Worldcon 2012: Chicon Strikes Back

What to say about Worldcon this year?

Well, it was magical.

This was my third Worldcon. I went to LA in 2006 and Denver in 2008. At each of those I hung out with other students from BYU, met a few people, and was part of what some people called the "Sanderson Entourage." I attended a lot of panels and a few of the coffee meetup things with authors and editors. They were certainly interesting and valuable to me, but I was also going as a very new amateur author with nothing under his belt to make him remarkable.

This year was different. It was my first time going to a convention while under contract. The first time I could hand people business cards and tell them my release date and, after permission from my editor, show them a picture of my book cover I had on my phone (no, you can't see it yet).

Now, I'm a pretty shy guy. I have a tough time making contact. I love people. I love chatting. I just don't have the ability that some people do to walk up to strangers, shake their hand, and introduce myself. I'm kind of terrified of it. So Myke Cole made it happen for me. This guy knows everyone. I spent the better part of Thursday with Myke and I was introduced to countless cool people.

Devi Pillai, my awesome--but intrinsically evil--editor did the same thing. I had a laundry list of people I wanted to meet at Worldcon. I told her names and she made it happen. Chuck Wendig? Bam! Mur Lafferty? Yup. Daniel Abraham? Done. Charles Stross? Of course. There were a number I didn't get to. I had hoped to hang out with Mary Robinette Kowal, for one. But those were because we ran out of time, not because Devi wasn't ready to make it happen for me.

I had so many cool experiences in Chicago this year. I got to compare cover art for our spring releases with Daniel Abraham. I sat at a table and bull-shitted with George RR Martin. Talked about the fantastic things our dogs have rolled in with Chuck Wendig and Doug Hulick. Doug was nice enough to introduce me to not one, but two different Chicago deep dish pizza places.

I ran into some old friends like Bryce Moore, and made plenty of new ones like Monica ValentinelliLissa Price, Jim Hines, and Anne Lyle. I met more people than names I could remember, so I apologize if I've left you off the list!

The best experience I had, by far, was getting to know Orbit. Devi Pillai (my editor), Tim Holman (my publisher and the BIG GUY at Orbit, as it were), Tom Bouman (Daniel Abraham's editor), and Susan Barnes (the editorial assistant), were all there. Devi and Tim took me out to lunch on Saturday and listened to me prattle on about all my hopes and dreams for the first book. They gently pushed me toward reality and met my enthusiasm with boat loads of their own and I learned that my book is in the best possible hands it could be in.