Con report: World Fantasy 2012

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Andrea and I drove up  to Toronto — or Richmond Hill, one of its northern suburbs — for World Fantasy 2012 on Friday. This was my second World Fantasy (the first being Columbus two years ago) and Andrea’s first.

The hotel(s):

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, one of the overflow hotels. That hotel itself was pleasant, albiet slightly incompetent. One elevator was out of order the entire stay. Andrea was trapped between floors in the second elevator on Saturday and had to be rescued by the fire department. I heard the same thing happened on Sunday, leaving guests to trundle down the stairs with their luggage.

The second overflow hotel was separated by a six lane highway under construction, and it looked like the sidewalks were torn up. Add to that the steep ramps  between the panel rooms and this spoonie fears there were some serious accessibility issues for those worse off than I.

The panels I attended:

  • Faith and Fantasy
  • Defining Urban Fantasy
  • They Call Me The Wanderer
  • Bibliofantasies
  • The Lexicon of Horror
  • Reality Made Fantastic, or Fantasy Made Real
By and large, the panels were well-moderated (although there were frustrating exceptions). One thing I enjoy about the panels universally is the cross-pollination of ideas. I figured out how to fix three stories during panels, and gave me a new way of approaching stories that I’m stuck on.
The readings:
  • Readings from EPIC, edited by John Joseph Adams: Aliette de Bodard,  Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Patrick Rothfuss.
  • Readings from The _Mad Scientist’s Guide_ to World Domination: David D. Levine and Genevieve Valentine
All of the readings were well-done but the standout here is David Levine, who’s reading of “Letter to the Editor” was absolutely stunning.
The people:
Ultimately, going to the con was about seeing friends, new and old. It was a gathering of half of the Inkpunks. My Clarion classmates John Chu and Karin Tidbeck were in attendance, where we celebrated the launch of Karin’s short story collection Jagannath. There are so many other people I met, was reacquainted with, or caught up with. I couldn’t begin to name names without leaving someone out. There were more that I missed, only saw in in passing, or didn’t spend nearly enough time talking to.

There’s a certain buzz one feels on the heels of a con. Like a battery, warm and slightly overcharged, ready to be put to work.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 #conventions #toronto