Guys, I had the best time ever at WFC!
I had a lot of anxiety leading up to the convention, stressing about travel back and forth to downtown everyday, stressing about being awkward talking to people, stressing about whether I’d even find anyone to talk to besides the friend I was going with. But, like most things I have anxiety about, there was no need to be worried! Also, turns out I know a lot more people than I thought I did!
Day 1 of the convention things didn’t start out until later in the day so my friend and fellow r/fantasy moderator, David (who had, thankfully, talked me into going to WFC in the first place), picked me up at my house and we grabbed some lunch before heading downtown. Once we arrived at the con and got checked in we got a tag to go and pick up our ‘bag of books’. Everyone attending the convention gets a tote bag of random books that publishers supplied to the convention. Mine had some pretty cool stuff in there and I think it was a pretty ‘me’ bag overall. I did trade my copy of Starless by Jacqueline Carey to David for Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer.
Thursday was spent going to the opening panel, getting our bearings, chatting with a few folks, attending the opening ceremony, and then hanging out at the ice cream social. Talked to lots of people, both fellow fans and authors. Brought my bag of books home and unloaded them. Then I went and grabbed a bunch of my books that I’ve had for a while in my ‘collection’ so that I could take them to the convention the next day and hopefully get them signed at Friday’s mass signing event. I had so many books that I could barely get the tote bag closed and had to stick some in my book bag/purse as well. O.o
Day 2, Lyft-ed down to the convention where I met up with David who was nice enough to let me stick my giant bag of books in his car. (That bag was so heavy! I almost got a blister from carrying it around that night at the signing!) More panels, some readings, etc. Took some breaks in between to chat with folks. Met Tina Myers and she’s so incredibly nice! Had a lot of fun talking with her. (The sequel to The Song of All is set to come out early next year–can’t wait!) We also met up with Teresa Frohock and chatted for a bit and it was really great to meet her in person after talking with her on the internet for the past few years on the fantasy forum. We also went to Max Gladstone’s reading which was quite fun!
Below are some pictures from some of the panels I went to throughout the convention.
Later I checked out the art show again (I had stopped in briefly earlier), marveling at all the cover art I recognized. I was especially excited to see the original cover of The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge painted by Michael Whelan! One of my favorite covers ever and here it was in person! I…may have become a bit emotional. It was especially cool being able to see all of the detail painted into that cover that you don’t really get to see when the painting is shrunk down into cover size. When I ran into Teresa at the art show we talked about that (ok, maybe fangirled a bit) and it’s probably one of my favorite moments from the convention.
In the late afternoon I went to Sherri Cook Woosley’s reading. She read from one of her short stories, “The Boy from Omran”. Such a great reading! Definitely recommend checking out this story if you have a chance, it’s on the net at Pantheon Magazine.
One of the cool things about the programming for the convention is that a 2 hour dinner break is built into it. After grabbing dinner we met up with Teresa to help haul her ARC’s down to the mass signing event. Then we went and got our books to be signed. What a fun event! Tables and tables lined up of authors and other creators with tent cards with their names on them sitting in front of them. With a ‘ok, let’s do this!’ we set off to find the authors of the books we’d brought in the maze of tables. I got to talk to so many people at this event and it was such a good time overall, if a little bit chaotic as I was running around looking for people. I think everyone I met was pretty happy to talk to fans since it’s mostly a convention of peers. Also had a great time taking silly selfies with Tina Myers.
These are books I brought to get signed, books I got at the convention and had signed, and a selfie with Tina at the mass signing event. The bigger stack of books with Loki are the ones I already owned. 🙂 There were so many more authors there, more books I had at home that I could have brought to get signed, books I could have bought to get signed…. but I’m happy with the choices I made. If I’d had more books to get signed I probably wouldn’t have had as much time to chat with people and that was the most fun!
I got to meet Michael Whelan and got my art book signed!! Life goal unlocked!! <3<3<3
Day 3 dawned and fatigue was already starting in. Lyft-ed downtown and met up with David to come up with a game plan for the day, what things we may be doing together, what we had planned for lunch, dinner, etc. I went to several panels and readings again, checked out the dealer’s room once again, and generally had a great time! I got a few more books at the dealer’s room.
I think my absolute favorite reading of the convention was Andy Duncan’s. He read from his story “The Devil’s Whatever” which is in the anthology The Book of Magic, the last one edited by Gardner Dozois before his passing. He is such a great reader and really made the humor in his story extra fun. I loved it so much I went right out and bought a copy of the book so I could finish the story. 🙂
Saturday night was the art reception, which we stopped by briefly. By then I was feeling pretty tired but was excited to check out the L.E. Modesitt reading since I haven’t read any of his work and David is such a fan.
Sunday morning I arrived back at the con just in time for Fonda Lee’s reading. I haven’t read any of her work yet, but I have a copy of Jade City in my TBR pile. She read a bit from the upcoming sequel. After that I went to the Charles de Lint ‘interview’. Which was super casual. He took questions from the audience and then he and his wife played and sang some songs in between. They ended with a group sing along!
One of the other things they have at the convention is a place where people can leave the books from their book bag that they don’t want to take home with them and/or where they can pick up books they do want. I stopped by the table one last time on Sunday and picked up a few books people had left behind there. Because of course I did. Books!
In the afternoon was the awards ceremony for the World Fantasy Awards! What a cool experience. We squeezed in and took seats in the very back corner, but we were in good company.
Overall I had a fantastic time at the convention. Even though there were some things I wish I had gone to or done more of, I’m happy with all of my choices and don’t really have any regrets! I also got to meet a lot of people in person for the first time even if I’d talked to them on the internet for a long time. And I got to see other people I’ve met before and talk with them again. I also met a lot of people for the first time who I’d never talked to before and had great conversations! I have to give huge props to the folks that ran the Con Suite/Hospitality Suite. I had lunch there a couple of times and everything was great. Also struck up some great conversations with people while there! I guess if there’s one thing that can make this introvert start conversations with strangers it’s books. 🙂
What’s next? Continuing to tackle this ever growing TBR mountain, and maybe some more conventions in the future. I may go to Balticon in May (Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear are GOH) and I think I’m definitely going to CapClave (the annual DC SFF convention) next fall because Martha Wells is a GOH! So exciting!