Back from Montreal, with some time to think. It was a good Worldcon, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't my biggest. Consider this a weak, disjointed attempt at a con report. I wasn't taking notes. I wasn't even taking pictures. These are just things that occur to me, as they occur to me.
Impressions of Montreal. I like it. The first thing I figured out was just how much French I'd forgotten. Jen and I would stand staring at a sign, trying to remember the verb. Finding? Looking? No...maybe Washing? Washing. I think it's Falling, actually. Sad, sad. We did okay, though. A couple of times we ate at restaurants that had no english menu, and that was always interesting. It always seemed to be at breakfast, too, so we had to struggle with consciousness and verb tense. We did okay. Nobody ordered anything they weren't willing to eat.
They really do have infrastructure problems. Driving in, every underpass had an iron net to catch falling bits of concrete. All the bridges were crumbling, and the road surfaces were poor. On the plus side, we were never delayed by construction! Once we were downtown it was typically Canadian Clean. Our hotel was a couple blocks west of the Palais du Congres, which was the convention center. The palais itself was just west (well, slightly west northwest) of Old Montreal, so for food we usually just walked down to the palais, then continued on into ye olde city. Much good food. Beer selection was narrow wherever we went, at least on tap, but they were consistently good beers. I drank a lot of Chamblay Noire. As a rule the food was slightly rich and heavy, but very good. *shrug* The old city itself is kind of like a slice of Europe that got dropped on the new continent. Charming is the word. Gentil.
The convention itself was haphazardly organized. I was only on one panel, and its time got changed by an hour. No big deal, but you had to keep on top of the daily schedule, which would be modified throughout the day. Most of my friends were double booked at least once. One guy I know was double booked twice, so they rearranged his schedule and then he was triple booked once. Good show. I realize it's hard to manage all those assets, but there are these things called "databases" and they can really help. It's a science fiction convention. I expect some science.
Other than that, it was a good con. Interesting panels, good panelists, rooms were appropriately sized. The facility itself was great. Many dining options, easy to get around, all that boring technical stuff that can make or break a convention. The Dealer's Room was bleak. You know, that thing where no one wants to try to bring books into Canada? In full effect.
What else, what else....parties. There were parties. I went to some of them, I walked through and then left others. As always, I ended up spending most of my time at the Brotherhood without Banners party, as I did in Denver. Good people.
The pro bar was at the Intercontinental. It was kind of small, kind of hard to get to, kind of limited in beer selection...but they had absinthe fountains. I was saved, mostly, because I don't like licorice. But it was a fascinating little ritual, and there was much toasting to Hemingway and what have you. I stuck to beer and tapas.
I'm not going to drop names or anything, not on this post at least. I made some new friends, saw some people I was hoping I'd get to see (but not enough of them, alas) and completely missed seeing some people I'd like to spend some time with. That is the way of this strange, wandering tribe.
And now I am home, and refreshed, and writing. Well, not this second. But heading writing-wise. Because I've got deadlines, bitches.