Tired, sick (caught a cold, bleagh), but happy.
For those who don’t know (I didn’t), World Fantasy Con is basically “the professionals’ con” of the spec fic field. It’s expensive as cons go, which unfortunately puts it out of the reach of most casual fans, but which results in a nice collection of pro authors, editors, agents, and reviewers all glomming together and enjoying themselves for a whopping 5 days. This year was my first visit to WFC, so it was all shiny and new for me.
And oh so much fun. I have to confess that I’d been very nervous about this con, having already imagined it to be full of distinguished individuals from the rarefied upper echelons of publishing. It was. But distinguished or not, these individuals’ favorite pastime seemed to be kicking back in the lounge with a beer (or three) and waxing eloquent about cheese. (No, really. The conversation got quite heated, as I recall, though I don’t recall why — something to do with substandard Gruyere. I’d had a few glasses of wine at that point.)
There were panels to, though I’ll admit I didn’t find these as much fun — I guess I’ve been spoiled by the nerdpunk panels of Readercon and the “anything goes” panels of Wiscon. They weren’t bad by any stretch, just not as thought-provoking/controversy-addressing/informative as I usually like. (Though I did enjoy the heck out of “The Language of Fantasy”, in which Farah Mendelson taught me two new words! …both of which I’ve forgotten. Gah. I have them written down, though, and I’m planning to order her book, which should teach me even more.) Was also amused by the “Stealth Halloween” which took place on Friday. WFC is a no-costumes con, owing to its professional nature, so there were several people in costume but not obviously so. There was an excellent Sarah Palin, and though I saw Mary Robinette Kowal that day, I didn’t realize she was dressed as Agent Scully. Excellent costume, just… well, stealthy. =)
I really enjoyed the readings, which introduced me to several new authors I’ve never read. But the real gem of this con was that I got the chance to meet so many people whose work I’ve enjoyed, or with whom I’ve only worked/interacted online. I can’t even list them all, but among them were Wendy Delmater of Abyss & Apex (I just bumped into her in an elevator), Jetse de Vries formerly of Interzone (who actually remembered my last submission and who I now apparently owe a grasshopper next year), authors Carol Berg, Marjorie Liu, and Kay Kenyon (all of whom I went fangirl on; it was embarassing, but I couldn’t help myself) and so many more.
My one regret is that I didn’t ask to do a reading this year, mostly because I keep thinking “Well, the book won’t be out for a year; who would remember?” But what I hadn’t realized was that because the folks at this con are pros, they understand the long timelines involved with publication, and they have correspondingly long memories. And there were a lot of people at the con who, for whatever reason, were looking for new voices via the readings, thus generating fresh buzz for the authors. So I missed an opportunity. =( Ah, well, part of the learning process. At the next few cons I attend, I’ll definitely be doing readings.
All that aside, though — ::happysigh:: So much fun.
Next up: packing and preparing to move to my new apartment! ::sigh:: Guess the fun had to end sometime.