My First World Fantasy Con

by Jonathan 0 Comments
My First World Fantasy Con

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I’d been planning to write this post for a few weeks, but I don’t think I’d really been able to process the whole experience.  Now, I can say without a doubt, my first World Fantasy Con in Saratoga Springs a few weeks ago was everything I hoped it would be.

I’d been to Capclave in 2013 and 2014 and after a great time there, Paolo Bacigalupi was kind enough to recommend I attend World Fantasy Con to really immerse myself in the writing scene. I figured if he was recommending, I should probably go.

And so I packed up the car and made the 10.5 hour drive north to Saratoga Springs.

I met a bunch of authors, both published and unpublished. For the most part, everyone was supportive and encouraging and willing to engage. In many ways, it was the perfect pick-me-up for my writing.

The first night I settled in in the lounge, beer in hand, and took in the sites. Over time, others filled in the seats around me. A few authors–Sherry Peters, Gerald Brandt, and Jeff Lyman–help set the tone for my first WFC by being easy to engage and straight up fun to talk with.

I returned home–after an unexpected stay in a Clarion Inn while I figured out how to get my alternator replaced–fairly well pumped to write (more so than usual).

The highlight for me had to be hanging out at the ChiZine Publications Book Launch/Room Party and getting to dig into discussions on horror, writing, and random bits of silliness. The ChiZine folks were super nice and welcoming, as was Gemma Files who left this nifty inscription in the copy of Experimental Film I bought there:

“See. Be Seen. And do your work!

In truth, I didn’t see it until today when I began reading the book. I don’t know if it’s Gemma’s standard inscription, but it seemed apropos of my attending WFC and continuing my writing. A third of the way into my next novel, it’s nice to get a kick in the pants.

I met a few folks from the Seton Hill writing programJennifer Della’Zanna, Luke Elliot, and Amber Bliss–who provided great conversation around writing and books and movies and were nothing but encouraging.

After attending the Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird panel on Saturday, I had the pleasure of chatting with panelist Scott Nicolay (author and host of The Outer Dark podcast), panelist Anya Martin (author) and Gemma Files about weird (both small and capital letter weird) at the bar and in the lobby. Fantastic.

In addition, I enjoyed the change of pace offered by the Richard Powers art exhibit as well as the rest of the WFC2015 Art Show. I met some great folks there and talked immersive theater with John Koloski and Kathe Koja (I now have Wuthering Heights on my to-be-read list) and took in some great art. It was pretty amazing to see the original works of Powers’ art and the finished covers they became.

I don’t include all these great people in this post to name drop but in order to show how kind and inclusive the writing. As for my first WFC, I’m glad I went and have already filled out the form to register for next year’s event in Columbus, Ohio. Should be a blast.

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