But that would be churlish, wouldn't it? After all, there were a few things that World Fantasy got right that Fantasycon 2012 didn't. The hotel, for one, was an infinitely more suitable venue. The welcome pack was well put together and there were some freebie books on offer that I actually wanted. (One of them, admittedly, was Giant Thief!) There were plenty of nice people on hand to offer help and directions, both the official Red Coats - who seemed to be doing an excellent job - and also lot's of friendly hotel staff offering help and directions.
|A pile of Armadillos.|
What I mostly judge Cons on, though, is the content they offer, and on that front it's a struggle to find nice things to say. Nine Worlds, my new benchmark, had so much damn stuff to see and do that I could have spent a week trapped in some kind of Ground Hog Day time loop thing and not seen everything I wanted to see. World Fantasy had so little to offer that I spent half my time wondering what to do with myself, and what there was was predictable and weirdly, needlessly cynical. When you have many of the greatest genre authors on the planet gathered in one place, what exactly is the thinking behind a panel asking "Does SF Have a Future"? Except, I guess, to get things wrapped up quickly so that everyone can return to the bar.
|Actually a Con picture.|
So there it is. I had a good time at World Fantasy, for the most part. But since that good time relied entirely on the fact that lots of my favourite people were there, along with freely flowing alcohol, and hardly at all on the fact that there was a convention going on around me, it would be dishonest to give too much credit. And since everyone I met was saying much the same things, I can't even fall back on the argument that it was just me being a grouch. (Although, since my B & B was notable mainly for the standard of street fights going on outside and I spent most of the weekend determinedly missing every last damn thing I'd planned to go to, there's undoubtedly an element of that.)
Anyway. Thanks to all the amazing people who hung out with me over the course of the weekend; you surely know who you were, and if you don't, it's because you were drunk. It was real and it was fun, but - at least as far as the convention side went - it just wasn't real fun.