It was a dark and stormy night, but I saw none of it, being asleep at the time. Then, having woken up and performed some essential duties, such as the humble but truthful reporting to the benefit and entertainment of my loyal readers, I found myself, along with my loyal sidekick, again at the convention hall, looking around for new adventures, of which we had none, but I'll tell you about it anyway, because, to quote an artwork by Jae Leslie Adams which we saw in the Art Show sometime around noon, "Stories happen only to people who can tell them".
Sometime on the way to the convention I decided to indulge upon a unique and ground-breaking social experiment, consisting of mainly repeating the last word of every sentence spoken to me by a Scotsman, preferrably using the same accent. I would have delivered here many an account of the ensuing result, but unfortunately as soon as we arrived at our destination I forgot all about it until this very moment.
We started our convention day by sitting for coffee with Didi and Lavie, the latter complaining, very originally, about his representation in this very piece of accurate journalism. However, after several minutes of this he had to go and deal with his documentary again, and we hadn't heard anything from him until the evening.
We attended a mini-panel starring John Clute and Gary K. Wolfe, dealing with the current "state" of science fiction, and doing so in considerable length, though Wolfe demonstrated again his performance ability and his excellent sense of humor. China Mieville, who sat in the audience, managed to interrupt them only a little bit. No wonder this guy writes (very good, mostly) such long books – each question of his would be enough to fill a small pamphlet. Other people in the audience tried their hand at this as well, but couldn't get anywhere near China's ability.
We spent some more time in the dealers room, and I found a very interesting book written in '51 or so, of which I've never heard before, and which name and author's name I just can't remember at the moment. Guy managed, this time, to buy less books than his own body weight.
We tried calling Lavie, but his phone was turned off.
We visited a panel dealing with consciousness, moderated by Connie Willis, participating Kelly Link, Ian Watson and another author whos name I forget (it's not in the programme, probably a last minute change). When the panel ended, Guy decided to introduce himself to Kelly Link, which I thought was a splendid idea. However, immediately upon arriving at the desk, he decided he should have a talk with Connie Willis, a plan which was interrupted only by his sudden desire to chat with Ian Watson. He had to be restrained, but he did introduce himself to Link, and Connie managed to run out of the room meanwhile.
We were looking for dinner, and I had the great idea of going outside the convention perimeter and trying to get us a hamburger, before attending the George R. R. Martin party at the Hilton. I thought of sharing my great hamburger idea with Lavie, but his phone was off. We therefore went and ate a Subway. While Guy was ordering his sub, I finally managed to get Lavie on the phone. It went something like this:
Lavie: (English accent) Helloo?
Nir: Halo! Lavie!
Lavie: (Israeli accent) Ah, halo! Nir! Come to the party!
Nir: What party?
Lavie: Nir! I'm dressed like a pirate!
Lavie: A pirate!
Nir: Yes, I understand you completely. What party?
Lavie: There's free drinks!
Nir: I am fully aware of that, sire. What party?
Lavie: Come to the Tall Ship. Oy, someone hit me!
Nir: What? Where?
Lavie: In my eye. Someone hit me using my eyepatch.
Nir: No, where's the party?
Lavie: Get a cab, tell the driver you want to go to the Tall Ship. That should be sufficient. (back to English accent) Oh, hello there!
Nir: Do you have a street name and number?
Lavie: Hello? Who's that?
Nir: Right. I'll talk to you later.
We entered a cab and told the driver to take us to the Tall Ship. We were very impressed by the fact that every cab driver in this city knows where every pub and restaurant is located. We arrived at the place, which was a nice little house by the sea shore. We entered, and immediately noticed that it was very suspiciously quiet. A nice gentleman came to our help. "Ye go of yer door, over there, and then strett don and aheed. Ye canna miss it."
And indeed we didn't, because when those people say "Tall Ship" they bloody mean it – the ship outside was tall, big, and full of jolly SF personalities of all persuasions except, maybe, fans. That is, if we fail to count Didi, who, while being an editor and all, is also the biggest fan I've ever seen (his is one of the rare cases where this is a totally positive statement, but trust me, I won't let that compliment get to his head).
On the ship we were greeted by Lavie, without any costume, who was very surprised to see us, and kept asking why they invited the Russian mafia to the party. We also met various writers and editors, and the great surprise of the evening – fantasy author Paul Kearney, who I met when he visited Israel last year, and was friendliness incarnated. He showed us pictures of his totally isolated house near the sea shore in north Ireland, and I told him that had I such a view outside my window, I'd never be able to write anything, because I'll spend my time looking at it. Unfortunately, Paul won't be able to attend the rest of the convention, but we'll stay in contact through Email.
We convinced Lavie to wear his costume again, and to give his best pirate roar. He was convinced that this is done so that I can take his picture. In fact, I took it in video. Lavie was rather unsportsmanlike when he found that out, and I have that on video as well.
After about one more hour of having a jolly good time and talking to everyone around, we went back to the convention area, from which we travelled to the Hilton by an open double-decker bus. We sat in the upper deck and almost frose to death, but were saved by the winner of the convention's mascarade, who at the time was dressed like a cybernetic sheep. Great performer, that guy. Had us laughing all the way to the Hilton.
Having arrived, finally, we visited some parties, and in particular the George R. R. Martin one. They made a special T-shirt for him, signed by many fans, with "I finished writing 'A Feast for Crows' and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" in large friendly letters on the back. Some fans wrote short sentences on the shirt, and Guy insisted that I try my hand at this, and so he can blame only himself for the result, which was, at this time of night and considering my general state of mind as influenced by various drinks and whatnot, something along the lines of "I shall not buy a book of yours until you finish the series!"
I don't remember anything after that.
(Nice pictures of myself, along with some of lesser known celebrities such as G. R. R. Martin, can be found in Didi's Blog)