It’s a shame there couldn’t be another World Fantasy Convention without yet another controversy. Because of it, people either resold their memberships or failing that (or to even give them away), simply didn’t go. I had my doubts about going until the 11th hour, given the time, money, blood, sweat, and tears I’d put into Viable Paradise the week before. I wasn’t even that jazzed about continuing my streak of being a panelist at every WFC I’d attended.
Nonetheless, I made the trip to Columbus, OH, my second adopted hometown. It’s a bittersweet place of personal demons I managed by and large to put to rest. I relived some good memories, like sitting for lunch at the North Market once a week eating stromboli from Serafino’s. I even sat in the same section; it really was like traveling back in time. I saw old hangouts, walked old downtown walks, and visited places I didn’t get to 15 years ago. And to add to the surrealism of it all, I sat at the hotel bar watching Cleveland in the World Series.
But in-between my trips on and off the carousel, I was there for a purpose: to fulfill the commitment I’d made to be on the new and improved “Spicy Oriental Zeppelin Stories” panel, d.b.a. “A Golden Age of Contemporary Fantasy.” The panel – the revision for which I strongly suspect was influenced by Guerilla WFC – lived up to its new and improved name, in my opinion. I admit though, I’m still chewing over the audience reaction. (Rightly or wrongly, it bothered me a bit; haven’t completely processed it yet, though.) And while I was still a zombie from the previous week and didn’t connect with as many people who were there as I’d wanted, I did manage to say hey to a couple old friends and maybe make a couple more. I even got to a some of the other panels. So between all of that, and helping to brighten up (at least, I hope I did) a corner of my field that needed it, it wasn’t a bad way to spend a weekend.
And hey, congrats to all the World Fantasy Award winners!