by Catherine E. Twohill
The 60th World Science Fiction Convention
August 29 – Sept. 2, 2002
San José, California
A gathering of giants; a warren of writers; a phantasm of fans… Oh, how to describe this year’s Worldcon? I’ll cheat and use them all… The 60th World Science Fiction Convention, held in multiple venues around the city of San José, represented a weekend full of events, concurrent sessions, an immense dealer’s room and, a personal favorite, an appearance by Patrick Stewart. The Captain flew in to share previews of both X2 and Star Trek: Nemesis. Those who believe Mr. Stewart to be charming, eloquent and handsome were not disappointed.
Okay, back to the Con… ConJosé as it were.
The mayor of San José proclaimed August 29th through September 4th National Science Fiction Week for San José and Silicon Valley—a nice touch that brought a level of importance to an already important event. ConJosé’s Guest of Honor roster included Vernor Vinge (Writer GOH), David Cherry (Artist GOH), and John and Bjo Trimble (Fan GOH).
The key event of each year’s Worldcon is the presentation of the Hugo awards. Members of the World Science Fiction Society nominate and vote for those writers and artists they hold in highest esteem for their work over the previous year. See this article’s sidebar for the 2002 winners. Voters who are also ’zine readers, take note that Nth Degree is not listed as a winner in the Fanzine category nor were we nominated. We’re new. We’ll be patient. In addition to the Hugo awards, the location of the 2005 World SF Convention was voted on. The result: Glasgow, Scotland, August 4-8, 2005.
David Brin taking questions before reading from his new novel, Kiln People.
While ConJosé had the requisite number of Klingons and winged fairies, the real draw of the weekend was the chance to rub elbows with writers whose names line your personal bookshelves. Among the scribes: Silverberg, Barnes, Card, Brin, Benford, Bear, Clement, Niven, and Turtledove (excuse me, Mr. Turtledove, would you like a copy of Nth Degree?).
One of the most popular sessions was entitled “1,000 Ideas in One Hour” led by Orson Scott Card. Like a writer’s workshop on speed, Mr. Card led the attendees through the process of developing a plot line. It was a packed, attentive, and participatory audience. Exactly what you’d expect from a literate crowd.
Next year’s WorldCon is off to Toronto, Canada. It will be held August 28th – September 1st, 2003 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Guests will include George R.R. Martin, Frank Kelly Freas, Robert Bloch, and Spider Robinson. For more information, visit their website at www.torcon3.on.ca.
Orson Scott Card leading a packed workshop at ConJose.
Our travel schedule forced us to leave the convention early, but here are some more photos we took while we were there…