World Fantasy Wrap-up

Anyone expecting a convention report from me during or even right after a convention should look at my never-quite-caught-up New York trip report here. Immediate reporting is not the forte of the department of laconic writing. I’m still trying to figure out what to say about J.G. Ballard’s death in April.

World Fantasy 2009 PR 2_FINAL_WEB

I hadn’t been to World Fantasy in three years. It’s a convention that I always enjoy, but this year’s felt larger and less comfortable than I remembered, maybe because the hotel floor that housed the events was a confusing labyrinth, and also because my getting there was difficult and I never felt caught up on sleep.  There were people I knew would be there and had even communicated with ahead of time, but never saw them.  But I did see a lot of old friends, including people from my Clarion West ’97 class, with whom I can always slip into easy familiarity. As usual, I spent much of my time sitting around talking to people about writing.

The highlight was meeting Zoran Zivkovic in person, after having corresponded via email for several years. I also got to meet Jill Roberts, from Tachyon, for whom I did interior design and layout for Carol Emshwiller’s novel, The Secret City.

The book bag contained some gems, including Leigh Brackett’s Sword of Rhiannon (which was the perfect read for the long flight home), and Tom Disch’s The Wall of America and The Word of God, from Tachyon. And some less desired objects, which I donated to the discard table.

My only scheduled event was a reading Friday morning. I read from The Painting and the City, a shorter version what I’ve been reading. I missed having Brady’s guitar-playing, but maybe next year in Columbus he can accompany me.

My friend Ben, from Texas, who’s now living in San Francisco and whom I hadn’t seen in five years, came over to San Jose for the evening on Friday; we had mediocre fish and chips with jazz combo at a place near the hotel. There was a small Vietnamese neighborhood a few blocks away with several excellent restaurants, which I unfortunately didn’t discover till Saturday afternoon.

And next year’s World Fantasy is an hour’s drive from my house.


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