This morning I did the meeting with the literary agency and discovered that the main staircase at this hotel is drunk. If you want to know what that’s like, imagine taking a corner in a car when the road has adverse camber. Now imagine walking up a staircase that does a similar thing. It is very disconcerting, especially when you are half awake.
The papers this morning covered a range of topics from the writing of Nalo Hopkinson and Octavia Butler; to Donald Duck comics; to myth creation in Middle Earth. At one point we ended up having a conversation about Tolkien-based religions. My new friend Sophie, who studies comparative religion and did her PhD in “Messiah figures in science fiction”, says there is a guy in Denmark doing his doctorate on the Jedi movement and a couple of Tolkien-based religions. I want to meet this chap.
Lunch was in a very nice Indian restaurant. A “hot” vindaloo in Finland is pleasantly flavorsome to an English palette, but it was only 8 Euro including a salad starter, rice, dahl, naan and a tea or coffee. Good value.
By the time we got back the convention was in full swing. There were people in anime costumes everywhere. Toni Jerrman reports that a local Japanese restaurant had to close because they ran out of food, being deluged with a crowd of people obsessed with everything Japanese. Cat ears are few and far between this year, as are “free hugs” signs, but I have seen some very impressive wolf heads.
The Turku committee is a bit young and green, and has managed some of the con-running equivalent of, “hey, let’s re-invent the wheel, I bet none of those old fogies thought of making one square before!” There are, ahem, some very strange scheduling choices, and the program book has the panels listed in alphabetical order. However, everything appears to be running with the customary efficiency and I’m looking forward to it getting into high gear tomorrow. I’m doing three things: a panel on selling translated fiction; a panel on this year’s Hugo nominees (which I expect we’ll scrap as it is scheduled against Richard’s GoH speech and one of the few Swedish language items); and MCing the masquerade.