29 April 2012
Things I learned at Eastercon
Crawling out of my pit of morning sickness to post, pretty much just to let the world know that I'm still alive. Morning sickness: Best. Diet. Ever.
Coming up to Eastercon I was just mildly nauseous, so I thought, let's do this. It's all booked and paid for, you've been looking forward to it for months, and there's no way you can stiff your room mate, Mhairie Simpson, for the whole hotel bill, so pack a big bag of tummy-settling snacks and let's go.
It worked until day 3, when everything went up a gear and I became intimately acquainted with the lovely bathroom in my hotel room and spent much of the last two days in bed. This was disappointing, since I missed my chance of a ringside seat to the big kerfuffle.
Still, after two weeks of wishing for death, the words finally seem to be stringing together okay and this morning's Rice Krispies are staying put, so hopefully I'm on the downward slope now.
So, things I learned at Eastercon (which aren't to do with pregnancy and vomiting, because these things are only of interest to the poor fool suffering them):
1. Remember who the guests of honour are. People are friendly and may ask you questions. It isn't meant as a test, but...
2. You are possibly the only person in the hotel not to have seen Game of Thrones. When this means that you assume the giant replica Iron Throne in pride of place is a random piece of hotel sculpture, it might look like you just arrived from Mars. Resist the urge to produce your battered copy of Fevre Dream by GRR Martin. The damage is already done.
3. There is nothing jumpier than a person on a budget staying in an expensive hotel for the first time on a special cheap convention rate, where straying from the path could bankrupt you.
4. Just because the room service menu is in your room, does not mean you are going to be charged £17.50 for breakfast each day. Breathe.
5. Fancy hotels may prearrange a credit limit on your bill in case you want to put extras on it. This does not mean that you are going to be charged an extra £200, only that you can put an extra £200 of services on your room bill if you want. Breathe.
6. The minibar is one of those optional services, not a ravening beast which will creep out of the cupboard and maul your credit card while you sleep.
7. It doesn't matter how much your husband irritates you. In a hotel room on your own, you will miss him.
8. Ditto your children, although you're still happy that they aren't in the room with the minibar beast. It makes it easier to close your eyes in the dark. Except you think you just heard it whisper something in there.
9. You realise that if you were a stick of rock, it would say 'daylight consultant' all the way through, because you wish you had your laser tape and computer with you so that you could calculate the Average Daylight Factor of your hotel room.
10. At a science fiction convention, you will not be alone in your stick of rockness. There will be other stick of rock people with scientific disciplines running all the way through.
11. It's hard to stay cool when a Klingon walks in the bar.
12. You are never short of a t-shirt to read.
13. Attending a sci-fi panel on getting to Mars can give you at least three dystopian book scenarios in the first fifteen minutes.
14. People might want to check for pregnant women before they ask hypothetical questions of the room, such as whether they would be willing to offer their children for body modification to allow them to colonise Mars. Specifically, they might want to check for pregnant women with sharp, pointy objects within reach. Seriously, it's like a doctor tapping below your knee with a little hammer; your hands will slam over your belly and you will start scanning the room for people who might have been brave enough to put their hands up. (I know I promised, but come on, one preggy point out of fourteen isn't bad.)
This was my second convention, and despite having to stay teetotal and a few chats with the big white telephone, it was a ton of fun. I now have to decide whether to try to get to Fantasycon in September despite the fact that I'll be dodging harpoons by then, or to cancel it on the basis that a woman going into labour in one of the panels might be more excitement than anybody wants.