I’m hopefully going to the World Fantasy Convention tomorrow in Toronto. I say hopefully, because right now LaGuardia airport is still closed, along with the NY Subway system. But before I start talking about Sandy, I just wanted to detail my schedule for the convention.  I’ll be participating on one panel and one, possibly two, group readings.

Faith and Fantasy, 9 am. Friday in Vaugan

This panel will consider the variants between true believers, whether traditionally Christian or more esoteric, and the materialists. Then there are sons of clergymen who rejected—or showed little enthusiasm for—the faith of their fathers. How do these writers’ beliefs, or lack thereof, inform their treatment of supernatural matters? Jonathan Oliver (M), Ada Milenkovic Brown, Matthew Kressel, James Moore, Kari Sperring.

Group Reading: Lightspeed, Saturday, 2pm, Vice President Suite #1073

Group reading for the science fiction/fantasy magazine Lightspeed edited by John Joseph Adams. Contributors Matthew Kressel (“The Sounds of Old Earth,” Lightspeed, January 2013) and Andrew Penn Romine (“The Parting Glass,” Lightspeed, December 2011) will read their stories from the magazine.

We may also stage an Altered Fluid reading at some point, time and location to be determined.

Like I said, it may be difficult to leave NY.  We are contemplating driving up to Toronto, which is about 10 hours.  Not too bad, but we’d all rather fly. But I shouldn’t complain.  I live in Zone B, which was on the border of the evacuation zone for hurricane Sandy, and though we got some flooding and some damage, it could have been worse by me.  Unfortunately, my cousin lost his home in Lindenhurst, Long Island.  This is a picture of the house Monday morning. 

The storm surged an additional five feet, and with the wind, he lost his house.  The roof literally blew off.  Some people were complaining on Twitter that the people in the Northeast were overreacting to the storm.  Well, all y’all are welcome to come live with my cousin.  A hipster douche down by the piers yesterday morning said to me, “Well, that was a bit anti-climactic.”  “Maybe for us,” I said.  “But not for people in lower Manhattan, NJ, Connecticut, Long Island.”  I think he got the point and walked away.

I took a few photos of the storm, before and after.  During the period of peak winds Monday night at around 8:30pm, I poked my head outside just to see where the water was.  But the winds were insane and the trees were groaning miserably.  I headed back inside.  My neighbor, whether stupidly or heroically, decided she was going to try and save the stray cats that live down by the water at that very moment. I don’t know if she ever got down there, but the next morning I saw several strays.  I bought a can of cat food and set it out for them, and later I saw several more, so I think they did all right.

Here’s a shot of the India Street pier.  The tide is almost covering the deck, and this is 8:30am.  The full surge was still 12 hours away.

Note: you can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.

This is a shot at the same time of the new pier on Greenpoint Ave.  It’s almost completely inundated.  The Williamsburg Bridge can be seen in the background.

Here’s a reverse angle shot. You can see the waters lapping at the fence.  Normally the levels are so low you can walk out on that concrete ledge and still be some ten feet from the water.

Here’s a shot from yesterday morning.  The sky still looks angry.

The fencing from many lots had fallen down all over town.

Trees and tree limbs were down everywhere.

The water had come up so high the wooden planters floated and then crashed against the walls with the waves.

At first I thought these two were either being adventurous or stupid.  But then I saw their first-aid kits and beacon lights and realized they were canoeing down the river searching for people in need or, god forbid, bodies.  A grim job, especially in that still rainy and cold weather.

Overall it has been quite a stressful week.  But like I said, my suffering was small compared to others’, especially my cousin who lost his house.  At some point soon I’ll let you know, if you wish to help him, how you might do so. 

As I said above, I’m going to do my best to make it to WFC. I could really use a break from all this stress.  But that all depends on the status of the airports and the roads.  So, see you soon(?).