Monday, August 11, 2008

Back home from Worldcon '08

Words now, con photos later. A grueling, but rewarding week in Denver, at Worldcon 2008. I'm bushed. Some personal highlights:

* Good times with friends in and around the CCC and the Hyatt Regency: Lou Anders, Chris Roberson, Allison Baker, David Louis Edelman, Paul Cornell, George Mann, Mark Newton, Christian Dunn, Sean Williams, Alan Beatts, Jude Feldman, Irene Gallo, Diana Gill, Paolo Baciagalupi, Mario Acevedo, Shanna Swendson, Blake Charlton, Deanna Hoak, Cheryl Morgan, Kat Richardson, Ian McDonald, Liza Trombi, Amelia Beamer, Rani Graff, Jetse De Vries, Liz Gorinsky, Jeremy Lassen, Jim Minz, Diana Rowland, Diana Sherman, Warren Hammond, Walter Hunt, Kate Elliott, Alan Beck, and too many more to name.

* Good talks with Farah Mendelsohn, Moshe Feder, Steve Saffel, Cheryl Morgan, Colin Harris, Vincent Docherty, Seth Breidbart, Joni Dashoff, Andrea Senchy, Mike Willmoth, Jean Goddin, John Hertz and more.

* Big thrill -- ran into the legendary Frederik Pohl at 1am Saturday morning

* Fun parties -- The Tor Party (except for the brick-wall wave of "what's that smell??"), the Hugo Losers Party, the Asimovs Party, the Baen Party....great stuff, but hats off this year to Lou Anders' dominant Pyr Party and the HarperCollins/Eos Party, hosted by Diana Gill and Jack Womack. Eos did it classy and festive, and it was so much fun. Whoa, Pyr though -- they went all out with free Pyr beer glasses, potent Brazilian drinks, chocolate soccer balls, and Brazilian-themed decorations in honor of Ian McDonald's Hugo nomination for BRASYL. I heard buzz about their party even two days after it was over. Awesome.

* Stroll with the Stars -- hats off to Stu Segal! I thought Stu was nuts to think that anyone would wake up at 9am Friday, just so they could join Lou Anders, Paul Cornell, Stephen Segal, and me for a mile-long walk through downtown Denver. Wrong. We had a mighty pack of 40-50 strong and Stu may have just created a new Worldcon tradition.

* Fun Friday lunch, and good talk, with Jack Skillingstead, Nancy Kress, Patrick Swenson, and Daryl Gregory. First time I've met Jack....I'll soon be illustrating the cover of his new Golden Gryphon collection, which will release sometime in '09, I believe.

* Won a Worldcon Art Show Award! My pencil process drawing for Robert Silverberg's SON OF MAN (pictured at top) was selected amongst the best works in this year's Art Show. Good thing I'm not a betting man because I actually thought this piece had a better shot, but I'm thrilled to be selected amongst the best, no matter what.

* Attention art collectors: If you haven't seen Vincent Villafranca's bronzes, you're missing out. This guy's a superstar. I wish I owned this.

* Being a Hugo Award Nominee -- Proud to fourth consecutive year as a Hugo Award finalist in the Best Professional Artist category. Unfortunately, still no Hugo win for yours truly. I finished in second this year. Stephan Martiniere got the rocket (congrats, Stephan!). If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get a fifth shot next year and maybe we'll see what happens then. Never take these things for granted. For now, back to doing what matters -- creating art, and chopping the rock. This year was the first time Traci joined me at the Hugo festivities, and that was special.

* I was proud to see my compadre David Louis Edelman finish a strong third place in the Campbell Award balloting. Mary Robinette Kowal took the prize (congrats, Mary!) in a very stacked group of finalists that included Joe Abercrombie, David Anthony Durham, Scott Lynch, and Jon Armstrong. Bigger days ahead for DEdelman! Disappointed for my pal Paul Cornell, who finished second in Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form category. Stephen Moffatt's "Blink"/DR. WHO episode won the Hugo, but I sure would've liked to see Paul up there for his "Human Nature" episode. Hopefully, another year, another time, for Paul. Ditto for Lou Anders who has many more noms to come.

* Hats off to all the tireless folks that helped to make this year's Worldcon fun and successful. This show had its fair share of problems (too much real estate between function spaces; lack of appropriate signage; projectors that never seemed to project properly), but everyone did their best, and it was appreciated. Apologies to those I forgot to mention, and onwards to Anticipation next year!


Blogger ces said...

Sounds like you and Traci had a wonderful time! Congrats on your art show award! The colour drawing is indeed beautiful but that pencil drawing is absolutely amazing!

Next year you'll win the artist award!

11:22 AM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Hi, Christine --Thanks! It was exhausting, but very good times. You would've enjoyed it. :)

2:23 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hey John,

Man, was I bummed that couldn't make it to Worldcon! Last minute family issues kept me away. I had been looking forward to it for tons of reasons, including hanging out with you and Traci a bit.

Oh well, next time...

6:31 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Hey, Dave --

The facility was so huge and the functions were so spread-out that I wondered if you and I were in different places the whole time. At one point, I kinda wondered where you were, and then after a while, wondered if you had said you were coming in the first place. Sorry to hear about the family detour.....congrats again on being a Campbell've had a helluva year. :) You doing WFC in Calgary?

7:59 PM  
Blogger Lou Anders said...

Hey John - amazing to hang with you as always. Hey David - hope you make WFC!

8:30 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Ditto, man. We'll catch up tomorrow hopefully...

10:52 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

John, I haven't booked anything for Calgary, but, sure, I plan to be there. Guess I should get on those details...

Lou, sorry to have missed you, also. But let's connect in WFC!

11:37 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Big D -- Yeah, you should definitely look into Calgary ASAP, so that you can at least make sure they've got hotel rooms available. WFCs are notorious for selling out their hotels early. Fingers crossed. :) See you there!!

12:44 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Alright, sir. Advice heeded. I'm booked at the Hyatt!


10:31 AM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Excellent! See you there, man! :)

11:27 AM  

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