Another thing that was different about WorldCON and other conferences / conventions I've attended were the parties.
There. Were. So. Many.
I lost count. On the first night, when things were really just getting started, my friends and I attended no fewer than seven. And that was the night we went to bed earliest.
During the course of the CON, we met up with a really fantastic group of fans, some of whom also write, and who took us under their wings as if we were already a part of them. Not only that, they treated us to some of the hands-down funnest experiences of the whole week. The Brotherhood Without Banners invited us in, watched out for us, and I have to tell ya. Those guys (and also ladies) were seriously some of the coolest people we met all week.
And when I say cool, I mean seriously defying the seventies-type stigma-of-sci-fi/fantasy-fan often thought of by those who just don’t know any better, strong-men, jerky-makers, contractors, other great professions, young, old, male, female, every-type-of-person from a hundred different countries C.O.O.L.
But what is the BWB? They’re fans of George R.R. Martin’s work, specifically the A Song of Ice and Fire series. And they’ve been hosting WorldCON parties since 2001. (For the record, I’d never even heard of this group before the CON, but I’m now a member, and intend to remain that way indefinitely.) And though we’d already met GRRM earlier, we had the opportunity to actually hang out with him. We even had dinner with him one night. *cue fan girl squee*
George’s fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated I’ve ever seen. And I've seen a lot of authors with dedicated and loyal fans. What does that say about GRRM as an author? A person? What lesson can I take from his example in order to gather a following of fans even half as dedicated as his?
Well. Being that this was my first WorldCON, and I only got to hang with them for a little while the last couple days, I have a lot of learning to do. But learning? That’s a certain specialty of mine. All I have to do is attend WorldCONs of the future, and I’m sure to figure it out.