World Fantasy Convention–Saturday, Oct. 30


The World Fantasy Convention sold out its limit of 1,000 memberships at this weekend’s gathering in Columbus, Ohio, and the panel rooms were packed with appreciative readers. Here are some pithy comments taken from various presentations given earlier today.

From the SWORD & SORCERY panel

“Sometimes you just want to take a sword to someone.” –Patricia Bray, quoting Lou Anders

“Sword and sorcery is fantasy with dirt.” – Howard Jones

“Sometimes you’re in the mood for a book that has twenty-seven viewpoint characters all of whom have Russian names, and sometimes I just want to read a book where a guy goes and kills a lake monster.” –Martha Wells

“A sword is always an answer to a problem.” –Patricia Bray


Authors introducing themselves:

“I’m Dennis McKiernan, and I’ve slaughtered thousands upon thousands upon thousands.”   “I’m Patricia McKillip, and I think I didn’t have one dead body in my last book.”

“Heinrich Himmler would have approved.” –Eric Flint, talking about E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series, in which a race of superpeople was genetically created specifically to commit genocide on numerous alien races presented as purely evil.

Robert V.S. Redick: “My hangup is the overall treatment of violence in fantasy. When I encounter a book where the psychic damage that results to the characters involved in the violence is not taken into account, I don’t think justice is being done to the readers.”

Patricia McKillip, in response: “That’s where the story begins. That’s where the hero has to find the best in him or herself.”

“I’d love to see a counter-version of Lord of the Rings written from the point of view of the orcs.” –Eric Flint