Earlier installments of this con report include Part I – Before, Part II – Friday, and Part III – Saturday. Part V is forthcoming. My apologies for the gap between part III and this one. Illness interrupted my “one installment per day” intentions.
No early events were scheduled Sunday, the third and final day of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. We were able to sleep in a bit, and stop for a Mexican brunch buffet. Mmmmm, all you can eat bacon and eggs, beans and rice and enchiladas, with a half-dozen different kinds of salsa! All kinds of variety in endless quantity, which is perfect for this crew.
Despite the short Sunday program, our group had a busy day planned. Joe had a panel, Mike was planning on doing a live Lovecraft eZine webcast from the festival hall, the webcast including visits from Joe and many other guests. Also, Sunday I would be reading my work to an audience for the first time.
Waiting for the theater to open, I had a chance to meet the eminent Lovecraft scholar and editor S.T. Joshi, here in his Lovecraft eZine t-shirt beside Mike Davis.
S.T. told us about the huge number of books he has pending with Centipede Press (he actually tried to list them all from memory, and couldn’t quite), and further mentioned that he had roughly two dozen books pending release with his various publishers! Speaking of Centipede, that’s a press you need to check out if you enjoy finely crafted hardcover editions of weird, horror or noir fiction.
I also met writer, editor and filmmaker Jason V. Brock, who joined the group and told hilarious anecdotes about meeting and interviewing Harlan Ellison (for Jason’s Charles Beaumont documentary), complete with a pretty good imitation of Ellison’s amusingly gruff way of speaking and cantankerous manner.
Our group of casually chatting writers and editors and readers continued to grow, as more and more people drifted over. It was like sitting at the cool kids’ table, being at a Lovecraft-related event, and standing there in a circle with S.T. Joshi, Mike Davis, Ross Lockhart, Joe Pulver, Jason V. Brock and too many others to list.
My 4PM reading, listed on the schedule board.
Once inside, as had happened all weekend, we managed to spend hours bumping into people and talking, without seeing much of the scheduled programming. Finally Joe’s panel was coming up, and though I knew I’d have to leave early to make my reading, we watched most of that. This was Writing Supernatural Fiction, with Nick Mamatas, Camille Alexa, Amanda Downum and Cody Goodfellow).
While this panel was going on, Mike Davis set up his laptop in the downstairs hallway, next to Nick Gucker’s vendor table outside the main theater. In that incredibly loud and distracting environment, Mike commenced the every-Sunday Lovecraft eZine web chat or “hangout” on Google+. You can watch the full recording on YouTube below.
(Ross Lockhart appears at about 4:30)
(Nick Gucker appears at about 25 minutes)
(I appear briefly at about 45 minutes)
(Neils Hobbs appears at about 48 minutes)
(Wilum H. Pugmire appears at about 53 minutes)
(Alicia Graves at 63 minute mark)
(Joe Pulver at 64 minute mark)
(Kelly Young at 70 minutes)
The webcast software did a great job filtering out background noise, so the video doesn’t convey how noisy the theater hallway was. When I briefly appeared, I mentioned I couldn’t hear anything at all being said by the others on the webcast. One of them, I think Pete Rawlik, asked someone on his end to be quiet as if we couldn’t hear over them, but the “too much chatter” I mentioned was entirely in the theater hallway.
Above, Ross Lockhart guests early in the webcast. Below, Niels Hobbs and Wilum Pugmire are interviewed near the webcasts’s midpoint — or possibly checking out something 3D on Mike’s computer. I only stopped by briefly to explain that I couldn’t participate in the webcast, because I had to hurry to my reading.
Lena (my wife, for those of you just joining this recap) intended to take video of my reading, but her camera’s memory card filled up just after my self-introduction. I may post that video later, in case it’s of any interest, but these photos give an idea of the scene.
Bizarro author Bradley Sands read several short pieces from his book, Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, all of which were funny and very (intentionally) strange. Jim Smiley read a portion of an early chapter of a novel-in-progress, which also went over well.
I went last. All three of us had selected something short to read — I read my story “The Need to Desire” which you can find on my blog, free to read here — so the reading portion was over in less than a half hour. I bullied the audience into asking questions. We all talked a bit about our own work, and how we got started. Overall, a successful first reading. I thought with so many other events happening at the same time, the audience might be just a few people, but a respectable number turned out.
The reading finished up at about the same time as the Lovecraft eZine webcast, so we all met up for one last Columbia River Brewing meal.
Lena and I and Joe and Mike were joined by Dominique Lamssies — and another guy we thought was with Dominique, but it turned out none of us knew. (EDIT: In comments to this post, HPLFF co-boss Gwen Callahan reports the gentleman at our table is Todd Ellner. Hi, Todd!) Also, Niels Hobbs, prime mover of the NecronomiCon Providence convention. That’s Niels seated to my right, talking with Mike Davis.
Above, Joe displays Dominique’s miniature Cthulhu plushy. Not only was Dominique very organized about getting her books signed (see Saturday entry) but she also managed to get a lot of pictures of people holding her tiny Cthulhu.
Some super-fabulous-folk hang out on Wilum’s bench. That’s Alicia Graves with him.
Artist Nick Gucker and trouble-maker Joe Pulver, starting to face up to the looming end of the convention.
Below, Joe and Niels discuss exciting possibilities upcoming in Providence. What’s the best antidote for sadness about one event ending? Excited anticipation of another event upcoming!
Back inside, Lena and I talked with Nick Gucker, then spent some more time talking with Molly Tanzer, who was in fine form. With her was writer, editor and provocateur Nick Mamatas. I re-introduced myself to Nick. We’d previously been acquainted through some editing work Nick did on a few of my stories maybe eighteen months ago. I also spoke with Orrin Gray, a truly nice fellow, and one of several I wish I’d spent more time with.
Outside, there were some goodbyes, but nothing too formal. Events like this don’t end all at once. People drift off, some leave early, some linger upstairs. Again and again, I heard people reminding themselves and each other, “Providence will be soon. See you in Providence!”
The upcoming Part V will conclude this con report, and will cover events after the HPLFF itself, mainly our trip to Lincoln City with Joe Pulver.