Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Things What I Learned at BCon pt4

Mes Amis



Oh dear God, my head. I'm shaking, I'm dizzy, I think the world's going to collapse about my ears. It has to be a hangover, but I didn't drink that much last night. Not enough that this buzzing in my brain won't go away, anyhow. So let's get up and get some coffee.

Downstairs I drink black, black coffee with Anthony Neil Smith, who's got the Plots with Guns Anthology here and he should have his first novel but something's fucked up (the same thing happened to Banks, unfortunately). Even with the coffee, the buzzing doesn't go. I want to go to panels but I feel too bad. I walked about outside. I'm starting to feel better, but still shakey. There is no way I drank that much the night before, thinks I. And why is my voice all raspy? Have I turned into Simon Kernick?

Eventually I'm feeling better but it won't go away. I head down to the book rooms and splurge like crazy. I mean this is some mad spending here. I get a bundle of cool books. Some are gifts. I try to seek out one writer to sign a book to my Mum, but I'm sure the writer in question is avoiding me. Never mind. I get copies of anthologies signed by those who I can find and pick up signed copies of The James Deans (before turning to find Reed Farrel Coleman standing right behind me.) and several others, too. I buy some old pulps as well and get chatting to bookdealers. Some of them even know who I am and pump me for information about the British crime Scene. Great people, though. I advise you visit both Heirloom Bookstore and Booked For Murder who were both very nice to me down there. Although Jen would laugh if she heard me say "Booked for Murrrrdurr" out loud.

I go for lunch in the bar but I still feel sick and can't finish the biggest plate of tacos in the known universe. Its not fair. Bryon got through em the night before. So I go upstairs, fall asleep for about an hour. I'm still not right when I get up and by now I'm sure its not a hangover. But I go walkabout in the city when I'm done and get very, very lost. I see some cool stuff, stumble into an internet cafe and make a blog entry. I have some coffee while I'm there, chat with people and try to explain that Scotland does indeed have more than two cities. Its just that the others aren't very big.

I eventually get back to the hotel and, as ever, stumble into the bar. There I meet with Mary Regan, Jen, Jon and Ruth, CJ Carpenter, Simon Kernick and David Hewson and we all merrily stumble off to find dinner. Sure, its the Anthony awards but none of us have tickets. And who wants to go to an awards ceremony when you can have Tapas! Ending up in this great wee place, we sit out under the night sky of Chicago and eat some absolutely wonderful dishes, drink some wonderful drinks and generally have a great time.

Coming back to the hotel, we bump into Charles Ardai and Ken Bruen who inform us about the winners of the awards. Everyone's pretty much excited by the results and, of course, its back to the bar to celebrate. I meet Jason Starr and make a fool of myself in front of him trying to explain why you just can't get good books in Dundee (Like his own Tough Luck, which I just bought that afternoon - it looks damn good and his own appearance on one of the noir panels convinced me I needed to read it). He just looks confused.

After making a bit of a fool of myself I finally bump into the Banks and his lovely wife. Duane (Please don't ask me to spell his last name) pops up along with Al Guthrie and then Rickards comes skipping along whistling merrily about weasels or something. The evening drifts on. There are drinks. There is bullshit. There are stories and again we come back to the essence of B'Con: eat, drink, mingle and be damn merry.

I'm still feeling odd, though. My throat has begun to close up and I'm glad when I finally get to bed.

And there's still the sunday to go. But most of that's flying. Flying and dying because that sore throat is the final part of the incubation stage of the Rickards (or Richards, as the program reported him to be) flu.

Until I wake up feeling like death, mes amis

Au Revoir


1 comment:

Jennifer Jordan said...

Ah, yes. Simon Kenick himself had morphed into late '90's Keef Richards at that point.

Russell didn't look ill - except the more pronounced tinge to his freckles.