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[personal|travel] Not going to Europe or attending WFC

Over this past weekend, there was a medical emergency in Lisa Costello‘s family. The situation is not currently life-threatening, but it is definitely life-changing. She and I will be heading to Maryland next week to help deal with this turn of events. That means we cannot fly to the UK as planned, or attend World Fantasy Convention.

We are both very sorry to miss everyone there.

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[travel|conventions] We are going to WFC in Brighton

As previously discussed, thanks to the extreme generosity and support of Unnamed Benefactors, Lisa Costello and I will be at World Fantasy Convention in Brighton at the end of this month.

I’ll actually be flying over on October 23rd, arriving on the 24th and going straight to Paris to visit friends until the 26th, then back to London staying with friends until 30th. Lisa arrives on 31st, and we’re down to Brighton, flying home on the 4th.

Due to my ill health and mobility impairments, and the resultant travel fatigue, my schedule will be quite light. However, there will probably be some kind of public event or appearance in Paris, which I will announce. I may also have a bit of social availability in London, so if you’re hoping to see me, let me know. And of course we’ll both be in Brighton and generally available to the extent my health allows.

See some, all or none of you there.

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[conventions|travel] So, probably WFC in the UK after all

I am humbled. An Unnamed Benefactor has discreetly stepped forward to solve the airfare problem in getting me and Lisa Costello to the United Kingdom for World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. We are currently working through logistics, but at this point it looks like Lisa and I will be there.

More to come when I am certain.

And my thanks to everyone who offered suggestions, sympathy or help. Especially to the Unnamed Benefactor.

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[travel|conventions] Not coming to WFC

A while back, I checked my frequent flyer mileage balance with American Airlines, and discovered I had enough miles to take me and Lisa Costello to the UK for this year’s World Fantasy Convention. I held off making plans until the recent scan, because of the distinct possibility of being back in treatment sufficiently heavy to keep me from traveling. Things went well on the scan side, however, so yesterday I went to book.

$700 per person in fees to secure the free mileage ticket.

I’ve never, ever encountered this before with award tickets. It’s a London thing, I guess. I’ve booked international award travel to China and Australia in the past, and never paid more than about $50 in fees.

So I checked the American Airlines website for regular fares. Turns out that $700 per person fee is embedded in the ticket price as well. Likewise United Airlines. British Airways. Icelandic Airways. The cheapest fares I could find were about $1,200 per person, inclusive of that $700 airport fee.

At that point, I gave up. My income’s been limited for a while due to Short Term Disability, and will be zero during October as I transition from Short Term to Long Term Disability. $1,400 for free tickets just ain’t in the cards.

But I don’t get it? What’s the logic from the UK end? That high a passenger fee makes tickets fantastically more expensive than they already are. The UK just lost a week’s worth of my tourist dollars by making it too expensive for me to fly in there.

(And yes, I have looked at alternatives like flying to Continental Europe and coming back on a regional flight or a train. That takes up too much time, as Lisa’s available vacation time doesn’t allow us to burn the extra days, and also takes up way too much of my energy given my fatigue levels and mobility impairments. I cannot afford to be that clever.)

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[conventions|travel] Home from Worldcon

Lisa Costello and I are home from Worldcon as of late yesterday evening. ([info]the_child and her mother arrive late this coming evening.) Our flights back had some mild logistical hassles, but both legs also included some epic skywatching which more than made up for that. The San Antonio to Dallas flight went through cloud canyons glowing with later afternoon light which were some of the prettiest I have ever seen. We flew between towering anvil clouds, saw thunderheads marching to the horizon, and looked down on the ephemeral kingdoms of the rain. I even spotted a rainbow among the clouds.

I attempted to take photos from the airplane window, but as usual, those things don’t work out very well.



Near the end of the Dallas to Portland flight, somewhere over eastern Oregon, we watched a distant thunderstorm in the darkness. The starry night glowed above the lightning like God’s spilled jewelbox, and a few orange-tinged towns slept down below, as the cloud banks glowed and flashed and contested among themselves.

