Well, I’ve just returned from my first Worldcon–this one was in Reno, called “Renovation” by its pun-hungry organizers (and who can blame them, really?).
What a different experience from other cons, on many levels.
I set off with she-who-must-not-be-named in the new convertible for the four-hour drive. I had my doubts about making that long of a drive in a convertible–generally speaking, loud transportation wears you out more than quiet, and I was worried about arriving completely worn out.
I shouldn’t have worried. Good earplugs and good cruising music knocked the noise down to just-barely-louder-than-regular-car levels. We secured the cooler to the backs of the seats, where it acted as an extra windblocker, keeping things even quieter in there than normal.
Leaving in the morning also gave us a special treat–not a lot of traffic, and with the gorgeous weather and a new pocket camera we had a fun new road game to play: spot the exotics. In a convertible you can see the whole world, including all the other gorgeous sports cars on the road. There were a lot of them too. When we spotted one, whoever snapped its picture first got a point. Granted, as the driver I wasn’t exactly snapping championship photos, as I couldn’t check the viewfinder. I basically just pointed the camera in the general direction of a pretty car and hit the trigger. We had so much fun we forgot to tally the winner.
There was a bit of road construction near Truckee, but otherwise it was a gorgeous clear drive. I have to give a shout out to the engineers that built I-80. Not only was the road quality uncommonly good for California, the curves were all well-sloped and swooping. I discovered that the little roadster LOVES doing 90 on track-like mountain roads, and even then it kept sitting up and begging for more. By the time we got to Reno I was hopping for joy with fahrvegnugen 🙂
The rest of the day, alas, wasn’t nearly as nice. Worldcon is a different kind of con. Normally I’ll find the central bar, set up my laptop, and write a story. Interesting people come in and out, and I stop from time to time to have great conversations or to hit a panel I’m interested in.
That plan doesn’t work very well at a con with 4000 attendees strewn across two casinos and a convention center. I took the whole first day just getting my bearings, barely missing panels, barely missing friends.
On the upside, I did get to meet Robert J. Sawyer, who gave me shit for stealing his name (a gag which continued, to my delight, through the weekend, and which resulted in me meeting many more snarky and enjoyable people who were happy to let me pick their brains), and got to catch up with the Kollin brothers, who are always a fantastically entertaining pair.
At the end of the day, though, the fun didn’t make up for the disorientation. I wound up feeling exhausted, demoralized, disoriented, and outclassed.
I staggered to bed wondering if the trip had been worth it–the next two days, though, proved that it was worth every minute. Tales from day 2 will come your way tomorrow.
And if you’re wondering, yes, I can’t recommend road trips in convertibles highly enough, particularly when the destination is a WorldCon.