This is a Filk/Folk group from Portland Oregon which I first heard at WesterCon a few years ago. I have a number of their other albums (electronically from BandCamp). The best track on the album is Rewind. I suggest you take a listen. Not that thrilled about the rest of the tracks – excellent quality, I am just not in my 30s. The t-shirt is from an earlier album/track Ultimate Riot.
Saturday is the traditional evening for the Hugo award ceremony. As part of the reg crew with set up at 0800 in the morning I am sort of feeling a bit ragged about 2000 when the ceremony is supposed to start. This was compounded by a brilliant person thinking that there would be attendees showing up late just to go to the Hugo’s. At $70? I don’t think so. More like someone was either immersed in fantasy land or just avoiding dealing with hall passes.
Those of you from the US – I am sure that you remember Hall Passes from school. They came from your teacher if you were running an errand or needed to be somewhere other than your class room during the hour. Or from the office if you were there for any reason; giving you permission to be somewhere other than normally appointed location by your regular schedule. Some schools even used them to allow quick restroom tricks.
The catch, of course, is that someone has to screen the person/request, decided if it is valid, and then issue the pass. Might take a few minutes, right?
So there we were, stuck and bored till 2100. I had made a couple of trips up to the Con Suite on the main exhibition floor for beverages and munchies as well as pitching in on table clearing. Am I going to hang around with everyone eating, drinking, partying and watching the big screen? Nah -I am going back downstairs to my quiet group of fellow sufferers before heading back to the hotel.
It wasn’t raining! What more could I ask?
Oh – the Hugos?
Best Novel: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Best Novella: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Best Novelette: “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
Best Short Story: “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
The John W. Campbell Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2014 or 2015, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award): Andy Weir
All the votes didn’t match mine, but I wasn’t displeased.
It was a reasonable morning @ 0800. Even discounting the announcement that we couldn’t take the shuttle to the convention center like we had yesterday. Apparently we weren’t special enough, not being relocated at the last minute from the Phillips Hotel. Never mind the drive who was enforcing his list wound up with no passengers. The rules must be followed.
The tram is new, free, clean and lovely even if this area of Kansas City is not exactly thrilling or appearing to be thriving (parking for $5/day?).I didn’t give the weather or outside temperature a thought since I was trapped occupied inside the convention center for the day.
Observed around the Con
Finally finishing up ~2100, I forgo the Masquerade in favor of getting some sleep. Ditto for the parties. It was about this time when I became aware that the outside rumbling was not trucks driving under the building but thunder relating to the ongoing storm.
Hello? California resident here – specifically East Bay. We get fog or low lying clouds in the summer with an occasional covering of morning dew. We don’t get rain. In fact this past winter (note, north of the Equator August is most definitely not winter…) was the first in four years to get rain, ending the long standing drought. So color me not prepared for a good, rousing Mid-West thunder storm complete with this wet liquid stuff descending from the sky.
Contrary to public opinion, I’m not a witch and don’t melt with water. I was by far more concerned about keeping my camera and books dry. I dashed the three blocks to the tram and boarded the one that was about to leave, staying on to Union Station.
Cool what ? (taken from dry inside)
There is an overhead walkway enclosed system (Skyways or +11s as is know by some) which connects Union Station with the hotel complex.
The reason I learned about him today, much less of his existence was courtesy of
Paul & Storm
Food science is important. And McDonalds is not the originator of the chicken nugget…
The duo is known for their spoofs in the SciFi fan world, skewering George RR has lead to a couple hilarious songs (one on on YouTube and the other here which is a take off on American Pie. Hey, all of you are old enough to remember singing Don Mclean’s
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Of course, if you have absolutely no clue about Game of Thrones, you probably won’t get most of the references..
Other than picking up and wearing my new hat (picture tomorrow) I was able to get to a panel, a literary beer and otherwise wander around since it turned out that most people had picked up their badges yesterday (or more likely are waiting for the weekend).
I didn’t spend much time with the camera but saw this
More displayed costumes
and went to give
and the wandering Tardis
a bit of a hand calling the elevator since it doesn’t exactly have a free hand, now does it?
Unlike most of the previous WorldCons, we were so good (cough, cough) at our jobs in registration that we essentially never had a line. Seriously, after dealing with lines varying anywhere from 2 to hundreds of dedicated fans.
By the end of today, we had logged in almost three thousand without really straining ourselves. Lots of individuals who were preregistered and the rest who seemed to be competent in filling out forms. One of the changes with this Con is the complete switch to Square Register for processing payments (rather than the old credit card machines which were bulky at best and cranky at worst.
