by Agent Zara Cruden (a.k.a. Z the Pun-isher)
The dark banks of smoke that covered the sky Thursday did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of all the devoted fans who have flocked to Spokane for Worldcon. We are a resilient lot, and it takes more than that to bring us down.
The events really hit their stride at ten in the morning, when all of the panels and events started to get under way. The teenage delegations from all the fandoms were able to meet up in a room at the Double Tree Hotel and shared cookies, lemonade, and a bunch of games.
There was much to see, but one of the highlights was the all the dancing. People in fanciful costumes from all over the world came together and paired off for different traditional dances. Not necessarily traditional to our world, however. At two o’clock there was a ‘Nanny Ogg Knees Up!’ dance, based on the mythical realm of Discworld, a creation of the late Terry Pratchett.
Preceding the dance was a memorial held in honor of the great writer, and people he had met and influenced were invited to share their experiences. A young woman in a well-made cosplay had to have the microphone held for her because she needed both hands free to wipe her eyes as she spoke. Terry Pratchett touched many lives, and even now, the ingenuity of his fans is indoctrinating new people and opening their eyes to the wonderful, flat world that was his true art.
The location bidders (lobbying to win the honor of hosting the next Worldcon) from Washington, D.C. hosted a free barbecue lunch in the park, and they had a high turnout. Not only did they serve the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs, they also had vegetarian options, chips, and drinks. The burgers were smoky and the drinks were cold, so there was much merriment and lightheartedness.
After lunch, people separated from their new-found friends and went back to attending panels. Some people chose to learn about ambushes, while others thought that a conversation about Doctor Who was what they wanted to do. One or two of them may have even been fortunate enough to come across an owl puppet in a vendor’s booth that has the fourth Doctor’s scarf wrapped around his neck. If you ask the vendor, the owl is Doctor Whooo.
Though there was not as much hustle and bustle as there was on First Night, people still managed to have plenty of fun and laughs. At the Davenport Hotel, there was a big dance called the Girl Genius Ball. Plenty of people payed homage to the wonderful series that inspired the dance by dressing up in their own versions of Steampunk and looking like they had just stepped out of one of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s beautifully illustrated Girl Genius comics.
Throughout the day, there was much carousing and eating of delicious cookies (although no castles were stormed, much to relief of the hotel staff). There were tears shed for those that have been lost, and laughter shared with those who are just arriving. The festivities are still going on, and anime fans are delighted by the fact that there will be late night-and early morning-screenings of all their classics.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery from thrilling Thursday at Worldcon!