Well, I’ve finally returned to the Black Gate rooftop headquarters here in St. Charles, Illinois, after a weary week of travel. We had the largest team gathering in the magazine’s history at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio last weekend — including several Contributing Editors, half a dozen bloggers, and over two dozen writers and contributors. I started the magazine ten years ago and have been attending conventions for decades, and there were several long-term staff members I met for the first time, including the distinguished Ryan Harvey and John R. Fultz.
All of us were invited to take part in a podcast on Sword & Sorcery organized by the charming Jaym Gates — stay tuned for the broadcast location and date. Our Saturday night reading was a rollicking success, as nearly two dozen Black Gate authors read from work sold to the magazine over the past ten years, including James Enge, Frederic Durbin, E.E. Knight, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, L.E. Modesitt Jr, Darrell Schweitzer, Donald S. Crankshaw, Howard Andrew Jones, Martha Wells, Ryan Harvey, Robert J. Howe, John R. Fultz, Myke Cole, Renee Stern, Steven Silver, Michael Shea, S. Hutson Blount, Janet Stirling, F. Brett Cox, and Frederick Tor.
I also got the chance to meet with other contributors including Mike Resnick, Jeffrey Ford, David B. Coe, Ellen Klages (and her charming sister), and Charles Coleman Finlay. It was a delight to finally meet artist Jim Pavelec in the Dealer’s room, as well as fellow editors Adrian Simmons (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly) and Mike Allen (Mythic Delirium), and make several new friends, including long-term reader Matthew Wuertz. I made the trip with Jason Waltz, publisher of Rogue Blades Entertainment, who shared our table and turned out to be a stalwart traveling companion.
Due to the sheer size of the convention there were also BG writers wandering the halls I somehow managed to miss completely, including Jeremiah Tolbert and Rick Bowes. Ah well, maybe next year. There’s a reason it’s called the World Fantasy Convention. No matter how much you try, life is too short to see it all.