May 13th, 2011


WSFS Constitution Online

Because it's proving difficult to get the copy of the WSFS Constitution on the WSFS web site updated, this year's Worldcon has posted the current WSFS Constitution on their web site.

Incidentally, I've heard from last year's WSFS Business Meeting Secretary, who is still working on the minutes of last year's Business Meeting. (The WSFS Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee, which maintains the Rulings and Resolutions of Continuing Effect, needs the minutes to produce the 2010 RoCE.) If you're curious about what happened in Australia, remember that video recordings of the Preliminary, Main, and Site Selection Business Meetings are online.

I may be able to post videos of the WSFS meetings at Reno the same day that they happen — the high-speed internet connection at the Atlantis looked promising — but don't count on it. With a hotel full of fans all trying to use the internet at once, the system may well bog down beyond usefulness. Also, the fully-edited versions that I posted to Vimeo from last year's meeting take quite a while to do, so anything I post is likely to be only minimally edited and probably squeezed down to relatively low resolution. Whether or not I'm able to live-stream video the way I did last year is also dependent upon available bandwidth. (I didn't announce in advance that we were live-streaming video at A4; you had to be watching my Twitter feed to know it was happening. I didn't know I was going to be doing it myself until shortly before we actually put it online.)

Around the Worldcon Site

Returning to Lisa and my exploration of Atlantis and Peppermill Hotels and the Reno Convention Center area, here are some of the photos and the approximate distances involved. It being a casino, I couldn't take any photos of the gaming areas (they prohibit this, and unlike my ire at photographic restrictions from public spaces of railroads, transit, and such, I don't object to their conditions on their private property), and unfortunately I couldn't really get any useful shots of the function space, so this is only going to show some shots of public areas.

Note that when I say "second floor," it's American usage, where "first floor" and "ground floor" are the same thing. When I say "steps," I mean "Standlees," which are my strides — somewhere between a yard and a meter, and in this case measured by my pedometer. I'm 6'3" (about 190 cm) tall, in case that helps you calibrate what your steps might be relative to mine.

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I think I have a better feel for the layout of the property now that I've stayed there for two nights. Of course, it will be different with a Worldcon going on there and with thousands of other attendees present. While we were at the Atlantis, the big deal in town was the US Bowling Congress going on downtown, which isn't quite the same thing.

I hope these photos and write-up helps some of you get your own feel for what it's going to be like this summer. Personally, I wish we were going to have the cool, even cold weather we had when we stayed there May 8-9 rather than the likely very hot weather in mid-August.

Where There's Smoke...

There's usually a casino, at least in Nevada, where smoking is permitted in many (most) casino gaming areas. Now if you're not interested in gambling, this mostly won't concern you. It's possible to avoid the gaming floors almost entirely, going upstairs from hotel reception, using the second-floor skywalk to go back and forth to the Convention Center, and sticking to the function rooms, where are smoke-free. But while some of the restaurants are on the non-smoking second floor, others, including Toucan Charlie's Buffet, the adjacent Cafe Alfresco, and, most importantly to night-owl fans like me, the 24-hour Purple Parrot coffee shop, are on the ground floor. Ground floor restaurants are located around the edges of the hotel, and you can mostly, but not completely, avoid the gaming/smoking areas. If you are highly sensitive to cigarette smoke, you may be troubled by this at times. If occasional exposure to such smoke doesn't trouble you, you should be okay.

There are, by the way, selected portions of the casino floor that are marked as non-smoking, but since smoking is allowed on the casino floor, there's going to be some smoke present to those of you most sensitive to it. I didn't use to be as sensitive to this when I lived around smokers, but having been out of that environment myself for over twenty years, I find my eyes burning when I'm around smoke even if I can't smell or see it.