World Fantasy 2010 Extremely Brief Overview
I had a great time throughout, as did Jason. Here are a few highlights.
- Went to a lot of great panels, including one where the quote in the header was said by fantasy legend Dennis McKiernan. The panel in particular was where we were talking about how lots of fantasy authors just say "screw it" to the laws of nature in geography, or do something funky like create a world surrounded by "the impassible ocean/forest/desert/etc." Out of the blue, McKiernan boldly declared, "Oh yeah, and remember: if your world doesn't have a moon, you are just f***ed." Quote of the conference.
- Speaking of McKiernan, his interview was completely fantastic in nearly every regard. In fact, just about every panel he was on was great.
- Talked to a LOT of authors and a few editors throughout. Mostly authors (I made quite a few friends at the signings and just on the floor), but overall people were very gracious and more than willing to share information if they had the time. It was quite fun.
- Met with Eddie Schneider of Jabberwalkee (aka the dude who rejected Paradise Seekers). Had a good talk about literary fiction (my English analysis classes finally paid off), some submitting ideas, what he likes in authors, and more. It was very helpful and quite interesting. I was also surprised that he is really young, like probably only a few years older than me, if that.
- Got like $200 in free books. I snatched like 6 copies of Warbreaker because nobody wanted them. I'm going to had them out to friends because they were free. The free books also allowed me to talk for almost two hours to authors at the signing.
- Jason and I tried to save money by "stealing" packets of peanut butter and jelly from our hotel's breakfast table every morning to make sandwiches later. The biggest irony of this is that we found out on the last day when we were about to leave that food for all World Fantasy events is provided in the cost of admission, meaning there was this huge room downstairs full of food the entire freaking time. Yes. We are stupid.
- Jason got Tom Doherty (founder of Tor) to sign his Kindle right after Tom gave a discourse about how ebooks are killing new authors. The irony was thick, and pretty much every other author who signed the kindle after that exclaimed, "Wait, you got Tom Doherty to sign your kindle?!"
- We walked all over downtown Columbus and never found a post office or a McDonalds. I JUST WANTED A DAMN CHOCOLATE SHAKE AT 11:00 AT NIGHT, OK? GAH. Seriously, like 2-3 hours of wandering for nothing. At least we finally found a White Castle.
- Nobody wore costumes, even on the day before Halloween. There were also no filkers. This was a relief.
- I had a really, really good time. Despite being antisocial when I was around Jason, I was considerably more extroverted when I was on my own, and that paid off at the signing.
Overall? I'd say it was an overall success, but one that will be improved upon as more and more cons are visited. We actually met a lot of people from Conduit who recognized us, and we were able to continue that "blossoming" relationship with these authors. I have a feeling that, the more cons you go to, the stronger these relationships with various members of the fantasy community will become, and some real great friendships can come of it. I already bought tickets for next year (It's in San Diego, which is totally driveable), and will be going to LTUE in February and CONDuit again in May, as well as WorldCon in August. I'm hoping to see a lot of these people again once that comes around.
So, resounding success, and I'm going to say it was worth the cost for the experience. I gained a lot of insight into the industry, editors/agents, and myself as a writer.
Also, if your world doesn't have a moon, you are pretty much f***ed. Seriously. That messes up everything.