World Fantasy Con, Columbus OH

I am indeed at this year’s World Fantasy Convention, in Columbus, Ohio; I arrived Wednesday evening, and will be here through Monday morning. It’s a good thing I had no dinner invitation this evening (not that this was likely), or I might not have gotten my daily post for the website done today — the latest Magazines and Websites page, just posted a few minutes ago.

The site for this year’s convention — Columbus, Ohio — is still not an obvious location for a fantasy convention; the most relevant aspect is that the city was the home of James Thurber, the noted American humorist, though not for fantastic themes. At a glance, from my hotel room on the 18th floor, Columbus looks like many another Midwestern city, with its tight concentration of downtown high-rises surrounded by miles of industrial suburbs.

The convention is hosted in the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the adjacent Greater Columbus Convention Center; the facilities are entirely adequate, with a handy food court in the convention center. There is a substantial dealers room, with mostly book dealers, and a decent art show, though I can’t say that much of the fantasy art there appeals to me.

I’ve attended many of the discussion panels, and will post notes about them next time. After years of attending cons, the subjects of convention panels aren’t the attractions — they tend to recycle — rather, what attracts are the the panelists; but between the subjects and the panelists, there were several worth noting (–next time). In addition, a benefit of attending conventions is to meet in person people you’ve only dealt with via email or online; and this year I met Stephen Haffner and (‘the’) John DeNardo, and that was worthwhile. More on the panels tomorrow.

I joined an interesting dinner group last night, Friday night, consisting of Farah Mendlesohn, Karen Burnham, and a group of others, for a stroll down to Barley’s Brewing Company, where we ate burgers and drank beer (and gin and tonics) and talked about the Elizabeth Moon kerfuffle. Otherwise my meals have been uneventful.

I might also mention that I attended the annual Locus Foundation meeting, Friday morning, where were discussed finances, plans for the Foundation, which will acquire ownership of the magazine shortly, and plans for the future. There are several imminent changes scheduled to coincide with the 600th, January 2011, issue of Locus Magazine, that will be announced soon.

3 Responses to World Fantasy Con, Columbus OH

  1. Hey Mark!

    Thanks for the report. Great to see you (however briefly) in line for the Awards banquet at the World Fantasy Convention. Wish I’d known you were going to be there… I certaintly would have invited you to dinner Saturday, and doubtless messed up your blogging plans. :)

    John O’Neill
    Black Gate magazine

  2. Mark,

    Nice to see you this weekend!

    “a substantial dealers room, with mostly book dealers” … well, yeah, that’s pretty much the standard for WFC: books, books, books, and more books.

    Hope to see you next year at the San Diego WFC.

    Michael Walsh
    Old Earth Books

  3. It was a pleasure to finally meet you, Mark. I wish we had more time to chat — at the very least so I can reiterate how your efforts have made Locus Online an invaluable resource.