ICON 35 Report: Day Two

A refreshing night’s sleep –in my own bead– and then back to the con. I started off the day listening to Cory read from the new book he’s working on. It’s another young-adult novel, dealing with social-technological issues and sounds pretty interesting. After the reading was over Cory took questions for a bit and somebody in the crowd asked a question along the lines of “was he concerned that he’d ever run out of ideas”. To which Cory replied,

It’s the 21st century; if you can’t come up with nine science-fiction ideas before breakfast, you’re not even trying.

After the reading was over, I fetched the New-Pi salads we’d picked up for Cory and waited in the autograph line so I could give them to him. The line got down to the last 4 people, 3 males and one female. The first guy’s name is Mark, he gets his book signed and walks off. The second guy comes up to get his book signed and his name is also Mark. The coincidence of having three Marks all right there got to Cory a bit and he remarked on it. The women in the line popped up with a “reassuring” comment that her name wasn’t Mark. To which I replied that it was “no mark against her”. Appropriate groaning accorded and it my was turn to reassure her that my wife would beat me later for that pun. Then I gave Cory his salads and he disappeared off to his room for lunch.

While I went off and played some board games. Puerto Rico was fun, but rather complicated for us to be playing in the very noisy game room with a bunch of people who’d never played it before. Then it was time to head off to the Guest of Honor Interview panel, where Rusty Hevelin was interviewing ICON’s author, artist and fan guests of honor. It was a fun time, both for the answers and for the guests’ reactions when Rusty asked some of his questions. After the interview panel was over, I found out Cory was really feeling the jet lag and wanted to lay down for a while. I told him that worked great actually, because there was a longer break after his next panel which meant we could take him a bit farther from the hotel for a nicer dinner.

So Michelle & I helped out at the con-suite for a bit, then I caught the end of another panel and it was suddenly 7 o’clock and time to take Cory to dinner. It turned out that a friend of ours was looking for somebody to go eat with and Cory graciously allowed her to join us. We all trooped out to the car and drove out to our favorite Indian restaurant, Taste of India. The food appeared to be a hit all-around1. The dinner conversation though made me really glad our friend joined us.

She works on really interesting space/science stuff, analyzing research data from satellites and what not. So naturally we introduced her to Cory as our “resident rocket-scientist”. Cory immediately jumped onto that topic and started asking all sorts of questions about her work. It was while he was questioning her that I realized how intimidated Cory makes me feel. Intimidated isn’t quite the right word, though it is a part of the problem. My real job doesn’t have any of the possible broad, social impact like Cory’s writing and I also don’t want to be “that guy” geeking out at Cory when he’s trying to eat a nice dinner2. This means I can’t talk about work, I can’t talk geek (too easy to cross the geeking out line) which leaves me with topics I feel totally under prepared to discuss with somebody who’s spent years working on at very high levels. *sigh*

1There were comments earlier in the day that indicated Cory liked the New-Pi salads better than Panera as well.
2Geeking out like that in my mind would be a rudeness that a host should never show to a guest.

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