When last we left our heroes, they were heading back to the Con for the Neil Gaiman signing, tickets to which they had acquired earlier that day. Arriving at 3:30 PM (for the 4:00 signing), there was already a massive line of ticketholders ahead of us. So, we had a half hour wait before the doors opened, and then a much longer wait inside. We were (maybe) the halfway point in the line, and it took us more than an hour to get to the front. Thankfully, we had each other for company, and we were standing next to some friendly people, one from Australia and one from London, Canada who contributes to Bureau 42.
Anyway, the signing was supposed to be an hour, and it took us that just to get to the front of the line. There was a videographer filming the event, and when he saw that I had put the note on my book for Gaiman to make it out to “House”, he asked why, giving me the chance to explain on camera that since a friend dared me to ask Bruce Campbell to sign the book to “House”, as nearly all my friends call me, I’ve had every book made out to me as such.
So, my girlfriend was ahead of me, and I took pictures of her and Gaiman while he was signing. When it was my turn, I handed the camera off to her, and she returned the favour. Neil was quite gracious and friendly, signing 2 items per person, for the apparently 200 people who were given tickets. Naturally, he didn’t have time to stop and chat too much, or pose for pictures (though he didn’t mind you taking them), but he still made pleasant smalltalk, cracked a few jokes, and made it a worthwhile experience. So it was good times.
We finished there at 5:15 PM, and so were a bit late for the panel on “What Fans Don’t Understand About Publishing 2”, which had a focus on distribution and marketing. It had Beth Meacham (a Tor editor), Eleanor Wood (an agent), Leah Bobet (writer/publisher/bookseller), and a guy who’s name I didn’t catch and can’t deduce from the program. It was an interesting look at the insides of how publishing works, and was quite illuminating on some subjects (such as why publishers don’t typically offer e-versions of their own catalog, so as to not compete with the bookstores that are their clients).
Then we had pizza for dinner. It went alittle long, but was a nice break, and we were back in time for a panel on “Mad Social Scientists”, starting with the premise of how we only see evil physical scientists trying to destroy the world, and how can social science be used that way. It had a nice mix of people (writers and humanities people, including a social psychologist), so we got to see things from a lot of different angles, and perhaps see that the social scientists already rule the world.
Next was a panel on “Advice for New Writers: The Secrets of Getting Published”. It was supposed to be a session of what-not-to-do advice, to add a bit of humour to a dry subject. Unfortunately, a number of the scheduled panelists were unable to make it, and so it was left to the remaining two—Jenny Rappaport and Walter Jon Williams—to go it alone. They did an admirable job, keeping it going in that vein for a while before opening it up to a more direct Q&A session.
Finally, after that, we went to the already-in-progress screening of Coraline with Gaiman. Since we arrived an hour after it started, I expected it to be further along, but it was still quite close to the beginning, so I rather suspect Gaiman did his thing before the screening, rather than after (since, well, he didn’t seem to be there after). I do enjoy Coraline though, so this was hardly a tragedy.
So endeth Day 2 of Worldcon. I’ll blog Day 3 in the morning.