The Amazing Life Of
The keener among our loyal readers might have noticed that their favourite author and journalist has not yet returned to his homeland, as previously promised. This is mostly the result of a late British Airways flight from Glasgow to London, with a nice check-in-cleck-unreasonability topping.
I therefore took the opportunity and fell like a ton of angry and vengeful bricks upon unsuspecting Liz and Lavie, who fed me, entertained me, let me use their phone and internet and quite amazing shower (the details are classified), and even listened to my ramblings. And Lavie did almost no complaining, though that might be due to some (justified!) complaining on my side, for a change. Never been treated better in me life.
Hey, you people – I own you a big one!
Today I’ll try to get on the next flight to Israel. However, by this time I’m not so sure of the results. We’ll just have to wait and see.
And after the storm finally died and the wind settled down and the darkness melted into light and the horrible deeds of dark times became mere memories, we ate a hamburger. This became our morning practice several days ago, since the food at the convention site itself isn’t something to write home about, unless one would like to combine real poetry with terms so far restricted to the field of geology. Said hamburger was being had at the central train station, which is practically around and underneeth our hotel, and this was a Good Thing, for who was there, waiting for the train, if not China Mieville himself. He and I exchanged some warm words and then our ways parted, for Guy and I were going to the convention site for the last time.
By the time we arrived, the convention was in advanced stages of closing-out. Guy, who forgot to bring his con-tag the day before and thus had to deposit 25 pounds in order to get a temporary new one, had to use all his Israeli-training in order to get his money back. He told me so himself, because I spent that time chatting with people who just bought some art for the kind of money I could use to buy another motorcycle or two.
It’s a bit sad, seeing a convention closing down, but hey – nothing lasts forever.
We spent some time in the Moathouse hotel lobby with some of the Israeli gang, finding out, to our distress, that Didi managed to buy another G. R. R. Martin T-shirt, and that Assaf got himself some Manga-Barbies, may someone have mercy on his soul. Then, having said goodbye to everyone, we went tripping about the city of Glasgow, buying food only occasionally.
The light was fading as the Tremendous Trio, having had much less quality time to itself than expected, commenced upon a dinner in a very good italian restaurant, and then went on to the nearest pub, and then, when it closed, to another pub, accompanied by honorary member Nicola, who by now probably regrets some of her pictures I took. We found out that one of us is a pyromaniac, but I shall not reveal who.
By the time our ways parted, Lavie has had so much fun that he actually stopped complaining, and Guy had so much fun that he actually started to complain, but got trodded upon by your humble servant and thus stopped before it turned into anything serious.
Guy is now on his way to Ireland, I will be on my way to London shortly, and from there back home, to which I hope to arrive, somewhat unlike cinderella, a bit before midnight.
It has been a fabulous convention and a great vacation.
Now I need some rest.
And there was evening, and there was morning, and the Lord saw that all was good, except maybe the weather, but, it being a Sunday, elected to do nothing about it. Left to its own means said weather failed to reach a coherent decision about its aims and goals in life. Lickily, almost nobody paid any attention to it, there being a Kaffee Klatsch – a meeting over coffee – with various SF editors, writers and artists at the time. We managed to get ourselves into one the Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Magazine, and nudged her with seventy five different versions of the question “how will I make you accept my story?” – though some among us will deny this, claiming that their questions were much more philosophically deep. No one believes them, of course.
One Scotsman, in the convention’s WC, was having a jolly good time, singing what sounded to me like traditional Scottish folk songs, minus the bagpipe or the lute or whatever it is they use in these parts. Maybe we should import this to Israeli conventions as well. Especially the omission of the bagpipe, which is not as appreciated as it should be, outside of Scotland.
