I hadn’t been sitting at the bar in the Fairmont Hotel at the World Fantasy Convention, nursing a Bombay Sapphire and tonic, when this dame slides onto the stool next to me. But a second glance proved this to be no dame, but a lady looking as if she had stepped out of a 1940s noir film. I wondered if she was packing heat in that little clutch. Wearing a vintage ensemble complete with white gloves, Gail Carriger made a striking first impression, and the conversation quickly went interesting places, her book that just came out, her career as an archaeologist, time spent in South American Inca ruins and elsewhere, and the book launch party she was throwing on the Saturday evening of the convention. Her first novel, Soulless, came out in September from Orbit. The book launch party proved to be the smash hit of the convention, complete with Victorian and steampunk costumes, a variety of homemade adult beverages, and fabulous food the likes of which one only hears about in books. Treacle tart or Scotch egg anyone?
Day Three of the World Fantasy Convention for me was punctuated by a spasm of fanboyishness.
I was walking through the lobby of the hotel, noticing that there were an inordinate number of tuxedos and evening gowns milling about when I noticed a woman standing nearby. A couple of double-takes later, I realized that it was Amber Benson, author of Death’s Daughter and interviewee around these parts. And, oh yeah, she played the good witch Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not to mention being involved in numerous other creative endeavors.
So, like a Nebraskan Spotted Geekmoth to a flame, I introduced myself, thanked her for the interview, and we chatted for a few minutes. She was quite gracious as I tried to keep my internal geek from vibrating. Accompanying her was Adam Busch, who also appeared on Buffy as Warren, one of a trio of nerdy villians who attempt to take over Sunnydale through technology and magic.
Aside from the short explosion of geekery, the day was filled with stimulating conversations with writers at various stages along their career paths. WFC could be described a four-day-long cocktail party punctuated by business meetings and panels, where business of the industry is done, where connections are renewed, and where one can meet any number of new friends among the spec-fic tribe.
WFC is all about the books, the literature of the weird and fantastic. My Pile of Books to Be Read has increased by 36 books, as of this writing, and there might be still a few more. The poor sod who shleps this bag onto the airplane will be cursing my name.