As I sit here cuddled up on the sofa watching Netflix and nursing a slightly sore throat and cold, I both curse and praise WorldFantasyCon.
Last November, Joanne Hall asked me if I was going to go to WFC in Brighton. I’d heard of the convention, didn’t know much about it, but signed up immediately. Around 1500 Writers, publishers, editors, authors, booksellers and fans all under one roof, it sounded pretty damn awesome and worth the £125 ticket price (I paid £125, I know some people paid £75 if they booked super early, and others paid £150).
So, fast-forward to Thursday 31st, I trundled down on the train from Banbury to Brighton and met Jo at our hotel (the actual convention was being held at the Brighton Metropole about 200m from our hotel, and rooms there were pretty pricey). After checking in and quickly realising that Brighton has NO MOBILE SIGNAL AT ALL, we made our way to the check-in area where I nearly peed myself in delight. Free books! Awesome!
Loaded down, and thoroughly exhausted – we hit the bar. Ouch. Hilton Hotels know how to screw you – £12 (roughly) for 2 vodka and cokes. My poor wallet suffered all weekend.
Friday and Saturday were full on days. There were panels, talks, readings from some of my favourite people in the industry. Neil Gaiman was awesome (of course) and his stories and anecdotes uplifting and amusing. On Friday, there was the Independent Publisher panel. I took away some ideas and food for thought, and came away generally feeling confident and excited about the future.
‘Broads With Swords’ was excellent. Truly excellent. The panelists were given an original brief that was both condescending towards female writers and derogatory. They flipped it and instead (with audience participation) reeled off a list of strong and wonderful female authors who can write fight scenes, show female strength without resorting to violence all the time, and deliver great villains. I put forward Anne Lyle and Fiona McIntosh, and then cursed myself for not mentioning my all-time favourite writer, Jacqueline Carey.
Gareth Powell read from ‘Hive Monkey’. the follow on from ‘Ack Ack Macaque’. It sounded so good that I bought both books immediately afterwards. Yeah. Seriously.
I fangirled listening to Pat Rothfuss read his short story from the ‘Unfettered’ by GrimOak Press; it was beautiful and the rhythm in his words lulls you. A mix of folklore and fairytale, I loved it. I wasn’t too impressed with the fact that the organisers clashed Pat with John Gwynne . John is definitely an author to watch, and with his amazing book Malice winning the Gemmell Morningstar, I really wanted to hear him read.
Early Saturday morning I heard Susan Batholomew read. Interesting sounding book and definitely one I’ve added to my kindle.
Scott Lynch bounded into the reading room and dazzled me his reading. I do love the way Lynch is able to subtly pull together humour, darkness, sarcasm and beautiful prose. Big thumbs up from me.
Trudi Canavan read from her up-coming book. It has a definite steampunk vibe with two different worlds and points of view. Had me immediately thinking of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series of books by Philip Pullman, but with a heavier fantasy feel. I’m really looking forward to this book.
On Sunday Fox Spirit held the launch of ‘Tales of Eve’ (edited by Mhairi Simpson). I bought my copy (of course) and I’m glad I got there early as they sold out! Massive congrats, guys. Really well deserved. While there, the wonderful Juliet E McKenna signed my copy for me.
The parties each night were a definite highlight. Free alcohol (I know, I’m a monster), and free goodie bags. Titan Books nailed their party with fun fair styled games to win books. The crossbow target game was wonderful and, being a bit of an archer, I won four books. I admit, I completely took advantage, but dammit! I wanted ALL THEIR BOOKS! The Gollancz and Jo Fletcher Books were fun, and in a different bar we had the Tor and Del Ray party with music. Phew. It was a busy few days!
Saturday morning I rolled into bed around 5am and fell asleep at 6am. You know you’ve had fun when you’re kicked out of the hotel bar so they can clean!
Meeting so many lovely people was overwhelming. Over the weekend I had wonderful fun with Joanne Hall, Adam Dalton, K R Green, Sorcha O’Dowd, and Stewart Gardiner. There were many many other people, but these guys made my weekend super fun, and I hope to catch up with them again.
So, this is my quick round-up of WFC2013. Sorry it’s not that detailed, or with more pictures, but my mobile battery is rubbish and I was far too busy to snap!