DAY 4:

Friday. Feeling better. Went to hang out with A.P. again after some breakfast and that’s when Janny Wurts and Don Maitz arrived. I had been eagerly awaiting the chance to meet Janny in person and was very glad to find out she is as wonderful and genuine in person as she is online. She had a big box with her which I figured to be various items promoting her new book. Turns out it was something more fantastic! She quickly pulled out the head of Philip Chase! Yes, it’s true. Don and Janny put together an artistic representation of everyone’s favorite book tube personality and author. (Look him up if you haven’t seen his channel or books yet. They’re great!). Turns out Philip couldn’t make it to ICFA this year, so Janny made sure he was there in spirit. A.P. was ecstatic that he got to wear the mask of Philip so Philip could be represented at this conference. It was really fun and continues to be a source of amusement to this day. Philip is a really good sport.

After hanging out a bit, I went to a seminar on Creative Presentations. This was a panel featuring the above-mentioned Don Maitz and other graphic artists including the one who did the cover of this year’s conference booklet, Lauren Brown. This was an excellent presentation of how the layout of a book’s cover influences the art of the book and vice versa. There was a lot of information for those interested in how a book cover is designed from start to finish.

Next was a scheduled luncheon where the distinguished scholars were giving a talk on the role of whimsy in revolution. The scholar in attendance was Mame Bougouma Diene, his partner live streaming from Senegal was Woppa Diallo. Prior to walking in, I ran into Mr. Erikson again and he informed me of his interest in my discussion with A.P. on my you tube channel about his book, Rejoice: A Knife to the Heart. Of course, being on of the authors of the Malazan epoch, this stand alone sci-fi work doesn’t get as much play in the book tube sphere. I was thrilled at his interest and we promised to talk later as the luncheon was about to start.

The food was okay, but even better was the speech given by Mr. Dienne. He gave us an interesting view point on the state of fantasy literature in Africa and then his partner gave a speech from Senegal on a large view screen in French. That was cool! I was listening intently, trying to pick out words and meaning from a language I hadn’t heard since high school. It was translated soon after.

Later, I went to hang out with all the wonderful authors I have met so far. I managed to send Mr. Erikson the links to the various discussions we had on his book and I had some great conversations with him, Mr. Esslemont, Mr. Donaldson, Ms. Wurts, and Mr. Maitz among other very distinguished folks. As the night went on, I even got to hear Robert Sawyer and Steven Erikson spout out obscure sci-fi television trivia. They seemed to revel in stumping A.P. Even though I’ll never remember any specific details, the feeling of wonder and contentment I experienced that night I’ll never forget.

Next: the final day…

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Author: Jarrod

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