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June 23, 2007

Nippon 2007 or Lack Thereof

I don't know that this will come as too much of a surprise to anyone, but I won't be attending Nippon 2007. There are a number of reasons for this, but two main ones. The first is that I have two books due pretty much exactly when Nippon 2007 occurs (the novel and the revise of The Rough Guide to the Universe), and I'll have to be focused on that. The second reason, somewhat related, is that even if those deadlines were not a pressing consideration, I wouldn't be able to spend more than the time of convention in Japan; I dearly want to visit Japan, but if I go I want to be able to spend more than five days.

What it boils down to is that unfortunately it's not at a good time for me, in terms of work or personal commitments. Naturally, this makes me very sad. I will be there in spirit. I will also be there in terms of voting for the Hugos, since I have a supporting membership to Nippon 2007. There are lots of people I'll be wanting to vote for this year; also, if you'll recall, I am a nominee myself. No, I hadn't forgotten. Indeed, I'm still pretty chuffed about it. I hope you Hugo voters hadn't forgotten either. Please vote in my category, even if you don't vote for me.

Since I won't be attending Nippon 2007, I know some of you will be wondering if I now plan to attend this year's NASFiC. In a word, no. I have another commitment that weekend, unrelated (mostly) to fandom, and even prior to making that commitment I had been turned off to the NASFiC due to the convention's hotel issues, which to be fair to the NASFiC are not about them, but about the hotel owners. Be that as it may, and as I've noted before, I'm not inclined to give money to people who so clearly don't want me there. This is just me and should not be taken as a criticism of that convention; I'm sure the NASFiC itself will be a fun time.

So at the moment the only conventions I have on my schedule for 2007 are the Heinlein Centennial and the Utopiales Festival in France. Whatever shall I do with myself if I'm not at conventions? Well, the rumor is, I occasionally write books. Maybe I'll do that. So when I go to conventions in 2008 and beyond, I'll have something new to share. I know! Crazy idea.

Posted by john at June 23, 2007 12:24 PM

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Tom | June 23, 2007 01:45 PM

Yes!! More writing and less traveling -- If the cover of your Japanese version of OMW is to be believed soon you'll just be carried over there on someone's nipples for free ;)

Charlie Stross | June 23, 2007 04:44 PM

Aw, duuuuude!

(I've got a book due too, but I'm not letting it stop me, damn it ...)

Kate | June 23, 2007 04:45 PM

Man, speaking of writing, I was at a B&N today and a Borders, picking up some more Heinlein and the ONLY thing I could find of yours was OMW trade pb.

Nice job!

critter42 | June 23, 2007 05:36 PM

Regarding NASFiC I want to clarify something that might be misunderstood:
Unlike a lot of regional conventions, Archon/NASFiC isn't held in just this one hotel. Heck, the part of the con that is in the hotel in question isn't even the main part of the con. There are a few events there, but the bulk of the programming in in the Gateway Convention center, about 100 yards away or so across a berm. There are also a TON of other hotels also within a few hundred yards of the Gateway Center, so you can effectively enjoy the convention (and the absolutely stunning Masquerade) without ever setting foot in that hotel.

Like you said, this is about the property owners and not the convention, and I just wanted to make it known that one can fully enjoy the convention without benefiting the hotel.

Bryan | June 23, 2007 06:07 PM

I'm just curious. What's wrong with the hotel facilities?

critter42 | June 23, 2007 06:43 PM

See this post. John discusses the issue toward the bottom. What it boils down to is that hotel was making ridiculous demands as far providing credit card info - like needing front and back copies of cards, for instance.

I had also heard that something was going on with the ownership of the property - either it had gone into receivership and another company had taken over, it was in the process of converting to a corporate-owned hotel, or some other not-so-kosher ownership issue was coming up. However this last bit of info I got in a FOAF (Friend-of-a-Friend) manner, so should be taken with an appropriate molecule of NaCl, as I'm sure I'm missing some important details.

Anonymous | June 23, 2007 08:46 PM

A memory from a con experience years ago. It was alocal con, but had major visitors (C J Cherryh and Larry Niven). I had a good time. On Sunday morning there was a large note on the main bulletin board saying, "What kind of chicken motel is this that won't allow salad oil in the Jacuzzi?" I never found out what that referred to, and I am not sure I want to.

critter42 | June 23, 2007 08:53 PM

Larry Niven and Salad Oil - there's a combination I shudder to think about...

Karen | June 24, 2007 01:08 AM

Um, never mind on the thing from me in your moderation queue. The issue with the Scalzi Devil photo on Wikipedia has been resolved (although a conventional photo of you would be helpful). May your travels be trouble-free and your writing time productive!

Jason | June 24, 2007 04:46 PM

I was stationed in Japan for two years while I was in the Navy, and you're right, you definitely need more than 5 days to make it worthwhile - especially if you start off on a businees trip.

Things I highly recommend:
1. Take a walking tour of the Gion district of Kyoto (where Geisha train and live). Peter McIntosh (advised on the "Memoirs of a Geisha" movie) does a great tour if you can catch him.
2. Visit Yunessun (http://www.yunessun.com/english)in Hakone - it's a water park for both kids and adults in the hot springs region near Mt. Fuji, and you could do this in conjunction with a trip to Fuji Safari park. It's about 700 yen ($5.00)for a picture of you holding a lion cub.
3. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Park, dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons.
4. Of course, there are some interesting districts in Tokyo, including Asakusa, Rappongi, Shibuya - including Harajuku, Akihabara, Kappabashi, and the Ginza.
5. Seasonal possibilities also include climbing Mt Fuji (July and August) or the Sapporo Snow Festival (late Jan or early Feb)

Sorry. Got a bit carried away there. Can you tell I loved my stay? That's just what I got to do, and there are MANY other possibilities. Hope you realize that goal sooner rather than later......

Videmus Omnia | June 24, 2007 09:09 PM

In reference to Karen's comment above, I'd like to respectfully request an un-photoshopped picture to illustrate the John Scalzi article on Wikipedia.

John Scalzi | June 25, 2007 07:44 AM

Videmus Omnia:

Well, in that regard, either you or Karen is more than welcome to post the picture of me that's on this site "bio" page; I'll open it up to public use.

andrew | June 25, 2007 12:18 PM

Enquiring minds want to know:

What happenes to the tiara?


John Scalzi | June 25, 2007 12:29 PM

It's going, as I understand it.

hugh57 | June 25, 2007 01:51 PM

I still say this ought to be your Wikipedia photo. :-)

John Scalzi | June 25, 2007 01:58 PM

Really, no.

Videmus Omnia | June 25, 2007 02:20 PM

OK, the photo's been posted on Wikipedia. It's been tagged as having been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, hopefully that was your intent. Thanks again!

John Scalzi | June 25, 2007 02:32 PM

It was. Thanks!

Matt | June 25, 2007 02:59 PM

What? You are not going to Japan? You must go and do a first-hand investigation of the source of hentai, guro and bukkake stuff.

Ironically, Japan censors the regular pr0n stuff but allows the gross and twisted ones to be online.

Kendall | June 26, 2007 12:35 AM

I'm planning to go to Nasfic. I saw the nonsense the host hotel was doing and decided to stay at the Comfort Suites nearby. Sorry you won't be at the con. Any chance of you attending DragonCon in the near future?

TransDutch | June 26, 2007 11:33 AM

Here's a link to an article in the Chicago Tribune about the hotel for NASFiC


The state of Illnois did get upset with the prior hotel owners that were being dicks, it was put into receivership, and there are new hotel owners. And as others have stated, other hotels.


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