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Nine Worlds and WorldCon - The Shopping

Harry AugustThere may or may not be some sort of conpocalypse wrap-up post, but, for now, here's the important bit - all the looting.

Twas the evening before Nine Worlds and I realised that I'd helped a) programme a con with a zillion of my favourite authors, b) was staying on-site the entire weekend, c) had a taxi booked [INFINITE LUGGAGE]. As Anne can testify, this series of revelations lead me down a path that took me until the wee hours of the morning, throwing books into bags (and bellowing things like "WHERE IS MY RED SEAS PROOF?" at the cats).

As a result, Nine Worlds was less about acquisition than inscription - and I'm pleased to say that I took advantage of the convention to corner folks like Scott Lynch, Lily Herne, Helena S. Paige, Claire North, Nick Harkaway, Paul Cornell, Catherine Webb, Sarah Lotz, Stark Holborn, Tom Pollock, Daniel Polansky and Fabio Fernandes. I missed Kate Griffin though, dammit.

In fairness, there was some shopping involved, as I picked up Cakes in Space by Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, the Vampire Academy graphic novels by Emma Vieceli, Zen Cho's Spirits Abroad and a small pile of books from Fox Spirit.

WorldCon was the reverse - I didn't attend any of the signings, but I did have a nice little mosey around the dealer room. New treasures include a half dozen signed paperbacks, including Ace Doubles by Poul Anderson, Gordon Dickson and Samuel Delaney, as well as a signed paperback first of Delaney's Babel-17.

Zero CoolAlso a few other (unsigned) paperback treasures, including, I think, the last two books I needed to finish the Centaur Press Time-Lost series. (I know you're as excited about this as I am.) Those things are a pain to find. Other finds: Nina Allan's The Race, one of Russo's Carlucci novels and, for the fun of it, some Tad Williams. Lots of good reading in there. The most expensive purchase of the convention was a whopping £8, for one of the Dean Koontz Ace Doubles. That's a good bargain, although my excitement is lessened by the fact that I had it already (sigh). 

The highlight of WorldCon was finally getting to meet Gregory Manchess, who is a simply phenomenal artist and, I'm delighted to say, a really lovely guy as well. Anyone that puts up with being cornered by a slavering fanboy for that long... Manchess art adorns pretty much everything from Louis L'Amour to Robert Howard to movie posters to, er, rum bottles. And, perhaps best of all: he did some of my very favourite Hard Case Crime covers (including my absolute favourite, Zero Cool). He was kind enough to sign a small stack of these for me.

I also, because - me - did a little surreptitious online shopping and found a few John D. MacDonald treasures, including hardcover firsts of The Deceivers (lovely cover), The Long Lavender Look (horrendous cover, but same artist - perplexing) and [drumroll please] I Could Go On Singing. I've made noises about The One JDM I Don't Have, and this was that book - a novelisation of the Judy Garland movie and apparently a work so bad that JDM asked that it never be reprinted. The true first is a Gold Medal paperback, I actually didn't even know that the Hale hardcover existed (and I can't find another copy out there, so that's exciting). And now I have it. Life quest complete! (throws confetti) Right, time to find a new author.

The very best parts of the two-week conpocalypse were the wonderful presents brought by overseas friends - we've probably now started some sort of gift-spiral that will bankrupt us all, but leave everyone involved with really good collections. Now we have the South African edition of Lauren Beukes' Broken Monsters (with the stunning Joey Hi-Fi cover), a gorgeous copy of Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism (reviewed here) and a stack of rare Harlan Ellison books that brings a tear to my eye (especially when I try to lift them). Friends are awesome.

Now to find shelf space...