We are back from Worldcon and have immediately turned to putting together this NYRSF issue. Torcon came in second in modern history (after New Orleans) in Worldcon disorganization, and as in New Orleans, we had a good time anyway. The staffers were invariably polite and always tried hard to be helpful and fix problems, and were kept mighty busy fixing them by all appearances. Kathryn is planning to write a piece on child care at sf conventions in general, sparked by our generally unsuccessful experiences at recent conventions. And we were in the luxury hotel attached to the convention center, but the bar and restaurant were closed for construction, sigh. The weather was in general great, though; the drive from Westchester county was beautiful; and we came in third as Best Semiprozine in the Hugos, a good showing. And I only lost to Gardner Dozois by eleven votes in the Best Editor category.
A particularly fine aspect of the trip was that we got to do many of the things we had planned, and missed, for our cancelled trip in June. We stayed for a couple of days with Rob Sawyer and Carolyn Clink before the convention, went to dinner at the home of Terry Green and Merle Casci, and at the home of Karl and Janice Schroeder, and visited with Peter Watts. I also spent part of a day at the Merril Library academic conference on sf organized by Alan Weiss, where Margaret Atwood gave a speech and was on a panel‹not quite the ALA and the SFRA, but still satisfying. And I wish to note that Margaret Atwood was an active, gracious, and provocative participant, with many good things to say about sf, which she reads and has written (though she uses that term to describe neither The Handmaid¹s Tale nor Oryx and Crake‹in her lexicon, those are in the dystopian and scientific romance traditions respectively).
Peter Hartwell entered first grade the day after we returned, and baby Elizabeth starts morning daycare Monday. With these changes, we begin a new stage of life again. I am sure that when things settle down, we will look back on this week after our return as a pleasant interlude between crises, when merely frantic multitasking was required of us. Kathryn got a fever and went on antibiotics (of course, this required her to endure the local anti-SARS protocol on Friday).
I apologize to subscribers and others who emailed or sent letters between May and August. A lot of them got misplaced just before and after my angioplasty. In early August, I began to find lost work, unanswered letters and orders, uncashed checks, and other embarrassments, and have dealt with them as speedily as possible. I am a bit scared when I realize that I was as inefficient a month before the operation as a month after. Boy, am I living clean now!
Other NYRSF staffers are going through transitions now too: job-hunting, beginning teaching, entering graduate school. So, many of our volunteers are a bit unreliable just now in regard to showing up for NYRSF meetings. And I suspect that more than a few of our reviewers are in the same boat‹otherwise they would be sending in their reviews.
Meanwhile, we are just buried and overwhelmed by catchup tasks, and are looking to hire some part time help right away for filing, cleanup, and organization. We are putting up signs in the local library hoping to attract a local student to work. But if you are willing, or know anyone willing, to volunteer for some work for a day or two, or more, here in Pleasantville in October or November, contact us.
And we¹ll see some of you at Albacon and at World Fantasy Con in October.