Friday was a long, awesome day at World Fantasy. I feel like I’m floating around on a sea full of big names and interesting people, and it’s surprisingly less intimidating than I thought it would be.
The day started with a number of panels. I attended “Writing human characters, whether or not they’re human” and “VaanderMeer on VanderMeer.”
The VanderMeer panel was very enjoyable–Ann and Jeff are down-to-Earth good people, and it was interesting hearing their stories, especially Ann on her experiences as an editor. At one point, she could have shared any number of slushpile horror stories, but she didn’t.
Took lunch at Lee’s Sandwiches, for no other reasons than price and nostalgia. I used to eat at Lee’s all the time when I lived in San Jose, because it was so cheap. It’s been so long, but it was exactly as I remembered it. Good times.
Met up with Daniel Alonso, another writer friend from LTUE/CONduit. It was good to see him. We wandered around the dealer’s room for a while and struck up conversations with various people, including David Drake. Talked with Drake about the difference between him and Haldeman–apparently, in Haldeman’s novels, nobody trusts anybody, whereas in David Drake’s novels, people mistrust everyone but the comrades in their unit. Interesting.
Let me just say, once again, that I am surprised how many people from the Utah scene are here at World Fantasy. On the “Writing non-conciliatory fantasy” panel, I recognized at least a dozen other Utah writers, and there were probably at least as many there that I didn’t recognize! Surprising, when you consider the panel was about anti-heroes.
Besides the “Writing non-conciliatory fantasy” panel, I attended “Invention vs. tradition” and “The last resort” in the afternoon. Both were very interesting, but unfortunately I was very tired after the last one, so didn’t catch as much from it. That’s what happens for late afternoon / early evening panels, generally.
Went to a book release party for Edge publishing. It was an interesting event. Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston wrote Druids together long-distance, having only met over the internet. They both seem like pretty cool people, just from running into them. From the readings, the book reminded me a bit of David Gemmell.
Had dinner with some other writers from the Utah scene–Josh, Isaac, and Jancy. Talked with Jancy for quite a while–turns out she’s from Santa Clara, got a master’s degree from BYU with John Bennion as her advisor. It also turns out that she recently switched agents; she’s represented by Eddie now, Joshua Bilmes’s old assistant. We talked about my book and whether it’s YA or not, which went on to a very interesting discussion of YA themes. Jancy’s a way cool person.
The evening event was a giant mass autographing party in the ballroom. Everyone was there doing a signing. I hung out at Dan Wells’s booth and met Mary Robinette Kowal. She was way cool, easy to talk with, interesting and humble. Yet another down-to-Earth good person at this convention.
Met a lot more people from the Utah scene in the evening, such as J. Aleta Clegg, who was around when LTUE, The Leading Edge, and Quark were founded. Also talked with Julie Wright, found out that she’s an editor as well as a writer, talked about the blog she co-authors and Leading Edge. Yet more down-to-Earth good people.
After that, drifted from party to party, until everyone was so drunk that my attempts to make useful contacts started to become counterproductive. Had fun at the same time, though. Good people, good times.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow!