Home from the Nebula conference

Home from the Nebula conference

The Nebula conference (held in Burbank this year, and will be held in Burbank again next year) was quite delightful. The quality of panels was high and it was very nice to chat to delightful friends, old and new.

I had a bit of shoulder separation to deal with, which meant early nights and taking it easy. But folks were kind towards the arm and no one was too weirded out by how sometimes I wore a sling, and sometimes I didn’t. It was so nice, and a delightful change, to have the hospitality suite on the same level as programming, the bar and the restaurant. Good for tired bones not to have to make too many decisions and have something of a central area to wander around in when decisions got hard.

The SFWA business meeting was interesting to see the machinery of SFWA steadily move on. Business meetings probably have a cumulative effect, when it comes to interesting! You get a visceral sense of effort when projects spoken about turn into projects done and projects gearing up for version two or three. It’s nice to see how SFWA has grown and matured, with room to improve, but it’s good to have a strong governance foundation to grow with.

The burnout panel was very good, with a nice mix of trad, hybrid and indie authors.

William Gibson was delightful. And, well, I’d listen to Eileen Gunn interview/in conversation with a banana (she has a skill for creating space that reminds me a little of Andrew Denton), and even better when it’s a dear friend of her’s like Gibson.

The Nebula nominee reception was delightful

And included audio performances for every nominee!

Diversifying story form, themes and aesthetics, with a deeper, more satisfying focus on Eastern culture and storytelling traditions… and have room for diversity within that. Stories that might be satisfying in Taiwan may be less satisfying in Beijing, and so on. And anytime a person casually uses Dylan Thomas’s poetry in conversation, I am delighted (thank you Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, poetic sensibilities in conversation are so joyful).

Boback Ferdowsi was delightful and Stephen Granade was an excellent interviewer. It was nice to see Ferdowsi truly in his element, speaking with enthusiasm and passion about science, engineering, space and cool possible projects. It can be a little bit awkward to have become a meme (aka mohawk guy), something to be carefully navigated. So it was delightful to see how much he came to life when he talked about science and interesting engineering projects.

Talking up: Worldbuilding in Kidlit. Final day and playing with different pens and textures. Interesting to see the storytelling decisions folks make when writing for kids!

And one solo presentation on literary theory. It made me want to read all the literary theory books (especially Damon Knight, as he’s a missing piece from my most direct influences).

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