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World Fantasy Convention 2005 by Gayle Surrette
Review by Gayle Surrette
Leprecon Inc. Event  ISBN/ITEM#: 0511WFC05
Date: November 3-6, 2005 / Show Official Info /

This year's World Fantasy Convention was held in Madison, WI in the Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor's Club which is near capitol square. The hotel was easy to navigate and programming was all on one floor as was the art show and Dealer's Room. The ConSuite was on the 6th floor and easily reached via the elevator.

The theme for this year was The Architecture of Fantasy & Horror and the Guest of Honor were: Graham Joyce, Robert Weinberg, Terri Windling, Kinuko Y. Craft, Peter Straub (Toastmaster), and Arkham House: April Derleth and Walden Derleth. I'd never been to a World Fantasy Convention before but had attended some local conventions and usually attend the World Science Fiction Convention. I didn't really have any preconceived ideas about the convention but had been told that it was small and attended by more writers and publishers. Indeed the attendance was under a thousand and I'd say probably half the attendees were writers, publishers, booksellers, or editors. The other half was readers and aspiring writers.

The program items were well attended and interesting. Some of the items that I attended: Medicine for Writers; Working on Your Craft: Writing as an Evolving Process; The Bathroom: Necessities of World-Building; Curse Words and Other Ways to Tell It Isn't a Children's Fantasy; Adapting the Brothers Grimm and Other Fairy Tales; Fantasy in Unexpected Places; The Dead Shall Rise: Zombies in Folklore, Science, and Popular Culture.

There was an Autograph Reception where all the authors in attendance were available to sign their books and to chat with for a while. This was something I'd never seen at other conventions and it was well attended. I had a great time talking to authors and publishers (and managed to get a lot of photographs for the SFRevu archives).

The Art Show is a juried one. The artwork was fabulous. Of course, there was an array of work by the Artist Guest of Honor Kinuko Y. Craft. Her work is intricate and lovely and multi-layered with figures hidden in the underbrush, the articles in the painting making another picture altogether when viewed from different angles. If you haven't seen her work look for it because it's beyond description.

The winners of the World Fantasy Awards were announced at a banquet, which I didn't attend. To see a list of the winners check out the award website.

The Dealer's Room contained the usual convention booksellers but also some tables of works by small presses that I hadn't had a chance to check out before. I'm afraid I spent a bundle on books but that's usual at these affairs.

In short I had a great time, learned a lot about the art and craft of writing, and met many authors, publishers, and editors.

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