Started the day with a surprise: Worldcon can in fact sustain the level of discourse I'd expect at Wiscon, even at nine in the morning, at least occasionally. It helped that the panelists and most of the audience were all Wiscon attendees. I am reminded of what an excellent moderator and all around awesome person Julia Rios is. I took four pages of notes including a whole lot of panel ideas I will be taking back to Arisia, and one of those I think will be a star panel, one that Arisia is uniquely qualified to host.
Also in program notes, later in the afternoon I attended a condensed what's up in Japan panel, which featured all of the neat bits I was looking for put together. Japanese cons open with a film presentation; large cons do a custom animation, and smaller ones do a slideshow. There was also a slideshow of absolutely amazing art by Youchan, and a wind up geisha presented Paulo Bacigalupa with his Seiun award for the translation of Wind Up Girl which was of course quite a photo op.
The dealers room here is in a room with a bunch of historical exhibits and other relics like the fanzine lounge. The emphasis on used books and the general feel of the dealers room, and the unexamined displays of 40 year old souvenir books with covers you'd never use today, all added up to a "blast from the past" atmosphere that frankly I did not think was a good thing. There is a cultural divide here and Worldcon has not even contemplated crossing it.
Walking through the 60's futuristic tunnel between the two halves of the hotel I encountered a woman with a Babel fish in her ear. It was pretty large, with a black box twice the size of my phone kind of strapped to her head, and I don't know if it did anything other than English to Japanese. But in five years these will be the size of an ordinary hearing aid, and five years after that they'll fit in your ear canal.
I mostly ignored the art show today, but I managed to be there to help out with a small crisis, so that was lucky timing. There's another logistical issue which I did not resolve and which has a Saturday night deadline to figure out, but apart from that I think it's more important to be rested for the crazy packing out schedule on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
I managed, barely, to be in the room for the public announcement of the Helsinki in 2015 bid as well as both 2017 bids. Very pleased to see Japan bidding. Not sure yet whether I'll be supporting Helsinki, mostly because there are a whole lot of details the bid hasn't worked out yet.
Crystal dragged me along on a dinner for her Secret Journeymen of Fandom group. A MITSFS fellow tagged along and after a little while exclaimed "I thought I was going to a young fans dinner. This is the Junior Illuminati". Which was about right. Lots of great notes here too, including that Boston area fandom should get together and do a Board of Directors training.
No parties tonight, I was too pooped. All the ones I wanted to get to are running tomorrow too. Except one that Michael Lee was running, but he was at dinner so that's OK.