Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Virtual Worldcon Day 1

Today was the first day of CoNZealand, the first virtual Worldcon. I had to work at Day Jobbe, but was able to start looking in around 1 PM my time as things were starting to come together. I did not attend any panels, but I spent time "hanging around" on Discord around the areas marked as the Hallway (where I denied having any interest in bidding for a Worldcon for Tonopah), the Con Suite, and the UK and Chicago Worldcon bid tables until the Opening Ceremony.

Captain Kevin at CoNZealand

As I have done for many Worldcon opening ceremonies since 2005, I wore my White Star Federated Spacelines (WSFS) captain's uniform from my stint as captain of the WSFS Armadillo during the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon. As I was watching from our living room, it was warm, so I did not wear the tie that comes with the uniform. I wish we'd gotten around to getting standard issue white shorts to go with the uniform, given how warm it was.

The Opening Ceremony was pre-recorded, and included a welcoming speech from the Prime Minister. (Had the convention happened as originally planned, she probably would have come to the Opening Ceremony in person.) The guests of honor and toastmaster George R.R. Martin had sections, as did the fan fund delegates. The First Fandom and Big Heart Awards were presented. The Retro-Hugo and 2020 Hugo Award bases were unveiled. (I hope they'll send me pictures to post on the Hugo Awards web site tomorrow.) Then the co-chairs Kelly Buehler and Norman Cates jointly held a gavel and formally convened the 78th World Science Fiction Convention.

The Opening Ceremony was well produced and I enjoyed it.

With the next days filled with Worldcon stuff and with Lisa and I trying to not go grocery shopping on weekends anymore, we calculated that today was the only day we had until sometime next week, so we made a trip to Reno for a shopping run. By the time we got home, it was time for the convention parties.

The parties are arranged into several "bands" to try and cover lots of time zone ranges. Band 3 started at 20:00 PT and included the Chicago in 2022 party. Parties were in the form of Zoom meetings. You enter the party "lobby" and ask to be sent to the party (breakout room) you wanted to attend. If you wanted to change parties, you could leave the room and return to the lobby to be sent to other parties.

Lisa and I spent the evening sitting in the Chicago party. We would have stayed later, but it's already too late and I still have to work tomorrow, albeit only a half-day. I may have to try and get a nap in tomorrow after work and before more convention stuff.

It's nowhere near as satisfying as a real Worldcon, but I do like spending time talking with my friends and other fellow fans, even if we can't do so in person.
Tags: conzealand, worldcon, wsfs

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