Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WFC, Wrap-Up 

A few final notes...

The convention outdid previous WFC's with a heavy-duty blue duffel bag (more than a mere tote-bag), given away to members when checking in, containing the usual random selection of freebie books (this year including Margo Lanagan's nominated Red Spikes and Michael Moorcock's revised Wizardry & Wild Romance in some bags) -- plus a box of cookies and a bottle of the local Saratoga Springs sparkling water. The bag was perfect for carrying home books, bought or freebied, though in retrospect I should have padded my own bag and checked it, rather than carrying it onto the flight...

The convention seemed very well-run, with no problems or complaints that I was aware of, and with programming that ran very efficiently. It was, though, commented that the programming was a bit thin -- no more than two panels at any one time, and constrained by a WFC rule, which I'd been previously unaware of, that no member, no matter how famous, could appear on more than one program item during the course of the convention. Given the number of prominent writers and editors and fans in attendance, this meant that some program items omitted obvious participants, when those participants had already been booked for some other program item...

The hotel was nice enough, as discussed in previous posts, but had its shortcomings -- no place to buy food or drink other than the pricey hotel restaurant; no gift shop. The rooms were furnished with tables that were too high, and chairs that at best were too low, for comfortable working on a laptop computer. (I actually asked the front desk for a better chair, that could be raised high enough to work at the table in the room, and was told nothing was available.) Guests wheeling their bags in from the parking lot were faced with dragging them up stair steps to reach the reception desk -- there was a service ramp, but it was well-hidden.

The wifi was free -- ! -- but was flaky, occasionally dropping out for minutes or longer before reappearing. (Just like home, actually, but that's another topic.)

Despite these quibbles, it was a big, successful convention, the largest World Fantasy Con ever, with over 1100 members, and, speaking personally, the combination of programming, art show and dealers room, external location providing nearby shops and restaurants, and personal interactions with other members, made it, actually, one of the best conventions I've ever attended. With intriguing opportunities to follow up.

The one person, one item guideline is not a hard rule but a general principle. Some people, such as Ramsey Campbell or Betty Ballantine, were on more than once, and some asked to be on more than once declined. As is usually the case.

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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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