48. Opening Ceremonies
3pm (Gold East) Grand Ballroom
After arriving in Chicago and checking into the Hyatt Regency and running through Registration (DW), we had about twenty minutes before the Opening Ceremonies. There were other things going on with all of WorldCon's multiple tracks, but Toastmaster John Scalzi was going to be the master of ceremonies, which promised to be entertaining.
Part of the band Toyboat. (Click on photo for larger.)
John came out and had a good time vamping with the band. Who knew that he had dreams of being a talk show host and having a band back his moves up? (grin) At one point he pointed at the band's drummer and told him he saw what he'd done -- they'd played Def Leppard and the drummer was drumming one-handed.
Your Chicon 7 Toastmaster John Scalzi. (Click on photo for larger.)
The best line of his introduction was, though, when peering up at the bright stage lights and complaining that they were preventing his seeing the audience, and declared in a hoarse shout "there are four lights!" He was tickled to be performing in front of an audience where many, many people cheered the reference. Later, when Guest of Honor Mike Resnick was in the hot seat next to the desk, he said that the Hyatt had hosted the two previous Chicon WorldCons -- and that they had those same bright lights blinding the view of the audience from the stage, and said "but there ARE four lights." (grin)
The talk show set. (Click on photo for larger.)
Mike Resnick couldn't stay -- he had to run off to a panel, that's WorldCon for you -- but there were plenty of other people to introduce and interview. The Artist GoH was ill, so her sister came and told excellent stories. And then they did a presentation of this year's Hugo Award design, something that usually doesn't happen until the Hugo Ceremony on Sunday night.
The Chicon 7 Hugo base revealed. (Click on photo for larger.)
John contemplating how the Hugo would look in his study. (This is as close as he got to taking one home.) (Click on photo for larger.)
WorldCon 70 / Chicon 7 Chair Dave McCarty wore a Chicago Blackhawks captain's jersey with his name and the number 7. He told the origin story of the Flying Monkees -- his main minions -- including the classic 60s but accidental misspelling on his part of flying monkeys. (grin) The whole program ran longer than the hour allotted, but you know, it was a pretty damned good opening ceremonies.
Photo Note: Most of the session pictures I shot at WorldCon were taken with the Nikon D1H in B&W mode, ISO 1600, which gives the contrasty and "grainy" appearance of the old Kodak 2475 Recording Film at ISO 1600. The lens is a 24-120mm f3.5-5.6 VR AF-S Nikkor.