Boskone: Day 1

It’s a little after 11PM local time, so I better write fast if I’m going to get this in on time.

Before I go into the blow-by-blow, here’s a quick list of the topics I’ll be covering:

  • The setup
  • Live from Boskone recording
  • A Happy Customer
  • Dinner with David Gerrold

Even though we went to bed at what our bodies should have considered 7PM, we woke up at 9AM local time, and it wasn’t easy to get up. We didn’t have a cat yowling in our room because she wants to get laid, and we didn’t have our son loudly moving through our hall on a quest to pee. We did, however, have blankets that wanted to cook us in our own juices. Melissa and I both woke up several times in the middle of the night, either shivering and teeth clattering, or sweating, melting into the sheets. Hopefully tonight we’ll find the right balance.

Once we were up and moving, we ate omelets in the too expensive hotel restaurant, then went to see if we could get our badges from registration. The escalator leading up to the registration tables was out of order, which I could have taken as a sign of things to come, but chose not to. Instead, we met up with Steven Brewer and Daniel Fliederbaum, with the intention of unloading Steven’s car and getting the table ready to open in the afternoon.

With Arisia, I was able to steal acquire a large cart, and we pulled all of the boxes in one go. It was brilliant. This time, the carts weren’t where I found them, so all we had was Steven Brewer’s handcart. We used that, and I hauled some of the boxes and content by hand. It took 3 trips and, while it wasn’t terrible, it put me in a bit of a sour mood.

Next came setting up the tables, inventorying all of the books, and laying everything out in such a way that it would make sense to customers. At Arisia, we were short a box or two, so filling out the tables was somewhat trivial. Today, we had too many books. SO many books. I described it as 10 pounds of fish in a 5 pound net, but it was really more like 5 tables worth of books to put on 2 tables.

We did the work and made some hard compromises. A couple of the books we had were not really SciFi or Fantasy, so we left those in the boxes. A couple of the books belonged to a series, but we didn’t have #1 in the series, so we left those in the boxes. When we had complete series, we’d stack the whole series on the table, then put #1 on top. We were always going to be putting duplicate books in boxes under the table, to be pulled out on demand, but we were particularly sharp, keeping the number of copies relatively low so the stacks wouldn’t get out of hand.

Melissa was a huge help. She did a lot of it, honestly. We sorted and arranged and rearranged until finally, we had everything on the table. We were still putting price tags on the books at 4PM when the dealer’s room opened.

Just before 5, I met up with another named Richard Williams. I interviewed him for the first portion of the Live from Boskone episode of the Small Publishing in a Big Universe podcast. As I mentioned yesterday, Live from Arisia will be up and available after Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure when Live from Boskone will be up, but I imagine it won’t be too long from now.

Back in the dealer’s room, I went and found David Gerrold’s table. Steven Radecki asked me to get him a signed copy of Hella, and after Michael Gallowglas’s book club celebrated the story recently, I wanted a copy for myself. David wasn’t selling copies of that book himself, but he knew the space next to him had at least one copy. They did, and it was an ARC. I picked it up, had David sign it, and then sent pictures to Steven Radecki to let him know I got him what he asked for. I also posted it to Michael Gallowglas’s discord, mostly in the hopes of making a couple of people there jealous.

If getting a signed copy of David Gerrold’s book wasn’t enough to make a member of the Gallowglas Army jealous, my evening activity should have been enough. Melissa and I were joined for dinner by David Gerrold and Stephen Wilk, one of the authors on the Small Publishing in a Big Universe table. It was a fantastic dinner! Everyone had a good time. David had some great stories, and the way he talks about his son and his grandson is heartwarming. He also had some valuable advice for me with regards to writing sequels.

It’s late, now. I had a couple of hard ciders tonight, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

I’m so tired, in fact, that I failed to mention how I got to talk for a few minutes with John Berlyne, the agent with Xeno that I still consider my first choice. We had a good chat. Maybe I’ll see him some more this weekend.

Okay. That’s enough. Time to go to sleep. Tomorrow, I suspect, will be a long day.