Cat: We are now live and this is the SFWA
Google Hangout that’s going to go up on the Youtube channel. So I am Cat Rambo and I am the current President of SFWA, which which is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and if you’re wondering what SFWA’s going to be
doing at Worldcon, we’ve actually got some cool stuff coming up. We have our Events Director, Steven H. Silver, who is here to talk about what is going on, we
have Kate Baker, our wonderful Operations Director , who is also going to fill us in,
and we have Ellen Klages, who’s going to fill a very special role at this year’s Worldcon, and we’ll talk about that. So, Kate, tell us, are we going to have a SFWA Suite this year at Worldcon?
Kate: We are going to have a SFWA suite at this year’s Worldcon, which is quite
a mouthful. Our SFWA suite is going to be run by volunteer Sandra Greenberg —
some of you may know her as Cat. She does a wonderful job each and every year and she needs your help, if you want to help with that. It would be greatly appreciated. You
can send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll get it to Sandra. And the SFWA Suite, just to give you a little bit of what goes on behind it, it’s a great chance to network with some of the peers in the industry. We serve light fare through the weekend, and have drinks and food. You know, the hustle and bustle of the con can be a
little traumatic for some people, so it’s a great place to sort of hide away and to relax during the day and I think that’s pretty much it. It’s a little bit busier during the evenings and it’s
always been a great service that we offer to our members. We’re going to have SFWA ribbons that we’ll be giving away this year that you can stick
on your badge that states you’re a member. We have stickers- you’re
allowed to bring one guest if you’re a SFWA member — so we will have the stickers saying you’re a member or a guest and that will get you
into the suite each night. You’ll have to show it. And this year, because of Washington laws, we are going to have to check IDs if you’d like to have alcoholic beverages. So make sure you have that with you if you like to
do that as well. Cat: And I will say that the SFWA suite
often gets — a surprisingly large number of times — mentioned by people as the reason they get their SFWA membership, from going to Worldcon and seeing that there was food, there was drink, and there was a chance to talk to people but also that quiet
space. Kate: Yeah. It’s usually quieter during the day and then it picks up at night when programming starts to die
down a little. But the chance to meet people, like Mike Resnick, or George R. R. Martin,
who stops by, awesome people that you want to say hi to and pick their brains.
Cat: That’ s awesome! And we are going to have some other ribbons- Lou Berger is doing special ribbons that say “We are all SF” and we will have some
of those to pass out there as well. Kate: Excellent!
Cat: So, Steven, are we going to be in the Dealer’s Room? Steven: We are going to be in the Dealer’s Room. Each year at Worldcon, SFWA has a table in the Dealer’s Room. It’s staffed by volunteers who are members of SFWA, so if you stop by the table, you can frequently find major authors, minor authors, authors who are just beginning, who are very happy to talk to you about what SFWA is, talk to you about what their latest projects are,
and when you’e at the table, you’ll be able to look through what SFWA has to offer. We have flyers, we’re going to be selling some of the Nebula Award Anthologies, the Hall of Fame
books. We’ll also have t-shirts endash some t-shirts, because this year werquote
re running a little bit low. And, this year, we’ll —
I was going to get to that, Cat — All: (laughter)
Steven: We will be selling copies of the new SFWA cookbook, Ad Astra, that has a couple of hundred recipes from a variety of science fiction authors that you can take home and you can cook — Ellen: You cannot cook the authors.
Steven: Actually, I think we do have one or two recipes in there that require you to cook the author. Cat: Only one, I think.
Steven: Only one? I tested a lot of the recipes in the planning stage and they are
wonderful, the ones I tested at least. And so, come on by and pick up a copy of the SFWA
cookbook and talk to the authors. Also at the table, in addition to selling books, we will be hosting a bunch of autographings. Autographing time and space is always at a premium at Worldcon and the SFWA table gives authors an additional chance to sign books for their fans and have a chance to talk to people and gives fans a chance to meet their favorite authors.
Cat: Awesome! And so, Kate, are we going to have a business meeting? Because I know that’s something members always want to know about.
Kate: We are! It’s the latest and greatest news from SFWA and it will be held Saturday, from 1 to 3 in the convention center room 300B. It’s basically a
way to catch up with the news that is SFWA, the latest and greatest, and it’s an opportunity for members to open up new business. If you’ve got any agenda
items you’d like to get on the list, you can email those to [email protected] and we’ll get in touch with you. Cat: All right. And what else are we
going to have at the con, Steven? Steven: Well, on Sunday, at I believe
1 in the afternoon, we will be having a SFWA Charity Auction and that will be taking place at, yes, 1:00, in Exhibit Hall C in the Cabaret It is open to everybody and we do have some pretty wonderful things that are available for people to come and bid on, with the money going to a good cause, and you can go home with a lot of really nice swag, depending
on how big your budget is. Cat: Depending on how big your
budget is. So, bring lots of money, is what you’re saying?
Steven: I would recommend it. And we also have an amazing auctioneer.
Cat: And perhaps that auctioneer will now speak! Ellen: I will speak! I’m the amazing auctioneer. I’m Ellen Klages. You may
remember me from other auctions such as Wiscon and Potlatch, and now I’m on the big stage. And we have a whole lot of really interesting stuff that you can buy
with your very own money. We’ve got signed first editions, we’ve got things
from Guests of Honor, we’ve got things from former Guests of Honor. We’ ve got a book signed by Gene Wolfe, but was written by R.A. Lafferty, because
Gene Wolfe has a sense of humor. We have some signed Ray Bradbury stuff. We have an insult from Neil Gaiman — not sure how that’s going to work,
but if you’ve ever wanted to be insulted by Neil Gaiman, that one’s probably going to go for a bunch. We have Mary Robinette Kowal doing the outgoing voicemail message on your answering machine. We have this really excellent pair of space socks. Cat: Ooooooh.
