Book festival

Friday I went to an early show at the 9:30 club by Vertical Horizon, and when they said early, they weren’t kidding – doors opened at 6, and the opening band started at 6:15. I went with Linda (who had won passes) and a couple of her coworkers, and we got in the club at 7:20 – 10 minutes before they started. Good show, they mostly played tunes from their last 2 CDs, both of which I knew well. Nice to be home from a 9:30 show before 10 – I even caught most of the debate (I thought bot of ’em weren’t answering the questions, though).

Got up early Saturday to make it to the Mall. Neil Gaiman was signing at 10, and since this was the 4th time I’d been to one of his signings, I knew how long the line could get (the first signing of his I went to, I waited three hours). I got there a little after 9, and their were around 50 people in front of me. He started a little before 10, and I got up there around 10:30 (asked him some questions about the lettered edition of “American Gods” which he hasn’t heard anything about either). His take on the day is at his blog.

I made it to the end of Robert B. Parker’s q & a, then got to the science fiction and fantasy pavilion in time to grab a seat before Neal Stephenson started. Due to the short time frame, he just did a q & a. He’s very sharp and funny. His signing was next, and while I was waiting I realized “Cryptonomicon”, the book I’d brought for him to sign, I hadn’t read, so I started reading it (I think I’ve only read “Snow Crash” by him). By the time I got my book signed, Frederik Pohl had started speaking, so I hustled back there (it was about half a mile between the signing tent and the science fiction and fantasy pavilion). He’s pretty spry for an 85 year old, but he said he wants to be like Jack Williamson when he grows up – Jack’s 96, and both of ’em are still writing novels.

It got crowded as Neil was up next. He read three different sections from “Anansi Boys”, the new novel he’s writing that seems to be in the same universe as “American Gods”. Some very funny stuff, and since it was all about the character “Fat Charlie”, I’ve had the Paul Simon’s Crazy Love, Pt. II in my head ever since. I went to Frederik Pohl’s signing next, then headed out (with a stop at CD Cellar, my favorite used CD store/coffee shop, natch).

Jill didn’t get up until almost 7, but she’s feeling under the weather. I read the paper while she caught up on “Lost” and “Desparate Housewives”, then she made a salad and I grilled steaks, then we watched the first half of “Hunt For Red October” (it was her idea!), then SNL (the two debates were eerily like the real things).