I've never been very good at the whole "Con Report" thing. Better not to try. It went well, and I was pleasantly surprised by Readercon. Next year, I plan to attend for the whole four days. It was good seeing people I'd not seen in ages (and, apologies, but I'm far too hot, for the most part, to bother with LJ tags): Ellen Datlow, for example, and Gwenda Bond, and Robert Killheffer, and Michael Morano, and Cecilia Tan. And to finally meet people I've only known from LJ and/or email —— Elizabeth Bear (though our paths only crossed once), Greer Gilman, Neil Clarke, Geoffrey Goodwin, Eric Van, Rose Fox, and, see, I'm so damned hot I can't recall any more names than that. Dr. Muñoz has been rolled into the office, but has not yet made it bearable. My thanks to Theo Black (who is Holly Black's husband, and I somehow managed not to meet Holly) for the gift of the marvelous Chiana cup he made himself. And there was a belated birthday gift from the folks at the Weird Tales booth, so my thanks for that, as well. The panels went well. The reading went well (I threw candy, and read "The Steam Dancer (1896)" and the first section of "Salammbô Redux (2007)"). The dealer's room was grand, but I was good and spent virtually no money there, though I did manage to snag a 1921 hardback of Edgar Rice Burroughs Thuvia, Maid of Mars for a mere $5, and I also picked up a copy of David Larkin's Giants (1979), which I had in high school, but someone "borrowed" (and you know how that so often goes). Two dealers were even well-stocked with my books, which pleased me. On Sunday afternoon, after my last panel, I had an hour-long interview with Locus, and, truthfully, that was the only genuinely stressful part of the con. Though Liza Trombi, who conducted the interview, soon put me at ease. I am told it will appear in the magazine sometime in the next 3 months to a year. And I know there are people and things that I'm forgetting, but like I said, I just don't do con reports. And it's hot. It was all very strange, after avoiding such things for almost four years. I guess I'm back in the saddle again. Oh, and it was heavenly, having air conditioning for two days (though some parts of the hotel were uncomfortably cold). Spooky didn't take many photos, but there are four behind the cut:
In the hour before my last panel of the con, and I think I'd developed a theory that if you listen to Moby on your iPod, people won't bother you.
Spooky clearly disproved the theory.
My last panel of the weekend, "Sing Along With the Text," which was led by sovay, during which we discussed the importance of music to our writing and the many ways we've incorporated that music into our writing.
Left to right —— Greer Gilman, Matthew Jarpe, some goofball in a Grover T-shirt, Allen Steele, and that Sonya Taaffe girl. Greer had the best comment during the panel —— "Lawyers have made it very hard to be modernists."
We got home about 7 p.m., to find my comp copies of Subterranean: Tales of Dank Fantasy waiting in the back stairwell. It includes my aforementioned story, "The Steam Dancer (1896)," as well as work by Poppy, Joe Lansdale, Tim Powers, Mike Carey, Kage Baker, William Browning Spencer, and others. A gorgeous book. Which reminds me to remind you that subpress in now taking preorders on A is for Alien. And, also, I want to mention that Bill Schafer has informed me that we were able to get the cover artist for A is for Alien that I've been hoping for months we'd be able to get —— Jacek Yerka —— the brilliant Polish surrealist who did Mind Fields with Harlan Ellison back in 1994.
If you've not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, which are set to end tomorrow. Bid if you are able and so disposed. Thank you.
So, yes. Back in Providence. The heat kept us up late last night, as it was simply too hot to even try to sleep. We had Chinese take-out for dinner (too hot to cook). We ate ice cream. Took cold baths. Watched Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog in its entirety, then watched Goran Dukic's Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), an oddly adorable film we both liked quite a lot. We played two rounds of Unspeakable Words, and I won both. I finished Chapter Nine of Fraser's Triassic book, which mostly focused on the faunas from the South American Ischigualasto and Santa Maria formations, including such creatures as Herrerasaurus, Eoraptor, Riojasaurus, Saurosuchus, Saturnalia, and Staurikosaurus. Etc. and etc. I did manage to get to bed before 4 ayem. Just. Anyway, I have to try to get some work done now, as I have only twelve days to finish Chapter Three of The Red Tree, write a new piece for Sirenia Digest #32, write an introduction for Joshi's new Arthur Machen collection, and get the issue together. Oh, that reminds me, this month's digest will include something special from Sonya Taaffe, plus an interview by Geoffrey Goodwin with artist Richard A. Kirk. Don't miss it!