World Fantasy Convention 2010

Here is what I hope is a pithy little post about this exciting event, as I am still recovering.

This gal is as pleased as can be to have attended her very first World Fantasy Convention this past week in Columbus, Ohio. Highlights: I reconnected with good friends from Clarion West, made some good contacts, and enjoyed fun facetime with writers and editors I’d only previously met online (or not at all), and attended some interesting panels and readings.

WFC lessons learned:

  • Kij Johnson’s readings are NOT to be missed.
  • If your Twitter pic actually resembles you, people may recognize you!
  • Everyone should buy and read the anthology The Way of the Wizard (the one edited by John Joseph Adams, not that thing by Deepak Chopra).
  • Columbus as a city is not as dreary as I’d been led to believe (well, not quite).
  • In October, an old leather jacket is not warm enough for a skinny girl from Florida.
  • Everyone (or at least those who like zombies) should buy and read the collection Rigor Amortis.
  • Ted Chiang apparently always looks dapper, and is too shy to talk to fangirls in the elevator.
  • Chicks in chain mail are ridiculous (see photo), but hilarious to intoxicated people.
  • Brian Lumley really just wants a cigarette,  if you have one.

I saw why this con is recommended for writers above conventions that support writer activity but remain focused on fans, costuming and entertainment/media. This is primarily an publishing industry con. This is where writers want to be to network with folks from Tor, Del Rey, Nightshade, Edge Publishing, and the like. Pro and semi-pro publishers were represented, and a surprising mix of people mingle at after-parties which seem to be what the con is really all about. Oh, and the World Fantasy awards are handed out.

I’m being a tiny bit flip about the experience, but it truly was worthwhile. I handed out as well as collected a number of business cards (sort of a party game, and not without very real etiquette and papercut hazards) and made useful and stimulating connections. I learned more about the lively industry that is sci-fi and fantasy publishing. I came home exhausted and probably with more information than I can ever process.

I’m already scheming to attend the 2011 convention.

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