I think my geekiness may have finally over-run me. I have just realized what I really want to get for Christmas... Attending Membership to WorldCon; ergo the right to attend Anticipation 2009 in Montréal, Canada.
WorldCon is the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society where writers, artists, and fans throughout the world meet up for the ultimate geek fest. And being a member for the year also gives one the right to vote for that year's Hugo winners. The Hugo's are one of the two most prestigious awards in the science fiction kingdom, the other being the Nebula's, which are only voted on by active writers in the field. Anticipation is the name of this year's convention the 67th annual, in Quebec (it's named anew each year).
So for five glorious days, filled with readings, panels, discussions, criticisms and lots of parties (not to mention all the hilarious uberfans costumed to the nines), I could geek out to my little heart's delight. This year's guest of honor is the esteemed Neil Gaiman, notable for his works in the lauded Sandman comics, and the novels Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Neverwhere, and the recently made into movie Stardust. While his works lean more towards fantasy than SF, it would still be super cool to meet him. Another notable guest is the editor guest of honor, David G. Hartwell, while being primarily known as Senior Editor at Tor/Forge (a wonderful imprint for the genre) and for his editing skills on the long running yearly anthology Year's Best SF, he is also the editor for two of the greatest stand alone anthologies ever published: The World Treasury Of Science Fiction and The Hard SF Reniassance. The short story is severely underrated in today's SF market and it would be wonderful to meet him as well. Another notable guest is the master of ceremonies, Julie Czerneda, a biologist by education and writer (among many others) of the Species Imperative trilogy. She has also written books for educators using science fiction to teach science in the classroom. Extremely cool, if you must ask me.
On top of the scheduled guests and hosts of honor, there are always tons of other fantastic contributors to the community giving talks, attending conferences, etc... Last year, to name just a few: Stephen Baxter (oh, heck, I really hope he's there this year), Charles Stross (yup, the same wish), Nancy Kress (an amazing writer), Robert J. Sawyer (he almost certainly will be there, being a local), Robert Silverberg (truly a living legend and author of the very first SF book I ever read at age 12) and others. Being able to hear any of these and many others would be a dream come true. However, since these attendees are not announced yet, it is like a SF lottery, where everyone wins. Every year is filled with unexpected surprises and there are so many people I would love to see/meet/hear.
So now the question remains, who can I take with me? From what I hear of conventions, they are overwhelming to say the least and I will definitely need a buddy to hang with. But I'm pretty sure the only others that I chat with that are as geeky as me, are the folks I only know online, though my LibraryThing acquaintances to my BookMooch buddies. Hmmm... will have to think on that one for a while. And of course the attending financial (lodging, food, gas) and educational (I will be in school in August) concerns will need to be addressed as well.
Anyway, here's to hoping! It would be so friging great?
"Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?" - Kelvin Throop III (fictional).