Saturday, March 24, 2012

Florida -- ICFA continues

The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts continues in the Orlando sunshine. I went to the editor's panel, which featured a cast of thousands: (left to right) Ann VanderMeer, Art Evans, Nalo Hopkinson, Gary Wolfe, Ellen Datlow, Brian Attebery, David Hartwell, and Gavin Grant: The panel spent a lot of time talking about balance for anthologies and magazines, in terms of gender, orientation, and race, new writers and "old war horses" (ahem). The editors all agreed that actively seeking out such participants is necessary, not just sitting back and waiting for such writers to come to you.

I had lunch with Karen Joy Fowler, who has just turned in a new novel (title as yet undetermined), which will come out next May. I will be first in line to buy it.

During the course of the afternoon, a random conversation with Joe Haldeman revealed that THE FOREVER WAR, which just sold to the movies, was originally turned down by publishers an astonishing nineteen times.

Dinner with a group that included John Kessel, Kij Johnson, Jim Kelly, Nick DiChario, and Rob Sawyer. This was a less-than-literary dinner, with discussion of just how it is that women know what size bra to wear. Well, okay, there was some literary discussion as well -- but not a lot. However, we all got more literary by going back to the hotel to hear Special Guest Kelly Link read. She was very good. The day finished by the pool, having drinks with Jeff Ford, Daryl Gregory, and Liza Trombi of LOCUS, who kept suddenly disappearing into the pool and just as suddenly reappearing again, like a latter-day mermaid.

Another interesting development: I have received, and accepted, an invitation to be a special guest at the Untopiales SF Festival in France, in November. Viva SF!

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