fivemack (fivemack) wrote,
fivemack
fivemack

Montreal is fantastic

I should have posted something about Worldcon earlier, but it's been winding down very slowly: there are still dozens of lovely people staying in Montreal and I never managed to get round to sitting at a computer for half an hour when the alternative was sitting around a dining-room or a restaurant or a pub table with people like the Nielsen Haydens, Dave Clements, Greer Gilman, Jon Singer, Alter Reiss, Ada Palmer, Ian Tregillis, Geri Sullivan, Cat Valente, txanne ... I think I've had ten restaurant dinners in twelve days, and some restaurant lunches besides.

I've been staying with Jo Walton since last Tuesday evening - I'd planned to jump on a plane immediately after Worldcon and go to Halifax, but, discovering that Halifax and environs weren't remotely public-transport-explorable and that I'd much rather imitate a sloth for three days and then make my way relaxedly to Montreal airport than fly out to stay in an awkwardly-located hotel which I hadn't booked yet six hundred miles from anyone I knew, I cancelled the flight. Anyone interested in C$405 of Westjet credit?

The programming at Worldcon was excellent; I wish I'd been on more of it, but I filled in my programming form as an unmitigated scientist so only got put on three science panels. Two of which were great successes - extemporising on the joy of astronomical stamp-collecting for twenty minutes while the projectors got set up for the other talks, and one at lunchtime on Monday with Jordin Kare, Ian Tregillis, Jon Singer and Peter Watts about the Fermi Paradox which had to be moved to a bigger room because they were running out of standing space at the back, and which could easily have lasted two hours. The one I'd expected to be mostly brain implants and turned out to be mostly computer security wasn't quite so good, the audience ran out of steam roughly as we did and had dropped to half its original size by the time we stopped.

Otherwise I did my normal convention thing, writing myself a schedule of panels to attend that left no time to eat and then waiting until I found someone (usually aardvark179) in the corridor eating with whom seemed more appealing than going to the next planned panel.

I didn't manage to face more than an hour of Worldcon parties on any night; the rooms are incredibly full, everything's very loud (maybe I need to get my ears cleaned with one of those mini-sized pool-cleaning squirters again), and the windows don't open, it just wasn't an environment where I could make conversation with new people. Two strangers in a group of six people the rest of whom I know is fantastic; ninety-seven in a group of a hundred distinctly less so.

Mostly after Worldcon I've been recovering - I climbed up and down the mountain with Sasha on Wednesday to see all the city outspread, but most of the big tourist attractions I've been to on previous visits. I'm used to the city being covered in dirty snow under lowering skies, so 29C with 80% humidity is quite a change; it's so green now. Yesterday I devoted the afternoon to reading: Bujold's excellent Passage and very good Horizon, and John M Ford (much-missed; there was a great panel appreciating his life)'s fantastic Scholars of Night.

I have ice cider in a sillily-shaped bottle, dulche de leche, rilettes de canard, and a quantity of maple-based sweets; actually very few books (some of them in French - Alire tried to sell me a subscription to Solaris, the Quebecois equivalent of F&SF, and I might even take them up on this if I enjoy the sample issue I bought), since my trip to the dealer's room was at a time when I feared I'd have to carry every book I bought around Halifax in a rucksack for three days.
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