Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Sandy Aygo

At WFC I did readings and met with editors and saw friends and went to parties and drank only slightly too much and interviewed an awesome writer for my day job and bought some books and finished writing a book, but that’s all standard con report stuff, and I’ve said it all or variations before. Instead I’ll tell you how the con was for my son River:

River was disappointed that there wasn’t more sand in San Diego. (I mean, as he pointed out, it’s right there in the name.)

He was also really quite angry that we were flying United instead of Southwest, because the Southwest planes are more colorful. (He asked one of our friends “what plane you fly on?” and when the reply was “Southwest,” he rounded on me and said accusingly, “I told you they come to San Diego!”)

He approved of the golf cart transportation at the hotel.

He hung out with our friend Sarah for a while, and was very enamored of the game they played, where they pretended to be lions and jumped out to scare passers-by. He later jumped out of the bathroom to scare his babysitter when she arrived.

He consistently called the dealer’s room the “Boring Room” but he liked the art show. We let him pick out a print; he went with a picture of a kitten and a baby dragon.

Mostly his days were spent hanging out in the pool, where he rode a giant inflatable dragon. He also enjoyed running around a couple of afternoon parties. He got a couple of autographs from writers, which delighted him. He collected postcards and bookmarks with a certain amount of zeal. He met a little girl two days younger than himself and ran in circles with her in the registration area.

We got a babysitter on Saturday night so Heather and I could both go out. He was strenuously opposed to having a babysitter — until she showed up with a bag full of toys. Then he looked at me and said, “Dada, why you still here? When you going?”

Things you can do with a (nearly) four-year-old around 6 am in the vicinity of the Town & Country hotel in San Diego: Ride up and down elevators. Throw a penny in a fountain. (He wished for a dinosaur, and was disappointed when a dinosaur didn’t materialize. I told him a dinosaur could take a while.) Walk across the bridge to the mall, pausing to marvel over the slimy water and to count ducks. Wander around an empty mall and peer in windows. Eventually, ride the trolley a few stops away and then back again, because preschoolers like trains.

While we were at lunch with our friend Greg, River said, “Do you want a cookie, or a diaper?” I said, “Uh, a cookie.” He said, “We’re all out of cookies, but we still have diapers.” It was like he’d independently created Eddie Izzard’s “Cake or Death” sketch.

River and my wife came to my reading. After 15 or 20 minutes, Heather wanted to leave, and told River they were going. He said, “Won’t that embarrass Daddy?”

One morning he was playing pretend on the bed and said to me, “I’m the king’s driver!” I said, “Way to aim high, kid.” Later he was jumping on the bed (we let him jump on hotel beds, because we are terrible people), and he said, “I’m the king of the jumpers!” I said, “That’s better.”

He dragged me away from Daryl Gregory’s (awesome) book launch party to hang out with him in a gazebo. He said to me, very matter-of-factly, “A gazebo is a kind of animal.”

And that was WFC!

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