Yesterday was the last day of Worldcon. You might have noticed I didn`t blog at all during it. That was because I spent most of it working my little sweaty nylon socks off. I worked setup and teardown and did Ops stuff in the intervening period. Selah.
It felt like... it felt like a small Worldcon with verbal dyslexia. The facilities were International Standard Conference concrete with added kanji, the organisers made few logistical and operational screwups having planned an unadventurous programme which was probably a good thing in the end.
Fun stuff -- the secret theme of the con was rubber-suited monsters. The pre-Hugo Award ceremony stage show featured Japanese TV-show hero Ultraman and several generations of his nefarious latex-molded foes performing martial-arts fights on stage. Biff! Zow! Bang! Of course Ultraman wins in the end and Justice is done.
The Hugo Award base design continued this theme with a bronzed Ultraman figure standing proudly beside the Hugo rocket itself. Seriously skiffy in a Japanese form, and few who saw it thought otherwise. Neat.
GOH David Brin was his usual voluble self and endeared himself to the home crowd by attempting to speak Japanese when he could get at least a little preparation time, such as at the Closing Ceremony.
The dealer`s room was limited, the art show contained many excellent paintings by artists we don`t see in Western cons which was nice. Some static exhibits included the full-scale Nausicca "glider" which has flown successfully as well as a company displaying small radio-controlled humanoid robot "toys". I put the inverted commas in there because at 300,000 yen each (a bit over a thousand quid in real money) they`re not an impulse purchase.
Anticipation in Montreal won the 2009 bid, GOH is Neil Gaiman as most people will already know. The Hugos mostly went to the predictible recipients, but in the Seiun Awards my preferred candidate Ashinano Hitoshi got the Best Comic award for 2006 for his decade-long series "Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou" which I think is the best thing since sliced bread (see previous entries on my other regular blog at nojay
for details). It beat out other good and more popular series like the blockbusting manga/anime/live-action series Death Note.
There might be another Japanese Worldcon in the far-flung future -- the organisers of this one did good, did no evil and threw a bitchin` Dead Dog Party (in which I scored major freebie DVD loot). I would vote for them.