I decided that I would be more likely to get all my photos uploaded if I gave myself permission to process only one day at a time. So here is Thursday:

Montreal WorldCon Thursday

Nothing very embarrassing, although you do get a rather nice view of ‘s hair from above.

My favorite programming item that I actually saw was Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross. It was exactly the sort of thing I go to WorldCons for: funny, thought-provoking, and the result of getting a whole bunch of talent together in the same place.

Somehow I missed all Neil Gaiman’s actual panels, although I did see him in passing, occasionally in the company of (who, it must be noted, wore a smile of dazed euphoria at the time.)

My least favorite thing turned out to be the Twilight panel.

It was scheduled for the hour immediately before the Hugos, something I didn’t realize until shortly before the panel started, but I knew the Hugos never start on time anyway so I didn’t bag the panel. I was, however, late to it. It was in the party hotel, and because the room I thought it was in turned out to be locked, and I didn’t have the programming grid with me, I ran all the way back to the convention center to check. Based on earlier experience with the "teen track" I knew that the grid didn’t always match the program participant handouts, and that likely attendees (as well as many participants, actually) used the grid as their main guide.

So, I ran back to the party hotel, and only then noticed that there was a little room off to the side near the elevators that looked sort of like it belonged to the convention, and might conceivably have had a program grid. Back up to the 28th floor, where I realized, with a sinking feeling, that the room the Twilight panel was actually taking place in was the teen lounge and not a programming room at all. The woman running the programming attempted to prevent me from entering. I said, "Isn’t there supposed to be a panel?" She said, "Nobody showed up and the kids up there don’t want to talk about Twilight."

Later, I saw via e-mail that my fellow panelist had already bowed out due to mobility issues.

So, to recap: it was an awkward time, an awkward place, not really a panel, and nobody showed up anyway.

On the other hand, everyone liked my "And then Buffy staked Edward. The End." t-shirt.

Memo to other conventions: do not have a designated "teen track." Especially if Neil Gaiman is your guest of honor. He is the teen track.

So, I could be bitter and conclude that I read Twilight for nothing, but no. I choose to find the positive: if I was going to trash-talk it anyway, at least now I can trash-talk it with authority.

I have to get to work now, so I will talk about foie gras later.


  1. I do sympathize. But it could have been worse…. We had three young adults show up for the “so you want to write” panel on the teens track. The “panel” physically consisted of a circle of chairs inside the babysitting room. There were literally screaming toddlers running around us the entire hour. One of whom had a toy microphone, as if she needed it.

    I have to kind of agree with you on the teen track. Most teens want to be treated as adults anyway. I do think a children’s track is a good idea, but it’s probably important to have a checkbox on the programming questionnaire asking folks if they want to be on that. (I was on a kids’ panel too; no kids showed up and I was relieved because I’m not terribly comfortable with them — I never know if I’m speaking above or below their level.)

    1. Author

      Yark. Screaming toddlers and serious paneling do *not* mix.

      I did one actual kids panel — bellydancing for children — and I got two and a half little kids, one adolescent, and one adult. There was no way the littlest kids had the attention span for an entire hour of dance class, but they did get all excited 1. When I told them they could take off their shoes, 2. When they got to tie red scarves around their hips, 3. When they saw the picture of the bats on my laptop. It made me think that a panel on bats would have gone over rather well with the younger set, provided there were lots of pictures. Then they spent the rest of the hour spinning around to the music and sometimes giggling and falling down.

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