Wednesday, November 16, 2011

World Fantasy 2011: Part 2, but Still Day One

Last time I wrote about Part One of arriving at World Fantasy, and then there was a pause because I developed a Coughing Sickness. I'm mostly better now, so here's the next bit.

After Part One, I went forth to registration, where I got the Big Bag of Book Swag. Registration is always great, because it's full of all the people showing up, so all I have to do is take a step in the direction of my choice and then settle into a conversation with people I know for a while, and then repeat, and I can just do that for hours. This time I made it about twenty feet into the Dealers' Room and then stuck in with most of the Clarion class of 2008 for over an hour. I've never attended Clarion or any other big workshop, but a few years of going to conventions has allowed me to meet several graduates thereof, and this time I was able to fill in some in-person meetings of people I'd previously only known online. That was worth the price of admission right there. Done. World Fantasy Success accomplished on the first afternoon.

Unlike many people, I enjoy going to opening ceremonies at conventions, so I went in and sat with Paul Genesse, a nifty guy and also my editor for The Crimson Pact: Volume Two. The ceremony was a brief and lively operation run by Connie Willis, and I got my first glimpse of Neil Gaiman through real air instead of a computer screen. I didn't faint or anything. He was kind of far away.

The evening sped up after that. I went to Kater Cheek's reading, and then on to the bar, where they only had one bartender working for a whole convention worth of people, plus other people not involved with the convention! Bad choice, bar, bad choice. I sat with a lively group on the patio behind the bar, which was not lit well. Despite the lack of light I was able to discern the many empty glasses that sat on the tables around us all evening. Because of the line at the bar, I had purchased two drinks at once, which I drank in an efficient manner, thus rendering my memories of most of the conversations rather minimal, but I do recall there was a pleasant stretch of food talk that included vegetarianism v. meat-eating. Eventually I decided it was time to see what parties were going on, so I got out my instruments and calculated a path back to the Tower, where all of the party rooms were. Okay, I didn't use instruments. I'm that good.

The party I attended was crowded, of course, so I went out to the lawn (a wonderful area just outside the con suite that was one of the best places to hang out at the convention, by day or night) and sat with Rani Graff and his friend, who was one of my Google+ acquaintances, who became my new friend, Didi Chanoch. Those two are fun fellows, and I highly recommend them. We were joined by the lovely and talented John Berlyne, who I then monopolized until I realized it was either go to sleep in my room, or go to sleep on the grass. I made it to my room.

At this point I'm realizing that if I don't hurry up the telling of this tale I may not end up telling all of it, so I will do my best to cover at least an entire day per post from now on, if not more!

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