This past weekend, Kristin and I went to Worldcon 70. Worldcon is one of the bigger non-profit science fiction conventions, and probably the most important. Kristin and I usually go to the serious cons: World Fantasy, Readercon, and Boskone. With the partial exception of Boskone (only partial, since much of the "fun" part was spun off into Arisia), these are cons focused on writing and writers, with a significant portion of those in attendance being writers, editors, agents, or publishers--and often writers hoping to meet editors and publishers and agents. Worldcon has a lot of that too, but it also has a film festival, filking, and a masquerade (specifically, costuming).
Most importantly, though, Worldcon has the Hugos. This is probably the most important award in fantasy and science fiction, for the best stories, films, editors, etc. of the year. This year, my friend Ken Liu won a Hugo for his short story "The Paper Menagerie." Ken's a great writer, and is one of the biggest names in genre fiction right now.
I spent much of my time at Worldcon attending parties, and hanging out at the Black Gate table. John O'Neill's a great guy to hang out with, and I'm not just saying this because he's agreed to publish one of my stories. Although that does help. I also went to a couple of panels, but fewer than I usually do, I think. Part of the problem is that Worldcon has so many tracks, as many as a dozen panels at the same time. I can't possibly go to all of the ones that sound interesting, and when I already have to miss most of the ones that sound interesting at any one time, it doesn't seem such a bad thing to miss them all and instead hang out with John O'Neill, Howard Andrew Jones, Peadar O Guilin, and others.