WFC 2012 – Toronto, Dubai, and misfortune

WFC 2012I am so jetlagged. Maybe more jetlagged than I have ever been, but I am home from Toronto and World Fantasy 2012.  It seems like somewhere between a few days and forever since Alisa Krasnostein and I boarded an Emirates flight for Dubai, and then Toronto, so its even stranger to think that it’s all over for another year.

How did the convention go? It was terrific. Preceded by a bit of tourism and sightseeing, as well as wonderful lunches with Peter Watts and Guy Kay on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the event, World Fantasy really kicked off on Thursday morning with breakfast with Karen Lord, followed by a podcast recording with Guy Kay (more of which later), and a fabulous dinner with Liza, Garth, Sean, Rob, Ellen, Alisa, Gary, and Stacie at Sarpa. A fine time was had by all.  Friday was an early breakfast with Farah Mendlesohn, then a Locus AGM, lunch with my fabulous Solaris editor Jonathan Oliver, another podcast (this time with Graham Joyce), and the dinner with Gary, Peter, Graham, Stacie and Ben.  Saturday was breakfast with Bill & Yanni from SubPress, a podcast with Jo Walton on why C J Cherryh deserves a SFWA Grand Master Award, a panel on the best of the year, drinks with my buddy Jack, then dinner Ellen Klages, Alisa and  bunch of other pals.
Bar time
By now you’re getting a feeling for it. Talking, drinking and celebrating for a week covers it. Sunday was a brief chat with Ann VanderMeer, then brunch with Liza, to talk recommended reading lists and so on, a terrific meeting with Steve Saffel from Titan, and then the WFA’s. I was delighted to see KJ Parker won, and very happy to accept on her behalf.  Dinner than night with Jack, Janeen, Dina, Joe and Gay, back at an oft-visited Indian Restaurant, before a late night in the bar.

And then it was Monday. Breakfast with Graham and Alisa (and the oft-eaten Fritata), then lunch with Rani and Gili, before heading to the airport for the long flight home.  Alisa was a terrific traveling companion and the convention itself was a delight.

Then disaster struck.  I staggered home at 3.30am on Thursday morning, tired and ready for bed. When I woke I had kid stuff to do and a tux to return, but that afternoon I decided to edit the podcasts we recorded. An ill-fated decision. During the synching process all give podcasts recorded were wiped from the iPad and the face of the Earth. That means brilliant conversations with Guy Gavriel Kay, Graham Joyce, Jo Walton, Ellen Klages & Robert Shearman, and James Blaylock & Tim Powers now only exist as sparkling, ephemeral memories.

I’m trying a last ditch recovery effort this morning, but the chances really are minimal, and I continue to struggle with my reaction to events. Why? Well, losing the podcasts was almost enough to persuade me to stop. I’m the producer/engineer, so the loss is my responsibility. I should have set up earlier and found a more rigorous way to back  recordings up (when we record at home we always do two parallel recordings, a main one and a safety, but didn’t in Toronto) from the iPad. I didn’t, and it’s both hurt Gary and I and squandered some terrific recordings.

What encourages me, though, is that those recordings were good, some of the best we’ve done. I think Gary and I are getting better at this, and I’m committed to continuing and improving. I do think I’d like to find a new producer for Coode St, so if you know anyone who’d like to volunteer for an unpaid position to work on a Hugo, BSFA, and Ditmar nominated podcast, we’d love hear from them.  But I think the best is yet to come. I want to find a new energy to expand and improve the podcast in the coming year, and with Gary on my side, I think we can.

More soon.