August 31, 2004
Introduction - Michael A. Burstein
Hello to all readers of this blog. As requested, here's a short introduction.
I've been involved in fandom since 1992, when my (now) wife Nomi took me to my first convention, Arisia '92. Since then, we became active members of NESFA and ran Logistics for Boskone a few years; we also published two issues of a fanzine, Burstzine, with more hopefully to come. We're on Program Staff for this convention, and we also helped with a lot of proofreading.
I'm also a writer. Most of my stories have appeared in Analog, and members of Worldcon have graciously nominated my work for the Hugo six times. In fact, at this very convention I am competing in the Short Story category against three previous winners (Neil Gaiman, Joe Haldeman, and Mike Resnick) and one newcomer (David D. Levine). If you really want to know more about me, feel free to check out my bio in the program book or on my webpage (at http://www.mabfan.com).
We're very heavily programmed this con, but my goal is to try to post here as often as possible, giving a window into the life of someone who has feet planted firmly both in fandom and prodom. So for example, today I spent the morning writing my five pages, and then I headed to the Hynes and Sheraton to help out. I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up our badges, and then spent three hours stuffing packets for program participants for Priscilla Olson and Janice Gelb. Others who helped out included Tom Galloway, Dan Kimmel, Paris _____, and Rick Katze.
It's fun being active behind the scenes before the convention begins. There's a feeling of anticipation in the air, along with all the minor crises that always seem to happen. But as I went around talking to people, I realized how much everyone loved being there. This group is really trying to put on the best darn Worldcon they can.
On my way out, I happened to run into Sue & Steve Francis of Kentucky. Three years ago, at Mil Phil, Sue & Steve greeted Nomi and me at a party and we had a one-hour conversation about the weather. Nomi and I really needed that downtime, as we had been going all out the whole con. I was delighted when the next night the Francises won the Big Heart Award (even as I lost a Hugo), as they really reminded us what is to be a welcoming member of fandom. Today, I thanked them again.
Tomorrow, since we're local, I'll check Nomi and myself in a day early with all our stuff (including three bags of kosher food). Thursday afternoon will begin our major schedule. We're programmed at 2 PM, 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM, 7 PM, and 9 PM.
I've made it to the hotel, and have checked out the convention center. Registration is open in Hall A for pre-registered members. The Hall C ConCourse is in the process of being set up, and the tech crew is getting ready to do some complicated thing involving lights in the Auditorium. The facade of The Mended Drum is constructed but not yet decorated. (Things will look very different by Thursday.) But in the meantime, I flopped on a couch with some nice people taking a brief moment of rest in the midst of setup frenzies.
Jim Hudson, Gay Ellen Dennett, Laurie Mann, Geri Sullivan.
Introduction - Dawn Burnell
My name is Dawn Burnell. I'm 24 years old and attending my second WorldCon this year and have been okayed as a guest author for this N4 live blog. So, I'll tell you a little about myself so you know what to expect from my posts covering the con.
I'm a "budding" writer of SF/F. Which is to say, I've written several stories, earn more than several rejections, but have yet to be published for my fiction. I have been published for book reviews in Locus under my maiden name Dawn Castner. I was lucky enough to score a summer job working with Charles Brown and crew in 2000 while I was on break from UC Davis. It was a wonderful experience and it is all Charles' fault that I attended my first WorldCon: ConJose, since it was in my backyard in California.
At that Con, I decided that WorldCons needed to become a regular event in my life. After all, it is the who's who of the field and I wanted to become one of those Whos. My husband [we'd been married a whole month at that point] made me the following deal: I could buy an installment plan for Norescon4 and plan to go. BUT if I had not sent out at least two new stories to pro paying markets, I would have to sell the memberships in May of 2002.
Fast forward two years: I sent a novel proposal out in response to a Wizards of the Coast (WotC) open novel call in June of 2001. My husband was kind enough to count that. If I had garnered the novel, I would have been counted for both credits. However, my proposal was not selected.
I cut the line a little fine, due to my perfectionist nature, and sent out a short story to F&SF on April 20, 2002. And got a rejection a week later. I do enjoy John Joseph Adam's response time. That story has gone on to another glorious rejection and is currently out somewhere else. I have learned: Send it out, send it out, send it out.
I was also an attendee of the 2004 Strange Horizons Summer Workshop this year. I met many wonderful people there, including Mary Anne Mohanraj and Jay Lake, who were the editors in residence. They are also two people who I expect to hang out with at N4. I've volunteered to help Mary Anne work the SLF table and be a member of Jay's Greek Chorus [shh... don't ask, I'll tell you later].
