Okay, here's a few quick comments on WHC. Yes, I know they're incredibly overdue. Shut up.
To be honest I didn't think I was going to make it to WHC. Various things looked set to keep me in the UK. But at the last minute I managed to sort all these problems out (i.e. I decided to ignore them all until I got back).
Anyway, hooked up with various chaps and chapesses over there including Chris Teague, John Travis, Allyson Bird, Simon Strantzas, Donald Pulker, Adriana , Michael Kelly, Mick Curtis, Debbie Curtis, Richard Gavin, Andrew Leonard, Diamond Dai Price, Gary Fry and Gary McMahon. And loads of other people who I probably would have remembered to list if I'd written this three weeks ago like I said I would.
Went up the CN Tower, the tallest building in the world. It's got a glass floor so you can look down and see what the pavement looks like from that height. It was funny, all the horror writers were desperately trying to avoid standing on it -- "Are you sure it's safe to stand on? Maybe I'd better not stand on it, I ate some celery earlier, the extra half ounce might make me too heavy for the glass." Meanwhile all these schoolkids ran straight onto the glass and started jumping up and down on it. "Yay! Let's see if we can break the glass!"
Also visited Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Very picturesque, with lots of trees, luscious green grass and lots of cute squirrels scampering about. Kind of a waste really seeing as the people who spend the most time there are all dead. Anyway, for some reason all the squirrels were black -- possibly due to poor personal hygiene. Or perhaps they were on their way to a fancy dress party and had all decided to go as skunks. Also spotted a teensy-weensy creature with black stripes down its back. Upon asking our Canadian hosts as to what this tiny ball of fluff might be we received this reply: "Was it a chipmunk?" I didn't know, I'd never seen a chipmunk, I'd only be able to recognise it as such if talked in a high voice and engaged in hijinks that upset Donald Duck. "Okay, maybe it wasn't a chipmunk. Maybe it was a squirrel. Or a cat. Or a hedgehog, did it look like a hedgehog?" Eventually these fine zoological experts decided that it was indeed a chipmunk.
Elsewhere I managed to infuriate Gary McMahon with my total inability to tell even the simplest of anecdotes without wandering off on at least half a dozen Ronnie Corbettesque digressions. ("And the producer said to me ... ")
The convetnion itself was great. Lots of brilliant panels and interviews. Joe Lansdale had tons of hilarious stories about his dad. Saw the Thomas Ligotti film 'The Frolic.' Totally ignored the raffle. The parties were a bit disappointing but that was partly due to half of our group not actually staying in the hotel so each night they disappeared home before the parties even started. And part of it was due to a weird local law which prevented you from moving between rooms whilst carrying alcohol. Sod's law dictated that if a party was a bit dull and you all decided to look for another one it would be at the exact point that one of your number had just started a fresh beer so you had to wait until they had finished it before you could head off. By which point someone else had started a fresh beer ...
Still, overall the convention was a lot of fun and ended way too quickly.