Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Third Day in Discworld

Since day one rumors had been spreading that the reason the Good Omens panel had been moved from Saturday to Sunday was because Neil himself would be coming. To have Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett in the same room together would be ecstasy. This was literally too good to be true. Yet the rumors continued. To bide our time, in a totally fun and not at all arduous manner, Jess and I went to the Patrick Rothfuss reading. This was a rare occasion to be in a small venue with the great author, seeing as his booksingings now have upwards of 600 people showing up. We where such a small group that he handed out copies of his book, The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, which we read as a group. I have never had a more fun experience. Having the book read aloud while we turned page by page, but never before Patrick's command. It gave a whole new level to the work, I was sad to hand back my book, even if I had one at home, it would have been a memento forever. He also read an Edda (aka old Norse poetry) that he wrote for an anthology starring Will Wheaton. It was beyond funny and everyone should go get it now! Though, I will share the best line: "While beneath the bass of a murderous mewing, Came the thunderous thrum of Proud Petrifax purring." So, you're by now going, ok, Rothfuss isn't Pratchett, no matter how awesome he is... so back to the con...

I stepped into the auction for a few minutes, where items from/about/loosely connected to Discworld where being auctioned off, some for insane amounts of money. I did not win what I wanted because I don't know if I missed it or not... a few people had sheets about the auction lots, but it was the least organized of the events and left me slightly miffed. Auction, grumble, grumble... and after lunch my stomach was doing the grumble, grumble. Lunch, it did not agree with me... so the making of the Sock Mac Feegles was not so much, making, as harvesting the supplies for a later assembly. Also it was total chaos with no instruction and people who hadn't paid wandering in. Best to hit the bathroom... and then get in line to see if rumors can be true.

As it happens, rumors where true! The cheers for Neil and Terry walking in together must have been heard blocks away! Our seats where close, but not the best, all front row seats being "reserved"... we couldn't really see their faces, but just to hear Neil's voice was enough! It was a very odd voyeuristic Q&A where you felt like you where sitting watching Neil and Terry just chatting in their living room. They recounted many stories about how Good Omens was written, many of the anecdotes in the back of the newest paperback edition. They also upheld the belief that at one point the book started writing itself because there is one line they both love but they swear neither of them wrote it. They also discussed taking the picture for the back of the book (see above). Terry remembers thinking how cool the "black and white" look would be, only Neil laid claim to the black so he was nice and warm in this cemetery, in winter, in England. While Terry was wearing a pair of very lightweight cricket pants and all the cricket accoutrement, being the only white clothes they could find at that time of year. Therefore you have the cool laid back Gaiman who spent the day climbing on tombstones, and a cold Pratchett huddling in the meager warmth of the mausoleum.

At one point they sang a bit of a They Might be Giants song and at another point, while recounting meeting a crazy person who wanted to buy the rights to the book demonstrated their "escape plan." They where to employ the code word "Biggles." But this lady was so beyond Biggles levels, they both started to pretend to fly.

When Neil, near the end of the wondrous hour, got up and stood at the podium near us, he realized just how big the room was. Literally everyone from the convention came... well, they kept telling us not to miss it? And have I said... rumors? Here is Neil going, "Wow, there's people over here." It was nice to finally see his face and not just his dulcet tones.

The podium had a purpose, of which Terry was suspicious. Turns out, Neil was there to present the 2010 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy to Terry for I Shall Wear Midnight (which is one of my favorite books.)

Terry was very humble, with his short speech: "About Bloody Time."

After the glory of the Good Omens panel, the rest of the night could never compare. We went to the Gala Banquet hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Quirm. Appropriate because Wisconsin knows it's cheeses like Quirm does (note Terry's "Native Attire.") Of course, having a Vegan with you to a cheese extravaganza meant she ate much mushrooms and leafy greens. The food was decent, nothing to rave about, but nothing to complain about like the other people at our table did. At least they wheren't dressed up, because if we had been at some of the other tables... we would have felt very out of place. Terry was very genuine in his toast and seemed to be warming up to Wisconsin... but that couldn't keep us past the bizarre and appallingly bad comedy sports team that was there for "our entertainment." Going home, putting on PJs and watching Big Bang Theory was more our line of entertainment.


Newer Post Older Post Home