i actually went to some panels!

i left my con schedule with the schwag bag that i dropped off at my house, so i just wandered in randomly to the panel where the judges were explaining their process for choosing the fantasy awards. gordon van gelder was there asking a few questions, mark finn asked a number of questions, and ted chiang sat in the back as quiet as a churchmouse that someone had gagged.

you will notice that the judges spent so much of the last year reading all the eligible material that their eyes blew out, forcing them all to wear glasses.

then i went to the green room to swipe a schedule, so the next panel i went to i went to deliberately. it was all about howard studies.

i was soon shocked to discover that this had nothing to do with howard the duck. but mark finn ("who bestrides this convention like a colossus"-tompkins) had already closed the doors, so i was trapped.

i ended up being noticeably late for the panel i was actually sitting on because the howard panel went into overtime while everyone argued over whether or not interpreting robert e. howard’s imagery as homo-erotic meant that REH, and the panel by association, were all gay.

my panel, which closed out the convention, was: "will somebody please explain this book?"

i have never seen so many people attending a single panel and i was the exact last person to walk in. sharyn november moderated the panel with amazing aplomb, keeping the topic moving, focused, and as silly as possible. i managed to work in a couple of snarky comments edgewise and failed to stick my foot any farther into my mouth than is normal for me. i would have felt stage fright, but because i came directly from the howard panel, for the entire hour i had to pee reallyreallyreally bad, and that was the first thing on my mind.

checkout this water dispensor they had at the arboretum renasaince hotel (steve demonstrating).

this place was so fancy that they put cucumbers in the water! this made the water extra fancy and, um, as tasty cucumbers.

(i would have added this last comment a little closer to the ending of the con, but when i got home my roommates introduced me to the concept of "shotgunning" cans of beer)

what goes around comes around

it was during the pirate party that i met a guy who knew a guy in his writing group who submitted to space squid. now, all slush at space squid goes through me, but according to this account, the rejection i sent the rejectee gave him the courage to seek a job as a writer at a local newspaper. he is now happily employed.

i remembered the story (which is somewhat unusual) and i went back to find what it was i said to inspire him to greater ambition. most of it is exactly what i’ve said hundreds of times before. here’s the new bit:

"if you have any other material with as much grim humor, we would be thrilled to read it."

i expect everyone else i’ve rejected has spiralled into despair and anguish.

i hear there are panels or something

i have yet to go a reading or a panel. the way things are going, the only panel i will attend is the one i’m supposed to sit on.

but man, there’s a lot of free booze lying around.

this is from mark finn’s party, celebrating the release of his new book, the robert e howard biography, "blood and thunder."

mark finn is the guy with the sword. he was quite sauced up at the time. apparently he was just about to do something embarrassing, so we left for the tor party.

celebrity equivalency

unlike many cons i’ve attended WFC is filled with people who look like they just stepped off the plane from hollywood. i stopped counting all the people wearing nice leather jackets (you know, the ones that button so they’re useless in a motorcycle accident).

it is a little like being at a movie star party. so here are some comparisons to help people get a feel for the crowd.

john joseph adams = dr.evil + g.gordon liddy

joe haldeman = rambo + wilford brimley

tim powers = robert wagner

jayme blaschke = captain kangaroo + cmdr.cody

peter s. beagle = brad dourif

steve wilson = woody allen + harold lloyd

gordon van gelder = elijah wood + nick nolte

ellen datlow = carol kane

eileen gunn = jessica alba

gavin grant = richard e. grant

kelly link = kelly willis

matthew bey = john-boy walton + smeagol

john o’neil = john o’neil

michael moorcock = gandolf

WFC pre-party

yesterday, jay lake’s old austin writing group the slugtribe and a few other interesting people made the 17 mile trip out into the boondocks for the salt lick barbecue. there’s a saltlick barbecue out at the airport, but this way you get the excitement of eating vast quantities of meat in a dry county.

you’re a little early

[ Happy Mood: Happy ]
WFC looms on the horizon like an enraged dragon which is also a freight train. the first informal gatherings of important personages begin tonight, a full day before the official events of WFC.

the biggest names in fantasy will be there: charles delint, ellen datlow, steve wilson, gordon van gelder, jayme blashke, lou anders, eileen gunn, matthew bey, stephen r. donaldson, and many more HUGE NAMES!

so stay tuned. there will be video, photos, interviews, and snarky commments. all live. all for you.