World Fantasy Convention Report, Special Patreon edition!
If you've been following the Mysterion blog, you may have already seen our World Fantasy con report. All about who we met up with and talked to, which events we attended (including Kristin's reading on Thursday night), who else was at our book table in the dealers' room ... but what, you may be wondering, did we eat all weekend? Aren't these con reports supposed to include restaurant reviews? (At least when Kristin is involved.)

Never fear! The special Patreon edition of our World Fantasy Convention report is all about the restaurant reviews.

We didn't have a lot of time for dinner on Thursday, since Kristin's reading was at 8 pm, so we just ate at the restaurant of the convention hotel (the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk), where we were staying. Donald liked it, since the menu options were steak, shrimp, steak, ribs, steak, and fajitas (with steak). Kristin, who tried the fajitas, wasn't so impressed. And the margarita was pretty much cruise ship quality--excessively sweet and not very fresh-tasting. 

Friday morning was a breakfast excursion for any members of the Codex Writers Forum who were attending the con. (Side note--we both recommend Codex as a wonderful online community and resource for speculative fiction writers--check it out!) Donald decided to sleep in, but Kristin joined the group trekking over to Las Canarias along the Riverwalk. The company was excellent, but the food was pretty standard American hotel breakfast fare. Unfortunately, although Kristin considers breakfast the most important meal of the day, she doesn't like eggs, which eliminates about 80% of most breakfast menus; and also can't stand bananas, French toast, or blueberry pancakes, which tends to rule out about 75% of what's left. But the buffet was fine. It had fresh berries, besides the usual unripe cantaloupe and pineapple, so that was nice.

Donald ate lunch at the hotel restaurant again. He got the burger, and liked it. Kristin decided she didn't need lunch after all the bacon she'd eaten at breakfast. For dinner, we went to Mexican restaurant Acenar. Donald got the combo plate, with fajitas and a cheese enchilada. He thought it was fine, but not too exciting. Kristin really enjoyed the duck crepes, and the excellent margarita made up for the disappointment of the hotel's offering.

Kristin took advantage of the free food in the con suite for breakfast on Saturday (Donald doesn't eat breakfast). A bagel with cream cheese, some fruit, and yogurt. The World Fantasy Convention usually does an amazing job of feeding their attendees. Most science fiction conventions have some amount of free food and drink available, usually including something that could be called a continental breakfast--but World Fantasy outdoes most operations by providing actual free meals. Now, you may not like what they're offering, and you do have to be there when the food shows up, and you may feel squeamish about eating from communal trays at a convention of several hundred individuals whose hand washing you have not personally supervised. You may also want to eat at a table instead of balancing a plate on your lap or in one hand. But it's always good to know that it's an option.

Donald and Kristin often eat lunch at different times, since Donald gets hungry earlier due to all that breakfast-skipping. Here, we also needed to make sure someone was covering the dealers' room table. Donald took the first lunch shift, and decided to actually venture out beyond the hotel on his own, without Kristin dragging him (the hotel restaurant being closed when he tried to go may have had something to do with this). He wandered around until he came to MOH, or Market on Houston. Where Houston was the street name, not the city. There he had a very good steak sandwich. While he enjoyed it, he had been hoping for something lighter, but they didn't have a lot of options along those lines.

Later, Kristin had lunch at Kimura, an excellent ramen place. She had ... ramen (surprise!). You can get them to hold the egg. Kimura also has excellent craft cocktails. Often the best cocktails are at restaurants rather than cocktail bars, especially at places that care about fresh, quality ingredients.

Dinner was at an Argentinian restaurant called Dorrego's. Kristin had shrimp, and we think Donald had a steak, but enough time has gone by that we can no longer quite remember (perhaps we should be writing these reports closer to the time of the events covered).

That's about it for restaurants, as we had to leave Sunday morning. Kristin did run over to La Panaderia to pick up some breakfast pastries before we left (including one for Donald, who's willing to compromise on his no-breakfast policy where pain au chocolat is involved). They were wonderful pastries, but maybe not quite worth the time Kristin had to spend standing in line in order to get them. There was a stretch of time when she first got to the bakery where the only reason the line moved at all was because people ahead of her got fed up with waiting and left. And it really wasn't at all clear why the line needed to be so slow, since most of it was self serve. 

Of course, you can read about the non-food parts of our World Fantasy adventure on the Mysterion website. It's always a lot of fun to reconnect with people we've met at other conventions, and there was plenty of that. We were able to chat briefly with Jerome Stueart, whose short story collection The Angels of Our Better Beasts Kristin really enjoyed, and whom we're hoping to interview for Mysterion at some point. And we had some interesting conversations with various people about Christian themes in fiction, and about people's own experiences with and around Christian faith--sometimes with other Christians, sometimes with folks who were raised Christian but have left the faith. We're interested in fiction coming out of all these experiences, in being both inspired and challenged, and we love how speculative fiction can make us see the familiar in new ways.

Here at Enigmatic Mirror Press headquarters (i.e., our apartment), we're getting ready to open for fiction submissions January 1st, and plan to start publishing new fiction in April. We'll have more to say about that process in future posts, but right now our plan is to choose nine stories from those that come in during the month of January, enough to publish one each month from April through the end of the year.

Right now, we're committed to publishing one story each month. However, if we raise enough support here on Patreon, we'll be able to do more. Our first funding goal, of $50/month, will allow us to increase our maximum word limit for stories from 8000 to 9000 words. And if we reach $100/month, we'll bring you two additional stories each year. 

We're currently at $27/month, over halfway to our first goal. (Many thanks to our awesome Patrons!) If you're interested in supporting us, you can do so for as little as $1/month. At $3/month, you'll get early access to all the fiction we publish; and there are additional rewards available for higher support levels.

Our next convention is a local one: Arisia, right here in Boston in mid-January. (Because who doesn't want to visit Boston in January?) Our report for that one might not be as heavy on the restaurant reviews, as we've probably already eaten at whatever restaurants we'll end up going to. But, although the program is still being finalized, it looks like Kristin is going to be on some panels, so we're sure we'll have plenty of news for you post-con; and we may even get it written up before February!

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