In order to fill that void, we've been tossing around ideas of where to go instead. One thing I came up with was a possible trip to Ol' Blighty (i.e., England) and other associated spots in the U.K.
The thing of it is, I'm not sure what we would do in England, short of wandering around London listening to people talk. There is PortmeiriCon in March, but that's way the heck off on the coast, and I'm not sure I'll have enough vacation time to get to England and do a con.
Of course, there's also the previously mentioned "Meet Stephen Fry" idea. I'm not sure how I would go about it, tho ... it was surprisingly easy to find contact information for his literary agent, but not the man himself. (And can you blame him?) I could try to get a letter forwarded, I suppose ... alternatively, I could go lurk at The Groucho Club, but that's an iffy proposition at best. First, because I don't even know if it's still open (their website seems to be dead); second, because I have no idea if he still haunts it even if it is; and third, because I doubt they let non-members lurk around waiting to pounce on celebrities, even if the non-member in question did cross an ocean to get there.
The other issue is, I don't know what kind of a reception I'd get over there. I keep reading that anti-American sentiment in the U.K. has gone from a popular gripe to a visceral snarl lately -- and while I can slip into a Beebish accent with such facility that you'd think I was born to it, my lingo is definitely too American to pass. Of course, I have no idea what (if any) effect the upcoming election will have on that.
Anyway, it's a possibility under consideration. Any input?