Icon 2004: Day 1

Day 1 is done, and I am already tired. Got up at 9:30, which may seem like a reasonable hour for most of you, but when you usually wake up at 12:00-13:00, 9:30 is super early. By 10:40, Tammy and myself were at Kay's hotel, all set to take him to Zomet Sfarim at Azrieli for the first booksigning of the week.

Things were quiet at Azrieli, as the event wasn't really promoted. But GGK did get to do an interview for a piece about Icon that is due to appear in Haaretz. I went off to Icon, leaving GGK with my fellow members of the Kay Patrol, Asaf and Deborah, who took him to lunch.

Icon was packed. It's never been this packed during screenings. Not even last year. I found some friends to sit with, and eventually went to get some lunch with Nir Yaniv and Lavie Tidhar. The early afternoon hours were spent in regular Icon fashion – milling about, sitting at the cafe with friends, talking to other friends, and watching Tamar, Nomi, Uri, Hadas, and the rest of the really critical Icon staff zooming by, as they rush from one thing to another.

I also voted for the Geffen, and got my "I voted for the Geffen" sticker from super-efficient Yael Abadi, my former partner in Bydion 2004.

Around 15:20, GGK et al arrived at the con, looking quite refreshed after a nice lunch. Not long after that, I had to go upstairs and give my lecture, which was Kay 101, an overview of his books, his themes, and his career. The lecture, in front of a semi-full (but not embarrasingly empty) hall, went quite well. One woman was upset that I wasn't delving into Kay's work deeply enough, and talking about it in reference to the theme. But this was Kay 101, not Kay 300, so I stayed my course, and suffered some nasty looks from her in return. Oh, well. Can't please everyone. The q&a after my overview was quite lively, and for the most part went quite well.

After that, I went downstairs and took Mike Fiedler to join GGK and company, who were having a dring at Odeon, in an effort to stay away from the incredibly loud sounds of the videogames set up in the Cinemateque lobby.

After drinks, it was back to the con for the opening ceremony, which featured speeches, skits, songs, trailers, and a few short, funny words from GGK. This was followed by GGK's excellent speech, In Defense Of Fantasy, a version of which can be found here. I then got up on stage, and served as translator and repeater of audience questions. This was a bit of fun, and I got to be involved in GGK's speech. I even got applause for successfully repeating a really long question.

The Q&A session itself was excellent. We asked the audience to try and focus their questions on topics related to the speech, which they mostly did. And both questions and answers were mostly terrific.

After that, at around 21:30PM, it was off to dinner at Lilith, a wonderful vegetarian restaurant. Then Kay was driven to the hotel, while I went to wait for the bus, where I posted the previous post from my phone.

Tomorrow will be highlighted by GGK's booksigning and our panel, which will basically feature the entire Kay entourage. Should be fun. Tune in tomorrow for all the details.

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