A Report on the 70th World Con: Part 4

Last day of the conference for me. I have to leave early today to get back to Virginia. I’ll be on a plane by the time the Hugo Awards start.

Fortunately, I manage to cram two excellent sessions into my schedule in the morning.


The first was “World Building Work Shop 3: The Ecosystem,” with panelists Eytan Kollin, Dani Kollin, Nancy Kress, Derek Kunsken and Brenda Cooper. This was part three of a six-part world-building exercise. I’d missed the first two parts because they were held in the early mornings and I’d been somewhat sick for the entire con. The last three were scheduled for after I left. So, I was really looking forward to catching at least one of these sessions.

And what a session it was, with full audience participation. In previous sessions, they’d designed a non-oxygen world and some basics for that world’s ecology. In this session, they were designing the ecosystem, including key predators, prey animals, plants, etc. Truly a stand-out session.

One of the conclusions that the whole crowd reached was that this whole exercise should be released as open source, and anybody should be able to leverage the notes and commentary related to the workshop. They solicited web-knowledgeable volunteers to help them out, so I tendered my name to Dani Kollin as a volunteer. This is a project I’d be proud to get behind.


I’ve always been interested in screenwriting. The second session I attended was called “INT: Screenwriter Brain,” with panelists Michael Cassutt, Melinda Snodgrass, B. A. Chepaitis and Harry Kloor. All of the panelists thought the name of the session was dumb.

They all had a good time talking about screenwriting, and how it differs from novel writing, for one thing, being much more visually-oriented. I’m not sure I learned a lot, except that it was fun listening to some professional screenwriters reminicing about their craft.


Sad to leave the convention. It feels like it’s over way too soon, and that I never had the energy level to see or do everything that I wanted to. But next year, it’s San Antonio, TX. And I’ve already got plans for London in 2014.

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