16 November 2014

Sunday Six: Pictures of World Fantasy Con 2014

It may not look like much, but that little red thumb drive ate my whole summer and much of my fall. My contribution to this year's World Fantasy Con, held November 5-9 at the Hyatt in Crystal City, Virginia, was to format five of the six volumes of Unconventional Fantasy, an anthology celebrating forty years of World Fantasy Conventions contained on that thumb drive. In addition to the catalog of the con's Virgil Finlay art exhibit (which, fortunately, I did NOT have to format) the collection encompassed over two hundred stories and articles by people like Neil Gaiman, Patricia McKillip, Joyce Carol Oates and our writing Guest of Honor Guy Gavriel Kay, plus roughly three hundred paintings and photographs. The complete collection comprised over 900,000 words and 3,200 pages.

The con only produced enough thumb drives to supply one ach to con members. But if the project is nominated for any Major Awards (hint, hint) they plan to make it available to eligible Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award voters. (Buy those memberships now, folks. :-) )

Fortunately, there was alcohol at the end of the formatting tunnel. Lots of it. They don't call it "Bar Con" for nothing. The good times started November 5 with a scotch tasting hosted by WFC 2014 Writer Guest of Honor Guy Gavriel Kay (left) and Toastmaster Mary Robinette Kowal (right). I knew the scotch would be grand. What surprised me was I found an Islay scotch I really liked: Highland Park. It doesn't smell anything like moldy bandages! (User dodges rotten fruit hurled by the scotch fans on the blog.) Well, it's true!

There were also workshops led by some of the most honored names in the business. Jack Dann (right), author of The Memory Cathedral (about DaVinci) and The Rebel (which imagines the life of a James Dean who didn't die on Highway 1), led a November 6 workshop on alternate history featuring (from left to right) Joe Haldeman, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., and Janeen Webb.

Opening ceremonies November 6 featured World War I re-enactors reading "In Flanders Field" in honor of the centenary of "The War to End All Wars" and mini movie describing the wonders of that little red thumb drive. (I'm trying to persuade the con chairs to put it on You Tube. I'm proud of that blasted drive.)  Mary Robinette Kowal (seen at left dressed in a 1911-style gown) performed with her usual style. Afterwards, the con's honorees gathered for photos. Of the ones I took, I like this one best. From left to right: Mary (Toastmaster), 2014 World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Winners Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Ellen Datlow, and Writer Guest of Honor Guy Gavriel Kay.

What would a con be without panels? Here Michelle Markey Butler (left), Scott H. Andrews, (center) and Elaine Isaak (who also writes as E.C. Ambrose) discuss "Guns, Gears and Wheels: Medieval Technology in Fantasy". I chose this picture to give you an idea of how well the panels were attended. Look at the crowd in that mirror!

For my sixth shot, I decided to give a shout-out to one of my favorite editors, Joshua Palmatier, seen here second from the right. In addition to being a talented writer under his own name and his pseudonym Benjamin Tate, Joshua has co-edited both The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity and Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens. Here he finds himself on a panel entitled "Place Matters: Geography and Fantasy". His fellow panelists are (from left to right): Max Gladstone, Robert V.S. Redick, Marie Brennan, Gregory A. Wilson and Siobhan Carroll.

All told, I had a grand time at the con. I saw good friends. I participated on and attended great panels. I ate well. I drank really well. The only fly in the ointment: guess who lost her thumb drive. Don't it figure. LOL

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