Spokane 2015 – The World Science Fiction Convention

Usually, I’d be writing a long and hopefully entertaining journal about the whole amazing show. But given the events of the last few days (the midnight to 4am ER visit with one dear friend and the trauma work with another, the break in and theft from our car, the still inexplicable internet oddness, and related maladies), I have time only for a brief photo essay:

The crossing of the Columbia River Gorge past Ellensburg, and the horse sculptures upon the hill:
1Step 1: Pass out the 2 full boxes of Voodoo Doughnuts to the Convention volunteers:

2Below Left: I made the little flyer on the right to highlight the Small Gods I had on display, and to suggest that the Art Show might contain unexpected surprises.

Below Right: Most of the crack team (Venetia, Kim and Tracy) that put up my always-complex display in the Art Show:3Many a lovely being! Debi Chowdhury used Venetia as a model in her Sari-tying Class.

Crystal Huff was happy to see us, even before her bid to host the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki Finland so spectacularly crystalized. ;)

Liz Argall always looks sharp in a black suit. The black mask would not be needed on that day….4Venetia was a woman of many disguises – from the wee fairy hat to the replicant infiltrating the bizarre Kubrick Film that was Spokane’s Grand Hotel, to her rarely-glimpsed Moomin-form (rendered here by the delightful Goldeen Ogawa):5One does not simply expect Mordor. Spokane was, like Johnny Cash, in a burning ring of fire. The sun was red, the air unbreathable, and the idyllic walk across the park to our hotel? Unthinkable. And that’s where the masks came in. Colette and our kind friends at the DC bid committee supplied the fabric. We wetted it down and shared it with Liz (because sharing is caring in any emergency or apocalypse):6Below Left: The me of today with the me of decades past – as seen in Christine Valada’s excellent series of SF Portraits.

Below Right: Me desperately trying to use a PC as I engage in a REDDIT “Ask me anything”:10Now, I had a feeling Daniel Patrick Moran might be a geek. But I had no notion that Jim Wright (aka Stone Kettle Station) was. Here – at the midpoint of the convention – was the first meeting of the firm of Moran, Wright and Moyer:7Saturday, a miracle occurred and the Apocalypse was called off. In gratitude we went and rode the Sky Ride – one of the few features left from the well-loved Expo ’74:8 9The night of the contentious Hugo Awards, we dined with Mark, Baize and Tempest – eventually shutting the slightly seamy (if delicious) Teriyaki House down. When the metaphoric smoke cleared, all was right with the world – and so many of the good people won! Here is the wondrous Wendy Wagner holding her ceremonial mace upside down (for safety no doubt – she is wise):11As we took down the remnants of the art show, we couldn’t help but notice this tiny bird. How clever to seek breathable air inside the Convention Hall!:12After the closing pool party and the good affordable food (where had that been for the rest of the convention?), we wandered to Meg and Will’s room in the Kubrick, and were treated to splendid conversation:13There was ever so much more of course, but my clients are no happier with my delays than I am, so it’s back to work for me!

I am very grateful to Jean and Rob Carlos for their fine opening dinner, and their hosting Cards Against Humanity. But also for the thorough convention reportage that they (and the marvelous Carol Berg, Jim Wright, Vandy Hall, Stacy, and so many others) have written. Here’s to future meetings!

Advertisements

Spokane History

I was last in Spokane in 1974. For the World’s Fair.
Before I arrived, the state of Washington and the rail-hub city of Spokane did a massive amount of work:

expo1_t620Spokane1973

View from helicopter, Expo '74 World's Fair Spokane

View from helicopter, Expo ’74 World’s Fair Spokane

41 years later, I returned for the World Con.
I anticipated the removal of most of the fair buildings, and the reclamation of that land as park, but I looked forward to exploring those changes. It should have looked like this:

riverefrontInstead, because of the record fires surrounding Spokane, staying at a hotel across the waterways and park (which had seemed such an idyllic notion just days before), proved a fascinating challenge when the going got tough.
One does not simply …expect Mordor:

CMz94J0UEAEqL2C