Ellen: See, I know, right? Coveting already. If you don’t come to the auction, your
chances of getting these socks are zero. There’s going to be a whole lot of books, there’s also going to be a whole lot of surprises, because everybody will come up — the auction is Sunday, so Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, people will be coming up to one of us and going “Hi, I have something for the auction” and we will say, “Thank you. Oh look,
a hedgehog nail brush, thank you very much.” And then we will put it down and we will sell it. I’m just picking up random stuff off my kitchen table. Which is kinda how the auction’s going to run. It’s going to be an hour or so of nonstop fun and it will be in your
program and if thisWorldcon is like other ones,
there will be an app for that and you will be able to find the auction. It supports the SFWA Emergency Fund which helps members of SFWA if they get into
one of those life situations that they need a little extra assistance. So your money is going to a good cause and we’ ll have a good time and then we’ll go up to the SFWA Suite and drink.
Cat: Which is, as we said, one of the best parts of your SFWA membership is that you do have access to the SFWA suite. Ellen: Actually we should probably go
up to the suite and drink before the auction too since that tends to loosen people’s wallets. par Cat: There we go! I think a lot of us
will be spending a lot of time up there. So if yourquote re at Worldcon, please stop
by and say hi. At the table, or if yourquote re a SFWA member, come up to the suite and
please come into the business meeting and tell us what you want the organization to
be doing. And stop by the auction. I will say that I’ m really looking forward
to the auction. I was not until I found out Ellen would be the auctioneer , because most of the time, I’m like, whatever,
but Ellen is so entertaining and charming that I’m actually going to lock most of my money away lest she bamboozle all of it out of me rather than just some of it. Ellen: Bamboozles are us.
Kate:You do realize you have to sell that hedgehog now, right? Ellen: Okay, I’m going to..(trails off) What color would you like your hedgehog in? Steven: Ellen, are you going to sing
the Hedgehog song from Terry Pratchett? Ellen: You know, I don’t see anything
from Terry Pratchett on the list but I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the time the auction
starts, there will be things from Terry Pratchett. There are a lot of things so we will probably be doing a silent auction and some fixed price stuff as well
as the stand up and sell it. For those of you that haven’ t seen one of my auctions
before, I don’t usually do the bidder-bidder-bidder-going-once kind of auction thing, although I can if you pay me enough money. Steven: Maybe that’ll be the first auction item. Cat: There you go. There you go.
Kate: And just one more thing before we go. As I mentioned at the beginning, we
do need your help. We need volunteers for both the SFWA suite and the SFWA table and — Steven, do you happen to know the hours offhand? What the SFWA table will be? Steven: The SFWA table will be running
from 10-6 on the primary days of the convention, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I think it’s 2-6 on Thursday, I mean Wednesday,
and 10-2 on Sunday. Ellen: Are there secondary and tertiary
days of the convention? Steven: Well, Wednesday is a half day
and Sunday is a half day and then Thursday through Saturday are full days. Kate: And it gives you an opportunity, not just to meet all the awesome people that are attending Worldcon, but if you have books that you want to sign. You’re going
to have to bring them yourself, along with any materials, but it gives you
an opportunity to get in front of all those people who will be going through the dealer’s room. And with the suite as well — we usually need people at night because, again, that’s when it gets a little bit busier. We’ve got a couple of people signed up so far but we need your help, both with the table
and the hospitality suite. Go ahead, Steven. Steven: Although SFWA sells books at
the SFWA table, we’e not set up to sell our authors’ books individually.
However, when authors sit at the table and watch the table for us, we do welcome them to bring their own books and sell them directly to
anybody who happens to wander by. Ellen: Let me make a plug for volunteering
at the SFWA suite. If you are not a completely outgoing person and you’re shy about
talking to somebody, standing behind the bar and serving drinks is the best way to get
to talk to people. You’ve got something to do, you don’t have
to walk up and start a conversation or go up to George Martin and go, “I
know who you are!” which always, you know, and then you go “oh God I’m stupid.” What you say is, “Mr. Martin, what
would you like to drink?” and then he will smile at you and he will remember
you fondly So volunteering at the SFWA suite is a great way to get to know people that you otherwise maybe wouldn’t be brave enough to talk to because you’ll be giving them food
and drink and they automatically like you. Cat: Ellen is just absolutely dead on
with that. That’s one of the best ways to network, to be volunteering, and this is
one of the best events to be volunteering at, in my opinion.
Kate: And one more point of clarification. We will have a list of all the SFWA members. You do not need to have a membership card or anything like that. So you can check in
as soon as you get up to the suite. Somebody will be there, saying “Can I have your name please?” and they’ll put a nice checkmark and give
you a sticker. So that’s how that works. Ellen: Like London cabdrivers, they will
be required to memorize the names of all the SFWA members.
Kate: Yes. Ellen: There will be quizzes throughout
the week for them. Steven: If they can’t recite all
of them backwards. Ellen: So make up a name and see if you
can stump them, that will be fine. Cat: All right, guys. So thank you so
much and I hope to see everybody at Worldcon! Ellen: All right!
Kate: See you there!