November 10th, 2014


Back from World Fantasy

I had a great deal of fun this past weekend at the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, DC (actually Arlington, VA, if you want to be technical about it). I got to see Rio Youers read from a work in progress that was absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait for the novel to come out. I also got to see F. Paul Wilson and Thomas F. Monteleone do a joint reading that was very fun and often quite funny. I attended a panel on Robert Aickman, moderated by my good friend and hotel roommate Simon Strantzas and featuring Chelsea Quinn YarbroPeter Straub, and Michael Dirda, which has me eager to try some Aickman. (It’s true, I’ve never read him. This is a terrible oversight I hope to rectify soon.)

My own panel, “The Myriad Faces of Dragons,” went very well, despite my dearth of knowledge about dragons. (I did get to name-check Puff, Tiamat, the stop-motion animated dragon from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and Godzilla, and diss the terrible film Reign of Fire, so my work there was clearly done.) My fellow panelists did most of the heavy lifting: Naomi Novik was her usual charming self, and Marie Brennan, whom I hadn’t met before, I don’t think, was a font of knowledge. Moderator James Maxey asked very good questions and kept the audience interruptions to a minimum, which is no mean feat at World Fantasy. (Michael A. Stackpole was supposed to be on the panel with us but had to bow out beforehand.) For a panel at 8 PM on Saturday night, it was remarkably well attended. The room was packed, and it was in no way a small room. We can thank Naomi and Marie for the crowd, no doubt.

The dealers room was as impressive as ever. One dealer was even carrying copies of Hunt at World’s End and Die and Stay Dead, which I was grateful to see. I spent a lot of time at the ChiZine Publications table, especially once I noticed that copies of Chasing the Dragon always seemed to sell when I was present and did not sell when I wasn’t. I signed a few books for readers, which always makes me happy, even if I can’t always think of something suitably witty to say. (“So nice to meet you at WFC 2014!” became my go-to inscription.) I managed to come home with only three books from the dealers room: Tell My Sorrows to the Stones by Christopher Golden, Burnt Black Suns by Simon Strantzas, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 1, edited by Laird Barron and Michael Kelly. Well, three in addition to the approximately twenty pounds of books in the overflowing goody bag, that is. Or should I say goody duffel. (I appreciate the generosity, I really do, but sometimes I think they forget that we all have to travel home after the convention!)

The hotel was great, with a layout well conducive to a convention of this size, and the programming was routinely interesting. But as anyone familiar with conventions knows, it’s all about the people. That’s why I go to these things, to see friends and make new ones and network and make new contacts. This time around I had the pleasure of spending time with a great number of old and new friends, including Helen MarshallLaura MarshallRobert ShearmanSimon Strantzas, artist Chris Roberts, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Daniel Braum, James Chambers, Craig Shaw Gardner, Rain Graves, Sandra Kasturi, Russell Farr of Ticonderoga Publications, David Nickle, Jeff Conner, Nathan Ballingrud, Dale Bailey, Rio Youers, F. Brett Cox and his step-daughter, whose name I am unfortunately blanking on right now, Michael & Carolyn Kelly, Angela Keeley, Veronica Schanoes, Genevieve Valentine, and so many others. Who you spend your time with can make or break your convention experience, and I’m lucky to have so many great friends and associates in this business that I can spend my time with.

I didn’t stick around for the World Fantasy Awards this year, but you can find a list of the winners here.

I’m very much looking forward to next year’s World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY!

Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.


NYRSF Write-Up

Did you miss the reading John Langan and I did at the New York Review of Science Fiction last week? Well, fear not! has a write-up of the event so you can feel like you were there! Here’s what the author of the article, Mark Blackman, has to say about my reading in particular:

Taking the podium, Amy Goldschlager introduced the first reader of the night, Bram Stoker Award, Shirley Jackson Award- and Thriller Award-nominated author Nicholas Kaufmann (, who read an excerpt from his new novel, Die and Stay Dead, a follow-up to Dying is My Business (St. Martin’s Press). Opposed by a small group seeking a perilous grimoire, necromancy intrudes on a fannish (or perhaps, in this context, mundane) event, a medieval festival in Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park (the Battery is really down) in the form of mind-controlled living dead called revenants. The situation is further complicated by the presence as well of a flash mob of fake zombie walkers, and, in the confusion, the protagonist is abducted by the necromancer’s real rotting corpses.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite an accurate description of the scene I read. It’s actually a conflation of two different narratives, the scene I read (which takes place during a zombie walk in Battery Park) and an anecdote I told before I started reading about how there’s a scene in the first book that takes place at the Medieval Festival in Ft. Tryon Park, which I only mentioned in order to illustrate a theme in the series of actual supernatural threats intruding upon gatherings of fantasy and horror fandom. But no biggie. Blackman goes on to write:

The audience of about 30 included Richard Bowes, David Cruces, Derrick Hussey, Kim Kindya, Gordon Linsner (sic), James Ryan, Terence Taylor and Nick’s mom.

See? I told you my mom was going to be there.


Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.