Westercon 2011

Site selection (see the Hoax Bid article in this same issue) was certainly not the only experience I had at Westercon. And as important as that was for the future of the convention, it would be a shame to ignore the solid job this year’s con did. Phil and Kaja Foglio (of Girl Genius fame) were as lovely as ever, and hearing Patricia McKillip read at the SFinSF event held at the convention was a rare treat. Cellist Unwoman played in the daytime Fanzine Lounge, and although I missed that, it was nice to get a chance to chat with her beforehand.

I was on a couple of last-minute panels when another panelist was unable to attend the convention and enjoyed them both. The first one was about female superheroes and involved some interesting input from the audience and at least one baffling comment from a co panelist. The second, on corsets (and other options) in Steampunk was fun in its own way, although I learned a little too much about the long-term consequences of corset-wearing. I had also been scheduled for an art show docent tour but sadly missed it due to the Business Meeting running for so long.

After the meeting, a small group of us headed down the street to a wonderful little place called Single Barrel, which is a speakeasy-style bar with amazing handcrafted cocktails. I had a basil gimlet that was unexpectedly perfect for the hot weather, and a cigar and tequila before heading back to the convention refreshed and inspired.

The parties were an improvement over the rather dismal showing at Baycon this year. I got to poke my head into the Worldcon bid parties for Spokane 2015, which was nice enough but thrown for a loop by a simple transit question (how to get there by transit) and London 2014, which was marvelous and got my pre-support on the spot, although we’ll see if I can make it. Although I got lazy with costuming, Leigh Ann finally completed the silver space girl dress she’s been promising me and I enjoyed showing that off.

But the bittersweet memory of the convention for me will undoubtedly be hosting the final Fanzine Lounge PM with Leigh Ann Hildebrand. Although it wasn’t really the same without co-conspirator Jason Schachat, it was still the end of an era and we made the most of it. Leigh Ann brought her ice grinder and made snow-cones (or a reasonable facsimile), which were a blessing as the party floor got busy and the air heated up. We stayed open late every night and saw the dawn come up on Sunday, tired but reluctant to close it down this one last time.

~España Sheriff

SF/SF Issue #119, July 27, 2011