NOTE: VanderCon in Finland starts this weekend, and ends back in Helsinki a week later after a hellaciously fun road trip. All the details can be found on the VanderCon website—check it out.
A long couple of days in Poland this past weekend, but very good ones. Had a great night at the Paradox Cafe, a wonderful Warsaw location for SF and Fantasy fans to talk about great books. Also had a great panel discussion at one of Warsaw’s biggest bookstores, and back-to-back three of the best interviewers in a long time–great questions. Got to see the old town, and some other areas. Had a couple of excellent meals.
The Polish TV morning show I did was a blast. They put makeup on me–like painting a bear. The woman who does the weather was very helpful and led me to the studio after the face-painting. Says to me: “Aww, now you look pretty. You’ve always wanted to look pretty, haven’t you.” “Yes. I have always wanted to look pretty.” Then I went on and did three minutes of Finch schtick, gave the makeup woman, whose 12-year-old reads F/SF a copy of the Polish F&SF mag, said not to let her son read Finch, and was gone….
Things I learned in Poland: There’s a huge palm tree in a Warsaw square done as a kind of Banksy joke, the Paradox Club poses the question of why SF/F fans elsewhere don’t have such an awesome meeting place, that according to the photographer for a newpaper article I have few useful mannerisms, and that SF/F fans everywhere are equally nice and knowledgeable. Many thanks to Konrad Walewski for setting it up, and it was great to meet long-time friends like Jan, meet my translator Robert Walis, and make so many new friends.
More when I have time, but my friend and writer Neil Williamson was with and he’s already done a blog post on it. Have also had a lovely time in Amsterdam with Erin, Riley, and Travis.