We spend most of the day in or around the dealer’s room, buying books, petting longingly other books, cursing book sellers and book prices and enjoying every minute of it. Come five-ish in the afternoon, we met with Didi, Noa and Rani, and we all went together to the Orbit Publishing party. Didi took a special care with his clothing, wearing a nice blazer, a red shirt which had to be settled down by Noa before embarking upon our journey, else it might have devoured its owner without us noticing, a pair of black pants which he later admitted, sadly but bravely, to be somewhat too small than his actual size or comfort (and immediately regretted said saying, as I was writing everything in my little police notebook), and a pair of really dignified old and battered sneakers.
The Orbit Publishing party was very good, especially the food. We had a chat with Robert Silverberg, though I quit on it at some point, when it became political. Guy and I continued our own networking, and Lavie continued his own complaining, and considering what happened later, I really forget what about.
We went back to the convention site by another of those double-decker busses. I have most of the ride filmed in my camera, for some reason.
We then attended the Hugo Awards ceremony, which took place in a 4000-seat auditorium and looked almost like ICon. Almost, I say, because it was hosted by Kim Newman (great chap, I chatted with him sometime this week, and will get a story of his for publication) and Paul McAuley, who were very funny and entertaining, but nothing like the high and professional standard we’re used to in Israeli conventions. That is – there were no wigs, props or songs about Death. The other, major difference was that not a single cellular phone ringed through the entire event.
Not even one. An event an hour and a half long. An audience of thousands. Not one. Not a single electronic peep.
After the event (the names of winners can be found elsewhere) we had to go and rescue Lavie, who got lost in the convention site’s maze of contradictory corridors while looking for the WC. We then settled in the lobby of the MoatHouse hotel, chatting, exchanging Email addresses with newly acquired friends and editors, and genrally inhaling smoke and beer in equal measures, until it was decided to go to the Hilton parties, except for Guy, who went to have some rest.
I must note that the quality of the food available in those parties wasn’t as high as that of the nights before, but having said that, let us proceed to the main incident of the evening, one which might have already been reported by other spectators and innocent bystanders – those of whom who survived, that is.
I mean none other than the NY vs China Mieville clash.
Many of the readers of this journal know that I’ve had mixed feelings, to say the least, about China Mieville’s policy of not publishing in Israel. I thought, and I’m still thinking, that it’s bloody counter-productive. To say the least.
People later referred to it as “a clash”, “a combat”, “I’ve never seen anything like it”, “a bloody mess, wounded editors everywhere” and “I was going along with my beer and suddenly there was a big crash and I remember nothing more, and who are you, anyway?”
Lavie, poor soul that he is, was trying to drag me away from the combat zone, but could not. When I insist upon staying in a given place, nothing in Lavie’s size can do anything about it. Rani and Didi, who started the original conversation with China, and who actually introduced me to him, innocent beings that they are, did not get much of a chance at interrupting either. Even Assaf, who was by that time a bit jollier than local law might prefer, had no real effect. And this went on for slightly more than an hour.
In fact, the number of subjects about which China and I agree is quite frightening.
By the end of the conversation, I gladly received China’s Email, to Lavie’s great disappointment, since it mercilessly ruined his argument that I’ve embarrassed him badly.
I’m quite aware that there are going to be some other, contradictory accounts of this. However, mine is the most well-written, and so should be believed.
When everything got quiet again, and some more drinks were had, we went downstairs to the Hilton lobby, where we sat along with some friends – John Berlyne, critic, reviewer and a generally jolly good person; Mark Roberts, author, editor and Londoner, who proved to be a direct descendant of the famous Dread Pirate Roberts, and also very competent in the art of Chai-Tea, or vice versa, and who almost, but only almost, lost in an arm wrestling tournament against Orbit Publishing staff member Bella Pagan, a very entertaining and interesting conversationalist. I then did some arm wrestling against Mark, and lost only when John joined him, two against one. Well, if I haven’t won a Hugo, at least I won this. A man gotta have his sense of achievent one way or another.
At about three oclock, after several phone calls from Guy, who was doing his Polish Mother Act, I decided to walk back to my hotel. Since it turned out that Bella was staying in hotel about 200 meters away from mine, I volunteered to escort her. I estimated, by previous nights experience, that it’s about a ten minutes walk, and indeed it took us merely thirty minutes to arrive, having lost our way several times in the dark streets of Glasgow.
