In my last entry, I talked about what it was like to attend the World Fantasy Convention this year in Toronto. However, I have a funny story to share that merits its own post beyond the exhaustive summary I gave you all previously.
I mentioned in my last post that at WFC, I attended a reading by Garth Nix. After it was over, I waited in line for him to sign my books and struck up a conversation with the woman next to me. We talked about how she wasn’t able to bring her books with her because she was in the middle of moving across the country and how she was worried that she would have a nervous fangirl meltdown in front of Garth Nix because she loved his writing. As we were chatting amiably my fiance, who was also at the convention, looked at her name tag and whispered in my ear, “Hey, isn’t she the one who wrote that story–”
Before he finished asking his question, I looked down at her name tag too.
It was E. Lily Yu.
As in, this year’s winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The author of the Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-nominated short story “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees.” That E. Lily Yu.
Here now is an approximate transcript of how I reacted:
“Oh my God! You’re E. Lily Yu!”
“You’re the winner of this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer!”
“I’m sorry, I just didn’t know you were you!”
Then, of course, there was a comment about the unintentional pun between you and Yu. So yes, I kind of freaked out. My only consolation is that it must have been quite the meta experience for her to have someone fangirl out at her while she was waiting in line and worrying about fangirling out herself at a completely different author.
By the way: E. Lily Yu, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I’m not normally such an idiot.