Another International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, another fabulous time. I loved Jeff VanderMeer's post about the conference; what he says is true. I think part of what makes it so special is the size–fairly small, very relaxed alongside all the serious and academic conversations, and then there's just some indefinable magic that can't quite be quantified (but which is probably the cumulative effect of having so many amazing people in one place).
In many ways, for me, this year felt like a family reunion–it tends to feel like that every year, but especially this one. Christopher and I actually met at an ICFA just over 10 years ago, introduced by our common friend Kelly Link. Kelly was guest of honor this year (along with the delightful China Miéville). In fact, lots and lots of my friendships if they don't go back to ICFA directly, certainly deepened there. By far the highlight of this particular weekend was getting to see Ursula in action.
Anyway, silly pictures were taken, there was writing talk and gossip, there was me trying to show my cover art to people on my tiny phone screen, there were froofy drinks. I learned important lessons, like that Barb and Kelly will take advantage of my weak swimming with the borrowed water weapons of young girls. And we all–except Chris Cevasco, who already knew–discovered that first edition D&D had a quite detailed…prostitute class. EEP. (Seriously, you must look at the designations on the hilariously-named Harlot Encounter Table.) I stayed up until 3 Saturday night and still made it up for a breakfast at 8:30–I'm usually early to bed, late to rise, but there were just too many wonderful people to spend time with. In fact, as always, there were far too many people it was wonderful to see for any sort of comprehensive list.*
This was also the year we finally got a good look at the alligator, which entertained with some hair-raising growls during the banquet-refugee gathering on Saturday evening. Swamplandia = necessary ICFA reading, and not just for fun.
Other recommended reading: Fantasy Matters will be talking about the conference for the rest of the week. Check it out.
*I will say, however, that Charles Vess let me have a little peek at the graphic/novel hybrid he's working on and, wow, is that going to be *gorgeous* when it's done.