Guy, who had his sleep previously, was wide awake and wanted to know all about my adventures. Couldn’t wait for this account, could he? I therefore went finally to sleep at about five, and am not really conscious now.
Excuse me, I’ve to go. I think I hear Lavie complaining in the distance. Or is it the wind?
It was a dark and stormy night, but I saw none of it, being asleep at the time. Then, having woken up and performed some essential duties, such as the humble but truthful reporting to the benefit and entertainment of my loyal readers, I found myself, along with my loyal sidekick, again at the convention hall, looking around for new adventures, of which we had none, but I’ll tell you about it anyway, because, to quote an artwork by Jae Leslie Adams which we saw in the Art Show sometime around noon, “Stories happen only to people who can tell them”.
Sometime on the way to the convention I decided to indulge upon a unique and ground-breaking social experiment, consisting of mainly repeating the last word of every sentence spoken to me by a Scotsman, preferrably using the same accent. I would have delivered here many an account of the ensuing result, but unfortunately as soon as we arrived at our destination I forgot all about it until this very moment.
We started our convention day by sitting for coffee with Didi and Lavie, the latter complaining, very originally, about his representation in this very piece of accurate journalism. However, after several minutes of this he had to go and deal with his documentary again, and we hadn’t heard anything from him until the evening.
We attended a mini-panel starring John Clute and Gary K. Wolfe, dealing with the current “state” of science fiction, and doing so in considerable length, though Wolfe demonstrated again his performance ability and his excellent sense of humor. China Mieville, who sat in the audience, managed to interrupt them only a little bit. No wonder this guy writes (very good, mostly) such long books – each question of his would be enough to fill a small pamphlet. Other people in the audience tried their hand at this as well, but couldn’t get anywhere near China’s ability.
We spent some more time in the dealers room, and I found a very interesting book written in ’51 or so, of which I’ve never heard before, and which name and author’s name I just can’t remember at the moment. Guy managed, this time, to buy less books than his own body weight.
We tried calling Lavie, but his phone was turned off.
We visited a panel dealing with consciousness, moderated by Connie Willis, participating Kelly Link, Ian Watson and another author whos name I forget (it’s not in the programme, probably a last minute change). When the panel ended, Guy decided to introduce himself to Kelly Link, which I thought was a splendid idea. However, immediately upon arriving at the desk, he decided he should have a talk with Connie Willis, a plan which was interrupted only by his sudden desire to chat with Ian Watson. He had to be restrained, but he did introduce himself to Link, and Connie managed to run out of the room meanwhile.
We were looking for dinner, and I had the great idea of going outside the convention perimeter and trying to get us a hamburger, before attending the George R. R. Martin party at the Hilton. I thought of sharing my great hamburger idea with Lavie, but his phone was off. We therefore went and ate a Subway. While Guy was ordering his sub, I finally managed to get Lavie on the phone. It went something like this:
Lavie: (English accent) Helloo?
Nir: Halo! Lavie!
Lavie: (Israeli accent) Ah, halo! Nir! Come to the party!
Nir: What party?
Lavie: Nir! I’m dressed like a pirate!
Lavie: A pirate!
Nir: Yes, I understand you completely. What party?
Lavie: There’s free drinks!
Nir: I am fully aware of that, sire. What party?
Lavie: Come to the Tall Ship. Oy, someone hit me!
Nir: What? Where?
Lavie: In my eye. Someone hit me using my eyepatch.
Nir: No, where’s the party?
Lavie: Get a cab, tell the driver you want to go to the Tall Ship. That should be sufficient. (back to English accent) Oh, hello there!
Nir: Do you have a street name and number?
Lavie: Hello? Who’s that?
Nir: Right. I’ll talk to you later.
