I attended my first Boskone this past weekend and had a great time. It took me 5 hours to drive up from NJ and that trip caused me to appreciate my Eazy Pass more than ever. I do have to wonder why CT and MA place the “speed lanes” on the right at toll plazas, but that’s another story.
I checked into the hotel and lugged several boxes of books to my room. The view from the 25th floor was great. My room looked out across the river, though I rarely had to chance to sit back and appreciate it. The first stop was down at registration to pick up my badge. On the way out, stegoking flagged me down and gave me an update on the location of BwB party.
By six, I was at pgtremblay’s panel Horror in the Mainstream/Genre, which was well-moderated by F. Brett Cox. There were many good examples of horrific mainstream fiction toss about the panel and audience. It was informative and often entertaining, but not having eaten in many hours left my brain with the ability to only retain the example of Stewart O’Nan. (Paul, care to enlighten us?) When it was over, I joined most of the panel and a couple of their friends for dinner. I had planned to go to another panel that evening, but food and good conversation intervened.
After dinner, Paul signed a few more copies of his book for my store and then we headed off for the Tor party. Book covers were on the walls, windows, and beds, which certainly gave people something to look at and talk about. It was well-attended and a good place to meet people. Unlike some of the cons I’d been to in the distant past, there wasn’t a feeling of being unwelcome around the pros or the con staff.
Leaving the Tor party, I was flagged down by a woman standing in the hall. She was keen on getting me to attend some party she wouldn’t name. Sticking my head inside, I discovered it to be the BwB party I was looking for. BwB is an unofficial George R. R. Martin fan club and a bunch of fun people, several of whom are my customers. The woman in the hallway turned out to be stegoking’s wife and there was a good laugh about how I found them. I talked with a bunch of people and was later introduced to George. I was pleasantly surprised that George knew about Clarkesworld. Later, he told someone there that they should check out my store. (Whether or not they do, doesn’t matter, I was floored by this.) This is where business cards come in very handy. Getting to meet so many people who had purchased books from me was very cool. As an online bookseller, this sort of thing is pretty rare.
That wrapped up the first day, or so I thought. At 5:30 AM, I awoke to the sound of my door rattling. At first I figured it was someone too drunk to find the right room number, but then the room key worked and the door caught on the security bar. Now I was wide awake. The person on the outside was yelling at me to open the door. I was about to call security, when they announced that they were security and that they wanted in to turn off the alarm. As I put the phone down, I could make out the distant sound of an alarm clock buzzing. I yelled back that he had the wrong room and exchanged a few more words. As I relocked my door, he started the whole routine all over again next door. I’m pretty sure that was the wrong room too.
Now I have to pack some more orders, so day two, the more interesting day, will come later…