Monday, November 06, 2017

World Fantasy in the rear-view mirror, pt. 2

After Thursday night's lack of sleep, I was not in the best frame of mind to attend World Fantasy, much less be a lively and productive participant. Thankfully, my panel wasn't until Saturday, so I could hope things improved for me before then. On the down side, I forgot my camera at home. Oops. I'd wanted it for the Autograph Reception, but it didn't make sense for me to waste the time it'd take to go home and retrieve it. Once I arrived, I got into several conversations and ended up missing a few panels I'd hoped to catch. I did make it up to the Con Suite in time to grab some goodies from the Tiptree Award Bake Sale. As Tiptree is a writer I hold in awe, supporting her namesake award was an easy sell for me.

Then, calamity struck! Well, not exactly calamity--instead, I got called home for a minor emergency. It wasn't even a proper emergency, truth to tell, but a necessity of the parental kind. Was I annoyed? More than you can imagine. See, there's not a major convention that's happened locally where I haven't had to depart for extended periods because of family commitments. I missed the World Fantasy Awards presentation in Austin because of this, and likewise the Nebula Awards presentation when SFWA came to town (doubly bitter, because I managed media relations for that one). Then the most recent Worldcon in San Antonio saw me miss large chunks of programming, although I did get back in time to see the Hugo Awards.

In the end, being called away may have been a good thing. I was able to lie down a bit, and while I wasn't what I'd call rested, I rebounded as less exhausted. My trip home also allowed me to grab my camera. I made it back to the convention at 7:45 p.m., just in time to check-in before the Autograph Reception. I got a seat next to the astoundingly talented Elizabeth Moon, which allowed us to catch up with each other. To my other side were Scott Cupp and Bill Crider, two guys who are always good for laughs. I also ran into Ann VanderMeer, who I haven't seen in ages--I really, really like her, because she buys my stuff. I signed a few program books and even a copy of Voices of Vision (!) and got to regale the crowd with tales of how that cover instilled nightmares in both my children and potential fans of my work. Then I took my little camera and made the rounds, photographing many people but not photographing a whole lot more. I was very disappointed Nalo Hopkins didn't actually make it--I had a big stack of her books to sign. But I did manage to have David Drake sign Hammer's Slammers Vol. 1--he remembered me from our interview in Dallas more than a decade ago--and Greg Bear sign Dinosaur Summer, which seemed to delight him.

Around this time, a fellow came up and asked if I were the official convention photographer. I'd already been asked this several times--mostly by out-of-towners, as the locals know me--and my response was "Actually, the creepy camera guy couldn't make it, so the concom asked if I could fill the role this weekend on a temporary basis." It was good for a laugh, mostly. Anyway, this guy (whose name I instantly forgot) said he was with Locus and asked if they could use my photos. Locus has used my photo of Diana Gill in the past, so I said sure, as long as I got proper credit. I gave him my card and he went away happy. Well, maybe not so happy. Before I gave him my card, I told him of my first World Fantasy as a neopro, back in Corpus Christi in 2000. During the Autograph Reception, I was sitting with Lillian Stewart Carl, who'd been something of a mentor to me. Charles Brown came up and took our photo. That was quite a rush for a little fish like me, with only a handful of sales to Interzone and Writers of the Future to my credit. Alas, my validation was short-lived, as the published photo was cropped so as to eliminate all traces of me save my left arm and part of my vest. I was Mike Wazowski personified. I think it's hilarious, now. Then, not so much. By the time the Autograph Reception ended, I was in pretty good spirits, all things considered, and had taken a lot of photos. Little did I know, things were only going to get better.

More photos may be found at World Fantasy pt. 1
World Fantasy pt. 3
and World Fantasy Awards.

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