We entered a cab and told the driver to take us to the Tall Ship. We were very impressed by the fact that every cab driver in this city knows where every pub and restaurant is located. We arrived at the place, which was a nice little house by the sea shore. We entered, and immediately noticed that it was very suspiciously quiet. A nice gentleman came to our help. “Ye go of yer door, over there, and then strett don and aheed. Ye canna miss it.”
And indeed we didn’t, because when those people say “Tall Ship” they bloody mean it – the ship outside was tall, big, and full of jolly SF personalities of all persuasions except, maybe, fans. That is, if we fail to count Didi, who, while being an editor and all, is also the biggest fan I’ve ever seen (his is one of the rare cases where this is a totally positive statement, but trust me, I won’t let that compliment get to his head).
On the ship we were greeted by Lavie, without any costume, who was very surprised to see us, and kept asking why they invited the Russian mafia to the party. We also met various writers and editors, and the great surprise of the evening – fantasy author Paul Kearney, who I met when he visited Israel last year, and was friendliness incarnated. He showed us pictures of his totally isolated house near the sea shore in north Ireland, and I told him that had I such a view outside my window, I’d never be able to write anything, because I’ll spend my time looking at it. Unfortunately, Paul won’t be able to attend the rest of the convention, but we’ll stay in contact through Email.
We convinced Lavie to wear his costume again, and to give his best pirate roar. He was convinced that this is done so that I can take his picture. In fact, I took it in video. Lavie was rather unsportsmanlike when he found that out, and I have that on video as well.
After about one more hour of having a jolly good time and talking to everyone around, we went back to the convention area, from which we travelled to the Hilton by an open double-decker bus. We sat in the upper deck and almost frose to death, but were saved by the winner of the convention’s mascarade, who at the time was dressed like a cybernetic sheep. Great performer, that guy. Had us laughing all the way to the Hilton.
Having arrived, finally, we visited some parties, and in particular the George R. R. Martin one. They made a special T-shirt for him, signed by many fans, with “I finished writing ‘A Feast for Crows’ and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” in large friendly letters on the back. Some fans wrote short sentences on the shirt, and Guy insisted that I try my hand at this, and so he can blame only himself for the result, which was, at this time of night and considering my general state of mind as influenced by various drinks and whatnot, something along the lines of “I shall not buy a book of yours until you finish the series!”
I don’t remember anything after that.
(Nice pictures of myself, along with some of lesser known celebrities such as G. R. R. Martin, can be found in Didi’s Blog)
Somewhere in the great, dark land between the frosty mountains and the eternal marshes, there lies a small unregarded stationery shop. There I found what will soon become a much sought-of relic, my Police-Style notebook, in which I wrote in shorthand most of what you, my loyal readers, shall read today – every adventure, misspoken word and incident, some of them at the very time they were happening, the rest even before that.
Guy bought a notebook as well, but this one will not become a relic for the following reasons: one – it is quite boring, compared to my Police-Style notebook, and two – he writes nothing interesting in it, merely stories and such.
Something funny happened on the way to the convention. The cab driver, being a chatty lad, started a very interesting conversation with us, which quickly ran into the life and works of Philip K. Dick. His main literary complaint of Dick was that his books are too thin. I promised to take that into consideration.
Arriving, at last, and having gotten over the effects of the German Room Party yesterday, we decided to have an Israeli Room Party, which, since we have no room, will take place in the middle of the main convention hall, and will cost money to enter and to pass through. Main attraction would be free pretzles, lovely conversations with young promising Israeli SF writers, and listening to Lavie complaining.
We decided that it might be time to actually attend a panel or two, assuming that there might be someone else in this convention with something interesting to say besides myself. The first panel we attended was “Why Write for Children and Young Adults?”, with, among others, Jane Yolen and Sharyn November (who also moderated it). It was interesting to see a panel without any of the audience making loud remarks and correcting the participants. We should try that at home, sometime. I, in any case, was convinced that the big money is in Young Adults, and decided on the spot to write a three-volume horror fantasy series for them, in English. However, I immediately found out that Guy’s been doing the same for some time, temporal-plagiarist that he is. He sneaked into a group-picture of all the YA authors in the room. Scoundrel.
