World Fantasy Con: hopes and fears

Two weeks ’til I leave for the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose, California.

This is weird on a number of levels:

– I have never been to a genre con before
– I am going alone
– It is a pro con, not a fan con, and I am not a pro (“yet,” she adds in a fit of optimism)
– It is being held in an extremely swank hotel, and I am of the kind whose coordination varies inversely proportionate to how acceptable is it to knock things over

I’ve been to writer’s conferences, and I’ve been to a gaming convention. I am guessing this might fall somewhere in between, but I really don’t know. I was told in no uncertain terms by a writer who shall remain nameless that World Fantasy “is not about fun, and it’s not about information.” Which is unfortunate, because I was really hoping to a) have fun, and b) learn a lot.

I think I should take that writer’s words with a grain of salt. I just can’t imagine a bunch of fantasy writers being dour and grim for four days, and not wanting to share. That’s one of the things I love about the spec fic community – their willingness to share their experience and wisdom with anyone who wants it. There are exceptions, of course, but they seem to be few.

It is very hard to guess what exactly I will learn. Certainly I’ll be able to put some faces to names, which by itself is cool. Beyond that I just have to wait for the program to be finalized.

My intention is to shake a lot of hands, listen, smile, and above all, not glom or slime the talent.

Has anyone been to WFC before? Any advice on what a n00b should expect?

4 thoughts on “World Fantasy Con: hopes and fears”

  1. In my experience, writers in general like sharing advice. And having fun. And it’s a fantasy convention – there’s bound to be so much imagination flying around that place that you should probably run around with a butterfly net or something to capture the excess. At very worst, it’ll still be an eye-opening experience. I bet you’re going to have an awesome time, no matter what Nameless Writer says! I wish I could go… Keep me posted on the happenings!

  2. Hi, my name is John, and I will also be a non-pro WFC n00b this year. :)

    I went for two days of WorldCon a couple of years back, when it was in Anaheim. It’s not specifically a pro event, but it seemed to have a higher density of authors and publishers than the handful of other SF-ish cons I’ve attended. There were a lot of panels focused on the writing craft and problems particular to SF writers, and there were kaffeeklatsches with authors (had small group discussions with Robert Sawyer!, and a virtual one-on-one with Bill Shunn, a rising star in SF). Everyone was very nice to me, and I tried not to be either overbearing or too shy. It was fun and inspiring! And I came away with a couple of contacts.

    I’m hoping that WFC will be similarly fun and inspiring. To be honest, I am a bit anxious.

  3. Great link, thanks! I keep forgetting about Writing Excuses. I need to get more regular about listening to them.

    And NEVER apologize for commenting on a blog! We love noise! Noise is what makes it a party. I added yours to my feed, you two have a great blog over there.

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