Monday, November 06, 2017

World Fantasy in the rear-view mirror, pt. 1

I attended the 2017 World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio November 2-5, and in many ways this was the best convention I've ever attended. It didn't start off that way. I started off Thursday a bit sleep-deprived due to watching the Astros win the World Series the previous nights, which unfortunately stretched well beyond reasonable hours on multiple consecutive nights. On top of that, I put in a half-day at work, which proved somewhat stressful. Upon reaching the convention, I greeted several pros who--while I might not go so far as to claim as friends, then they're at least friendly acquaintances--responded with utter and complete bewilderment as to who I was and why I acted like we'd met before. Because I live nearby, I tried to depart the convention early that night, so as to catch up on much-needed sleep. That plan was foiled by my inability to get out of the parking garage, which took half an hour to sort out, and then the closure of much of I-35. I ended up finally getting to bed around 1 a.m. (a good three hours after I'd "left the con early"). Then at 3 a.m. our dogs managed to get out of the yard and I had to round them up, and was unable to get back to sleep for another hour or so after that. So if I seemed punchy, unattentive or otherwise zombie-like those first couple days, please forgive me.

Apart from my personal travails, the programming was top-notch. Seriously. If you attend conventions as much as I have, you start to see the same panel topics repeated time and again. This time the topics, for the most part, seemed new and fresh. I normally don't take photos of panels, because panel photos are generally dull and static, but there were some fantastic lineups here that I couldn't pass up. The first panel of the day I attended was "Engaging Our Theme I: Is Our History True?" featuring Joe Haldeman, Greg Bear, Jack Dann and Karen Joy Fowler.

The next panel was "Exceptional Characters in Horrible Times" featuring Chris Brown, David B. Coe, David Mitchell and Howard Waldrop.

And then there was "Keeping Texas Weird," one of the few programming items I've seen repeated multiple times in the past. Still, I attended because the topic's always interesting, as were the panelists Sanford Allen, William Ledbetter, Scott Cupp and Bill Crider.

Most of the following images come from the Skelos Press party on Thursday night. Here I leave you on your own: I'm not even going to attempt to identify anyone in these photos, because that would take an inordinate amount of time and I've got a lot of photos to process. Suffice to say, there are a lot of cool people here, and the bacon-jalapeno deviled eggs were a big hit with the crowd.

More photos may be found at World Fantasy pt. 2
World Fantasy pt. 3
and World Fantasy Awards.

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