I had a very tough decision to make this last little while. Having a story place as an Honourable Mention in this year’s Asimov Award means that I can attend the ICFA
for free, complete with a banquet ticket (free dinner!) and an award presentation. Last year, this is what I did, and I had a truly excellent time. It was a time to catch up and spend time with many important people from Clarion (there were, I believe, nine of us there), as well as meet many more. Even though it came at the end of my school year, and attending meant that I missed some very important classes, I never regretted attending for an instant. If I hadn’t gone, I’d never have missed out on so much: wonderful conversations, tarot readings by the pool, the presentation of my award, meeting Sarah
This year, though, I was presented with something of a problem. If you can believe it, the timing’s even worse than it was last year. Not only would attending mean I’d miss important classes, but it would also mean that I’d miss out on Ad Astra
, a local science fiction convention, where I’m supposed to be on a panel.
I have spent the past few weeks weighing pros and cons. ICFA is in sunny, warm Florida; Ad Astra is in cold, wet Ontario. ICFA would let me hang out with Thomas
and meet Bryn
; Ad Astra would let me hang out with Sarah and meet other Toronto SF people. ICFA requires plane tickets; Ad Astra requires a 45-minute car ride. ICFA has Charles de Lint; Ad Astra has Julie Czerneda. Etc, etc.
Oh, decisions, decisions. And in typical Karina fashion, I waffled back and forth for the longest time, making up my mind and promptly changing it again.
In the end, I have decided to go to Ad Astra. (This turns out to be a very good thing, because a recent look at my bank account shows that I’d never be able to handle the ICFA, not by a long shot.) I’m happy about my decision, and very excited/nervous about my panel (on a yet-unknown topic), and looking forward to the end of March. And as for the ICFA, I figure hey, I have at least one more year of Asimov Award eligibility—maybe even two. Next year, I’ll go for the big prize. That way I could attend for free!