Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At Last, World Fantasy Convention

After years and years of wanting to attend, I finally made it to WFC this year. Held in Saratoga Springs, New York, this was apparently the largest-ever WFC, with something like 1200 members. Funnily, it often didn't feel that large, I imagine mostly because the facility was not itself terribly large. One could sit near registration and watch the world go by quite easily. And yet that number certainly showed in the number of people attending who I didn't see at all, or at best only briefly saw.

And seeing people seemed to be the order of the weekend.

The con started for me in the line for the train at Penn Station in New York, where I joined Esther Friesner and Ellen Asher for the ride up. We had a great visit along the way, a very pleasant ride. Esther I've talked to before, but that was the first time I'd had the opportunity to talk with Ellen (who, incidentally, won a World Fantasy Award that weekend. Yay!).

As for the con itself, I attended no panels, and only two readings (one was most of Guy Kay's, the other for Ellen Datlow's new anthology Inferno, in order to finally meet Elizabeth Bear,who could have sworn we had met before. Nope). I also did a reading myself, but that was a fiasco; initially to be scheduled, and then the ball was dropped and I was offered 8:30 Thursday (opening) night, and then that was screwed up and I got 10pm the same night, unadvertised. I'm afraid I wasn't at my best when I read.

Sometime after the reading, my roomie Bill Shunn finally arrived, and we hung that night in the bar. From there on, it was a blur of people I met, chatted with, partied with, hung with, or nodded at ever-so-briefly in the halls. Below I attempt to recreate that list, knowing full well my aging mind will drop some names:

Guy Gavriel Kay (of course, being one my my best friends in the biz; we sampled many single malts together), Jack Dann, Dena Bain Taylor (and now, alphabetically, since that makes more sense), Daniel Abraham, John Joseph Adams, Lou Anders, Eileen Bell, Judith Berman, Gary Blog, Jae Brim, Charles N. Brown, Joseph Bruchac, Eileen Capes, Steve Carper, Amy Sterling Casil, Jeanne Cavelos, Ted Chiang, Carolyn Clink, Bruce Coville, F. Brett Cox, Kathryn Cramer, Julie Czerneda, Nick Di Chario, Christine Cohen, Tom Doherty, Andy, Dave, And Hal Duncan (none related), Carol Emshwiller, Craig Engler, Charles Coleman Finlay, Jamie and West Flanagan, Alan Dean Foster, Amanda Foubister, Jim Frenkel, James Alan Gardner, Bev Geddes, Laura Anne Gilman, Ranaan Graff, Gavin Grant, Kim Greyson, Peter Halasz, Gay and Joe Haldeman, Vaughne Hansen, David Hartwell, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Peter Heck, Matt Hughes (who was our roomie for Saturday night), Jane Jewell, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, John Klima, Nancy Kress, David Kyle, Jay Lake, Claude Lalumiere, Margo Lanagan (and her husband, whose name escapes me), Jeremy Lassen, Kelly Link, Andre Losier, Karin Lowachee, Nathalie Mallet, Nick Mamatas, Randy McCharles, Terry McGarry, Victoria McManus, Yves Meynard (who kindly gave me a ride back to Montreal, from where I flew home on Monday), Lee Modesitt, Darren Nash, Kim Newman, Garth Nix, Patrick O'Leary, Josh Pasternak, Karen Perry, Tim and Serena Powers, Fleetwood Robbins, Barbara and Christopher Roden, Alan Rodgers, Diana Rowland, Cliff Samuels, Robert J. Sawyer, Ken Scholes, Darrell Schweitzer, John Silbersack, Janni Lee Simner, Michael Skeet, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Randall Strock, Liza Groen Trombi, Jean-Louis Trudel, Den Valdron, Gordon Van Gelder, Sean Wallace, Rene Walling, Sheila Williams, Walter Jon Williams, Gary K. Wolfe, and Jane Yolen.


Y'know, writing that list was actually quite useful for me. I'm appalled at just how many people I missed, now that I've had a closer look at the membership list. People I know online but have never met, like Meg Turville-Heitz and Neile Graham, people I've always wanted to meet, like John Crowley, or people I've met before but haven't seen in some time, like Gene Wolfe.

Meals were great, always with wonderful company, and yes, some business was done. Hopefully I'll be able to update everyone on some of that business soon, but for the moment I don't want to spill on stuff that isn't final.

Again, pictures will soon follow, once I get over to the other computer.

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It was good to meet you and hang out for a while, Derryl.

You know, you're quite a civilised fellow for a Liverpool supporter . . . ;-)
And you, Darren. Too bad these things are always such a panic.

As far as being a ManU guy, I'll give you your props. As noted in person, we can find common ground beating up on Chelsea.

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