I’ve only been back from Horrorfind ‘06 for a few hours. It was, as always, a great time. I’d like to name everyone that I hung out with, but I just know that I’d miss a few and besides, it would take up all my server space.
I come from a family that really isn’t all that close. I’ve been a loner most of my life and though I have had a great many friends that I care about, I’m not an especially social person. I see people at work and some old friends now and then, but it’s all too rare these days. The word, community, has always been just a word. Family has meant my own wife and children.
The people in the horror fiction community…the writers, the readers, the artists, the publishers…these people are all too imperfect. Not a one of us is without fault and the plain fact is, we can get on each other’s nerves at times. I called it a community, but family is really a lot more accurate. Never in my life prior to the last few years have I really felt like I was a part of something larger than myself. It all started, for me, with The Gorezone Book Forum, but it intensified at Shocklines. Some people in the community/family are obviously closer than others and we all damned sure do not agree on politics or anything else, but there is such a sense of fellowship, a bond that we all share something that is bigger and more consuming than any mere hobby. This (the horror genre) is what we are. It’s like a religion. In the vast majority of cases, we accept one another and we forgive each others’ shortcomings and the mistakes we make. The stuff that makes us human.
Being at Horrorfind ‘06 was overwhelming. So many friends. So many honestly kind faces. So many good souls. Crazy, sure, but wonderfully so. As I said before, I’m not all that much of a social person and it really began to overwhelm me. Tanya, India and I took off rather early this morning, with no farewells. I’ve never been much good at goodbyes, but I already miss everyone desperately.
I said that I couldn’t name everyone and I can’t, but I feel that I have to make a few call-outs.
Tom Monteleone. Thomas F. Monteleone, or perhaps just Padrone. A few relatively short years and I go from a fan of the man’s work to a friend, and on to something more. Brothers. Tom is a brilliant man and a genuinely warm and decent human being.
Matt and Deena Warner threw an awesome party last night, in honor of the release of Matt’s new novel, Eyes Everywhere. Folks, if you love great fiction, buy this motherfucker. And like Tom, Matt and Deena are among the best friends I’ve ever had. You simply won’t find better people anywhere. But when cretins from upstairs crashed the party, things went downhill. It was pretty funny and surreal though and several of us got a lot of laughs out of watching imbeciles go nuts.
You movie fans know of Synapse Films, right? I partied down with the guys that run it and they do the best movie transfers out there. At enormous cost they painstakingly restore movies to the most pristine prints imaginable. They carry a little something for everyone and if you love, care about film preservation, you need to support these people. I like most of the distributors out there, but too many drop movies on us that look and sound like shit. Plus, these guys are huge horror fiction fanatics. Who knew?
Jimster51 aka: Jim Marshall. This guy is an astounding human being and he brings big boxes of great books to the con and gives them away! And I’m not talkin’ about recent used Leisure paperbacks either. I got some choice Ray Russell books from the man and even a treasure called Red Skelton’s Favorite Ghost Stories. Jim is insanely kind and well-read. With dozens of stories about famed SF/Horror writers at his disposal. Thanks man. You really are the best.
God, I could go on and on. Beth and Sarah, Al (a dark fascination) and Blooky Blook, Jim Moore (whose bear hugs come dangerously close to breaking bones), Nick Grabowski, Paul Melniczek, Steve Lukac and Drew Williams (who were EVERYWHERE, all the time), My pals Val and Diane, Bill Carl, KelliWithAnI (also with the nicest smile at the convention), Norman Prentiss, Catwoman, Fran Friel (just about the NICEST person I met this weekend), Richard Chizmar, Brian Freeman, Brian Keene (we are ALL his puppets) and his lovely wife Cassie, Andre Duza (who I saw for only a few moments. Andre, if you read this, I wanna talk MOVIES!), Allen Richards/b-independent (one of my oldest and best friends), Mark Rainey and his beautiful daughter (glad that we all got to know her better this year!), MATT SCHWARTZ!!!!!, John Skipp (the coolest and happiest guy in the genre. bar fucking NONE), Erik and Laurie Alk (Love you guys!), Ron Dickie, My Man Mark Justice, TomoJoe, Nanci K and her absent husband (sorry he couldn’t make it!), Meghan Fatras, Brian Hatcher, Mike Laimo, Jesus Gonzalez, John Urbancik, m.j.euringer and of course, Nikki.
And an extra special thanks and an I’m Sorry to Petra and her husband (whose name escapes me, but he was really nice). I meant to entertain you and introduce you to more people, but everything was always happening at once. See you next year?
I’m forgetting a bunch of people. I know. In ten minutes I’ll think of some of my best friends. I really am very tired.
The con. It seems like attendance was down this year. I hope it doesn’t fall apart. This con is good for all of us. Movie fans are often reminded that there are books out there and they buy things at the dealer’s room when they normally might not. I think part of the problem might be with the guests. It seems like (mostly) the usual suspects. Romero is GREAT, but he’s been there before. Same with Lumley. New blood could only help.
Oh and about the readings. Everyone please accept my apologies, but I really hate readings. It’s not my thing and I feel trapped sitting there. I normally love to see Monteleone’s but we really had to get on the road early today.
And man, the drinking. Endless beers and drinks and parties. I had a world class hangover on Saturday and even though I slept til Noon, I was in bad shape and had to go back to the room and rest. The hotel is huge too and walking back and forth to the room was murder. I must have done it fifty times this weekend and I feel every one.
I want to offer a huge thanks to everyone. My friends, the attendees (who were almost all wonderful people), the hotel staff and the Horrorfind team. It’s a great show and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Oh, one more thing. So many people had so many nice things to say about Horror Drive-In and I cannot thank them enough for that. ALL of the credit to the look and design of the site goes to Deena Warner. If you like this site and are thinking af starting your own up, please consider obtaining her services.
As for the written content here, all the blame falls on my own shoulders.