ICFA 2024 Overview

I’m back from the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) where I was a guest of honor over the past week, and I am ridiculously tired but had a wonderful time. I am, in fact, too tired to type coherently, so if this is fully of typos, I… will assume you can read through them bc omg. so tired. :)

I’d never been to ICFA and was, tbh, very very nervous and feeling quite imposter-syndromey, which is not my general modus operandi, but my god, guys, the previous guests of honor include…like…everybody cool. Neil Gaiman. G. Willow Wilson. China Miéville. N.K. Jemisin. Terry Windling. The list literally goes on and on and is just…incredibly intimidating. I felt like going around singing “one of these things is not like the others” all weekend.

However, the guest scholar, Mame Bougouma Diene, who was INCREDIBLY COOL, also felt very impostery, which helped. :D We reassured each other and hung out and it was really fun. :)

The othe GOH, Mary Turzillo, was not stricken with imposter syndrome, so at least one of us felt functional in the setting! She was SO WONDERFUL and kind and generous and I am so very, very happy to have met her and her husband, Geoffery Landis, who was just so charming and delightful, I mean, I am overwhelmed with their kindness, and so incredibly glad to count them among my friends now.

I’m going to try to actually do individual posts about each day, more or less, because every day was really full of just… wonderful people, great panels, a lot of laughter and joy, and an enormous amount of fun.

But, lol, when I said “Did I mention I’m going to Orlando next month” to my husband and son, they went wibbly lip and came along with me, so while I was GoHing (Ghosting, Mary called it, which I kinda loved, we were fellow Ghosts), they went to SeaWorld and Universal Studios, and walked themselves ragged in the heat but also had a spectacular time, so overall we just… it’s been a really, really great week. And I’m so tired. laughs

I do want to shout out to Alexis and Novella Brooks de Vita, who are long-time friends of mine and who, I’m pretty sure, are primarily responsible for bringing my name up as a possible GoH, and to whom I am so very very grateful. Also it was SO AMAZING to see them again, omg. I keep getting teary because I really was just so happy to hang out with them. They’re two of the most wonderful women I’ve ever met, and I could have spent the entire week just with them and come away feeling like I’d had a perfect conference.

Also, Ellen Kushner deserves a particular bunch of love, too, because she remembered me from Dublin Worldcon (which, frankly, I find incredibly overwhelming and wibbly smiles all by itself, even though we’ve been online friends for like EVER, but omg guys ELLEN KUSHNER REMEMBERED ME o.o) and she realized that I probably didn’t know anyone because I do the European conventions if I do anything at all, so she really kind of took me under her wing for the weekend and introduced me to people and it was incredibly kind of her. And holy moly does she have good taste in restaurants. If she ever invites you to dinner, go. :D

Ok, I’m a little more awake/functional now, which is part of why I decided to start the morning with a blog post, and now I’m going to start working my way through the huge pile of things I need to do after a week off (a week in which new things also transpired, of course, giving me more things to do!).

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