Okay, so what I meant to say was that I ran in Gordon Van Gelder in the restroom and ended up talking with him for a while, despite convention con wisdom that you don’t try to engage editors and agents and such in conversation in the restroom. What I actually said, however – in an elevator stuffed to overflowing with 150 people, was, “Hey, I know I’m not supposed to, but I grabbed Gordon Van Gelder in the restroom…”
The crowd in the elevator went silent and they all took a half-step backward.
And this was but one moment in what was undeniably the best, the most fun convention I have ever attended.
Mary Robinette Kowal, art director for the wonderful small press magazine, Shimmer, (and a professional puppeteer working in Iceland (how cool is that?)) had a side-splitting story about a marionette show gone wrong that we couldn’t get enough of. We dragged her around the con and made her tell it to everyone we could pin down. It doesn’t translate to print nearly as well, though, so you’ll have to grab her yourself at a con and get her to tell it.
The staff of Shimmer (Mary (who also performed the audio bonus for the second issue of IGMS) and editor-in-chief Beth Wodzinski) threw a fantastic pirate party to promote their upcoming pirate-themed issue (guest edited by John Joseph Adams – book reviewer for IGMS (in addition to work he does for that other mag)). And agent Lori Perkins threw a great party for Jennie Rae Rappaport, who writes an amine column for IGMS. So it was an IGMS con, whether folks knew it or not.
I also met Carol Pinchefsky, who I didn’t know was at WFC until an author at the pirate party told me she had just been interviewed by someone who wrote for IGMS – “a Carol Pinch-somebody” according to that author (who had had a little too much of an Icelandic schnapps Mary brought called “Black Death”).
I met a few new folks (new to me anyway), ranging from authors like Julie Wright and Katie Murphy (who writes under C.E. Murphy) to some up-and-comers with a lot of promise like Peter S. Beagle and Joe Lansdale. I also had some interesting conversation with Jay Lake, who said my wardrobe selection was subtler than his “the same way that a car wreck was subtler than a train wreck.” Jay's analogy went on to include explosions and flying cows and such. You know, the usual.
Friends Alethea Kontis and Eric James Stone, who I hung with at DragonCon (okay, tagged along with – they are so much cooler than I’ll ever hope to be), were kind enough to allow me to do so again. And Rick Fischer, who lives not far from me in Greensboro, NC, never missed a chance to tell my “grabbed-Gordon Van Gelder” story.
I got to meet Gavin Grant and Kelly Link, who do the Year’s Best Fantasy for St. Martin’s, Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press and Tale Bones magazine, and James Van Pelt. I picked up one of Jim’s short story collections (The Last of The O-Forms) on the recommendation of the aforementioned Eric James Stone and have been thoroughly enjoying that. I also bought Ken Scholes new novella, Last Flight of the Goddess (another Fairwood Press title) and am looking forward to reading that. Ken and his lovely wife Jen were a real pleasure, and if you ever meet Ken, be sure to ask him to perform some of his magic tricks; they are spectacular.
All in all, it was by far the most fun I have ever had at a convention. My only regret was not getting out to see more of Austin TX; a group of us had plans to go to a blues club called Antones, but we had to cancel that at the last minute and everyone was quite disappointed. I’m sure there were panels and other things of great import going on, but you’ll have to check somebody else’s con report for info on that. This is already getting to be a lengthy entry and I promised a long time ago that I would never become one of those people who posts twenty page con reports.