I spent the last weekend at World Fantasy Convention, my first ever professional convention for writers and using the word magical to describe it would hardly be exaggerating.
I never quite understood the fascination with celebrities. When I see celebrity gossip, I hardly ever read them even about actors/directors whose work I really like, unless that news happens to include something else I’m interested in as well. Gossip related to a movie or Amanda Palmer taking her kit off to flip off an idiot journalist I will read just out of curiosity.
But that all changed last Thursday before I even managed to register to the convention. I was on my way to the registration desk when I literally ran into Mary Robinette Kowal coming around a corner. I’ve been nervous about going to this convention on and off since the summer because I was going alone and I didn’t know anyone other than Mary who was going. And Mary is a lovely, lovely person but she is Mary Robinette Kowal so it would hardly be appropriate to cling to her and beg her not to leave me (which would be my first instinct). But I was so relieved to see her that I couldn’t prevent myself from exploding all over her. While we were chatting at the corner Tobias Buckell walks past and I try not to stare too obviously. After Mary leaves and I head for registration and back the same way, Ellen Datlow is going the other way and I know I failed to prevent myself from staring that time. So then a little while later Joe Hill is walking up a staircase talking about Halloween with someone while I’m walking down that same staircase and I nearly break my neck from tripping over my own feet. At this point I decided to get myself a drink while my head exploded just a little.
Thankfully this year’s World Fantasy Convention had Newbie tables at the bar so I didn’t have to look like Unabomber while my head exploded and got to meet some lovely people who were also feeling a little overwhelmed and alone.
In the end I wound up not going to that many panels. I had so much fun at the bar just meeting people and the readings were so incredible that I spent my days and nights mostly in either of the two. Plus the lecture halls were FREEZING! Seriously. In one of the three panels that I did attend, people in the audience were sitting in their winter coats it was so cold.
Did I mention the free books? A mountain of books, all for the price of admission. I knew that it happened but I was still blown away by the amount of books that were given out. Which was doubly fun because a lot of the authors were actually there and you just randomly got to meet them. Like for example the fabulous Kameron Hurley, author of God’s War. I met her because her husband came to sit with us in the newbie table and later we went to dinner and one of the parties, where Kameron joined us. And now I’m waiting for my books to come home so I can start reading it. She was so much fun that her book can’t be anything but good.
Now if I could just figure out a way to save the money for next year’s trip to World Fantasy Convention in Washington D.C.
This is likely to be the last post on this blog before the beginning of December. I’m trying to do NaNoWriMo again and I’m also doing Dean Wesley Smith’s Plotting Workshop and working full time which hardly leaves me with time to eat or sleep let alone blog.
PS. After I wrote this, I found out that there had been harassment and other not-lovely things at the con. Jim C. Hines has a roundup of all the relevant posts. I didn’t notice the harassment, nor the panel disparity. The latter mostly because almost none of the panels interested me enough to pay attention to who was on them. I don’t know if this is normal for WFC so I didn’t think anything of it. I also assumed that like other cons I’ve been to the programming would have been provided by the program participants but this is apparently not the case. However, I have managed to talk my husband into going to Washington for next year’s WFC so at least then I can compare notes better and hopefully be a little less star struck as well.