I had a nice post half written about my trip to San Diego for World Fantasy and for a little vacation. The stupid ipage weebly site refreshed itself halfway through and I really don't know if I'll have the time to re-create it.
Stupid, stupid ipage.
Ok, short version: San Diego is awesome at the end of October/Early November. Go. There's lots to see, great weather and not a lot of tourists.
World Fantasy is also awesome, though I remain painfully inept at putting myself forward to established authors and I am also still very uncomfortable at parties. This is a pity, since those are the two best reasons to attend World Fantasy Con. Seriously, if you want to meet other authors -not to mention agents, publishers and editors- you owe it to yourself to go. The attendance cap is low, so you can actually talk to your favorite author...unless he's Neil Gaiman. Poor bastard.
I spent most of the Con attending author readings, which avoided my crippling fears of large crowds. It also let me show support for other new writers, since most of the readings were by less-established writers for some reason. The readings by Peter Beagle and Connie Willis were wonderful (and Neil Gaiman's reading was both massively attended and deservedly so) but for me the breakout stars of World Fantasy were the inkpunks. (http://www.inkpunks.com/) All of them were great, but Sandra Wickham's story made me laugh, both of Christie Yant's stories blew me away and Wendy Wagner brought down the house with one of the best Lovecraft stories since H.P. was a lonely shut in. Great, great stuff.
I did get to meet a few people I knew and reconnect with a few friends. That was nice. I also got to chat a bit with the funny and surprisingly deep David Maliki (of www.wondermark.com and the Machine of Death antholoy fame), I was able to express my appreciation to Kate Elliot and Michael Stackpole and bump fists with Sam Sykes and Dan Wells...didn't get to spend enough time with those guys, they're great people and great writers.
Will I go next year? Probably not. I don't feel like going to Toronto in late October and I remain painfully shy, despite my stunning sartorial style and my acting ability (I can pretend to be fun, funny and charming. Honest, I can. I just can't maintain it for long) I had a rough time of it...though it was easier than last year. I hope it will get better the more I attend, we'll see. I may go to 2013, if the world is still around, since I've never been to England. I expect I'll be at WorldCon next year instead.
But seriously, go checkout the inkpunks site and the authors there.