04 April 2019

Takeaways From Left Coast Crime

by Brian Thornton

So Left Coast Crime happened last weekend.

This year Vancouver was the host city. And the crime fiction folks from Vancouver did not fail to put on one hell of a con!

For those of you who missed it, here are some takeaways from this year's Left Coast Crime:

1. Vancouver is a lovely, walkable city full of gracious, beautiful, charming people.

2. The Liar's Panel this year was full of truth-tellers.

3. Jim Ziskin once again brought "The Flask"(tm).

4. Simon Wood's annual "Bar Stories" panel once again had everyone in stitches (this year with Catriona MacPherson, David Corbett, Tim Hallinan, Robin Burcell and David B. Schlosser!). If you missed it, ask Simon about the Danish king Cnut.

5. The MWA NorCal/SoCal/NW chapter mixer at Grain was a rocking good time!

6. That Go-Gos anthology is for real!

7. Buffalo Trace makes the poker better at one of these things (Just ask Craig Faustus Buck!), and vodka ought not be allowed in the room (Looking at you, Stacy Robinson!).

8. The downtown Vancouver Hyatt is a great venue, with wonderful staff, comfortable accommodations, and an omelet bar which made their breakfast worth the price of admission.

9. Left Coast is a great place to have an anthology signing party (Miss you Cornelia!)!

The "Die Behind The Wheel" Line-Up, L to R: Bill Fitzhugh, Nick Feldman, Stacy Robinson, James W. Ziskin, R. T. Lawton, David B. Schlosser, Simon Wood, and Linda Hull, with Yours Truly and David Corbett seated down in front

10. This year's panels included a mix of the usual and the innovative. Yes, there was still a sex panel. Yes, there was a cozy panel. There was also a panel addressing gender in crime fiction and (for me) the most memorable one: "Three Dyslexics and an Aphantasiac"–ably moderated by Jacque Ben-Zekry–where Josh Stallings, Simon Wood and Jay Stringer movingly discussed the challenges associated with writing crime fiction while suffering from dyslexia (as well as the advantages afforded those with the condition), and Jamie Mason helped educate the members of the audience as to just what aphantasia actually is, and how she doesn't necessarily see it as a disability.

L to R: Jacque Ben-Zekry, Jamie Mason, Jay Stringer, Josh Stallings, and Simon Wood.
I want more panels like that.

And that's it for this year's edition. See you all in two weeks, and already looking forward to LCC next year in San Diego!


  1. I love Vancouver! And it looks like you all had a great time.

  2. Great seeing you there, Brian. I'll be writing about my experiences in two weeks. I alaways love the Liar's Panel.

  3. Brian, Vancouver and the LCCC were great fun. And, thanks for the advance copies of the Steely Dan anthology (DIE BEHIND THE WHEEL) which you gave us at the authors book signing get together. It was a good time getting to meet some of the other authors.

  4. I love Left Coast Crime! It's the most inclusive conference that I've been to, with panels that include new authors and authors in every mystery genre and every type of publication, not just the same ol' bestsellers who usually get all the attention. I always leave with new friends, new readers for my books, and a long, long list of new authors whose books I want to read.


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