Friday, May 28, 2010

On the road again: Balticon, day 3

Morning came way before I was ready for it, but I got out of bed anyway and spent a half hour on the hotel's treadmill. I discovered that with the right distraction--in this case the Daniel Craig version of Casino Royale playing on a TV channel I could get--the time on the treadmill just vanishes.

I'm way past ready for the next Bond film.

Work, shower, work, and then off for lunch to a place I try to visit yearly in Baltimore: Cafe Hon. The food is good but not great, but I still love the joint because it's just such a great little diner.

We then walked through a few shops in the area. Two are worthy of mention.

The first is Squidfire, which in addition to having one of the best shop names ever also offers some amazingly cool t-shirts and hoodies.

The other was perennial favorite, Atomic Books, where once again I bought nothing despite wanting to own more than half the stuff in the place. I think I'm afraid to buy one thing lest I unleash a flood of expensive purchases.

After a little more work, I headed to my first offical con function: a reading. I expected no one to show up, but to my pleasant surprise I ended the session with ten people in the audience--and only two came with me. I read from Children No More and talked about upcoming books, etc.

Dinner was at the same place I go every Friday night of Balticon: Cindy Wolf's Charleston. The food was, as always, perfectly executed--until the desserts. Once again, those, while decent, fell short of the rest of the meal. The service quality has also slipped considerably there, something I hope they address in the future.

I'm working on the show now--and, yes, it's only about 22 hours away as I write this. Plenty of time. I hope.

Actually, I'm quite terrified that I'll blow it, because I should have cast it in concrete weeks ago, but so it goes; shoulda, woulda, coulda, etc. I will do my best, and I'll hope I can make folks laugh until they hurt.

Back to it I go.


Jerrith said...

I was one of the ten who showed up for the reading. I work just across the street (at ZeniMax) and had left early to make sure I got there in time for this event. It was, in fact, the only Friday Balticon event I was interested in.

Was my time well spent? Absolutely.

The conference program just said "Mark Van Name Reading", so I did not know what the reading was going to be from. I was hoping it might be something new - something I hadn't already had a chance to read.

That it turned out to be from Children No More got a mixed reaction from me at first - I'd purchased the eARC from Baen's online store immediately after it became available. Looking at my Kindle, I've actually read 19 books since then. However, for most people, it really does qualify as new - it's not actually out in stores yet, with an Aug 3rd release date.

However, once the session started, I realized I was glad that the reading was from that - not something else.

The subject matter, child soldiers, clearly means quite a bit to the author - and while I'd read the afterword, I hadn't realized just how much.

That made all the difference with the reading. The first chapter, Jon aboard Lobo was nice to hear aloud. With some authors I've found that I come up with different pronunciations for things - that wasn't the case here, virtually everything matched up. The single exception was holo, which I tend to think of as hallow, not hoe-lo.

The second chapter was what was really special. In particular, the way the lines of the young child, being indoctrinated into the ways of that army. It was a much more vivid and memorable experience than my imagination had created previously, from reading it.

Finally, it's also worth mentioning that the "big news" that's been mentioned earlier here on this blog was announced to the ten of us in the room. I won't spoil anything by writing anything about it here. I'll just say I think it's great, and I hope it is extremely successful.

Kyle said...

Break a leg! I wish I could be there to jeer you on.

Mark said...

Thanks, Jerrith. I appreciate the kind words. I'm also hoping we can make the big announcement a roaring success.

For everyone else, more on that later. I must head to a Liars' Panel shortly.

Mark said...

Kyle, I feel the love.


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