World Fantasy Convention 2011, Recapon Nov 01 in Blog Post by johnhornor
I’m back from the WFC2011, tired, a little sunburnt, considerably poorer. Yet so glad I attended.
The weekend was full of strange serendipitous events and happenings, or maybe it just appeared that way to me. I went into the event with an open mind, wanting to learn, to talk with whomever wanted to converse. There was some drama, but I was thankfully unaware of it all until long after the douchespray had been ejected.
I guess, this is the point in the recap I talk about all the wonderful people I met. Here we go:
First up, Eunice Magill. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see her again at the Mysterious Galaxy author meet and greet. I met Eunice at the World Horror Convention in Austin and was delighted and impressed by her. She was, as always, very kind and full of wonderful advice and guidance. She introduced me to many people I’d been wanting to meeting for a long time, and also introduced me to Stone IPA, which was very special. Accompanying Eunice was Kelly Dunn, Steve Woodworth and Lisa Morton. We didn’t have as many conversations as I’d like, unfortunately, due to my lack of sleep and hangover. But they were all delightful.
I was lucky to meet Patti Garcia – the head of publicity at TOR and bassist for The Rats – on Wenesday night, and she was very kind to tolerate my presence – uh, and introduce me to Vernor Vinge – for that I don’t think I can ever repay her kindness. Very cool woman.
Also at the Mysterious Galaxy meet and greet, I met Maryelizabeth Hart and Jeff Mariotte, who are both wonderful people and were very kind to me. I was lucky to get a chance to have lunch with Jeff and chat about San Diego, conventions, the bajillion books he’s written, and more. Honestly, I was humbled and amazed by how gracious and kind everyone was to me, this big messy schmuck from Arkansas.
I was on a Thursday night panel with Jeff and Will Shetterly discussing class issues in fiction, and it seemed to go well. In the audience of that panel was a man named Doselle Young who commented and questioned the panel in the best of all ways – his contributions to the conversation were more prescient than, probably, mine. We got to talking afterwards and then later it turned out he knew my pal Stephen Blackmoore who then turned out to also be rooming with Nathan Long. Lots of little invisible flesh and tendons and connective tissues tugging at us, those of us open to the experience at World Fantasy Convention. But Doselle spent time with me and introduced me to a lot of people that I can’t recall right now. Doselle knows EVERYONE. Nathan wore penny loafers and could do this Gene Kelly slide that was cool.
Finally met my publisher and the rest of the Night Shade crew – chatted with Jason Williams and renewed an acquaintance with Jeremy Lassen. Drank with Liz Upson, who was a lot of fun though I had to listen close. Shook hands and had passing conversations with Amy Popovich and Tomra. Fun stuff. Got to know my editor Ross Lockhart, who’s a great guy, and quite the snazzy dresser, though I don’t think he owns many articles of clothing without some sort of tentacled horror on it.
Also got to know some more of the Night Shade stable of authors, Nathan Long (mentioned earlier), Rob Ziegler, Bradley Beaulieu, and didn’t get a chance to speak much with Stina Leicht, but I’m sure I will at some future convention.
It was great meeting Sanford Allen, we had a wonderful time talking music and writing, and Robert Hicks, who had to fly all the way back to South Korea on Sunday.
As far as luminaries and big name encounters, I had my share, though I didn’t meet Neil Gaiman. He would breeze through, trailed by handlers, and I wasn’t going to be the guy who got in his way.
Funny story. Because Rojo and The Grunch and The Missus attended the convention with me, I spent a lot of time in the pool with the two rugrats, swimming. No one seemed to be using the pool, so we kinda felt like we owned that bad boy except there was this one older gentleman and his wife who always seemed to be in the pool at the same time. The first day, they ignored us, we ignored them. Second day, because the kids were getting all up in international waters, we spoke a few words. By Saturday, the gentleman and I were having long conversations about Afghanistan, new clean energy technologies, and his wife’s history, and his own. The man was Tom Doherty.
BTW, I don’t think Robert Silverberg likes my kids. He seemed a little put out with them on the elevator. Bwhahahaha!
I did meet Vernor Vinge, Tim Powers, Guy Kay, David Brin, David Drake, Connie Willis, F. Paul Wilson (again), Charlaine Harris (who revealed she’s moving out of Arkansas to Texas for which I made fun of her, um, to her face. I mean, Texas? Come on.), Pat Rothfuss, Richard Kadrey (very cool guy), Carlton Mellick Numero Tres, Jon Walter Williams, John Skipp, Scott Edelman, and many many more. When I spoke with Patrick Nielsen Hayden he seemed ineffably bored with my conversation until I mentioned I liked what I’ve seen of his band, Whisperado, and that I was a musician. Then we spoke about guitar gear for a long while. Big topic, iPad guitar amp modeling software. PNH likes it, wants to find a iPad stand for his guitar. I think they need a stompbox controller.
Jeez, there’s just too much to remember. It was a tremendous experience and the first convention I’ve ever attended that I felt sad it was ending.
There will be addendums.
I brought no books to be signed since we were travelling with the kids. It would’ve been too much. So I indulged in a bit of photo headhunting. Here are my trophies. Someone told me people who go for photos look desperate and fanboy-ish. They can suck it. Hard.
Here they go. And because I was pretty sunburnt from pool-life and Seaworld and know certain ne’er-do-well internet clowns will remark on my sobriety, I went ahead and notated on each photo whether I was drunk or not.
Ross Lockhart pimps his cufflinks while Guy Gavriel Kay is puzzled at my appearance. The resemblance Guy has to Barnacle Boy is, well, lets just say, inarguable. Am drunk in this photo? Yes.
David Brin mentioned that he was getting a kick out of my “new author energy.” Drunk? No. Kadrey was cool. No much more to say than, hell yeah, he was a cool dude, friendly, well spoken, fun to talk to. Had been to Arkansas.
Bradley was totally working the crowd. He’s gonna be big. Oh, and I was lucky to have a fairly long conversation with Pat Rothfuss about Heifer Project and his charity, Worldbuilders. Here we are giving our best “smoldering” looks. It seems my smoldering look is more akin to constipation than sexiness. Am I drunk in these? No. Not yet.
The beautiful Eunice Magill and the lovely Kelly Dunn. Oh, and lookee here! There’s S.T. Joshi. Am I drunk? Nope.
Maryelizabeth Hart was so kind to me. Beautiful lady. And I’m not drunk in the photo with her. Just sunburnt. However, in the photo with PNH, yes, I am definitely drizzunk.
Loss Rockhart. Am I drunk? Yessiree. Cannot speak for Ross. Also, pictured with the awesome Jeff Mariotte. Am I drunk? Nopers. Not at that point.
I’ve spoken about Daryl Gregory elsewhere, so I won’t blather about how awesome of a writer he is here. But he is. And next to him is Robert Hicks, my friend and fellow writer who lives in South Korea. Great guy. I am drunk in both photos, for real.
Tim Powers and F. Paul Wilson. Both great guys, both nice to talk with. I am not drunk in either photo, but I cannot speak to Paul’s sobriety.
The anothologist extraordinaire, John Joseph Adams. Super nice guy. Didn’t get enough time speaking with him. I’m not drunk in either of these photos. That’s Mr. Kadrey and Mr. Mellick at the Night Shade Party, which was off the fucking chain.
Walter Jon Williams and moi. I am drunk. Pretty obvious on that one. I might be starting to get a little crunk all up in the TOR party with Vernor Vinge.
Rojo and The Grunch at the San Clemente pier. I am not drunk in this one. And neither are they.
Then there was this: