Tuesday 5 November 2013

World Fantasy Convention 2013

Last weekend was the long-awaited World Fantasy Convention. Today, I shall play bullet point girl (no super powers required) to give you an overview of my convention.It'll be different to your convention. Also, if you've wandered here from the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, I apologise for leaving my ghost behind. I'm still attempting to adjust to normal life and a part of me is still wandering the hotel corridors. By the way, your hotel is gorgeous and huge and elegant and there are soooo many stairs. My thighs both hate and love you.

So my con...

The girl to the left looks happy and she is. Very, very happy that her Bestwick held her hand throughout the con and helped her with a raging case of social anxiety. He blew my tiredness and insecurities away (or at least hid them in his pocket).

I only attended two panels. I say only but it's two up on last year when I didn't attend any. I can do maths (yay!). First up, I attended the comics panel even though I have no intention of writing comics (although I do love reading them). I may have attended because Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman were on the panel. I'm fickle like that. The second panel was an Arthur Machen panel about the weird tale. The panellists included some bloke called Simon Bestwick, alongside ST Josh, Nina Allan and John Llewellyn Probert. Next year, I may attend four panels.

The Joe Hill interview was superb. Gillian Redfern did a fantastic job interviewing Joe with humour high on the menu. LUNCH MEAT. You'll understand that last statement if you were there. Really excited to hear that Joe is planning on turning his novella Gunpowder into a novel. Loved Gunpowder.

Simon Kurt Unsworth (who had just announced an awesome book deal) and the gorgeous Rosie Seymour, gave us a lift to the convention. We talked about underpants and agents. The equally lovely Paul and Cath Finch gave us a lift home from the convention. We didn't talk about underpants. At least, not that I recall. I hope I didn't doze off and yell 'underpants'.

Lovely to see old friends and make new friends including (apologies if I forget to mention folk but the weekend is a blur and I'm still trying to find some of you in the corridors) Alison Littlewood and Fergus (I always seem to bounce about when I see them), Mark West (and the delightful Sue Moorcroft), Simon and Lizzie Marshall Jones, Ray Cluley and Victoria Leslie, Gardner Goldsmith, Ren Warom, Angela Slatter, Stuart Young, Rio Youers, John Llewellyn Probert and Thana Niveau, Nina Allan, Lynda Rucker, Rob Shearman, Graeme Reynolds (who gave me two books - thanks, dude), Neil Buchanan, Damien Walter, Stephen Bacon, Mihai Adascalitei (so, so lovely), Helen Marshall, the delightful Pete Atkins, Ramsey & Jenny Campbell, Jon Oliver, Allen Ashley, Tej Turner, Dean Drinkel, Adam Nevill, Conrad Williams, Charles Rudkin, David Price, the beautiful Pixie Puddin, Ruth Booth, Ben Baldwin, Vincent Chong, Christopher Teague (who had the unfortunate experience of seeing me at breakfast pre-make-up), Martin Roberts and Helen Hopley, oh and Jenny Barber (although I did a brief nervous hello to both her, Pete Coleborn and Jan Edwards), Roy Gray, Anna Taborska, Paul Kane and Marie and Jen O'Regan, James Bennett, and of course, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Rosie Seymour, and Paul and Cath Finch.

I know I've forgotten people!!!! Delves fingers into brain and finds only empty space.

Thanks to the awesomeness of this convention, I got to sit in a room with William F Nolan and talk about Logan's Run. I got to see Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman (but didn't speak a word to them or get them to sign anything as I was way, way, way too shy and awkward and stupid. Mostly stupid). I briefly met Ellen Datlow with a squeak of 'can you sign this' and then ran away. Oh wait, I did speak to Neil Gaiman. How could I forget that? But it was in the pretence that I was Rosie Seymour as I went down the Best New Horror line to get her book signed. Shakes head.

Deserving of a paragraph of its own. I got to meet Jonathan Aycliffe whose stories I love, love, love. I was all fan girl and blushing.

I went to one reading (Rio Youers - extraordinary story) and the Proberts' late night reading starring Alison Littlewood, Thana Niveau (what a show woman) and Ramsey Campbell. Most meals were romantic affairs for me and the Bestwick apart from one lunchtime meal with Dean Drinkel and Tej Turner, and a Chinese meal with the adorable Lizzie and Simon Marshall Jones. I ate too many noodles. If it's possible to eat too many noodles.

Most important of all, on the drive home I became the official awards announcer (via Twitter) and we were all excited to hear that Joel Lane, Rob Shearman, John Llewellyn Probert, Ray Cluley, Jon Oliver, Adam Nevill and Graham Joyce had won awards. Joel's win got a particularly rapturous 'hell yes' from the Bestwick and I may have uttered something similar for Ray's win.

No candy floss was harmed in the making of this convention.

We shall end with my favourite photo of the convention... (Lizzie and Simon Marshall Jones; Ray Cluley and Victoria Leslie)...


Anonymous said...

So good to see you two again... and I am already buzzing for next year;s event in York, if I don't see you before then... and don't forget your novella coming out from Spectral, too...

Anonymous said...

A wonderful write-up! It was great to see you guys, though next time we'll have to have a drink or two and a proper natter. (My favourite photo is that one at the top of your blog of you and The Bestwick - brilliant!)

Simon Kewin said...

It was a great con - I was there too although I managed somehow not to bump into you! Maybe there were whole bars I didn't discover...

Cate Gardner said...

I certainly won't forget that SMJ.

:D Lovely to see you again, Ray.

I can't believe I didn't get to meet you Simon. Gutted. Although, it was so hard to find anyone there. I think some people are still lost in the corridors.