|Less likely to kill you than you might think.|
So. The panel. It was called It's Not a Story, It's a Map!, and I was there with Gaie Sebold, Sam Sykes, Ian Whates and China soddin' Mievelle, with moderation provided by the terrific, great-blurb-providing Juliet E McKenna. So no pressure. None. Reliable people had assured me that although China is a living legend and looks like some kind of mythical giant-squid-hunting badass, he's really a lovely guy, (he was), and that although Juliet could talk the legs off a giant squid, she would no doubt make a top class moderator (she did.) All was good. My cool remained more or less intact - even when, on my third pass through the green room* I realised that the elderly bearded chap regailing all and sundry with some lengthy and bizarre anecdote at enormous volume was Brian bloody Blessed.
|The suggestion to sit in name order was my only contribution, but it was a good'un.|
(Personally, I quite like maps in fantasy books, but sometimes you've just got to pick your battles.)
Next came my signing, sitting me once more besides the mighty Mr Ian Whates, and the brilliant-yet-alarming news that Giant Thief had already more or less sold out. Great on the "wholly crap, Giant Thief has sold out" front, not so hot on the "what am I actually going to do for the next hour?" one. But it worked out pretty well, since a couple of people came back with previously-bought copies and enough punters arrived that we managed to flog the last few. (Huge thanks, by the way, to everyone who sought out my illegible squiggle.)
|Marc, me, Paul. Say what you like, but I shined the hell out of those Docs.|
Work done, I retired for dinner and then more drinkage ... and finally, late in the early hours, the delirium tremens-like flailing that must pass for dancing if you happen to have an XY chromosome. Needless to say, it isn't a sight that needs to be inflicted on rational beings (not that there were many around by that point), so it's a damn good job I managed to switch to pained glaring mode before Jonathan Green unleashed something we'd all regret.
|Four thousand people? No problem, mate!|
But that's a story for another time...
Lastly, while I remember, cheers to old friend, master comics creator and soon-to-be Solaris novelist Al Ewing for keeping my company on the journey home - and indeed to everyone who hung out with and / or and bought me drinks, the Angry Robot gang for a great first signing, and of course the SFX folks for a con par excellence. Roll on 2013!
* See! Celebrity terminology!