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Word Fantasy Convention 2012

I finally made it to a writers convention. After a few years of thinking about it I finally decided it was time to go, but the universe seemed to conspire against me. Fist came the bitch storm, Sandy. She flew into south Jersey and New York devastating so much around me. I am grateful that I had only minor damage and loss of power for 2 days. Not even a flesh wound compared to so many friends and neighbors.

Sandy flooded LaGuardia airport which is where West Jet flies out of. Day by day they handled fight cancellations leaving my fight status in constant limbo. 10/31 cancelled. 11/1 cancelled. Would they give me my money back and let me make other arraignments? First off, no, because despite being nearly completely submerged LaGuardia held out hope they would be able to fly me out on 11/2. Second, there were no other flights to be had…anywhere…as thousands of people were in the same situation as myself. My flight ended up being cancelled 11/2 anyway and I stopped keeping track after that.

Uhm…fly out of here?!

The cosmic joke continues…as I’m on the phone with Orbitz, begging for my money back I get an e-mail from Black Static rejecting my latest and greatest story, “Pax Salutem.” So now I’m thinking that maybe this whole writing thing wasn’t quite meant to be.

Now I get my money finally and begin the drive from Atlantic City to Toronto. Good, right? Now there is no gas to be found. All up the Garden State Parkway and through New York it was Mad Max territory.

So, at last I arrive at WFC and I had a great time. I met up with my old teacher and friend Jeff Ford, as well as lots of other talented writers and editors. The panels were excellent, entertaining and informative and the networking proved to be most valuable and reason alone to make the trip. I’d list all the cool people I met, but would hate to leave someone out. I posted some pics on Facebook if you’re interested.

I can’t recommend going enough. 2013 will prove to be interesting as WFC will be in England, but the World Horror Convention (where I probably belong) will be in New Orleans. Either way I better start saving.


The Crystal World

The novel tells the story of a physician trying to make his way deep into the jungle to a secluded leprosy treatment facility. While trying to make it to his destination, his chaotic path leads him to try to come to terms with an apocalyptic phenomenon in the jungle that crystallizes everything it touches.

At first glance I wasn’t to excited to read this book that Jeff Ford gave me to read. He’s been trying to expand my reading horizons and the first book he let me borrow was “Dangerous Laughter”, which quite honestly I had to force myself to get through.

I had never heard of J. G. Ballard and the book was published in 1966 so what was there to get excited over?

Well I’m about 1/2 done and this book is great. I have never read such enjoyable characterizations before. And his pacing and suspense are great as well. Best of all he is grandiloquent and pulls it off nicely.

I haven’t finished it yet but I highly recommend the book. Has anyone heard of any other good books by Ballard?