Thursday, August 06, 2009

Day 1 of World Con

Bonjour!

Like my French? That's what they speak here in Montreal, if you didn't know. As mentioned a couple posts ago, my best friend and I traveled to Montreal today to attend the World Con. It has been a very fun day.

It started at 3:45 this morning, which was unfortunate, but I got a really good price on a plane ticket, in return for having to leave at the crack of dawn. Erin (my best friend's name is identical to my own, if you were not aware) also had an early flight, so I just waited for her in the Montreal airport until she arrived, and we traveled to the hotel together.

Our hotel is quite nice, as all the cheap ones were booked before we got our acts together. We have a festival going on outside our window though, so we were warned that it would be noisy until midnight every day. It's not that bad, we get free music, and neither of us go to bed particularly early anyway.

Our first impression of the convention is that it does nothing to dispel the stereotypes of the type of people you would expect to find a sci-fi convention. I guess that is not really surprising. What did surprise me is the number of women present, it really seems to be about 50/50, which I did not expect.

Our first big event was to see Neil Gaiman, the reason we came in the first place. He is one of our favorite authors, and he is the guest of honor for the convention. He was doing a question and answer period this afternoon, which was a delight to attend. He was just as funny and intelligent to listen to as I had imagined he would be. My desire to kidnap him has not lessened. He just seems like the kind of guy you would love to hang out with all the time. Yes, I have a bit of a crush on him. Tomorrow, Erin and I will be trying to get tickets to attend the first of the two book signings he's doing. I guess they're expecting enough of a rush on it that they decided tickets are necessary. I can see that, considering the number of people who were at his talk this afternoon, and rushed his table at the end to try to get signatures.

Later in the day we browsed the art expo. Some of it was quite good, and I'm thinking I may go pick up a few small pieces tomorrow that I liked. There were a few I was interested in that are definitely outside my budget. I wish I could have taken pictures of it, but that was not allowed unfortunately.

This evening we attended two lectures. The first was on genocide in sci-fi, and the implications of it's use and acceptance in sci-fi literature. It was a very interesting debate that made some interesting points, despite a few audience questions trying to lead it astray. The second was on Wonder Woman and feminism in comics. It was also quite good, but a little disappointing in that the panel was made up of 2 men and only 1 woman, which seemed odd for a discussion on feminism. The men on the panel were quite sympathetic, to their credit, but their perspective was quite different from that of the woman on the panel, unsurprisingly. For Erin and I it raised the question of whether or not the convention organisers were able to find more women for the panel and what that meant. It left us with interesting thoughts and much discussion anyway, which I think is the important thing.

Overall my impression so far is really good. Today was very fun, and I suspect it will only be more so over the next few days. I will keep posting!

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