Worldcon

Jun. 20th, 2014 10:45 am
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
It seems like almost everybody I know is talking about Worldcon, so I'm getting to the point of looking forward to a gigantic party with loads of people I am excited to see in person. 7000 people in a huge convention space is going to be extrovert heaven, omg.

I actually really wanted to get properly involved, not just attend as a visitor. So I signed up for the science track and put my name down for volunteering and panels and stuff. And then I got lots of emails and didn't really have time to deal with any of them. I have to conclude that getting properly into the con scene is just not going to fit into my life, sadly. However, the good news is that someone with influence has put me on a couple of panels anyway, I suspect maybe [livejournal.com profile] purplecthulhu or [personal profile] emperorzombie, so many thanks if it was you!

Namely, on Friday afternoon I'm on a panel called Scientists without borders which says:
Science may strive for objectivity, but all scientific communities are grounded in their host cultures. The panellists talk about working in different scientific cultures, working in multinational teams or transporting a team or project elsewhere.
I really like the sound of that and I think it's going to make for some cool discussion, yay. And on Sunday afternoon I'm playing giant Pandemic live in front of an audience. I've also submitted a poster for the science poster exhibit, actually one made by my excellent PhD student, but I'm waiting to hear whether that has been accepted.

So, first of all, who's coming to Worldcon and would you like to hang out? This applies equally much if I already know you in person as if we've only met online, if you're ok with connecting your DW identity to a physical body and possibly offline identity. It would be really awesome to use the event as a chance to spend time with some of you in person. If you want to show up and support and / or heckle my panels, that would be lovely too; I have plenty of experience doing this kind of thing professionally, but almost none of doing it fannishly.

Relatedly, is there anyone who can arrange to be in the same geographical location as me and has a copy of Pandemic that I could practise on? I am really bad at Pandemic, even though I am actually a scientist IRL! Board-gaming friends, if we can get a game together before August so I'm a bit more in the swing of things by the time I'm playing in public, that'd be cool, and also a good way to socialize. Generally I can be in Cambridge or London or anywhere else within a couple of hours of there or Stoke most weekends. And I'm totally happy to try several games if there are multiple groups volunteering to help out.

I am contemplating doing a DW meetup, what do people think? It would simply be advertising and time and showing up in a central area of the con. I'm not up for organizing an actual official Party, especially given that you have to order catering through the hotel and I can't be doing with that. I am also going to want to escape from the con at some points, because from past experience one thing I don't handle well is being trapped in a hotel miles from anywhere else over several days. So there will be at least a couple of expeditions into London to eat real food somewhere a bit quieter and without having to pay hotel prices for crap. If you'd like to get together in a smaller gathering of that sort, ping me and we can make plans.

I'm massively nervous about clothes, because I have anxiety about geek scene dressing up stuff. I'm not going to bother with cosplay or take part in the masquerade. But I'm contemplating spending some of the time wearing a random cool dress that I wouldn't normally have many occasions for, cos that seems to be in the spirit of the con. Yes, I know it's totally fine to hang out in jeans and a t-shirt throughout the event, but the thing is that I don't wear jeans and t-shirts. If I don't put effort into clothes, my default is more like blouse and skirt, just a couple of notches "smarter" than typical geek attire and I am scared of people assuming I'm one of those icky mundanes. Equally if I do a goth thing or a ridiculous ballgown, both of which might well be fun, I'm scared of people being lechy or else disapproving of me because I'm not very good at the kind of style which is regarded as sexy in geek circles. I should probably just stop angsting about all this and wear whatever the hell I feel like, and if people are going to be judgy that's their problem.

I am working my way through the Hugo reading material. I am pretty definitely going to vote for Ancillary Justice for best novel, because it's not perfect but it's really innovative; on past form I don't expect anything nearly so ground-breaking from Stross or Grant, I am not going to read a 13-book fantasy epic, and I am not going to bother with the random third in a dick-lit series that was pushed onto the ballot to make a point about science fiction having too many gay cooties. I have absolutely no idea about the Campbell, though, and for the shorter-length categories I'm going to make a concerted effort to actual read everything (except the ridiculous troll) and pick a favourite for each category. May or may not vote in the related work, zine, podcast etc categories, because honestly I'm probably not enough involved in those scenes to have a useful opinion.

I am wondering if I should try to find out whether there are going to be Jewish services over the Shabbat, and if not, whether I should volunteer to run some. Anyone Jewish who's attending who would be interested in something? I could do a Kabbalat Shabbat Friday evening easily, even more so if I get some help from someone with more musical ability than I have. Would be nice to do a Saturday morning service too, but probably without a Torah reading since I doubt I'll be able to arrange to borrow a sefer. I'm basically Reform but I can do fairly cross-denominational liturgy if there's interest. Except not Orthodox if you're of the opinion that the fact of my being female means that nothing I do can possibly be Orthodox. I strongly doubt we can get a minyan together Friday, Sunday or Monday morning, but maybe we can, with 7K people there might be 10 Jews who want to do weekday davening b'tzibbur.

Other than that, if you know the Worldcon scene, any recs much appreciated. I don't intend to cram in dozens of panels, I want to spend a lot of time hanging out and socializing with interesting people. But I do want to go to some, if only because hearing an interesting discussion and bouncing off that is always a good way to meet new people. My past experience tells me that I'm interested in social justice-y type stuff, but that congoing fandom is really bad at it, except maybe classical feminism. So if I go to panels about LGBT issues in SF or whatever, I end up getting really frustrated. And therefore I should maybe look for more directly geeky discussions which will be at a higher level.
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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