September 02, 2004
September 01, 2004
Wish you were here!
Tullio and I arrived around 6:00 this evening. It took a few minutes to check into the Sheraton, but then we were shown directly to a very nice room. All of the staff were quite pleasant. The hotel lobby had a festive air about it, a palpable sense of anticipation for the annual gathering.
We took a walk over to the convention center and found the registration tables. Everyone was really nice and we were given our badges straight away. I found myself marvelling at the efficiency of the ConCom: there seemed to be enough volunteers and gofers around to make things run smoothly (at least from my point of view!). We got a bit twisted around looking for Hall D so that we could check into the Dealer's Room. I think that our sense of direction may be confused from 17 hours in the car...
I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.
Hello from Hall C of the Hynes Convention Center! Tonight, Nomi and I are safely ensconced in the warm glow of fans and friends. And, thanks to Jim & Laurie Mann, we have learned how to access one of the wireless hotspots in the Hynes.
So what happened tonight? Well, Nomi and I got a taxi to the Sheraton to help with our eight bags of food, our two duffel bags, our laptops, and our backpacks. A personal note to the Red Sox: do not schedule home games on September 1, when everyone converges on Boston to move in. Students are moving in, non-students are moving, and adding a Red Sox home game to the mix means one thing: traffic jams.
But I digress. (TM Peter David)
After we arrived at the hotel, the fact that we were already checked in allowed us to move all our stuff directly to our room. And then, since it was already 8 PM, we headed down to the Con Suite for a special party for Committee, Staff, and Volunteers. The party was a reception so those of us working the con could meet the Guests of Honor (see why you should work the con?). But although there were definitely sightings of William Tenn, Jack Speer, and Peter Weston, Terry Pratchett was nowhere to be found.
However, it was a good opportunity to mingle with a smaller crowd before the hordes descend upon the Hynes tomorrow. People with whom Nomi and I chatted included:
Claire Anderson, who is running the ConSuite with help from her husband Dave (and so far doing a great job!);
Diane Turnshek, who asks me to remind all SFWA members to visit her in the SFWA Suite, and to come to the Business Meeting for the delightful coffee and danish;
Jerome Conner and Kara Haff, who shared recent moving stories and look cute together;
Philip Klass (William Tenn) and Fruma Klass, who still remember us, which always amazes me;
and Con Chair Deb Geisler, who was suffering from a cough and a migraine, apparently brought on from getting enough sleep last night.
The missing Pratchett was a slight disappointment, as Nomi and I brought our copy of BREWER'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE, 16th edition (2000), for which Pratchett wrote the Introduction. Two years ago, for the simple reason that he recommends BREWER'S all the time, we got Neil Gaiman to sign our copy; and we were hoping to get Pratchett it as well. We didn't know for sure if he would be signing books tonight, but we thought it couldn't hurt to ask.
I guess we'll have to track him down at one his regular Autographing Sessions. I'm sure the lines will be short. :-)
Tomorrow morning we have to do some shopping; at noon we will browse the Hucksters Room, and at 2 PM we have our first panel: (Really) Hard Science for Beginners. And then more and more and more.
If anyone wants to meet this blogger in person, I'll be signing at the Analog/Asimov's table at 5 PM tomorrow. Oh, and I have a Kaffeklastch Monday morning at 10 AM. I'm sure the whole con will be awake then.
This is Michael A. Burstein, signing off for tonight from Noreascon 4, where the men are real men, the women are real women, and the small blue furry things from Alpha Centauri are real small blue furry things from Alpha Centauri.
Running very fast to stay in place
Hi all. Leslie Turek here. As mentioned earlier, I am the poor sucker, er volunteer, who is running First Night tomorrow (Thursday) night. So today my job was to try to make sure everything was set up, which took much, much longer than you might think. (Or maybe not, depending on whether you've worked on a big convention before.) I knew my boxes of supplies had been loaded on the truck last night, which was anticipated to arrive this morning, but it took until mid-afternoon before the boxes started coming on the frieght elevator. I anxiously watched as first 4 First Night boxes appeared, then 6 more, and about an hour later the last one. I tucked them all away for the night, and heaved a big sigh of relief.
Another job for today was going over the physical setup and checking that everything was correct. This was complicated by the fact that some of the items are being provided by the decorator and others are coming from the Hynes, so I had two different coordinators to deal with. And of course, in spite of the fact that we provided very detailed plans, the setup did not match what we asked for. So I am hoping that we'll still be able to make some corrections tomorrow. There's a lot of other stuff going on right now, and First Night isn't the highest priority, because some of the areas need to open at noon tomorrow. So I'm going to try to relax and get to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, and, hopefully, a lot more interesting.
