I haven't posted here for quite some time because I was very busy in May. One of the things I did was go to LepreCon, a scifi/fantasy convention in Mesa, AZ. Now, if you enjoy attending functions like ComiCon and WonderCon, where it's so crowded because there are a gazillion people, and 45% of them are dressed like freaks and 45% of them are dressed like Star Wars or Star Trek rejects, so you can only traverse the halls and corridors at a rate of 10 feet per minute, and the dealer room is so huge it should be called the dealer nation, then LepreCon will either be a refreshing change or a crashing bore.
I think there were about 300 people in attendance at this convention. The dealer room was contained in just one actual room and there were about 20 dealers there, two who dealt specifically in books, and one or two others who tossed in a handful of written matter with their fantasy jewelry and accessories and t-shirts. There was also a room set up as an art gallery. That was interesting . . . the first time. I think I visited the dealer room five times and the art gallery four times.
To give you a notion of how exciting the convention was for me, when I was at one of the book dealers, looking for volumes to complete any of my several collections, the owner came up to me and, indicating the books, said, "And they're alphabetized!" "Cool!" I responded.
I also spent about 10 minutes talking to a guy who was selling Firefly artifacts. He was a nice guy and very knowledgeable, and the only thing that would have made it interesting is if I had ever in my life watched a single episode of Firefly.
"Why didn't you go to any of the program sessions?" I can hear you asking. Well, I tried. But of the two sessions that sounded the most interesting, one was postponed and the other was outright canceled. So I attended no sessions. Instead, I just kind of people-watched, when I wasn't dealer-room-watching or art-gallery-watching. There were still people dressed up in funky costumes. I saw a few steampunk wannabes, two or three regular old non-denominational punks, and a horde of pirates. The pirates had a table set up in the foyer, where they were apparently trying to recruit people.
Anyway, after a few hours of wandering like a lonely ghost and picking up some free movie posters, I finally noticed that it was time for the book signing, which was the main reason I came to the convention at all. I noticed it because this guy (who I've seen at almost every signing at my favorite bookstore in San Diego) came trundling in with four boxes of books to be signed by the convention's guest of honor, George R R Martin. I got in line right after him, a little nervous as I remembered horror stories I'd heard of authors who get fed up with people asking them to sign more than the agreed upon number of books and shut down the whole autograph process. But Martin was not like that. San Diego bookstore guy packed up his crates of books and departed and then I approached with my two measly volumes. Martin was very accessible and genial and kind, and he chatted with me when he signed my books, plus he let me take his picture.
I was very impressed with him. I've been a fan of his ever since his work on the tv series Beauty and the Beast back in the late 1980s. I think he's pretty much a genius. And I defy all you A Song of Ice and Fire so-called fans out there who curse and vilify him for not getting out the next volume of the series according to what you think the timetable should be, you selfish twits!
And then, contented, I went home.