October rolls in like a cool autumn breeze, and the World Fantasy Convention is bound to be the highlight. I’ll be attending all four days, and what a great excuse to spend some time in sunny San Diego.

A nautical theme this year is sure to provide many a discussion about pirates, golden galleons, and the immortal mysteries of the sea. But the big attraction this year is the presence of the great Neil Gaiman. He’s probably the biggest reason why the convention memberships sold out early this year. This will be my third year attending WFC, and I’m looking forward to it even more than my favorite holiday, All Hallow’s Eve. Friends, colleagues, mentors, and idols…all will gather to discuss and celebrate our common love of fantasy literature. There’s really no other con like this one. For writers, who work a majority of the time in isolation, it’s a great yearly sharing of philosophies, concerns, appreciations, and inspirations. I always leave feeling fired up for my next project.

Just for the record: My favorite nautical-themed fantasy? Michael Moorcock’s SAILOR ON THE SEAS OF FATE, of course. Love me some Elric of Melnibone….especially the version with the exquisite Michael Whelan cover (see below).