The convention was a lot of fun, even within my current mobility and fatigue limitations. I’ve posted about that some, but here’s a few more things, including a wonderful post-Hugo photo of me, Mur Lafferty and [info]the_child by James J. Seals.

Jay Lake, Mur Lafferty and Bronwyn Lake at the Hugos
Photo © 2013 James J. Seals, all rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

Also, in no particular order of chronology or significance:

  • I did a television interview, though I have no idea when or if it will be broadcast
  • Being thoroughly charmed by Cady Coleman, astronaut, scientist and musician
  • It was great good fun bringing my daughter on stage, and watching her navigate the weekend in general as a young woman of character
  • I am still emotional about the impromptu tribute to me led by Paul Cornell from the stage
  • All my wonderful friends and colleagues, some of whom I saw for moments, and some of whom I spent serious quality time with
  • Some damned fine food and some damned mediocre food
  • The exhibits covering the Campbell Award and my cancer
  • My biggest autographing line ever
  • Being nominated for a Hugo, with that means from readers, friends and fans; and having the privilege of watching Brandon Sanderson take my category

There’s more, lots more, but I’m still a bit muddle headed from the trip. If I saw you there, I’m glad. If I missed you there, I’m sorry. Thank you everyone.

Cloud photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[conventions] Hugos

So yesterday was the Hugos. Not to bury the lede, Brandon Sanderson took my category. No Hugo for me. That leaves me 0-4 on awards this year. It was wonderful all the same.

The old saw about it being an honor to be nominated is very true. I was in excellent company. And some real cool things happened. [info]the_child and I were thrilled to give the Campbell tiara to the talented Mur Lafferty. Mur accepted the tiara with grace and wore it with style. Toastmaster Paul Cornell organized an impromptu on-stage tribute to me that made me cry. Odd and funny things happened all day. (For example, misplacing the tiara prior to the ceremony…)

It was a great day and a great weekend for all sorts of reasons. Lisa Costello and I are off for home in a few hours.

I love you all. Thank you.

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[conventions] Still at Lonestarcon 3

Lisa Costello and I are still at Worldcon. [info]the_child and her mother arrived last night. Also, I saw my aunt and uncle and cousin Niki Lake yesterday for my cousin’s birthday. And been having fun hanging out with friends, especially Lezli Robyn. Yesterday she’d lost her voice, so I did her reading for her at her book launch.

Today, panels on the Lakeside movie and cancer, then Hugo rehearsals, then Hugo madness. Tomorrow afternoon we go home.

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[conventions] At Lonestarcon 3

At Lonestarcon 3. Very busy just keeping up, exhausted as well, so blogging continues irregular. [info]the_child and her mother arrive this evening to join me and Lisa Costello for the Hugos tomorrow. Also, the Lakeside premier was yesterday. It was very moving, and strange to see a movie about myself.

More to come when I have time and brainspace.

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[travel|personal] Off to San Antonio

We are off this morning to San Antonio for a relatively brief pass through Worldcon. Home late Monday night. I will probably be blogging lightly over the long weekend, given my ongoing challenges with multitasking and productivity these days.

See some, all or none of you there.

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[conventions] My Worldcon programming schedule

Here is my Worldcon programming schedule. I am being conservative with my time due to illness and fatigue issues, and will likely not be very available in the evenings or at parties. (Except for Hugo night.) You will catch me out and about during the day, however. Note, I am not taking part in “Stroll With the Stars” due to my mobility impairments.

Lakeside Screening 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Autographing 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
Kaffeeklatch 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Reading 10:30 am to 11:00 am
Panel: Space Opera: More than Mind Candy? 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Panel: The Making of Lakeside 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
Panel: Cutting Edge Cancer Research 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Jay Lake Interview 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Hugo Awards (including reception and Losers’ Party) 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm

See some, all or none of you there.

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