I'm recently back from this year's World Fantasy Convention in San Jose, CA (pictured). People who have never been to such an event always manage to ask the same question, namely: "Do you get a lot of people going around in costumes?" No, those are movie and TV conventions that you're thinking of. World Fantasy is mostly writers, editors, publishers and the like, and though we might be equally as crazy as those movie fans we hide it a little better and we don't dress up.
The plain fact is, I've been to more that my share of World Fantasies and World Horrors, and location apart they all have a tendency to blend into one seamless event these days. There are panel discussions and readings, a few of which I attend. And I read from my own latest novel, of course, and signed a load of stuff. But what really matters at any con are the people. The parties, the meals out, the chance encounters in the hotel bar. I always sum it up like this ... the real business of attending a convention is hooking up with excellent old friends and making excellent new ones. In my case, those in the latter category have become rather too numerous to mention, although I will mention Chris Roberson and his wife Alison, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, and Barbara and Chris Roden of Ash-Tree Press. New acquaintances this time around included debut author John Langan, Doug Cohen from Realms of Fantasy magazine, Ellen Kushner, Brent Weeks, the excellent Jeffrey Ford, who went on to win two World Fantasy Awards, Travis Heermann -- who'll be running an interview with me on his blog soon -- and not least Michael Shea, author of one of my favourite short novels, 'The Color out of Time.' It was a delight to meet them all, and thoroughly worth the eleven hour flight. And believe me, those last six words do not come at all easily.
Robert Morrish, former editor of Cemetery Dance magazine, now writes a column called 'Spotlight on Publishing' for that same publication. And in the current issue, he has some very nice things to say about one of my short story collections from last year, Passport to Purgatory.
And on Fandomania, you can now read an interview conducted between myself and Kelly Melcher, the same smart individual who gave Night of Demons such a glowing review last week.