I had fully intended to see something, anything today but it proved pretty much to be a plan not able to come to fruition.
Instead, I headed up to the main floor after 1900 when we closed to capture a bit of the flavor and exhibits….
and that means Missouri, not Kansas for all us who never knew/have completely forgotten US Geography.
It was a morning that started obscenely early. BART get to Oakland in time for me to make an 0620 flight so our eldest kindly (and she is so NOT a morning person) gave me a ride to the airport sparing me the 69$ Supershuttle fee. The Taxi folks wouldn’t even give me an estimate.
It was a direct flight to Kansas City, location of this year’s WorldCon. Catching the shuttle wasn’t a problem except that I had completely forgotten about the two hours time change which means that I had not exactly given the correct arrival time. It was too early to get to my room but dropping off luggage and heading to work reg for the rest of the day was just fine.
This will be the only comment I will provide on the Westin. They don’t provide desk staff who can think ahead. It didn’t occur to them that someone standing at the Bell Captain’s desk might need help. Or that perhaps it would have made sense to mention their shuttle service rather than leave me a phone message necessitating yet a third trip to the front desk. No free wifi… argh.
The new tram – free – runs up and down Main Street which really helps in the humidity. Union Station is amazing. I’m going after photos tomorrow….
After spending more time in both Green Room and the MidAmeriCon table I was ready for a hike. Concert in the afternoon then out onto the Green Line (or Red or Blue, from the hotel they all go downtown).
The Eldest had been scouting out the area for the last couple of day and had found a couple of interesting places to eat. I wanted to stop at Mountain Hardware. I rapidly discovered (which should not have been any kind of surprise at all) that the catalog carries far and away a better choice selection than the story. The two young guys however were impressed that my fleece tunic from them had traveled in over six countries this year. So they gave me a mug!
which I happily will take home along with the sheep mug Shana had found in one of the local fiber stores.
I had intended to get up early, hit the gym then do some volunteer work.
And then morning arrived. I seriously thought about the fitness center. Really, I did.
But elected not, instead heading over to the Green Room, meeting a few more program stragglers arriving this morning as well as those in desperate need of coffee as they had not yet made it to bed. (Note – I am not in my twenties. I don’t stay up all night to chat, game, film watch or party. I have been known to inadvertently read longer than planned….)
About noon I showed up as planned to the MidAmericaCon II table. It is not like we expect any new members to sign up at this late date. It is just to remind people and hand out some information on Kansas City. What I did have was time in which to back up photos and delete cr*p from the hard drive.
By the time 1800 came around, I was tired. Meant to go to the Masquerade but fell asleep…..
WesterCon – as you might have guessed is the West Coast Con which seems to cover a goodly part of the Western US (today Portland, next year Tempe, Denver in 2018). The Con actually dates back to 1948 with its origins in the LA area. It first moved out of California to Seattle in 1959. From reading the history – WesterCon has been held in Portland before (84,90,95, 01).
Besides the kids track (there is always a kid’s track). There are also Mermaids –
with their own pavillion
relaxing in the pool
and sunning themselves (?!)
who are running classes on how to be a mermaid. I am not sure what magic they are using to revert to their two legged forms.
I met them early on, having volunteered to work program participant reg and the Green Room. Where else do you find sea colors and tons of waterproof makeup?
And then there is the phenomenon of Filking. For those of you who are not familiar, just follow the link to Wiki. Think music, song with fantasy, nerd, SciFi themes often parodies on popular music. By best estimate – the name came from a corruption of folk music and stuck. It forms a solid portion of most conventions programming. Alexander James Adam is the Filk Guest of Honor. The lead off performance was PDX Broadsides, a local Portland group (duh) who are both good and extremely funny. They restricted themselves to songs which can be sung when children might be around as it was 1500. Except they did do Nathan Fillion – please take ….. (if you don’t get the reference – Firefly, also starring role in Castle).
The Con – (which also includes GearCon which makes for great entertainment and hall costumes. Steampunk for those not familiar what a track at a Science Fiction would have to do with gears….)
I spent a good portion of the day volunteering while she went out to explore Portland with her find of the day being Powell’s Books
Shana and I caught a Southwest Flight from Oakland allegedly mid-afternoon. Getting into the city is easy. Portland is civilized. The light rail system is absolutely brilliant. Clean, well signed and a stop literally right in front of the hotel.
Why are we here? I happen to like Portland and used the excuse of WesterCon to spend the weekend in this lovely city. We are staying in the Con Hotel (the DoubleTree which makes it even easier).
and then there is the view from the 10th floor window.