(If you'd like to help with First Night setup, stop by the Midway after Opening Ceremonies. We'll need people to blow up balloons, crack glow sticks, set up signs, and help decorate from 2-5 in the afternoon.)
Getting there (Public Transit)
Whew, today has been a whirldwind of prepping for my arrival. I'm sure the rest of you have already planned everything, but just in case there are any last minute people, here's the low down if you plan to arrive w/o a car.
I'm staying at the Sheraton with friends. I'm flying into BOS (Logan International Airport). I'm also planning on attending the Lord of the Rings Exhibit at the Museum of Science. I now have an idea of how to use the various subway systems.
First, the MBTA is your friend. All the lowdown on the various subways/buses.
As noted on the Noreascon Travel page, the Hyes Convention Center & the two main hotels (Sheraton and Marriot) are on the GREEN line. The Airport is on the BLUE line. Directions lifted from the travel page: Take the free Massport shuttle bus (#22 or #33) from the terminals to the Airport subway station on the Blue line of the MBTA. To head toward our hotels, take an inbound train to Government Center station, then transfer to any Green line train going south toward Park Street station. Then follow our directions to the conference hotels. The cost is $1.25 from the airport.
Okay, now you are at the convention area. I leave you to find your own hotel.
The Museum of Science is also located on the GREEN line. Isn't that nice? If you haven't heard, they are hosting a special Lord of the Rings exhibit. So cool. You will need to buy tickets in advance for the showtime you would prefer. I already bought mine, so no worries about stealing my place. Includes full entrance into the museum. I'm going Tuesday morning before my flight. Directions to the Museum can be found on the web, which tell you the correct exit from the Green Line to use to arrive at the Museum.
Of course there are ways of getting around Boston, but I'm a fan of public transit. Mostly for the whole lowered pollution aspect. Hope to see you on the T!
D minus one
Are people really interested in reading about individual experiences at Worldcon while it's happening? I hope so.
As I mentioned in the last entry, since Nomi and I live locally we decided to get the room a day early to make check-in easier. There's a reason for this. Many fans bring a ton of stuff with them to a Worldcon -- for example, I was talking with dealer Mitch Botwin about the stuff he's got in storage -- and what Nomi and I bring is food.
You see, we keep kosher. And so in order to eat during the con, we need to have our food supply with us. Every time we go to a con, we always request a small refrigerator for our room. And many's the time that request has been mangled in one way or another. So by checking in early, we have more time to make sure that the fridge is in place.
Normally, I would have checked in at 3 PM, but last night I called the hotel to ask if I could get an early check-in. They said I didn't have to get anything special arranged, that there'd be no problem. Yay!
So this morning, Nomi goes to work and I write my five pages (in an hour!). I pack a few bags to start with and arrive at the hotel at 1 PM, all set to check in.
Guess what. Room's not ready. They have it, they know which one it is, but it's still being cleaned up. I'll be able to get in at 3 PM.
Since I now have two hours to kill, I decide to wander the con. Over in registration, I hook up with Dan Kimmel, local area movie critic who's commuting in from home for the con. I pick up my Hugo nominee packet (including ribbon and rocket pin) and we wander around a bit more. Dan's got time to wait, and he's enjoying being behind the scenes for the first time. (As he put it, to him it feels like the convention's already begun.)
We wander to Program Ops to say hello to Priscilla Olson and so I can pick up Staff ribbons for Nomi and me. We pass writer Shane Tourtellotte in the hall, who has to return a videotape for me, but is holding it hostage until I pass along his share of royalties for a novella we did together that's now on Fictionwise. We wander back to Registration, where I spot Mike Resnick with his 18 (19? 20?) Hugo rocket pins in his badge (as he says, it's his shtick). He and I have a pleasant half hour conversation before it's time for me to try to check in again.
(I notice that there are no lines at Registration. People are getting their badges very quickly. Kudos to the staff! Hope this keeps up!)
I wait for about ten minutes at the front desk, get my key, and am told that they will call in my refrigerator immediately. But I go to the room, and lo and behold! It's already there, plugged in and cooling down. Kudos to the hotel.
So now I'm back home. This evening, Nomi and I will have a taxi take us to the hotel, along with our three bags of food, four pieces of luggage, and whatever else we need. And then tomorrow, the con begins in earnest, and once again I will have no time at all to blog. (Just kidding, Blog Staff!)