I’m at Denvention IV, the 66th World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon for short. There’s a worldcon every year; they move around. There are loads of smaller conventions too, but worldcons are the ultimate fannish gathering of the tribes. People get together from all over the world to talk about science fiction, the universe and related subjects.
There are panels and awards and signings and parties but the overall effect of worldcon is like a live version of one of the best of the comment threads here. You walk around the convention center or the hotel lobbies and you run into your friends and start talking. It’s wonderful. But while it’s possible to report on panels and signings and so on, it’s hard to report on conversations. I mean, I could report a string of unrelated cool stuff, but it wouldn’t be the same. I’m sorry. I wish you were here.
Just one conversation thing I want to share, because it’s nifty. I had a kaffeeklatch yesterday morning. A kaffeeklatch is where a group of people sign up to sit and chat with an author for an hour. So I sat down with an assorted group of people I knew and people who wanted to know me, and we talked and it was a ton of fun. One of the things that came up was how many versions of Pride and Prejudice there are. I mentioned that there are also lots of versions of the story of Belisarius. Somebody else said you also see lots of retellings of Hamlet, but not so much the other plays.
So, Heinlein said there are only three plots. Clearly, he was right, there are only three plots: Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, and Belisarius.