The dealer’s room at this year’s WFC was one of the best I’ve seen in years. A VAST room, filled with books. The range of wares on offer from the pro and indy publishers, from the secondhand paperback sellers and the high-end collectibles dealers, was awesome. And for someone like me who for reasons of space is trying not to buy too many new books at the moment this can be ruinous. Which is why I publicly declared my shopping list before I went.
Focus was the key.
And I did okay, I think. Successfully picked up Lynda Rucker and Kim Lakin Smith’s books at their respective launches, and bought End Of The Road from Solaris. Harrison’s Getting Out Of There wasn’t in evidence (so I’ve ordered it) and Duncan’s Scruffians doesn’t come out til next year (although he has been showing off an ARC copy). And Eidolon I’ll snap up at its Glasgow launch this week.
So far so good, a modest selection of good books to take home, but by then of course it had already gone wrong. Even before I’d picked up my contributor copies of Astrologica and the exceptionally handsome Caledonia Dreamin’, I’d already amassed seven or eight free novels at registration. Disaster! So what did I do? I bought some more. Picking up the two other Alchemy Press titles being launched at the same time as Astrologica, the Legends anthology which I’d missed at the Gemmel awards and David Gullen’s first novel: Shopocalypse!
By my last morning I had a two foot stack of books to fit into my carry-on bag (another ploy), and there was no way that was happening so in the end I donated most of the free ones to the deserving (with the exception of Rob Shearman’s collected plays) and squeezed everything else in as best I could.
But it didn’t stop even there. Since I got home I’ve picked up copies of Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook (more on that soon), Ann Leckie’s much-hyped Ancillary Justice (on the basis of a very strong “it really is that good” recommendation over tea and scones on Monday) and G Willow Wilson’s WFA winning Alif The Unseen (but that at least is on Kindle).
I went with ambitions of restraint, and came back with a habit as bad as ever.
But, you know…books!