After that we met the brave documentary film crew, which was busy actually filming around and interviewing everyone, with not even a single beer bottle in sight. They were so busy that we couldn’t really stay to talk, but since they were interviewing people in the Interzone stall, I grabbed the opportunity and fell upon co-editor Jetse de Vries, who had the misfortune of rejecting a story or two of mine. Having had that conversation, I now hope he shall not repeat that mistake.
So far we were really strangers in paradise, but just when Jetse and I were about to finish our deal, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and found Didi Chanoch attached to it. As of this point, we couldn’t go two steps in any direction without meeting someone from Israel – Noa and Rani in particular, who explained to us that this must be a result of the fact that they looked for us all day yesterday in vain.
But they weren’t the only ones we met. Walking aimlessly in the main hall, we suddenly spotted Brian Aldiss, walking along Robert Silverberg. Brian and I, we go a long way back. Back in 1996, when the Israeli Society for SF&F was formed, he visited Israel and attended the ceremony. He also gave a lecture somewhere in Rehovot, which I attended (to this very day I’ve no idea who told me about it – I came alone and didn’t know anyone there, at the time). There I took the oppotunity to tell him that I read some of his books but didn’t like any of them, and then went on to ask for recommendation for any of his other books. He took my address, this gentleman, and sent me his newest book (“Common Clay”) by mail, with a nice note to the effect of “next time don’t tell an author that you don’t like his books, or he’ll refuse to send you his newest book by mail”.
Well, seeing him in the corridor, I couldn’t help myself. I went over to him, introduced myself and reminded him of those past events. He recalled some of it, and laughed, and then said “well, I’m glad that now you’ve grown to like science fiction!”
Time froze for a second. But only a second.
“Oh, no, sir,” I said. “I always liked science fiction. It was you I had a problem with.”
We parted as friends.
I think Didi, who was not present, will never forgive me for that.
Later we went to Call My Bluff Quiz, which is something which should be promptly imported to Israeli cons. It goes like this: there are two groups of three members each, one moderator (the immortal Gary K. Wolfe), and one counter of points. The moderator gives a certain word, taken from “SF theory” (though, as he said it, “they may not currently belong to SF theory, but by the end of this session they will!”), one team supplies three different explanations, and the other team must decide which of the three is true. It was great fun. The participants were mostly very well known people in the field – John Clute, David Hartwell, Esther Friesner, and also Roz Kaveney, of whom I’ve never heard before, and who was quite witty and entertaining.
In the evening there was a big party arranged by Gollancz Publishing, to which everyone got invitations but us. We therefore sneaked in, Guy pretending to be Didi and I pretending to be his loyal sidekick Petsy. Didi, who was already inside, was not too excited to hear of it, but took it like a man and didn’t make a fuss. I told him that next time he should get us invitations, and thus save himself the embarrasment. We met Lavie there too, of course, who was busy complaining that he got no prize in the raffle, despite him being who he is. Then I suddenly located Ian Watson, who visited Israel in 1999 or so. He remembered that visit all too well, and told us the horrible story of his visit to Jerusalem, along with Brian Stableford, after being invited for a friday dinner by a fan whos name I shall not mention. Watson, an extremely funny story teller, made a horrible face when he told us that fan’s name, and said that it’s the strongest memory he has of that visit. He was, however, quite friendly, especially after I explained to him what should and should not be done while visiting Israel. He may come back. I know I will.
We also talked some more to Jetse, who by that time became really friendly and told us in detail many stories of his various acceptions and rejections by famous SF magazines, and also got hit upon by a girl taller than me – but not than himself. Side note: it is my opinions that editors should be made in smaller sizes than my own.
