Monthly Archives: October, 2012

World Fantasy Convention

World Fantasy Con is in Toronto this year (November 1 – November 4.) I got my membership and banquet ticket early, and booked my flight and after-journey (I’m off to New York for a day after WFC,) but missed out on the hotel block. The hotel I wanted sent a nice email advising me I could book a suite for $329/night.

So I’m staying at downtown Toronto’s youth hostel. Which means I’ll be trying out downtown Toronto breakfast spots during my stay.

I go to this particular small, insular convention for a variety of reasons: free books! splendid con suite 🙂 great parties. Mostly though I enjoy connecting with my friends. I’m very much a hermit in my day-to-day life. Conventions reassure me that all those names on facebook and livejournal and twitter and email are connected to real and generally darned nice people.

But that’s my motivation. Every year there are some authors and editors and artists who have other very strong movitations to attend WFC. This year, Cat Rambo *almost* didn’t go until she discovered she was nominated for an award (“Special Award Non-Professional,” which is fairly obscure.)

(see the list of nominees here:

I’m highly interested in the SHORT FICTION category. My writers group reads (yes, out loud, together) major award nominee short stories. This year we’ve read the Nebula nominees and the Hugo nominees (and subsequently voted on our choices for best-of) but we didn’t read the WFC nominees.

Short Fiction
• “X for Demetrious”, Steve Duffy (Blood and Other Cravings)
• “Younger Women”, Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Summer 2011)
• “The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu (F&SF 3-4/11)
• “A Journey of Only Two Paces”, Tim Powers (The Bible Repairman and Other Stories)
• “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld 4/11)

Except, we had read Ken Liu’s THE PAPER MENAGERIE (not twice, that would have been silly) and E. Lily Yu’s THE CARTOGRAPHER WASPS AND THE ANARCHIST BEES.

Ken’s story won both the Nebula and the Hugo, and I suspect it’ll win the WFC award, but I liked E. Lily Yu’s story better. I was alone in that among my writers group, who voted for Ken Liu’s story. Ah well. I’ll still root for Yu’s story.

And I’ll continue to wonder what the award is named. SFWA awards a Nebula; WorldCon gives out Hugos. The Academy Awards have Oscars. Someone told me the little WFC statue of H.P. Lovecraft’s head (quite grotesque and stylized) is called a “Howie,” but I can’t find that elsewhere.

I did find a past online controversy about having such a racist as the emblem of the World Fantasy Convention awards. Ah, racism. That ugly stain which permeates human culture. We do best when we don’t try to hide it but do recognize it and then don’t do it again.

If you’re in Toronto, look me up.