World Fantasy Con report 2

Well folks, it's over for another year (that makes it sound like I've been to loads of these, but this is actually my first) and it's time to give you the lowdown on what's been going on here in Columbus, Ohio. This will be a big report wrapping up both the Saturday and the Sunday.

Saturday was panel-tastic, with me attending four througout the day. First up was The Evolution of Modern Horror with Robert Fleck, Michele Freel, Mike Allen and Nick Ozment. Much was made of the move from 'religious' to secular horror, H.P. Lovecfraft and Night of The Living Dead being the big markers of the latter. A few brits were mentioned as being at the forefront of the evolution of the genre; our very own Ramsey Campbell and Allyson Bird. Next up was the panel Lost in Translation with Jetse de Vries, Jo Fletcher, Gilli Bar-Hillel, Tom Croshill, John Klima and W.J. Maryson. This was a discussion on what can be lost in translating a work from one language to another. Humour came up very often and the difficulty of translating jokes. Also, it was interesting to hear that due to a subtitle mistranslation the actor Christian Slater was, for a while, believed to be a Christian bricklayer in Israel.

12pm saw the panel on Sword and Sorcery which featured yours truly, Scott H. Andrews, Martha Wells, Howard Jones and Patricia Bray. We discussed the appeal of this genre and whether it had evolved at all, or whether people were actually still writing it. Of course, the answer is yes. Much fun was had and the panel was very well attended.

Then it was time for a spot of lunch with James Maxey and his fiance Cheryl Morgan.

5pm saw the panel The Evolving Image of Dragons in Art and Literature, featuring our very own James Maxey, Merrie Haskell, John Pitts, J. Kathleen Cheney and artist Darrell Sweet, who has a hat only slightly smaller than John Wayne's in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. Up for discussion were the different forms of dragons, the origins and evolotion of the dragon myth and whether the image of the dragon has become a locked-in archetype of is more fluid than that.

Done with panels for the day, I hooked up with Jetse de Vries, James Maxey, Cheryl Morgan and folks for dinner at Thai restaurant where Halloween was very much in full swing. They had a piano player playing horror themes and James has a sushi dish featuring a 'dragon roll' which looked like Cthulhu, it having carrot tentacles.

Then it was back to the hotel where James, Cheryl and I discussed religion and politics and then I chatted for a good while with John Berlyne about business and things.

So, Sunday then. One panel today at 10am on the influence of EC and Mad Comics on Horror, this featuring Andy Duncan, Gini Koch, and Scott Edelman . I have never read Mad magazine or an EC comic, but the discussion was lively and particularly perked up by having the great Joe Haldeman in the audience. A writer of whom I am in particular awe.

The big bit of today has been the award ceremony. Here I was lucky enough to get to sit next to the very talented Steve Rasnic Tem, with whom I chatted about horror and the state of that particular genre. The award ceremony was very entertaining and the winners are (drum roll please):

Brian Lumley
Terry Pratchett
Peter Straub

The City and The City by China (I have all the awards) Mieville

The Women of Nell Gwyne's by Kage Baker (Sorry, this was a brain-fried error - JO)
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

'The Pelican Bar' by Karen Joy Fowler

American Fantastic Tales: Terror and The Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps/From the 1940s to now, edited by Peter Straub

There Once Lived a Women Who Tried To Kill Her Neigbour's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
The Very Best of Gene Wolfe/The Best of Gene Wolfe by Gene Wolfe

Charles Vess

Jonathan Strahan

Susan Marie Groppi for Strange Horizons

And there you have it folk. Particularly thrilled for Jonathan Strahan, who has edited our forthcoming anthology, Engineering Infinity. A very well deserved award for an astute editor.

Right, that's me signing out. I know that I said I'd take pictures but it turns out the battery in my camera is flat. However, there will no doubt be plenty of pictures of the event doing the rounds.

See you back in Blighty.

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