Instead of a day-by-day breakdown of Austin’s World Horror Convention like many others write, I’m just going with a list of highlights and random thoughts.
— This con felt like four full days. Usually the time goes by so fast, it feels like one day rather than several. By Sunday afternoon I was ready to get home. Doesn’t mean the con was bad, ’cause it wasn’t, but I did feel like I got my money’s worth.
— The plane flights were quieter than ever before. I noticed as many e-readers as paperback books, and not one hardcover being read by other passengers. I also didn’t see a single newspaper. Everyone spent the flight on their iPods and Blackberries or other electronic devices. Usually strangers strike up conversation with their seat mates; this time there was silence. There has been a technological shift in the public consciousness, and nowhere is that more stark than at an airport.
— I was the only person still using a disposable camera, which made me feel borderline Amish. Everyone else had moved to digital. While I have a digital camera, I generally don’t take it with me on trips because I don’t want to risk losing it/scratching it/dropping it, etc. After seeing the difference between the digital prints and the film ones, I’ll never use film again.
— Seeing old friends and meeting new ones. This is true for every con, and I won’t name names because there’s no way to remember them all and I’ll end up leaving some out. You know who you are.
— I really enjoyed the Jack Ketchum grandmaster speech. Dallas read an emotional story then gave a great speech. Plus, a Powerpoint presentation.
— Glad to have met Joe Lansdale and his family. His public reading was fantastic and kept the audience in stitches.
— Shooting the breeze with Simon Clark about mythology and Peter Straub about publishing. Talking with them gave me a couple story ideas.
— At the airport heading home I bumped into artist GoH Vincent Chong. We were on the same flight to Dallas, so we talked at length while the plane boarded. I had a lot of art questions for him, and he had a lot of writing questions for me. That was an enjoyable end to the weekend.
— Overall I thought the con organizers outdid themselves. The events, panels and guests were top-notch.