The World Fantasy Convention 2012 was held this weekend in Toronto, and while I had planned to be there, the cost of an Attending Membership was much too steep for my wallet. It's a shame they can't make day-passes available at a reduced rate, but I'm not here to quibble about policies in prices.
You can check out the complete list of Winners (and Nominees) HERE, but a few highlights for me were:
Osama by Lavie Tidhar: Beating out the likes of Stephen King (11/22/63) and George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons), this winner for BEST NOVEL is a book I originally had zero interest in, but am now curious about:
In a alternate world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante...
Joe’s quest to find the man takes him across the world, from the backwaters of Asia to the European Capitals of Paris and London, and as the mystery deepens around him there is one question he is trying hard not to ask: who is he, really, and how much of the books are fiction? Chased by unknown assailants, Joe’s identity slowly fragments as he discovers the shadowy world of the refugees, ghostly entities haunting the world in which he lives. Where do they come from? And what do they want? Joe knows how the story should end, but even he is not ready for the truths he’ll find in New York and, finally, on top a quiet hill above Kabul—nor for the choice he will at last have to make...
“A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong” by K.J. Parker, winner for BEST NOVELLA and already collected in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 6, eclipsed the likes of Elizabeth Hand, Lucius Shepard, and Catherynne M. Valente. The story opens with the line:
“My sixteenth concerto,” he said, smiling at me. I could just about see him. “In the circumstances, I was thinking of calling it the Unfinished.”
The Weird, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, came out on top in what I felt was one of the more interesting races, beating the likes of Blood and Other Cravings (edited by Ellen Datlow), A Book of Horrors (edited by Stephen Jones), The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (also edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer), and Gutshot (edited by Conrad Williams) for BEST ANTHOLOGY:
From Lovecraft to Borges to Gaiman, a century of intrepid literary experimentation has created a corpus of dark and strange stories that transcend all known genre boundaries. Together these stories form The Weird, and its practitioners include some of the greatest names in twentieth and twenty-first century literature.
Exotic and esoteric, The Weird plunges you into dark domains and brings you face to face with surreal monstrosities. You won’t find any elves or wizards here...but you will find the biggest, boldest, and downright most peculiar stories from the last hundred years bound together in the biggest Weird collection ever assembled.
Congratulations to all the winners - as well as to the nominees - and here's to another strong year of Fantasy!