Up at the crack of noon, just in time for a crepe place called Ravenous to open for lunch. Had a lovely ratatouille crepe. I decided last week that I was going to try to eat properly even on the road. Doing pretty well with it so far.
Saratoga Springs is doing one of those charity events where they give large animal sculptures (cows, pigs, etc.) to artists, who paint and decorate them and then let them stand around town for a while before auctioning them off. In Saratoga's case the animals are horses. I hadn't quite realized as I was planning this trip that this Saratoga is the same Saratoga of racetrack fame. Every time I see one of those horses I get the song snippet "...and we get off at Saratoga, for the fourteenth time!" going through my head. I mentioned this to Gardner Dozois and of course this resulted in a quick impromptu chorus of same. Other people have given me nothing but blank looks. Some People are clearly lacking in cultural literacy.
Made it to the con after lunch to run into zellandyne, just on her way out (we've had beastly meal timing, but hope to manage dinner tonight), klages, mostly undamaged from yesterday's fall to the marble floor, and Lisa Freitag who was chuffed that many of her photos from Japan were in the November Locus, including one of Kate and I at the Kamakura Big Buddha. While I was talking with Lisa and alicebentley, klages came up and dragged me off to Margo Lanagan's reading. She read a short horror story about Wee Willie Winkie, which was awesome although I kept thinking of Bullwinkle.
After Margo's reading I caught the second half of a panel on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, including Betty Ballantine and Tom Doherty. Alas, by the time I arrived it had devolved into a rant on the sad state of book distribution today. Next I went to a panel about book covers... which devolved into a rant on the sad state of book distribution today. But the next panel in the same room was a talk and presentation by the French artist Jean Giraud (Moebius), which was delightful. Although I winced with pain as his wife tried to use PowerPoint to present his slides, moving the various Microsoft pallettes and sub-windows around on the screen in Edit mode to try to show off the art instead of just clicking "Slide Show". I was tempted to run down to the front of the room and click on it for her, but I restrained myself. Maybe I shouldn't have.
I cruised the art show for a while, then attended an entertaining reading by scott_lynch, after which I tried to go to jaylake and lasirenadolce's impromptu cheese party. But apparently I missed a memo and went to one of the places it was going to be instead of the place it actually was. Had some nice conversations in the hall outside the dealers' room anyway, then went off for an early dinner with damascene and other East Coasters at the hotel's fancy restaurant. Very fine company, very fine service, very fine food, possibly not worth quite what they charged for it.
Next came the big autograph session, 1400 people in a large ballroom with linoleum floors and hard walls. Jeez, it was noisy in there. I think that's where I lost the first third of my voice. I was offered a table tent but declined, figuring that no one was likely to ask for my autograph (it would be different if I had a book with my name on the cover) and I'd see more people by wandering around rather than sitting in one place. I got a bit melancholy seeing all of my friends with published novels. Perhaps I will sell one some day. Must write more.
The autographs were supposed to run from 8pm to 11pm, but matociquala, truepenny, elisem, and I, along with several unindicted co-conspirators, ran off to Bear's room for BPAL sniffing and traumatic readings of the sex scenes from a bad Scottish time-travel romance, all fueled by generous quantities of Chartreuse (dangerous stuff... 55% alcohol, most of the rest sugar). Every anachronism was greeted with a chorus of "...in sixteenth-century Scotland?! DRINK!" I demonstrated that, yes, some men do have "silky chest hair," and many were the LOLcat references and snorts of derision that came from the shrubbery. I left another third of my voice around there somewhere, we made truepenny fall off the bed, and I think we might have broken elisem. And yet the New York Times Best-Selling Author probably made more from that one book than all of us put togithir.
Try that with a sporran full of coffee beans.
Nearly noon. Time for breakfast.