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26 November 2006 @ 12:22 pm
comicon et all  
The comicon was, for what little time we attended, entertaining. We got there shortly before 10 and there was a queue outside, so we looked at each other and went 'gosh, we could do some christmas shopping instead of standing here', and did. After a while we went back and there was a queue inside, preventing us from actually getting *in* to the dealer's room (the whole shebang was held at the Temple Bar Music Centre, which is probably fine for small musical venue stuff, but is not at all ideal for comic conventions), so we went away again, figuring the line would thin out later. We picked up the hardback Ultimates #1 to get Mark Millar and Brian Hitch to sign, and did a little more shopping and found something for lunch, and went back again.

By that time they'd figured out the problem was that Millar had so many people coming to see him (Hitch apparently couldn't make it) they were blocking the dealer's room by having him inside it and people lining up to see him outside it. So they'd moved him, and the queue now permitted people to get inside the dealer's room.

Which was way, way, way too crowded. But we did see ephiriel immediately, as she was directly inside the door. She very kindly took my backpack, which allowed me to move around the room without bludgeoning people, although not without mashing into them. :) We'd made almost a circuit when slovobooks arrived and bellowed a greeting, and we narrowly missed manning their table while they went in search of lunch. :) Instead, several of the guys from Octocon did that, and we stood around blocking the path and chatting. ("Did you see that people are selling VHS over there?" somebody said. "You mean...DVD on *tape*?" someone else carolled, to everyone's vast amusement, and it immediately degenerated into the idea of writing books with director's commentary and whatnot; one page would be the story, the other would be the commentary. DVD on paper! *laugh* It was fun. :))

(Also, sammywol, I retroactively admired some sushi for you; I didn't know I was supposed to until I got back and read your comment, but slovobooks had some, so there you go. Sushi admired, if not eaten, on your behalf. (I don't like sushi, so I'd have only admired it anyway. :))

Eventually we went and put ourselves in the Millar line, which moved very. Very. Slowly. I suspected, and it was confirmed by getting up there finally to talk to the man, that Mark Millar had never met a stranger, and was absolutely willing to spend hours talking to each person in the line. (He's Scottish. I didn't know that.) So the con handlers were trying to get the line cut off so he could go get something to eat, and he kept talking cheerfully to everybody, and I figured, well, crap, we're only going to have two seconds to say hello because they're going to rush us off, but he was presiding and we actually spent several minutes talking to him (first about J.G. Jones, about whom he told us a *very* funny story, then briefly about what Americans were doing living in Ireland, and I got to give him a copy of URBAN SHAMAN, and he said, "Oh, excellent, and how are the reviews, are they good?" and I said, "Oh, the reviews are fine but the sales are better," and he said, "Brilliant!" and--well, we coulda stayed and talked to him for hours. :)), and then we more or less went and said goodbye and then came home to Cobh, because Ted was exhausted and really wanted to just have a Day Off, and so here we are. :)

I finished reading JONATHAN STRANGE, and I gotta say that while the action didn't pick up until the final third of the book, I see no way to have created the world and story in any other fashion than she did in order for it to work. And it worked so effectively that somewhere in the mid-400s, page-wise, where there's a footnote that says, "Taken from The Life of Jonathan Strange by John Segundus," I thought, "Oh, that sounds like a really interesting book, I'll have to pick it up." (beat) "DOH!" *Did* Mr. Honeyfoot ever find the murderer that the stone angels talked about? I missed it if he did and I really want to know that story. -.-

Anyway, I got to the end and wanted more, which is what everybody I've read says happens, and it's ... yeah. It was a good book. No wonder it took her ten years to write it. :)

Also read A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA, which I didn't especially like, and a military sf thing that felt very simplistic in its writing style after reading STRANGE & NORRELL (what wouldn't?), but which was fine for mind candy and led to plenty of animated discussions about how much of a basic grasp of tactics could be lost in the course of a century, so that was all good.

Tomorrow I have to go into Cork and get Chance printed and sent! (And then work on my line edits for COYOTE. But Chance comes *first*!)
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The Green Knightgreen_knight on November 26th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
Ten years? I didn't know that. That... reassures me a little, because for someone unknown to come out of the wings and just blow me away like this book did is rather frustrating after years of honing my own prose and not producing anything halfway like it.

Apart from being a wonderful book, it's a lovely book to waft in the face of everybody who inisists that books must be written to the pattern of X - where X is action beginning or strong female love interest or... Quality will win, in the end. I find that enourmously reassuring.
kitmizkit on November 26th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oh. Yeah. :) It took her a full decade to write that book. :)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 26th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
What's interesting is to watch how both she and her husband have coped with her overnight success. For years and years, Colin Greenland has been a respected but not star-level writer (I first met him nearly twenty years ago). Then, suddenly, out comes S&N, and it's everywhere. Early copies in all our friends' houses. Booker prize nomination. On sale in places like the Charlotte NC airport bookstall (one of only three books there I would be tempted by, and I already owned it).

I could quite understand if Colin was somewhat jealous of it all, but I think he's really chuffed by it all. I think he saw that book growing all the time, he knew that it would be good, and that he gave her professional advice. I suspect that that's partly why it's as excellent as it is - that he did what a good editor could possibly not afford the time for.
The Green Knightgreen_knight on November 26th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
The more I write and hang out with writers the more I appreciate that a book is *not* just the product of a single writer-in-a-garrett, but a collaborative effort. I'm not saying that it should be written by comittee, but that every now and again writers benefit from an influx of fresh ideas.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 26th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Indeed. And one of the great collaborative efforts can be between writer and editor.
Cyrano: Random Sims2cyranocyrano on November 26th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
Actually, there was that Piers Anthony book with the 'author commentary', wasn't there? (Note this occasion, as I will generally not recommend Anthony for readers over thirteen.)
sammywolsammywol on November 26th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for waving to sushi on my behalf (and for the heads up on what not make when you come over finally).

I think I need to reread Strange and Norrell, because I can hardly remember Mr Honeyfoot, let alone his plot arc. It's only been two years. I usually retain better than that drattit!
Dan/Дмитрийicedrake on November 27th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Inquiring minds want to know: What was the mil. SF thing? I'm in the mood for some brain candy, and I always enjoyed non-terrible mil. SF. Sadly, there isn't all that much of it, and I've already swallowed Scalzi's Ghost Brigades.
kitmizkit on November 27th, 2006 09:39 am (UTC)
THE LOST FLEET: DAUNTLESS, by Jack Campbell. It's your typical "disappeared hero returns to bring honor back to the fleet" sort of thing, but it worked for me for a couple hours' entertainment. :)