Later that evening we went looking for an Irish party to which we were invited, at the Hilton. Didi accompanied us, and we had a jolly good time, especially when we met G. R. R. Martin’s wife, and thus found out that Didi owns three different Song of Ice & Fire T-shirts, all signed. I think I shall have many laughs at that, in the future. They way I see it, books are not meant to be worn. At least not in public.
Forgive me, father, for I have not sinned but rather had a jolly good time – well, ok, maybe I’ve sinned a bit, but it was nothing serious – and it has been twenty-four hours since my last confession.
We arrived at the SECC, which is where the con is taking place, about one hour after embarking on our journey, despite it being in about a twenty minutes walk distance. We were aided in this by the Glasgow underground and, of course, by Guy’s considerable navigation and orientation abilities, as were previously demonstrated. Also, his scottish accent didn’t get any better.
The con is taking place inside a bunch of enormous buildings, which will be much better described by the pictures which I took and which, may god and the angels help me, are being burned upon a CD rom as I write this sentence. Since it was still early morning, there weren’t too many people about. Only several hundred or so were roaming here and there along the empty corridors, eating sandwiches and trying to find the registration desk. The latter was actually a whole series of desks, each dedicated to a narrow range of the alphabet. It was explained to us that we should approach the desk which fits the first letter of our surname, and therefore I immediately went to the ‘N’ desk, from which I was expelled by the claim that ‘surname’ is actually the family name. I then went to the desk which I thought might be the ‘Y’, but it turned out that it wasn’t. After some more wandering about I managed to register, and had to wait for Guy, who spend the whole time standing in line for the ‘H’. Popular letter, ‘H’.
Each of us got a very thick programme, a bunch of colourful booklets and whatnot, a colourful name tag (with a fitting chain), a CD voucher (don’t ask me), and some other things which I forget. We put all this in Guy’s bag – I was smart enough not to bring one – upon which time he started complaining about its weight, and didn’t stop until this very moment.
We then met Lavie and his motely crew, who were busy working on their documentary film. This was done, as far as I understand, by running around, having urgent discussions, talking to people, complaining about the press office, smoking cigarettes, drinking beers, having some more urgent discussions, complaining about the weight of the equipment (Guy did this also, despite not being a part of the documentary crew – I can’t fathom it), more smoking, having urgent literary discussions regarding the state of current English science fiction, etc. etc. Meanwhile, using my new digital cemera, I created a small documentary film which shows how their documentary film was being made. It is rather short, quite fascinating, and involved beer and smoking. Stay tuned.
Lavie, Guy and myself went a bit around the place, been to the exhibition room, which was nice, the dealers room, where Guy had to be restrained by force from buying a houseload of books. Afterwards his complaints about the weight of his bag grew even noisier, despite the fact that I carried two of my books myself. Some people will never understand charity.
Lavie kept complaining that a certain SF author was stalking him. I will not give here the name of said author, but I’ll hint that he’s relatively young, rather fat, and looks like a british punk on acid. I was never really interested in that author, but Lavie was so noisy about it that I suggested kidnapping the guy and storing him somewhere for the con’s duration, just so that we have some peace and quiet – as much quiet as you can have when two guys are complaining about the weight of their bags and the wether and how much beer they’ve consumed.
We also saw Robert Silverberg. A very stylish looking old man, I think. Guy and I sneaked behind him to try and listen to his conversation, but at the time he was talking about tomatoes, so we found other things to do. During all this Lavie complained about being cold and tired.
Later in the afternoon we met a bunch of French people, most of whom are in the publishing business. We had a very interesting conversation with them, in which each complained about the state of SF&F in his own country, and especially the horrible people which are drawn to the field. We exchanged mail addresses and web sites, and Lavie complained that he never had such long talks with the French, and that he was tired.
In the evening we went to eat in a chinese restaurant. Among the guests who were honoured by our presence in the same general location there were Terry Pratchette and Kim Newman. Lavie told us all the hottest gossip about the English SF field, and complained about the prices and about being tired.
