Thursday, November 13, 2008

World Fantasy Conference 2008 wrap-up

Since The Tarot Cafe Novel will be on shelves in two months, it seems appropriate to pop on blogger and mention a little bit about World Fantasy 2008.

It was a great conference, so much thanks to Randy McCharles and the other WFC Calgary committee members and volunteers. Also thanks to the Hyatt for hosting.

Panels were spread out from 10 am to 10 pm, with breaks for dinner. I would say the top five panels were:

1) Argh! My Alien is an Elf! with Robert J Sawyer, Joe Haldeman, Stephen Stirling and Walter Jon Williams (moderator.)

2) Resurgence of YA Literature with Garth Nix, Linda DeMeulemeester, Kathryn Sullivan, Anne Hoppe, and Sharyn November (moderator.)

3) Defining the Next Paranormal Detective with AB Goelman, Gayleen Froese, Justin Gustainis, Jay Caselberg, Laura Anne Gilman and Devon Monk (moderator.)

4) Evolution of the Vampire Slayer with Suzy Charnas, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jason Nahrung and Alice Henderson (moderator.) (Although I think it was Nancy Kilpatrick who missed this one.)

5) Tie-ins with Robert Shearman, Mark Morris, me and Doselle Young (moderator.) (Patrick Weekes did not attend.)

Most fun events? The autograph session Friday night, being on a panel Saturday night, and the banquet on Sunday afternoon. No, I didn't choose those because they're what I happen to have photos from.

Saw old friends, made new ones—hello Devon, Dianna, Rob, Brittany, Mark and Doselle—and was told by Paul Cornell someone to not mention next time I'm on a panel that I'm nervous, because the audience couldn't tell. I, of course, have no idea who this kind gentleman was—rather embarrassing as he knew who I was.

The panel was brilliant, despite my nerves that I didn't shake off until about halfway through. Three people in the audience even knew what The Tarot Cafe was. Being at a "serious professional writer" conference and knowing that there are Tarot Cafe readers there? Wow, I didn't just feel like a real author—I felt like the effort Jenna and I put into making the novel a quality story is going to pay off.

Patrick Weekes didn't show up, which caused two of the people in the audience to leave. If by some chance he's reading this: you were wanted.

Doselle Young was a fantastic moderator and made being on the panel so much fun. He kind of shook things up and asked unconventional questions, which gave us all an opportunity to be entertaining as well as informative. I hope encouraging and possibly inspiring, too, but I'd settle for "kept audience awake." 8:00 pm up against a panel on Vampire Elves* is not an easy task.

Plus, we had Rob and Mark to keep things professional and informative. Very cool gents, so I shall let you know that Rob Shearman's TINY DEATHS won the World Fantasy Award for best collection. Mark Morris has a Doctor Who tie-in novel in which the Doctor and Donna meet Gandhi, a Hellboy tie-in that came out recently, and he'll have a TORCHWOOD tie-in entitled BAY OF THE DEAD coming out next year. It sounds zombietastic, so make sure you check it out.

Once again, however, what WFC reminded me is that conferences are really social experiences and the moments I enjoy the most aren't the panels, but the informal discussions and visits that occur in the hallways, bar, lobby, elevators, etc in between panels. If you find yourself at WFC 2009 in San Jose, make sure you take advantage to speak to people. It's not a matter of networking, it's understanding that we're all gathered in a hotel with a common interest, so why not socialize?

Also, as I'm uncertain I will be in San Jose, can someone else take it upon themselves to tell authors you happen to be in the elevator with that you enjoyed their novels and/or panels? People appreciate it.

Christina Rundle and I with Marjorie M Liu at the Friday night autograph reception. Marjorie is totally cool and I'm so grateful she took the time to pose and chat with us.

We are serious professional badass urban fantasy/dark fantasy writers. (You can tell by our costumes.)

The tie-in panel. From left to right: Rob Shearman, Doselle Young, Mark Morris and myself. Rob is answering a question in a serious, professional manner that has all of us and the audience rapt with attention. It probably has something to do with Doctor Who.

The Awards Banquet on Sunday afternoon. Christina and I pose with Brian Hades of Edge Publishing. We were fortunate to sit at the Edge Table for the banquet.

*It was actually a panel about genre combinations one should not do. I'm told by Danica that "vampire robots" was the no-no, which of course gave me an idea for a really great vampire robot story.


Rachel said...

Marjorie M. Liu rocks! You guys looks like you're having a great time!

Karen Mahoney said...

Awesome post, Chan. Awesome photos! :)

The one of you on your panel gave me chills... Woah, you is srs author!

Leigh said...

Ah you fooled them all, Chandra - you look like a total pro up there. ;)

John Evans said...

You're doing awesome! Keep it up! ^_^

...I can see a story about vampire robots. Maybe the robot is brought back from being deactivated, but its power supply is faulty, so it has to keep draining power from other robots. Hmmmm...

Chandra Rooney said...

I was thinking something similar, John. It'd be a great Doctor Who episode!

Danica said...

I hate giving you story ideas!

Wait, no I don't....Let me read it when you've got something. Still can't remember any vampire robots from Buffy, as Minister Faust said there were. Guess it's been a while since I've watched any episodes.

I tried to buy Robert's book yesterday, but apparently it doesn't come out until December 1st. So I'm thinking it may go on my Christmas wish list. Chao darling!