Jesus H. Palomino, what a Worldcon I had! You know you've had a great time when you come home totally exhausted, needing at least two days to recover; I'm still not quite there--yet. (I'm still wondering if some stuff I remember even happened.) No Con Crud has manifesed so far, but these con things have a gestation period, so I may not be quite out of the woods.
OK, where to begin?
I celebrated my birthday at LonStarCon 3 on August 30th. During a Texas science fiction/fantasy writers panel, moderated by fellow Texan, old friend, and former Kansas Citian, fantasy writer Bradley Denton (aka Bland Lemon Denton in his Rock and Blues persona, who performed two concerts during the con), he and the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to me, much to my surprise; it was a sign of things to come...
Now I thought I was a party monster after many, many years of attending science fiction conventions, but the BWB put this proud member of All Night Fandom to shame. Not having been to a Worldcon since 2003's Torcon 3 (in Toronto), where I met the first wave of BWBers, it was really great to once again meet up with Lodey and have several fine conversations with him during the con. And, of course, finally meeting the Bros feisty, inspiring, and fun-loving leader, X-Ray. I skillfully avoided (only by the skin of my tongue) her alluring argument to try the Bros Ghost Chili Vodka; being a non-drinker among a gathering of bottomless glass fanatics can be quite hazardous to ones sobriety, and tastebuds. But under pressure from GRRM, I later tried and really loved the new "Taking the Black" dark beer from Ommagang, which suddenly materialized (as if by dark magic) at the gathering before this tasty dark lager is available to the public; man, I could learn to *really love* this tasty beer! (What does this say about this non-drinker???) Meeting all the rest of the BWB during the Bros high-energy Friday night private party was memorable in so many ways; "it was a real blowout evening" hardly begins to describe it. And the next night, the public party was just, well, insane. No one should be allowed to have this much fun crammed together like sardines in a can without some kind of a permit...or a very good excuse afterwards.
But the two big highlights of LoneStarCon 3 for me came as complete, total surprises Sunday evening--Hugo Awards night in the Marriott Rivercenter's main ballroom. After Pat Cadigan won her very first Hugo, during her overwhelmed, funny, and authentic "Oscar Moments" acceptance speech, she gave a shout-out and heart-felt "thank you" to me and my wife Terry; we've both known Pat for many years, ever since she lived in Kansas City and worked closely with me on the KC Worldcon, MidAmeriCon, back in '76. And later, after the ceremony, I had the great honor bestowed upon me by GRRM, one of my oldest and closest friends of 40+ years, of being his personal Official Hugo Award Bearer for the rest of Sunday evening, following LoneStarCon 3's terrific and often touching Hugo ceremony; that was quite the fannish honor.
While toting around GRRM's brand new, heavy, brass-based Hugo, I was able to attend LoneStarCon 3's large, crowded, and very exclusive Hugo Nominees /&/L/o/s/e/r/s/ Party. (George founded this very party with Gardner Dozois at that KC Worldcon I chaired.) George, of course, resoundingly defeated the good Doctor's *three* (count 'em three) nominated episodes last Sunday evening, taking home the Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo for his amazing Game of Thrones "Blackwater" episode. GRRM's fellow "GoT" producers, D.B. Weiss and David Bennioff, and the episode's amazing director Neil Jordon were also given Hugos for their collaborative efforts on that signature "GoT" episode, adapted and written by George.
By the end of a very late evening, our grand "victory tour" of LoneStarCon 3 came to an end, including a stop in the Marriott Rivercenter's lobby and a meet-up with some of the Bros, including Lodey. Later, GRRM had all four "GoT" Hugos safely ensconced in his suite in the Marriott Riverwalk, where he, Parris, and I chatted into the wee hours of Monday morning; it was a night to remember, a night for the fannish ages, and one that I'll never, ever forget.