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Worldcon day 5: On the homestretch

By Petrea Mitchell| August 22, 2011 | Comments Off on Worldcon day 5: On the homestretch

The most startling thing I’ve heard today came during the feedback session. Not a complaint, but a bit of backstory I hadn’t heard before.

It’s well-known that Worldcon has been held in Reno this year because a group of con-runners from Portland, OR wanted to run one, but Portland doesn’t have the facilities. (There’s a lovely and huge convention center, but nowhere near the number of hotel rooms needed within walking distance.) But today I heard con chair Patty Wells giving more detail about the search for a site than I’d heard before. She found five cities she really liked after researching convention center information, then asked another person to evaluate whether there were enough hotel rooms nearby, which eliminated three of them.

That other remaining city, which lost so narrowly to Reno? Omaha.

No, not somewhere that generally springs to mind when thinking about Worldcon. But if anyone’s looking for a site for a future bid, it’s now got the endorsement of one of the best facilities people in fandom.

And now, a few bests from this con.

Best party idea: The Kansas in 2016 speakeasy. First you had to read the party flier carefully. Then you had to saunter over to the unremarkable door in their main party room and mumble the password to be allowed through. The door wardens were even dressed in period garb.

On the other side was the section with the alcoholic drinks. Even more valuable to a non-drinker like me was that it was the one uncrowded room on the floor at the time. It was nice to get some air for a few minutes.

Best party favor: A button displaying a three-headed dragon that I picked up at the Brotherhood Without Banners (Game of Thrones fans) party. I haven’t read any of the books or seen the adaptation, but they insisted that everyone entering the room first had to pick a house to belong to. This dragon means something to George R. R. Martin’s fans. But to me, it’s just cool that someone put Monster Zero on a button.

Guy with the most consistently funny T-shirts throughout the con: Harry Turtledove.

Best thing I found in the dealers’ room: A copy of Emperor and Clown by Dave Duncan, which I’ve had an eye out for for close to a year. Even at $20 (signed, and apparently his signature is rare).

Best issue of the newsletter: There were two silly ones to pick from, but I lean toward this morning’s one, which includes news such as the tragic outcome of the first annual Worldcon Scooter Race, the merits of the K2 in 2020 bid (“Also, the lack of oxygen will make the WSFS meetings start to make sense to the rest of us.”), and the new distance record for a book launch.

So, with this convention over (well, mostly– the dead dog party in the con suite will be hanging grimly on until sometime in the wee hours), we set our sights on Chicago. The party picks up again at the Hyatt Regency on August 30th, 2012. See you there!

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