I’m back from World Fantasy, looking and feeling haggard, exhausted, and ready to eat meals not at restaurants for a while, but overwhelmingly happy about the experience as a whole. I met many, many lovely people, made a few new friends, interviewed Garth Nix (who is every bit the gentleman I’d been led to believe he is), hung out, got maybe a little tipsy my last night there, and came home with a bag full of books from the con and from Borderlands in San Francisco, thanks to the awesome efforts of Jeremy Lassen who was so patient with me and knowledgeable and recommended more things than I could fit into my suitcase. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The con. THE CON. Such fun, I definitely want to return next year. Jesse, Selena and I had a blast due in no small part to friendly folks such as Sean Wallace of Fantasy Magazine and Prime Books, Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld and Wyrm, the VanderMeers (Jeff and Ann, both so awesome), the aforementioned Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books, many wonderful individuals from Jesse’s publisher Orbit, Garth Nix (who did a reading wherein he read a short story that involved both unicorns and zombies, yes please), and basically everyone else I met and am sadly forgetting to mention here because I am still a little jet lagged and overwhelmed. Highlights: finding out from Neil and Sean that there was a postal service rep at the con who would mail all my books for me, Gail Carriger’s tremendous party with home-brewed gin that knocked off my socks in the best way, talking to Peter Straub about his admiration for a man’s devil costume in the elevator on Halloween night, vegan treats such as pho at Tofoo Com Chay, the taro cakes at Dandelion Cafe, everything at Good Karma Cafe, being so nervous and flustered and adreneline-crazy that I forgot to ask Garth Nix to sign the hardback edition of Abhorsen I had picked up for the purpose, I could go on and on and. . .
Then we were in San Francisco, exhausted and ready to do stuff that didn’t involve Jesse wearing a suit jacket or me straightening my hair. First night in we ate sushi and somehow, through the fog of our overtaxed brains hammered out the plot of our short story collaboration we’ve been talking about. The next day we met up with some of my old friends and ate a nice meal at Cha Ya, then met up with new friend and all around bad-ass Tessa Kum and saw the Tiger Lillies. I. . . I admit I expected to have a terrible time, since listening to the Tiger Lillies on CD is not my thing (to put it mildly), but they were absolutely amazing in person. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and I genuinely enjoyed their music watching them perform it. They man their own merch tables and so I told them about my ambivalence toward seeing the performance but complete glee at the actual experience and hope I didn’t come off as an asshole. They seemed to understand.
The next day we needed some peace and natural beauty so we drove up to Gualala up Highway 1 (pics to come, if I stop being lazy, so don’t count on it) and then had the best meal I’ve ever had (no exaggeration) at Millennium Restaurant. Such a good birthday present. Wonderful service, better meal, the ambiance. . . it was a dream.
Our final day was a lot of running around but I got to meet a bunch of friends from the Post Punk Kitchen, got ice cream at Holy Gelato, and met Jesse’s brother. I also go to check out Borderlands where I bought a bunch of books, including We Have Always Lived in the Castle which I started and finished yesterday. So good. Next up is Blood and Chocolate, I don’t care if I out myself as liking the movie (it was cute!) but having read the first page I know the book is going to be even better.
Then it was back on the plane and home again. Last night Raech made bibimbap and I started playing my new video game Demon Blade that she got me for my birthday, which is complicated (ok, incomprehensible) but stunningly beautiful and beyond fun. I will most likely be spending too much time playing it in the near future, but since I also came un-stuck on some of my writing problems during the trip (most notably during the Tiger Lillies concert, so that was another bonus from attending that) so I need to buckle down on the real business of life.
Woo. Sheesh. Also of note: John got me the complete Star Trek: TNG on DVD so we’re def. starting to watch that ASAP. Basically, to summarize, I think, given that all of this nonsense started on my 28th birthday, 28 is going to be a good year. Onwards!