I just booked my flight and hotel room for Chicon 8, so I’m one step closer to attending Worldcon this year. Despite that, I still have a reluctance to say that I’ll absolutely definitely be there even though it looks like I will.
Ten years ago, I was supposed to attend Chicon 7. I had just received my first Hugo nomination for Editor Short Form and I was excited to have the opportunity to celebrate with my fellow finalists. Everything was set. I had my flights, hotel, and membership. A month and a half before the convention, however, I had a heart attack and nearly died. I tried to maintain some hope that I could attend, but it wasn’t destined to happen. Trip canceled.
Here it is ten years later… I’m celebrating my tenth time on the ballot and it appears as though I’m set to visit the same city to mark the anniversary. To say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.
That heart attack changed a lot of things for me and reshaped the direction of my career as an editor. It also left me with a significant amount of heart damage, which puts me at high risk with regards to COVID. All the other conventions on my list for 2022 are in driving distance, which eliminates the need for airports and reduces my risk of exposure to a more reasonable level. Toss in the recent end of mask requirements on planes and an expectation that cases will tick upwards towards the end of Summer, and you find the source of my uncertainty. I want to be wrong, but have to acknowledge that the ghost of my heart attack could strike again and keep me home.