Last weekend I went to my first WorldCon (the details on MidAmeriCon II). Based on the conversations I had there, I expect this is a bit of a rite of passage. Each person is happy to tell you about their first WorldCon—London, San Antonio and Seattle were the most common—and now I can say I started my WorldCon habit with Kansas City.
I haven’t been to Kansas City since I was a teenager. (No, we are not going to count the years.) I remember it as this massive Big City. This is, of course, because I grew up in rural Nebraska, and to us, it was legitimately huge. I think the last time I’d been in KCMO was to see Nine Inch Nails at an arena. I probably had a crush on Trent Reznor. This explains as much about me as it does about my “look at all these amazing niche restaurants and bars” reaction I had last week as about anything else. It also explains why I was confused that the airport was not overwhelming. (DFW has terminals spread across five miles.)
What does my reaction about Kansas City being smaller and hipper than I remembered have to do with WorldCon? Quite a bit. As a regular at RT Convention (Atlanta 2017 is already on my calendar) and comic cons like Dallas and Phoenix, I was used to the overwhelming, frenetic pace. I thought WorldCon would be that same dizzying delight. It wasn’t, but it was delightful in another way. The pace of WorldCon allowed for discussions, explorations of ideas, and general getting to know awesome people.
The panels I was on were engaging and intellectual. We explored the ways myths inform modern urban fantasy and discussed why it’s a great springboard for lots of cutting-edge ideas (check out panelists Randy Henderson and Dana Cameron).
We talked about how the TV show The 100 was kind of a reverse sci-fi for the first season (space to the non-technological ground) and the ways it subverted expectations (great insights from David J. Peterson, Tui Sutherland and Erin Underwood).
We talked about why Jessica Jones and Trish’s relationship was important. (And Michelle Sagara and I willingly answered questions about Deanna Troi and Dr. Crusher’s friendship, and why it’s okay to have a gym buddy.)
WE TALKED TO ASTRONAUTS.
By the time I hopped my flight back to Dallas, I had added a mega stack of titles to my to-be-read list (reminder: you can still add Borrowed Souls to yours to add more prizes to this contest). Here are a few that are at the top, which I’m just going to suggest you read, too:
- Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
- Windswept and Like a Boss by Adam Rakunas
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu
- Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson
- Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron
- The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín
Now I’m thinking about WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, because I would really love a vacation to Finland. Tips on convincing my husband our vacation should be to the next WorldCon are welcome.