Category Archives: In The World

Tuesday Recap (#10)

Let Me In by John Ajvide LindqvistTen recaps already! omg.

Reviewed this week: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper, The Zombie Autopsies by Steven C. Schlozman, “Good Girls Go to Heaven” by Seanan MacGuire.

Room by Emma DonoghueKind of a negative week for books this week. Sorry about that, next week will be better.

Also read: Room by Emma Donoghue, Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (both of which were much, much better than the books I reviewed this week – reviews coming soon!)

In the world: The reason I’m so behind on book reviews is that I spent the weekend with my little sister (who just turned 23). I haven’t seen her since Christmas, so she came up for the weekend and we were going nonstop, to the zoo, to the movies, to the House on the Rock.

…Have you ever seen the House on the Rock, Faithful Readers? It is a thing of glory. I can’t show you any pictures because pictures do not do it justice. It’s a American Gods by Neil Gaimanlabyrinth of a place, a kind of not-museum, a collection of wonderful things. The original House was built by Alex Jordan in the 50’s as a kind of screw you to Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Taliesin is just a few miles down the road. I think it was meant to be a summer home, but, well…he didn’t stop. Now it’s a massive collection of THINGS, featuring the largest carousel in the world (and not one horse’s head); a huge collection of calliopes, player pianos, and self-playing orchestras; thousands of Tiffany-style lamps; and my absolute favorite, the Organ Room, which contains not only many, many organs but a timpani tree, the largest wooden clock I’ve ever seen, and an incredible inspiration for the steampunk aesthetic. The House was famously featured in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, when Shadow and Mr. Wednesday go there to summon the gods. If you’re ever in Wisconsin, check it out, it’s always worth a trip. (They say it’s a three hour tour all the way through; I’ve never done it in less than four. Wear good shoes, bring a bottle of water, and don’t try to take pictures. It’s the lighting that does it, and you just can’t capture that.)

I Aten’t Dead (I was at the North American Discworld Convention)

I attended my very first fan con over the weekend (I went to ALA last summer, but that doesn’t seem to count), and it was amazing, I want to do it again. But maybe not for a few more months. I think I need some time to recover.

NADWCon logoI went to the North American Discworld Convention as an assistant to my friend Raven, who took most of her shop Ravenworks over to the con to vend as the only costumer there. We shared a room with Amanda of Mad Hattery and had way too much fun sending people back and forth across the room. “Buy a fantastic hat and get a costume to wear with it!” “Get an amazing dress and an amazing hat to match!” We dressed so many gorgeous people in so many gorgeous clothes. It was glorious.

I was too busy dressing people most of the time to get to see panels, but I did pop in for the two big ones. I managed to make it over to catch all but the first few minutes of the reading from Snuff, the new Discworld book due out in October 2011. From the bits I heard, it sounds very much like English cozy country mystery with Vimes. Vimes in the country! Vimes as a country lord! Solving crime! I am in love with it already. (I wish I could remember enough of the Discworld’s Newton-apple tree story to recreate it, but alas, I can only tell you to look forward to it come October.)

Saturday we were swamped with customers and I didn’t get to see anything — anything, that is, but the amazing costumes moving through. I saw several excellent Granny Weatherwaxes, more than one lovely goddess Anoia, the very best (and definitely tallest) Death I have ever seen, a Dibbler with a tray of sausages (named meats extra), a truly dedicated Death of Rats, and many small Feegles. Ten year olds are perfect Feegles. Throughout the weekend, we contributed a couple of Dukes, a small Lord Vetinari, a vampiress (Black Ribbon, I hope), several wizards, and more than one Assassin to the throng. (Only appropriate: to get into the spirit of the thing, we dressed as Assassins and displayed our special dispensation from Lord Vetinari, allowing us to pose as merchants selling our wares in order to gather information about our potential targets. We were very polite and did not inhume anyone all weekend.)

Dangerous Beans

Dangerous Beans, advocating for rat rights at the Discworld con

On Sunday we had a slow day, still equivalent to a good vending day anywhere else we’ve ever been, but slow enough that I could stand in the doorway and listen to the Good Omens panel. Although he wasn’t on the program, Neil Gaiman showed up, and he and Sir Terry spent two solid hours telling stories and jokes and generally being wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the story they told about auctioning the book to publishers when it was finished — as the bids grew higher and higher, Neil said he got more and more excited, and Terry admitted to being underneath the bed, holding on to the floor. <3 I am reassured by the news that, although it is not the same production company, it is largely the same people making the Good Omens miniseries as made the spectacular Hogfather. This is going to be good, folks. Also, I think I need to reread Good Omens.

Although the con was still running today, I was not; after three ten- to twelve-hour days (taking into account not only the vending but the frantic trips across town to the storefront and the suppliers to restock) I need a day off before I go back to the day job. But I’m pretty sure I had the best first con experience I could ever have hoped for, and oh, I will be doing it again. Hopefully next year, in Birmingham.

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