I'm back from the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY, which was held Nov 1 to 5th, and was, due to World Con being overseas this year and the proximity of NYC, the largest World Fantasy ever at membership capped at over 1,140 people. As always, this - my favorite convention every year - was a truly fantastic experience.
The core of my time was hanging with old friends Chris Roberson, Allison Baker, John Picacio, Karen Jones, Jennifer Heddle, Paul Cornell, Deanna Hoak, David Louis Edelman, Paul Cornell, George Mann and with him, new friend Marc Gascoigne (both of Solaris books and pictured here with Justin Gustainis, author of the their forthcoming title, Black Magic Woman). Also was ecstatic to get some real time with Pyr authors Charles Coleman Finlay, there with his lovely new wife, and Alan Dean Foster, who I don't see enough of but relish our talks when I do. And Acacia author David Anthony Durham and I had enough interrupted conversations to aggregate them into one real one. Scott Lynch was very nice, if very much in demand. Hal Duncan was his wonderful self. Many thanks to my friends Paul Barnett (aka John Grant) and Pamela D. Scoville for batteries when my camera died with its lens extended. (There they are on the right. Aren't they cute?)
I love Irene Gallo, so it's a shame this time we didn't get much time together apart from our panel on cover art Saturday, where we were joined by Tom Kidd, John Picacio, and Jacob Weisman. The room was packed and it was a large room. Irene usually sits in the audience in these panels, when she should be leading them. She moderated this one and did a fantastic job. Meanwhile, I am increasingly confident about my ability to say something meaningful on the topic as I get asked to speak about it more and more these days. Oddly, even though that's about all I saw of Irene, I feel like I did get time with her; I just got it in front of a packed house is all! (Pictured left is C.E. Murphy and Paul Cornell.)
Saturday night was the Third and Final Orbit Launch Party, a private function held in a restaurant offsite called Tiznow, with about 100 industry professionals in attendance. Quite a shindig. Good talk with Night Shade's Jeremy Lassen. And it was there I got to finally catch up with their author, Jon Armstrong, whose Grey really made an impression on me. I'm still trying to get him to read David Louis Edelman and both of them to read Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron. I'm getting closer to this goal, though, as Edelman has read Grey and Armstrong emailed me to ask about Spinrad. I followed Orbit with drinks with Rome Quezada, the new head of the Science Fiction Book Club, back at the hotel, who I have never met before and is a very nice guy.
Stayed up till 5:60am (I swear that's what the clock said) Saturday night. Was talking around 3ish with David Palumbo, also a very nice guy, a promising illustrator, and the son of Julie Bell and step-son of my childhood hero Boris Vallejo (who I also got to meet in the art show earlier). A bit of synchronicity. Dan Dos Santos did the cover for our forthcoming reissue of Mike Resnick's Stalking the Unicorn. Palumbo modeled for him as the detective in the trench coat without knowing his dad did the original 1980s painting! How cool is that?
Then Todd Lockwood, who I didn't yet know and had been trying to meet all weekend, joined us, and we ended up discussing SF till very, very late. Then I got dragged out to breakfast by Chris Roberson, Allison Baker, Hal Duncan, Jim Minz, Liz Gorinsky, Jetse de Vries. (Klima, were you there too?) This morphed into a room party in Minz and Klima's, which is why the clock said 5:60. Then up two hours later to prepare for (a second) breakfast with Locus at 10 am. It took me a bit to get started, but Liza Trombi and I ended up talking for several very enjoyable hours. Right up till time to get ready for the awards banquet, about which I remember next to nothing. (Pictured upper right: Paul Cornell, David Louis Edelman, Garth Nix & John Picacio. Pictured left: Deanna Hoak, nominated in the category of Special Award Professional and Doctor Who scribe Paul Cornell, who lead the Deanna Hoak World Fantasy Awards Campaign.)
The rest of the day was spent on empty, though I managed to rouse myself for a final dinner with editor George Mann and publisher Marc Gascoigne of Solaris Books. Solaris are releasing my next anthology, Sideways in Crime, June '08. We're also entering into a very exciting venture with them around the same time, with the simultaneous publication of David Louis Edelman's Infoquake in mass market from Solaris and sequel MultiReal in trade paperback from Pyr. (Here is David between his two editors.)
And that wraps up the convention. Special thanks to Joe McCabe for keeping Picacio awake Sunday night, and hence, me as well. We got up at 5:45am to head to the airport. Felt great. I owe you one, buddy.
Now here's the Google Alert shout out to all the wonderful people I hung with over the weekend: Kim Newman, Karen Jones, Jennifer Heddle, Deanna Hoak, Sophia Quach (is it Quach-McCabe now?), Cheryl Morgan, Jeremy Lassen, Jess Nevins, Rani Graff, Liz Scheier, Liza Trombi, Jim Minz, John Klima, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Ted Chiang, Jae Brim, Scott Cupp, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Steve Erickson, Jo Fletcher, and whatever wonderful person or persons I've omitted. Folks I missed seeing and really wanted to include Don Maass, Nancy Kress, Patrick Rothfuss.
Finally, John Picacio has a convention report on his blog, David Anthony Durham here, and David Louis Edelman has one in three parts.
And that's it for me. After resisting it all weekend, I have brought the con bug back with me, where it is making itself at home amid the entire Anders household.