We then embarked upon the quest in search of the German Room Party, which took place at the not-really-nearby Hilton hotel. We found it. It was… it was…
I shall not describe it. I’m a brave man, but this is beyond me.
And so, having finished our first WorldCon day, we returned to our hotel by taxi.
Lavie complained the whole way.
In the beginning there was nothing, and out of the nothing came a complete flight plan, along with flight tickets, insurance and whatnot, which were all designed to take us in the maximum speed and safety to the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. I gave Guy a call, therefore, to make some inquiries.
“Tell me,” said I, “why exactly are we going to Aberdeen, Scotland?”
“Because of the science fiction convention, I believe.”
“Have you taken into consideration the fact that the convention is actually located in Glasgow?”
“What do you mean, ‘Glasgow’?”
“I mean the city in which the convention will take place.”
“Isn’t it Aberdeen?”
“You’re putting me on!”
“No I’m not!”
The day of the flight arrived. Guy and I are having one final phone call to settle the petty details – things we shouldn’t forget to take with us, how and when we arrive at the airport, etc. Having settled all that, I tell him that I just had a talk with Lavie, who’ll be arriving from London by car and meet us tomorrow – i.e. the day of our arrival – sometime in the evening.
“You mean two days from now,” said Guy.
“I definitely mean tomorrow,” I said.
“But we fly only tomorrow night!”
“No, my dear. We fly tonight.”
“You’re putting me on!”
“No I’m not!”
The flight was almost uneventful. Guy managed to extract some innocent fun out of the overhead switches, trying to turn on the reading light and doing everything else instead. There was also a very interesting episode which involved a most entertaining search for small change in all of one’s inner and outer pockets, including the shoes. Also, Guy kept trying on me his scottish accent: “Theshe are the voyagesh of the shtarrrship enterprrrishe…”
But I made him stop.
Yesterday, having arrived safely at Glasgow, we found a hotel, and indeed met Lavie and his jolly London friends, John, Russel and Nicole, and there was great rejoicing. Guy tried his scottish accent on Lavie, and the latter started crying about having to cope with that kind of thing for five or six hours of driving, since John and Russel are actors. I therefore immediately bombed him with my own collection of exquisite scottish phrases, starring “Fer fucks sakes, Billy” and “Fer crrying out laud!”
After he finished crying, Lavie limited his conversation to the lovely hotel rooms he and his friends got by some special deal or other. My suggestion that he marries his hotel room was not received nicely.
All this took place while eating a nice italian dinner. Afterwards the Londoners went to have some rest, while our Tremendous Trio went to have a beer and a chat in a local pub. Lavie was really excited about the fact that, as opposed to London pubs, this place seemed to be operating in hours later then midnight, upon which declaration the pub was closed and everyone driven out.
Tonight Guy Hasson and I are flying to Scotland, where we’ll meet later tomorrow with Lavie Tidhar, forming once again our own
Israeli SF writers’ superhero outfit, the Tremendous Trio, which is quite a bit like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, only three and without the horses and the horsemen.
And there, in Glasgow, we’ll attend the World Science Fiction Convention, though, as opposed to some other people, who spent months planning in advance and getting their lectures and panels just right, we’re probably going to spend most of our time mingling, talking to people and generally being a nuisance.
In fact, Guy and I still have no idea where we’re going to stay, as we’ve made no reservations and Guy utterly refuses to carry my four-room tent. We’ll probably sleep in the gutter. Or take advantage of the fact that we were invited in advance to a German Room Party, and sleep over there, hoping that by then the nice hosts won’t notice or will be too drunk to care. That might work for a night or even two. Afterwards we’ll have to find something else.
I wonder whether they have Swedish room parties too.
24hrs drugstore, night, a few minutes ago.
Your honorable Servant finally manages to find one more thing to buy in order to reach a bill of 30NIS, which is the minimum for paying with a credit card.
Yr. Hon. Svt.: “Thank you, O Lord, for bestowing your mercy upon us!”
Cashier: “You’re welcome.”