As promised, here’s Part 2 of my 2011 World Fantasy Con adventures:
Saturday – Day 3
One of the events in which I’d hoped to participate was an Author Reading, but the half-hour reading slots were filled by the time I found out about it. However, once the con started, there were a number of cancellations, so I was able to pick up a spot. Since I hadn’t planned on doing a reading, I needed to spend time figuring out what passages to read and practicing to be sure they fit within the allotted 30 minutes.
Which meant I missed most of the morning sessions.
There was one panel session I had no intention of missing, though. It was called ‘Founders of Steampunk,’ and included John Berlyne, K.W. Jeter (he coined the term ‘steampunk’), James Blaylock, and Tim Powers.
The panel was awesome. I laughed as former college buddies, Jeter, Blaylock, and Powers recounted the escapades of their younger years and how they carved their own paths outside of the literary norm. They were a kick.
Founders of Steampunk panel at 2011 World Fantasy Convention
That evening I sat in on a reading by Connie Willis (her session immediately preceded mine). She read from a light-hearted sci-fi piece about a dysfunctional family – it was pretty funny. The room was full, and as her session ended and attendees filed out, I wondered if I was going to be reading to an empty room.
I was prepared for that because I was a late addition. Besides, who knows me anyway, right?
But to my surprise, two women stayed and were soon joined by a third. We chatted for a moment, and I asked them why they were at my session, since I’m an unknown. They said that’s precisely why they were there, and they liked listening to new authors they hadn’t heard of.
I was pleased that they chose my session to sit in on, and I think they enjoyed the excerpts I read from Watcher. They all thanked me, and I thanked them for making sure I didn’t have to read to an empty room!
After the dinner break, I hung out for a little while with Stephanie and Elena, then headed to the art show reception which ran from 8:00pm – 10:00pm. There were poetry readings and more panel sessions that lasted until 11:00pm, and by then the half-dozen or so parties were in full swing.
Publishers use conventions like WFC to host launch parties for their authors, and it was interesting to circulate through the different suites to catch a little bit of everyone’s excitement.
I finally headed to bed around 2:00am (again).
Sunday – Day 4
I didn’t attend any of the Sunday morning panels, preferring to sleep in and get my stuff packed up and out of the room (my checkout was noon).
View from my balcony on the tenth floor
The awards banquet started at 1:00pm, and as I wandered around the room looking for an empty seat, I stopped by the Ace/ROC table. I was told half of the table was open to anyone, and as I debated on taking a chair, I spotted the name tag of one of the folks sitting there smiling at me.
OMG. She only wrote my favorite fantasy series, The Riddle-Master Trilogy, starring one of my all-time favorite characters named Morgon.
I sat down.
Of course, I had to tell her this and she smiled and nodded her head. I felt very fangirl (though not for the first time at this con!). Her husband, poet David Lunde, sat between us and smiled as we talked – what a doll, and so supportive of her.
Afterwards, they graciously consented to have their picture taken with me.
Patricia and John McKillip
As I was leaving the banquet, I ran into Nancy Holder again and we chatted a bit. She’s so cool!
All-in-all I had a great time and met some awesome people. Next year’s World Fantasy Convention will be in Toronto.
I recommend going.