Sunday, September 1, 2013

On the road again: WorldCon, San Antonio, day 4

My noon first panel, despite what most would consider to be its more than humane hour, managed to sneak up on me a bit.  The topic, "The Rapture of the Geeks," afforded plenty of room for discussion, and we ranged far and wide on the resulting intellectual turf.  From practicalities to computing requirements to ethical considerations, we left no key topic untouched--and all in an hour.  The conversation lacked depth, as it inevitably had to do given the breadth of the issues we tackled, but it kept both the audience and the panelists interested.

A little lunch, a little work, some time in the con chatting with friends and attending panels, and then I headed for my second panel of the day.  The topic was philosophy and science fiction, but we ended up talking about pretty much anything even tangentially related to that topic that interested the panelists or the questioners in the audience.  A few folks bailed early, but more replaced them, and we ended with a full house.

Evening brought the annual gathering of the SF clan to honor its own, the Hugo Awards ceremony.  I've been attending WorldCons since the 1978 event in Phoenix, and I've missed only a handful.  I've sat in the audience at the Hugos at every one of the WorldCons I was at, and at every single one I've left with a complex, roiling mass of feelings. 

On the one hand, I'm happy for the winners and glad to be part of this community.  I love its silly rituals and its bits of pomp, its Big Heart award and its tributes to those who have died.  I am always happy to be there.

On the other hand, I'm saddened by never even having been nominated.  As I grow older, and as my own mortality stands ever larger in my vision, I'm having trouble avoiding the fact that it's past time to accept that I will probably never be nominated, much less win.  I remind myself repeatedly that the only reason to write is because I must, and that all I can do is produce the best work I can, but sometimes awards and other distractions are hard to handle.  I have to assume all the other artists and writers encounter similar feelings. 

Despite those complex feelings, I am genuinely happy for the award winners and sincerely glad that I got to see another Hugo ceremony.  I hope to watch many, many more.


Michelle said...

Sometimes the most deserved, don't win the prize. Cary Grant never won an Oscar, Stephen Hawkings never won a Nobel, Queen, Journey, Led Zeppelin and The Who have never won a Grammy, Catcher in the Rye never won a Pulitzer...You are in good company. There are a lot of stories still to come. Have faith.

Deb said...

You see your failure, and I see you as very successful, not just in writing, but in business as well.

I do understand. I'm coming to the conclusion that I will never be conventionally published. It makes me cry. It's not for mortality, I want to share my worlds and people.

When it comes to mortality, nothing is forever. Unless mankind can expand out, when Sol hits helium burning all is dust...if we exist that long. Yes it sounds depressing, but there are other ripples we make in people's lives. Some we will never live long enough to see.

And despite it all, you got your characters of Jon and Lobo out which is more than some of us ever get to do.

Mark said...

Thanks, Michelle and Deb, for the kind words.

Deb, you are right that I have been luckier than many so far, and I need to be thankful for that. I hope for you that one day someone buys and publishes your stories.

Deb said...

Thanks for the best wishes.

For you, one never knows what the future will hold. Maybe one of the next stories will hit with the populace. I mean, I do hope there will be more. =)

Mark said...

Thanks again, Deb. I definitely plan for there to be more Jon & Lobo books, as well as many other different books and stories.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Michelle and Deb!

Your writing is unusual in that the technology and the characters are equally strong; usually it's one or the other.

Thank you for the effort and thought you put into your works. I'm a writer (instructional designer) by trade, but NANOWRIMO is just too intimidating. You've pushed through that, creating a universe where *adults* rescue *children* - another unusual aspect of J & L.

Keep on, and never stop hoping!

- old aggie

Mark said...

Thanks for the encouragement.


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