Monthly Archives: August 2013

The second Day of Worldcon


An interesting thing. I am dressed in my usual ensemble (which we refer to as ‘Steampunk Lite’) and I was one of the few people who was comfortable. The folks who run the convention center keep the temperature somewhere in the mid to low 60’s, so everyone in shorts and T–shirts were turning blue. It was so bad that actually exiting into the moist San Antonio heat was downright pleasant. The theory I heard was that the temperature is set for the benefit of the rugs, furniture and fixtures of the building, not the people. I can believe it.

Sales today were pretty good. I’m sure I’ll be shipping stuff home when everything is done, but perhaps not as much as I’d initially thought. Went out to dinner with my old buddy Greg Ketter and his family. We ate at a Mexican place. The food was okay, but everybody in the place was screaming at each other. They had to do this, in order to be heard over the Mariachi players, who were okay, as long as you understood that they were Mariachi players.

Went to the parties after dinner. The vote this year is to decide if the worldcon for 2015 will be in Helsinki, Orlando, or Spokane. We’re kind of pulling for Spokane, because we sort of know them, but I think I’d have fun anywhere we went. Helsinki had reindeer pate and cloudberry liqueur, so they’re trying pretty hard.

The first Day of Worldcon.

So the first thing I had to do was get up freakishly early to be part of a thing they have here called “Strolling with the Stars”. This is where they let people know that assorted artists and writers will be perambulating along the Riverwalk for an hour or so in the morning, so come on out and get some exercise, you spuds. There were about a hundred people there this morning, and everyone had a fine old time stomping about. The Riverwalk is a network of walkways adjacent to a canal system that threads through downtown San Antonio. It’s beautiful and one of the nicest urban features I have ever seen in any city anywhere. There are restaurants and clubs that abut it, and at night it’s all lit up and festive. It reminds me of parts of Amsterdam, with bits of what I think Venice might be like without the assassins.

Then I went to the convention center and got all the settin’ up stuff done. Getting our badges. Unpacking boxes and arranging our dealers table. Hanging art in the art show and grinding through the paperwork. Tedious, but it only has to be done the once, so tomorrow will be much more laid back. I didn’t really get a chance to wander the dealer’s room much, but I happen to be right across from Scott Bieser’s ‘Big Head Press’. Scott does a wonderfully complex hard science–fiction webcomic called Quantum Vibe ( It updates every day (damn him) and I was pleased to see that the first collection is finally out, so I had my reading material for the day.

Business was a bit lax, but it was a Thursday. Experiment # 1 spent a lot of his day assisting Steve Jackson, who is overseeing the ongoing construction of a Chaos Machine. Anybody who wants to try adding some bits to it are welcome to mosey on over (It’s free, though it you’d like to contribute something, they could use more marbles. People keep designing parts that cause the ones they have to shoot off somewhere, melt, or shift into another dimension). He also rode a mechanical bull the convention has set up. Nobody who rides the mechanical bull can expect to retain any shred of their dignity, and thus all look equally pathetic, but I’ll still save the video I took and show it to any inappropriate girls he’s trying to impress a few years from now.

After the show closed, we went out to dinner at a place called Texas de Brazil (, which is a Brazilian steakhouse. I was unfamiliar with, which just goes to show you that wonderful things lie unsuspected all around you. Their gimmick is that they bring you skewers of grilled meat. Easily several dozen different types of grilled meat, and you slice off bits of the ones you want to try. They keep bringing these around until you beg for mercy, and then they laugh cruelly and finish you off with dessert. Apparently it’s a chain.

Over dinner, Steve talked about his own recent Kickstarter, which was for the latest iteration of O.G.R.E., which is an awesome game built around giant monster tanks that crush everything. This is appropriate, since the Kickstarter was wildly successful, and they kept adding extra stuff. According to a rather wild–eyed Steve, the resulting game box will be close to 2 by 3 feet in dimension, and weigh around 28 pounds. I’m going to buy one just so I can make a coffee table out of it.

So What Is Keeping Me From Working Today…


As I might have mentioned once or twice, I like to listen to music while I work. Today I discovered a J-Rock band called Milktub. They did the opening theme music for an anime we’re all enjoying at the moment (Eccentric Family), and while tracking that down, I found a whole bunch of goodness. I tried to purchase MP3s from Amazon, but couldn’t. Luckily, I found a site that lets me listen to some of it. ( Check it out.

I also found out about a Kickstarter that looks interesting; It’s to fund a documentary about the first female movie director, Alice Guy–Blaché. She’s interesting for a couple of reasons. She was apparently the first director to actual insist on coherent narrative, she insisted her actors act naturally, as opposed to the exaggerated stage mugging that was the norm, and she made over a thousand films, and yet,was totally forgotten. This looks like a documentary I want to see. (

And yet, I am still on track to get all the pages I need to get done so I can swan off to Texas. I discovered last week that the printer will not be able to get copies of Girl Genius Volume 12 to me in time to get them to Worldcon. This is frustrating beyond belief, but since there is nothing I can do, I just have to suck it up and take myself to my happy place, or at least the happy place that is slathered with BBQ sauce.