Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bouchercon X: Asleep in the lobby

Inspired by the excellent Christa Faust, I'll make one more Bouchercon 2009 post before heading out to sell a kidney so I can afford a hotel room at Bouchercon 2010.

Christa wrote about the strange attraction of the hotel bar, a region of Bouchercon where many ventured, but only the strong escaped. My favorite example came Sunday evening as I relaxed in the lobby, marshaling my strength before repairing to the bar for a preprandial schmooze. I fell asleep with my feet on a table, and when I awoke, not only were Ruth and Jon Jordan and company still in the bar waiting for me, not only had no one said, "Would you please remove your feet from the table, sir," but a member of the hotel staff had placed a second cup of coffee on the table for me. Damned enablers.

Best underrated part of Bouchercon: the music in the hotel lobby. Bossa nova, and not just the old classics, either. Plenty of stuff by new Brazilian musicians, too, and the perfect music for the location, soothing for those who needed a rest, compelling and rhythmically dynamic for those who listened more closely. Someone’s prayers to nosso senhor do bonfim were answered.

I got to Sunday's book bazaar around 10 a.m., hoping to score some books by Rebecca Cantrell and Christopher G. Moore, whom I’d heard on panels. Instead, all that remained were scraps of human flesh, huddled and quivering cozy fans, shell-shocked noir writers whimpering for their mothers, and a UN relief crew cleaning up the remains. I like the idea of a new twist on the old free-book goodie bag, but perhaps this could use a bit of refinement. Spread the frenzy out over three or four days, maybe?

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

The bazaar was a madhouse - I got caught in a line and seriously considered diving under a table and crawling past the writers' legs to escape. Here's a pic from another blog.

October 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Sara, maybe it's all for the best that I was fashonably late for this one and missed all the madness. I like what I imagine the thinking was behing the bazaar, though. It will be interesting to see what organizers do next year.

October 25, 2009  
Blogger Barbara said...

I heard it was moved to a much smaller space than originally planned because future farmers of america were taking over the hotel; it must have contributed to the sensation of being buried alive.

I do think it's a huge improvement on the books in a bag tradition, but maybe there's still yet another way to do this that would lead to less chaos and more books people want actually in the right hands. How about publishers provide chits to get one of their books in the book room - and you get to choose which? And the bookseller gets a sale out of it?

Never mind - that sounds too rational for publishers to buy into it.

October 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I knew the FFA were in town; I didn't know they were coming to our hotel. I suppose farmers are more accustomed to wide-open spaces than are mystery writers, so they had first dibs on the space (though the Hyatt lobby was as high and wide as a prairie sky.)

Perhaps organizers of future conventions might take into account our suggestions for modifying this interesting book-bazaar idea.

October 25, 2009  

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