It was well-run. It was a lot of fun. It went by in a flash. The Hugos were of course enormously satisfying to both tnh and me. The programming we were on was good. We're very grateful to the committee for moving the blogging panel--the one we shared with Kevin Drum, Cory Doctorow, Phil Plait, and MaryAnn Johanson--to a time slot where we didn't have a previous commitment.
That said, here are some notes about the not-so-great which I'd like to get down before memory fades.
(1) I'm acutely aware of the extent to which no Worldcon can possibly use every SF professional who wants to be on the program, and I'm equally aware of the way that every modern Worldcon gets slagged off by pros--usually minor pros--who think they ought to have been granted more appearances before what they fondly imagine to be their adoring public. My usual advice to such complainers is to stop being ridiculous; the World Science Fiction Convention is a service organization for science fiction fandom, not your personal publicity agency. That said, however, it's appalling to read that David Marusek was told they had no use for him on the program. Come on. Knowing about contemporary SF isn't some kind of optional "special interest." If you have nobody on your committee who has a clue who the interesting and major upcoming SF and fantasy writers are, you should be letting someone else run the Worldcon.
(2) The kaffeeklatsch setup was a disaster on stilts. They were held in a curtained-off area just a few yards away from a large stage hosting an ongoing program of music and spoken words being blasted out through a PA. There's no tactful way to say this, so I'm not going to be tactful: This was the biggest fuck-you to hearing-impaired Worldcon attendees since Glasgow in 1995. Given Teresa's hearing loss, there was no question of us actually conducting a kaffeeklatsch in this environment; instead, we led our people out of the Arena lobby, up the escalator to the second floor, and into the Green Room, which was happy to offer us a large round table and the use of their coffee service. This solved our problem, but it did nothing to solve the greater problem, which is Worldcon organizers who are insensitive fuckheads about the very large number of people in any human population, not just fandom, who don't have the hyper-acute hearing of a 21-year-old. I want to know who was responsible for putting a program item devoted to low-key round-table conversation next to a gigantic PA system, and once I know, I want their personal and public apology. I want to see some pain, some embarrassment, and some institutional memory among future Worldcon organizers. This is going to stop.
(3) Harlan Ellison groping Connie Willis on stage at the Hugos wasn't funny and it wasn't okay. I understand (from third parties; I haven't spoken to her about it) that Connie Willis's position is that Ellison has done worse and she can handle him, but I really didn't want to watch it and neither, I think, did a lot of other people in the audience. Up to then the comedic schtick aspects of the Hugo presentation had been genuinely funny. After that, I think, many of us just wanted it all to stop.
Just as with George W. Bush's now-famous uninvited shoulder-rub of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the basic message of Ellison's tit-grab is this: "Remember, you may think you have standing, status, and normal, everyday adult dignity, but we can take it back at any time. If you are female, you'll never be safe. You can be the political leader of the most powerful country in Europe. You can be the most honored female writer in modern science fiction. We can still demean you, if we feel like it, and at random intervals, just to keep you in line, we will."
It's not okay. It's not funny. It wasn't a blow against bourgeois pieties or political correctness. It was just pathetic and nasty and sad and most of us didn't want to watch it. It's another thing that's going to stop.