I attended the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego this past weekend. It was pure luck that I headed west while NYC was hit with a phantom Halloween weekend snowstorm. But sometimes lady luck is on your side.
In attendance was guest of honor, Neil Gaiman; Lifetime Achievement award-recipient, Peter S. Beagle; and the lovely, Charlaine Harris, author of the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse series, what is not to love about WFC?
Not to mention a several of my tribe that flew out of Dodge (Neueva York, in this instance) to attend. A special thanks goes to soon-to-be-published, mil-fantasy writer, Myke Cole, for sharing accomidations with me, making it easier for us both to be in attendance. He was a gentleman and a scholar, except when he wasn't.
I was pleased to reconnect with friends not from my hometown, a second tribe of sorts, whom I've become friends with at past WFCs (this being my fourth, I missed the San Jose show 2 years back). It's been nice to continue that friendship via social media like facebook, twitter and our collective blogs. But it's much nicer to share a beer with them at a con party, hanging by the back door.
Then there are the new people I met, some of whom I only rec'd a quick introduction and a handshake, others like the ridiculously charming Brent and Kristi Weeks, I was lucky enough to share a meal and some hysterical stories with. They were a super cool couple, I'll be for some time relaying their story with Kristi's infamous line, "not no." [you had to be there]. I also literally walked into Pat Rothfuss, another incredibly nice guy, easy to talk to about fantasy and all things, whom I hadn't met before. We wound up joining a big group for lunch, and it was just one of those easy breezy things that happens at WFC.
I was able to attend a few panels covering topics such as "Timeless Literature: What Makes a Book a Classic" to others, like the one moderated by my WFC bloodbrother since 2007, Peter Brett, entitled: "Out from Under the Bed: Monster as Protagonist," where Pete and his fellow panelists dished on what it was like to write a monster's perspective, or what went into humanizing monsters (or making monsters of humans...) It was a great way to launch the 4 day convention.
I perused the dealer room with my very good friend and co-worker at DK Publishing, Nancy L. who reveled along with me when we saw a DK book in the choc-full-o-books Dealer's Room. [More on that, and a new friend I made in the dealer's room to come.]
I also got a chance to see one Lauren K. Cannon, a magnificent artist, make her first official appearance in the Art Show, with several magnificent pieces (note: Lauren has worked with Peter from the very beginning, designing wards, and creating artwork for his website, and eventually most of the artwork for his Subterranean Press projects). I think we've seen just the tip of the iceberg with her talent as an artist.
I stayed through the Awards Banquet [pics to come] as I've not hit that jaded point where I feel I don't need to go to the dinner anymore. I enjoy it and it reminds me of the Edgar Awards banquet I used to attend while working for the Mystery Guild. There is something very cool about gathering with so many like-minded individuals, celebrating the work that inspires, those that create it, and our little niche of the book world.
More to come, as I believe this is my re-entering the blogging world. Hip-hip hooray!