Thursday, November 15, 2012

Philcon Trip Report

Early, early, early last Thursday I left home on the start of five VERY full days of travel and socializing. I drove to Pittsburgh and then took Amtrak to New York City where I met up with Alex Shvartsman. Alex was a great host and guide to restaurants in South Brooklyn where we ate twice with fellow writer Anatoly Belilovsky.

Friday we headed off to Philadelphia for Philcon and we were there through Sunday. Then it was back to Brooklyn for the evening and a reverse trip via Subway, Amtrak, and car to Columbus on Monday. As I write this, it's very early on Thursday and I still feel like I'm recovering a bit from the trip.

Writing-wise, I was able to use my time on the train reasonably well. I got multiple stories revised, re-read part of last year's NaNoWriMo novel in preparation for a critique session, and wrote the first scene of a new story. But I've also had my first explicitly non-writing days in over a year during the past week. Right this moment, that almost feels like a relief because I believe that I'll be able to pick up and start a new Daily Writing Chain without any difficulty. (And if I do run into trouble, I hear there's a book which might be able to give me some hints and tips...)

So, now that I've talked all around Philcon, how was the convention itself? I had a good time. I got to hear Fran Wilde and Tom Doyle give readings of their fiction. I went to some interesting panels and also participated in my own first panel at a convention. And, probably unsurprisingly to convention veterans, I had my most enjoyable moments at the various meals during the convention. Friday night's dinner included a chance to talk with Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick and Saturday night's dinner was a delightful meal at an Indian restaurant with over a dozen other attendees including multiple folks who were at this year's Viable Paradise writing workshop.

I may write more about the convention at some point, but for now I'll leave you with a series of photos from the con.

Fran Wilde reading one of her most recent stories.

Alex Shvartsman speaking at the panel on non-US Science Fiction.

A. C. Wise and David Hartwell at the panel on non-US Science Fiction

Gardner Dozois, Lisa Padol, A. C. Wise, and Alex Shvartsman
talking about the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2012.

Fan Guest of Honor David Kyle

Tom Doyle at the launch party for his new book
The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories

Alex Shvartsman, KT Pinto, and Andre Lieven
at the time-travel themed panel "Killing Hitler for Fun and Profit."

Alex Shvartsman, Gordon Linzner, and Neil Clarke at the "It Came From the Slushpile" panel.


  1. Thanks for the report, Michael. Glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like fun plus a good networking opportunity. I'll consider going next year.

    1. Anne,

      Sorry I didn't reply sooner! Yes, it was fun and a great way to meet people. I may well go again next year if circumstances allow.