"Journey by a London Bus"

All fun and games until someone sneezes

Poor YertleA somewhat succinct rundown of all the loot from last week's craziness:

Marjorie Bowen's Dr. Chaos and The Devil Snar'd (1933) (as George R. Preedy). Embarrassingly, I thought this was a single book - some sort of pulp adventure with Doctor Chaos facing off against the dread demon Snar'd (pronounced 'snard'). Alas, no - two separate books. (WFC)

Kate Griffin's The Glass God (2013). Next thing you know, you'll be accusing us of organising these panels just to get our own favourite books signed... (Blackwell's / Secret Histories)

Tim Powers' De Laatste Kaart (1994), Last Call (1992 / 2013) and The Stress of Her Regard (1991). The first is a Dutch copy of Last Call, found on a business trip to Amsterdam, the second is the new Masterworks edition, the third is an old paperback edition with a fairly ridiculous cover. All signed! (Blackwell's / Secret Histories)

Lavie Tidhar's The Violent Century (2013) (x2). Both the first edition and the proof. The latter is signed WITH HIS EDITOR'S OWN RED PEN. How's that for an association copy? (rushes to eBay) (Blackwell's / Secret Histories)

...and The Bookman Histories (2012). The omnibus, and, gasp, an edition of Lavie's book's we somehow didn't have. Glad we sorted that out. (WFC)

Maurice Broaddus' The Knights of Breton Court (2012). The omnibus. As above. Joey Hi-Fi cover and a Golden Tentacle winner. How did I not have this edition already? (WFC)

Molly Tanzer's Rumbullion (2013) and A Pretty Mouth (2012). Rumbullion is one of the loveliest hardcovers I've ever seen - a 250 copy edition with printed boards and coloured end-papers. And A Pretty Mouth is one of my favourite books pretty much, well, ever, so getting a copy inscribed was one of the highlights of WFC. (WFC)

Sarah Lotz's The Three (2014). Just a sampler. These appeared twice at the convention - a stack disappeared immediately from the registration table, then new ones popped up at the Hodder party, so I pounced. (WFC)

China MiƩville's The Apology (2013). Chapbooks given out at WFC. Gimme. (WFC)

Peter O'Donnell's I, Lucifer (1967) and The Silver Mistress (1975). Paperbacks from Pan. Modesteeeeeee. (WFC)

Sarban's The Sound of His Horn (1970). A genuinely hideous paperback edition. (WFC)

Daniel Polansky's She Who Waits (2013) (x2). Again, both the first edition and the proof, signed by the man himself. (J for Jetpack event)

Lily Herne's Deadlands (2013) and Death of a Saint (2013). The Constable and Robinson editions, which are much better looking than the original South African ones. Signed by "Lily Herne" herselves, in fairly profane ways. Really, really delighted to have these. (WFC)

S.T. Joshi's The Weird Tale (1990). I kept missing Mr. Joshi, and never got a chance to get it signed. Someday... (WFC)

Kim Lakin-Smith's Autodrome (2013). I did not miss Ms. Lakin-Smith, and got this signed. Fantastic cover. (WFC)

Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising (2012). My first ever Folio Edition (well, first-ever actually-bought-first-hand-from-the-Folio Society). Such an experience! Everything about it is amazing - even the packaging, the leaflets, the whole... branded atmosphere of the book arriving in the post. Made, of course, all the better by the opportunity to bring said book down to WFC and get it signed by Ms. Cooper herself. After all my initial fretting, I only brought a few books with me to the con. And of those, only the Susan Coopers got signed (I had two, the other a gift). I'm not sure what the lesson is there... I'm glad I didn't have books I 'needed' to get signed, as they turn into a bit of a mission. That said, if I had brought more books, I probably would've been more devoted to that mission and spent less money. Maybe. Who knows?

Stan Nicholls' Shake Me to Wake Me (2013) and Steve Rasnick Tem's Twember (2013). Two from NewCon press. The former has a brilliant cover by Andy Bigwood. The latter is the latest in NewCon's Imaginings series - short story collections. I was fortunate enough to subscribe to this series from the beginning, and I think this is number 7; all lovely books with great tales. (WFC)

Tad Williams' Tailchaser's Song (1985). One of the best successes of the con - a first edition, found at WFC and then signed by Mr. Williams. Anne's first (and favourite?) of his books, a position she maintains despite my relentless mocking of the cover. #canhazglowingkitteh (WFC)

Frances Hardinge's Verdigris Deep (2007). A proof! The Hardinge collection grows. Like a... uh... cheese. Or a lie. Or some other Hardingian metaphor. (WFC)

Bill Campbell's Sunshine Patriots (2013). The fifteenth anniversary edition - with the Vincent Sammy cover. (WFC)

A stack of PS Publishing goodies! Hooray for convention freebies that come from high quality small presses! (WFC)

... plus Shimon Adaf's Sunburnt Faces (2013). A PS Publishing book that I actually bought - and then got signed at the launch. I've had the opportunity to read the first few pages of a review copy, and it is terrific. (WFC)

All in all, I find this haul weirdly comforting. Normally I come back from something like this with either a) a stack of un-valuable stuff; just crap that I want to read or random vintage silliness (e.g. 47 books like the Modesty Blaise PBs) with or b) one or two 'high-ticket' items that I shelve and never touch again, except for the occasional leering.

This time, everything sort of slotted between those two: a lot of books that I'd already read, but personalised or inscribed. It goes back to that 'value hierarchy' that I've been trying to pin down recently, but I think this is an example of a convention (or week) that was all about getting value for me, and not anything more objective.