It just occurred to me that I have been back from World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs, NY, for a little over a week and have not thought to write anything about it. Honestly I was pretty exhausted, in the best possible way, when we got back and the past week has just been trying to recover while desperately praying I don’t catch all the colds going around the office. Tough work.
World Fantasy was a lot of fun and a great experience and also quite different from the other conventions I have been to. Before this I had only been to Can-Con here in Ottawa and Ad Astra in Toronto. World Fantasy is bigger, and the focus is entirely different. I tend to take in a lot of panels at Can-Con, or try to, and I’ve talked already about the types of panels there. World Fantasy is much less about the panels and so much more about who is there and networking. I attended two panels at World Fantasy, both on topics relating to Epic Fantasy since that was the theme for the year. The dealers room was filled largely with used and rare book sellers, with only a few publisher tables. It was not actually a bad thing since it made it much easier to not empty my bank account on books.
The really weird part for me was actually having time to sit down to a leisurely meal without being all go-go-go-GO all weekend and taking my time getting up and moving. Really weird after being at Can-Con the week before where I am on the go pretty much constantly. It was nice being able to kick back and relax for a convention a bit more, but I went in already pretty exhausted. I felt like I was just starting to get back my energy levels for normal day-to-day life the day before we left, but that’s not enough energy reserves for hard-core convention mode. I felt slightly dazed through most of the weekend there.
World Fantasy is in many ways more of a business con. People make plans to try and meet agents and editors and network. On the drive there Derek brought up the question of what our goals were for the weekend. I didn’t particularly have any goals, I just wanted to get a feel for the World Fantasy and big pro con experience while it was closer to home and could be done on the cheap (huzzah for splitting gas and hotel room!). The big thing that I was looking forward to was finally meeting Scott H. Andrews, the editor-in-chief for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, in person. I’ve been working for him for 2 years now so it was nice getting to meet face to face and chat. I can now inform you that Scott’s awesome, super nice, and has great taste in stouts. It was also fun hanging around him and getting introduced to tons of people. Also a fun experience: having lunch with a bunch of friends of a friend and realizing half way through the meal that one of the guys at the table is JJA, editor of Lightspeed Magazine. I may have been slightly dazed during introductions or only caught his first name, but that realization dawned slowly.
And there’s already ideas floating around of another road trip to World Fantasy in Columbus in 2016, but we shall see what the future holds.