(i. to r.) Bill Crider, Joe Lansdale, Scott Cupp, William Browning Spencer on Telling Tall Tales
I’m somewhat tardy in getting this written, but I’ve been focusing on fiction writing this week. Last weekend I attended Armadillocon 39. It was something of a last minute decision. I had a choice, either go to Armadillocon or go to prison (cuz I was gonna go postal and kill somebody). As I have no aspirations to end up as some lifer’s wife, I chose the former rather than the latter.
The headliners (with one exception) weren’t a draw for me this year, although I did have a brief conversation with the GoH, Nisi Shawl. I found her to be a very nice lady, and I enjoyed my interaction with her. Otherwise I hung around with friends and went to some panels on writing. Continue reading →
So, yeah, about Armadillocon. You know, the one that was held at the end of July. While it’s a little late for a con report, I’m going to post a brief one. I’m home waiting on a service technician, who will be by sometime between noon and 5:00. I thought this would be a good time to kill one of the items on my Should Have Already Done List. It’s better than killing someone, such as the person who called at 10:45 wanting to know if I was available because the rest of the service calls are out of town. (No, I thought I made that clear when we talked last week. I have office hours and appointments with students in a few minutes.)
Anyway, I wasn’t planning on going this year, mainly due to distance and money. Then I learned that Bill Crider, who is a regular, had been diagnosed with cancer. I thought I had missed the con but found out it was a week later than I’d thought, namely the upcoming weekend. I looked at the guest list. None of the headliners appealed, but there was a long line of folks I hadn’t seen in years. I used to hit Armadillocon just about every year, but since I moved to the other side of the state in 2010, I hadn’t gone. The summer of 2009 was the last time I was there.
It was a last minute decision, but I was able to make it work. Armadillocon was one of the first conventions I attended, and it was back at the hotel where it was held the first few years I went. Nostalgia won out.
Because I literally didn’t register until a few minutes before the preregistration deadline and make my room reservation, I didn’t get the basic room but one a little fancier, at the end of the hall with a balcony. I came in, noticed a few balloons tied to pieces of candy on the bed, and hit the restroom. When I came out I saw some items that had been out of my field of view when I got in the room. A bottle of bubbly on ice with two fluted glasses. A card in an envelope with a woman’s name on it. A cupcake alongside a smaller card containing the same same woman’s name. A bouquet of birthday balloons. Clearly the front desk had made a mistake. Continue reading →
Damn, damn, and double damn. I just found out that author K. D. Wentworth passed away from pneumonia yesterday after a battle with cervical cancer. She was a longtime friend, and she will be missed.
Kathy got her start in writing by winning the Writers of the Future contest in 1988. She later became one of the judges for the contest. More details of her professional life are available at Locus Online.
I first met K. D. Wentworth in Tulsa at the second Conestoga in 1998, where she was on the Con Committee.. We saw each other each summer until the convention moved to April in 2009 (I wasn’t able to attend) as well as at other conventions, most notably Armadillocon and ConDFW. The last time I saw her was at Armadillocon in summer 2009. She joined a group of us for dinner on Friday night.
Kathy was a friendly, outgoing person and one of the most generous and kind people in the field. The greatest kindness she did me was on the way home from the World Fantasy Convention in 2000. The convention was in Corpus Christi that year, which meant it was close enough for me to attend. I flew down from Dallas. Since it was the first large convention I’d been able to attend, I took three suitcases, one tucked inside another, with just enough clothing and personal items to make it through the weekend.
On the way back, all three suitcases were packed with books. I was flying Southwest airlines, which at that time had a limit of two carry-on items per person. All the flights out of Corpus were with Southwest, and all of them went through Houston. Kathy and I were on the same flight. I was trying to decide which suitcase to check when Kathy offered to carry one of the suitcases on for me since she only had one carry-on bag. I accepted.
Kathy and the rest of her party from Tulsa changed planes in Houston while I continued on to Dallas. Both legs of the flight were packed. You can imagine the dirty looks I received when I deboarded the plane with three bulging suitcases. That’s the sort of generous person Kathy was. I also have a signed manuscript of an unpublished short story set in her Black/on/Black universe she gave me at a convention.
She was a great writer, being a three time finalist for the Nebula. I’ve not read all of her novels, but I’ve read most of them, and I’ve enjoyed all of them immensely. In my opinion she was one of the more under appreciated writers of the last two decades. She wrote across multiple subgenres of science fiction and fantasy. In addition to novels, she wrote numerous short stories, the most recent short work being “Alien Land” in the January/February issue of F&SF. If you’ve not read her work, do. She was good and she had her own unique voice.