I will also be attending many panels, with an eye toward anything useful to a new writer trying to break into the field. If you have never attended con and always wanted to, I'm a good eye for you. I'm still new, I'm still walking in with my eyes wide open and my jaw hanging down. I mean, c'mon. I'll get to meet (see) Terry Prachett!!!! I'm also a good guide for any burgeoning writers as I will share what I learn her. And heck, I like to think I'm fun to read.
Leave me a comment to let me know if you have any requests. I'll be arriving Thursday night, signing up for the KaffeKlatch with Ellen Datlow and Michelle West, and then... well, we'll see where the program takes us.
On Monday afternoon, Noreascon 4 will be holding a yard sale to sell off some of the items purchased for the convention. In many cases, it was cheaper to buy new equipment such as desktop computers rather than renting them for the week.
More details will be published in the daily newsletter. Volunteers and committee members will have first choice of the items for sale. So, if you're interested in the possibility of picking up a new Dell computer for 40% less than we paid for it, check out our yard sale.
If you're like me, some of you may have just gotten around to checking your parking options and got a rude shock from the prices listed.
Visit the Noreascon 4 Parking in Boston page to find information on some alternate parking choices.
August 30, 2004
I spent the later part of Monday evening with Alex Layton, helping him make "gizmos". Gizmos first originated at Noreascon 3, and we decided to do them again for 4. They are litttle tags that can be attached to a badge to identify the area that a person is working in. We make them by cutting narrow rectangles from thin plastic report covers, and then sticking labels to them. It's a lot of repetitive work, but doesn't take all that long to do.
The clubhouse was a lot of fun this evening, with people pouring in from all over the country and beyond to help out with the truck loading. It's really starting to feel like a convention! I'm really looking forward to moving into the hotel tomorrow.
Guest Author Kate Nepveu
Hi all—I'm Kate. I've been going to Boskone and a few other cons for a couple of years, but this will be my first Worldcon and I'm very much looking forward to it.
I first started blogging with a book log, so you probably won't be surprised to hear that at cons, I lean heavily towards panels on books, writing, and publishing. (And towards good conversation, but that's hard to blog.) I definitely plan to post about the Saturday 11am panel on Fantasy of Manners soon after it's done, as I was very interested both in the FoM panel last Readercon, and in the subsequent discussions online (some of which can be found in my LiveJournal memories). I will try to upload notes on other events as time permits.
See you all soon!
Here are a few more photos from the truck loading. (We'll have another fun work session tomorrow night, too, although I'll be in the hotel then, so probably won't make that one.)
I was at the NESFA clubhouse, taking Glenn Glazer on a tour of the facilities, when the Logistics truck arrived and found that it couldn't pull up to the door because a committee member who shall remain unnamed had left their car parked right in front of it. When cell phone calls proved futile, we experimentally determined "How many fans does it take to move a small car?". Answer: 7.
August 29, 2004
Sunday, 29 August 2004
Hello, I'm Michael Nelson, the editor-in-chief for the Noreascon 4 daily newsletter, the Triplanetary Gazette. I arrived in Boston today and I'm going to try to report some last-minute pre-con news.
I want to start with a hint to improve your Worldcon experience.
At 110 pages, we have given up trying to pretend that the Noreascon 4 program guide is pocket-sized. So, don't call it a pocket program. Pack some highlighter pens. When you get your program guide, find a quiet spot and spent some time marking the program items that interest you.
Our program division has attempted to fill all available program space for the duration of the convention. Take some time to schedule each day or you could experience extreme information overload trying to see everything.
Boston or bust!
Greetings to all. My name is Amy Proni. I am a fiber artist, itinerant raygun maker, library science graduate student, and one of the 'den mothers' to General Technics (a midwest techie fan group). I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with Tullio Proni (the original itinerant raygun maker). We'll be driving to Boston this week to see old friends and meet new ones at Noreascon 4. We have a table in the Dealer's Room and I will also have some fiber pieces in the Art Show. I have attended every WorldCon or NASFic since ConDiego in 1990. I'm looking forward to visiting Boston, and thankfully, we are almost ready! See you in a few days. All best wishes, ~Amy
August 28, 2004
Guest Author Leslie Turek
Hi, this is Leslie Turek, one of the guest authors of Live From Noreascon Four. I am a long-time fan, with lots of experience in running conventions, having been the chair of Noreascon Two in 1980. I got sucked back into N4 to run the First Night Event, which has been a lot of fun so far, even if sometimes it feels like herding cats. (I hope you'll all come on Thursday night and have a great time!)
The great advantage in running the Thursday night event is that by Friday morning my work will be over, so I'll have a chance to enjoy the convention, and, hopefully, have some time to contribute to this weblog.
Welcome to Live From Noreascon 4, a collaborative real-time weblog of experiences at Noreascon 4. If you would like to be a contributor to this weblog, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with some information about your blogging experience, and we'll set you up as a guest author. We've asked each contributor to start off with a brief introduction.