Today was a brisk, sunny day in Saratoga Springs. I dashed across the street first thing this morning to buy OJ at the gas station mini-mart before attending this year’s Locus Foundation board meeting, where Charles and Jonathan and Gary and Liza and Amelia and I discussed various matters pertaining to the future of Locus Magazine, including succession planning and new ways to market the magazine and attract subscribers… to a large extent, the same issues every year. That dragged on most of the morning, so that I caught only the end of an interesting-sounding panel, “The Author as Legend”, with George Scithers, Gary Wolfe, and others, about the extent to which an author’s persona dominates our view of their work, with Lovecraft and PKD as examples, and Joe Hill as a counter-example in the sense that he tried, with some success, to get his work reviewed for itself before the identity of his famous father was revealed.
I wandered around the dealers room a while, then hooked up with John O’Neill (of Black Gate) and Gordon Van Gelder for lunch; we walked down Broadway to a tiny sandwich shop, and talked about the future of magazines, how or if short fiction is changing, and Google search-word advertising. More things to think about, to check out.
I took a break in my room for a while, did some reading, then returned to the con floor for some book shopping and review copy gathering. The bar area of the hotel’s fancy restaurant has become, of course, the central gathering spot of the convention, and I moseyed around there a while before hooking up with Gary Wolfe for dinner; he’d discovered that Betty Ballantine had no dinner plans, and made reservations at said fancy restaurant, for a changing group that ended up including Jane Yolen, Mary Rickert, and me. I had the rabbit soup, which was not as interesting as I’d hoped, and of course we listened to Betty tell stories about the early days of paperback publishing and her own childhood in India.
Friday evenings at World Fantasy Con are traditionally dominated by the mass autographing session, and this was was more crowded than usual, given the unusually large membership of this year’s con. I actually brought books by four writers — or three writers and an artist, Shaun Tan — and though they weren’t all in the room to begin with, I managed to track them all down by the end of the evening.
There were parties on the upper floors, including one for the Pirate issue of Shimmer magazine, another for a forthcoming anthology of urban fantasy called Paper Cities, published by Senses Five Press and due next April. The con suite had lots of food — big trays of some sort of rice dish, something that looked like pot-stickers, etc. — and wine. I attended a reading by Christopher Barzak, whose first novel One for Sorrow is getting good notices (including Gary Wolfe’s in the new issue of Locus), and who’d been interviewed by Locus earlier in the day. Then more hanging out at the bar, with Amelia and Ted and someone named Al Robertson, who apparently has done a lot of work in the film industry and who is just now beginning to published stories; we talked about film writers and editors and Al recommended a bunch of films I’d never heard of but which he assured me would change my life. I had him write them down.
Then back to my room to write this up.