Archive of our Own, Astounding Award, Brian Smith, Dublin 2019, F.D Lee, Fangorn, Former Campbell Award, Ginjer Buchanan, Hugos, Hugos Losers party, Jeanette Ng, Literary beer, Logistics in Fantasy, Paedar O'Guilian, Russell A Smith, worldcon, Yoon Ha Lee
After the relative relaxation of Saturday, Sunday was back to full steam ahead with a packed schedule. It was also the day of the now notorious Hugo award ceremony but more on that later…
I started out the day over at the Point where (at her request) I photographed the second show of Death Ingloria. This one, unlike the show of the previous day, was ‘unplugged’ and an excellent performance. I talked with them afterwards (while waiting to be interviewed for a Podcast) and we discussed the concept of ‘interactive comics’ and the use of QR tags in a printed media to add audiovisual elements. Their comic, issued free to the audience, included such tags that linked to concert performances when scanned with a smart phone.
After that concert, I headed back to the CCD where I had agreed to meet with Robin Shantz of the Invaders from Planet 3 podcast. There I was interviewed alongside Galina Rin of Death Ingloria for an episode that will be available on the linked website soon (I guess…). Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to hang around and socialise after that because I was moderating a panel and needed to get to the Green room in order to prep for it.
In the Green room I met one of the panellists. Yoon Ha LeeYoon Ha Lee, author of Ninefox Gambit, and we had a chat about the panel and other things. They said they were practising drawing people and so asked if they could sketch me, which I agreed to, meaning I got the honour of being sketched by a Hugo award nominee!
After a short while, Brian Smith turned up. He was our ‘logistics expert’ for this panel and also got his portrait done. At that point, we were only lacking our GoH panelist – Ginjer Buchanan and my anxiety by that point was already thinking she was standing us up (she wasn’t… but you know paranoia…). We headed down to the room without her and got as far as my announcing the start of the panel and apologising for her absence when she turned up.
Apparently, she had been at a previous item and had turned up at the door to the panel to be told it was full. Luckily, she was recognised and allowed in and the panel could start with a full complement.
The discussion was another good one with a lot of references to Star Trek: Voyager and the infamous shuttle replicator (for some reason). Yoon Ha Lee introduced themselves as someone who ‘always does it wrong’ with logistics and gave an amusing anecdote about their mother sending them beef jerky from South Korea to the US ‘as a special treat’ despite beef being very easy to obtain in the US. A variant on the coals to Newcastle analogy. Brian Smith commented on various examples of authors not really understanding what logistics is. The Romans were mentioned too. There was also a discussion about ‘going too far’ and obsessing on the ‘little details’ too much. Though Ginjer did point out that the examples given (usually the sort of military/tech thriller/spy thriller adventures in which they take a whole page to describe the technical specifications of a gun) were considered ‘didactic* fiction’ which is, apparently, very popular. Finally there was also reference to the infamous Game of Thrones (TV Series) ‘teleporting characters’ situation – which I have blogged about elsewhere.
A particular sticking point for the panel was when I asked a question about whether there was a SFF story where the logistics issue was the story. We all drew a blank on that one (even me since it was an off the cuff question so I hadn’t even prepared any answers of my own). However, the audience were full of wonderful ideas. If any of you are reading this and want to comment with your suggestions, please feel free (I’m afraid I did not write them down).
After this I went along to sit with Russell Smith on his literary beer and managed to drag Fangorn along for the ride too. Much was discussed…
After dinner I went along to Martin’s bar to watch the live feed of the Hugo awards. Much has already been said about this – about the issues with closed captions, the too loud music in the bar that detracted from the events on screen, the controversial speech by Jeannette Ng and the issues with the Loser’s party. I won’t spend too long reiterating those issues other than to say that I totally agree with Jeanette’s comments and am pleased they later agreed to change the name of the Campbell Award to the Astounding Award. I also would say that I quite liked the rowdy nature of the Hugo watching in the bar. OK, we could not see nor hear the speeches but the atmosphere was very jovial and energetic with popular winners (especially ‘Archive of our own‘) getting cheered. It felt very convivial and I think we all knew that we could, if we wanted to, watch the ceremony again at a later date with full sound. I also did not disagree with any of the winners and heartily endorse many of them. Though, I still feel Peadar was robbed…
The evening ended with more Barconning…
*In case you were not aware, didactic refers to a teaching method where you tell the student what they need to know (traditional, old fashioned lecturing) as opposed to more modern methods. Obviously, in writing it refers to a similar idea – the author is explicitly describing an object rather than giving vague details and expecting them to fill in the gaps with imagination.,