybe it’s more name-dropping than highlights.
It was hard not go all super-fanboy on everyone, especially as the setting was more social than anything else. So I saw some folks that I wanted to meet, but didn’t, like Michael Moorcock, Connie Willis, Joe Haldeman, Nalo Hopkinson, Michael Chabon, Bruce Sterling, Walter Jon Williams, Gordon van Gelder, Karen Joy Fowler, Jack McDevitt, David Levine, Scott Edelman, and so many others.
I did not have full Internet access when I was there, but I did Twitter the Nebulas. Did anyone follow that? It was an interesting experiment, but Twittering an event is about the only really useful thing I can see about it. Seriously, does anyone want to know when I’m eating a sandwich? To be fair, I can kinda see it being a way for small groups to keep in touch.
All told, a fun weekend!