World Fantasy was a great time this year, even (sadly) without (1) S.J. Chambers, (2) having a voice more than an uncanny screech that sounded like rusted metal hinges or, alternatively, like the world’s grossest clarinet played by the devil’s worst musician, and (3) partaking of a single drink due to the brutal course of amoxicillin I was taking.

I met a lot of cool people and attended some wonderful readings. Most notably regarding the latter, you should all be anticipating Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon, and you, like me, should run out and grab Haunted Legends, edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas, and Paul G. Tremblay’s In the Mean Time. Regarding the former, I met so many awesome folks that I’m not going to make a list because it would be too time consuming, but a few brief scenarios that will be cherished:

Excitedly discussing Jonah Hex, Christian Domestic Discipline, and other crimes against humanity with Genevieve Valentine, Mari Ness, Jesse, Charlie Jane Anders, and Annalee Newitz

Exploring North Market while discussing fantasy novels and Greek religious practices with a certain Columbus local who doesn’t really want her name all over the internet so let it just be said that she is a rad person

Comparing notes on awesome anime to watch with the lovely Dmitri Valente at the Habitation of the Blessed/Native Star release party

Giggling with Nick Mamatas at the aforementioned release party while we made gentle fun of the also aforementioned Dmitri Valente for reading Piers Anthony

Hearing Jeffrey Ford read his story in Haunted Legends and vowing to go home and re-read “The Beautiful Gelreesh” in Running with the Pack while imagining his Long Island accent instead of, I dunno, the Tim Curry-sounding person I’d “heard” narrating the first time I read it

Gargling Cepacol (provided to me by a thoughtful and generous friend) and actually managing to make it to my panel in order that I might discuss Batman and Dr. Horrible for an hour with my co-panelists Mark Teppo and David Boop

Feeling like a rock star when Christie Yant asked me to sign her copy of Running with the Pack–my first book-signing EVARRRR–and then feeling like a prat when I realized I’d left my copy of Way of the Wizard in my room and couldn’t get her to sign it for me

Meeting with Christie and John Joseph Adams over the exciting new changes to come over at Fantasy Magazine

Shaking L.E. Modesitt’s hand the first night, and then noting his delight in sporting loud waistcoats during the rest of the con

Using an unoccupied con suite to take off my shirt and compare tattoos with the cheerful and delightful Erin Cashier

I could go on, and on, and on, but I won’t, thus neglecting so many fun people and so many good times!

So, in conclusion, yay, and congrats to all the winners of the World Fantasy award–though honestly, an award should have been given to my conpanion Jesse, who totally took care of me like a champ while I was getting over the end of whatever horrible (non-contagious! I asked the doctor!) illness I was trying to kick during the whole damn con.¬†It was such a great experience overall that I definitely had a moment of post-Christmas morning “meh” on the plane ride home. . . but thankfully the flight was so horrifically turbulent that I had to concentrate more on not vomiting. Huzzah!