Got to Icon at around noon. About thirty minutes later, GGK arrived after a tour of Jaffa, along with Deborah. We did some of the traditional sitting in the cafe, talking to people routine until it was time for the signing. This wasn't the monstrous event the Card signing was, but we had a nice line, and the signing went on for over an hour and a half, with everyone getting a chance for a nice chat, as well as getting all the books they wanted signed. One of the people who got his books signed was me. Kay signed my copy of Tigana in English, my copy of the new, single volume, edition of Tigana in Hebrew, and my copy of The Summer Tree in Hebrew. These were all important books for me – Tigana is my favorite book, as well as the first Kay book I read, and I fell in love with it in English. The new edition is a correction of an egregious wrong: the original edition was not proofread sufficiently, was in two volumes, and had a cover I hated with a passion. The new one is re-edited and proofread, in a single volume, and has the same lovely cover as the new Canadian edition. And The Summer Tree was the first GGK novel I published.
GGK, Deborah, and I then proceeded to lunch at Pasha, where we were joined by Asaf Asheri. We then went back to the cafe, where GGK was quickly surrounded. Seeing that the guest is well occupied, I did what I usually do at cons: sat around, talked to friends, made arrangements for GGK's events of the next day. We managed to schedule a second signing for volunteers at the con and people who couldn't make it to the first signing, to be held on day 3 at 15:30. I also walked around the con a bit, talked to some people, and resisted attempts by the Sunnydale Embassy To Israel and Okay (Collectors and Readers of Comics in Israel) to get me to join. I love comics, and I love Buffy, but right now, I still prefer to direct my efforts and money towards the ISSFF (this link is actually in English, unlike the previous two and the next one.) Got my copy of the latest issue of the 10th Dimension (the newsletter/magazine of the ISSFF).
After all the vigorous milling about, looking in on the (quite content) GoH, and drinking coffee and 7up, GGK, Deb, Asaf, and myself went upstairs for our panel on GGK's work. The panel was not as well attended as I'd hoped, but it was a very good discussion, with interesting topics, nice points made by my fellow panelists, and good questions from the crowd.
Following the panel, GGK went off to Odeon, across the street, with Deborah and some of her friends, for drinks. Some time later, a significant portion of the con's senior staff joined him there for the Official Senior Staff and GoH Dinner. Dinner was excellent. Asaf and I spent it sitting opposite volunteer chief Nomi Wiener and her boyfriend, logistical wizard (he was Icon's head of logistics last year) Oren Carmi.
The end of the dinner left a bit of a sour note, as some people left insufficient amounts of money and departed, and those of us who remained behind had to add quite a bit in order to reach even a 10 percent tip. But a sour end does not spoil and otherwise great day of Icon going. Those of you who aren't coming are missing a terrific con, which has a g program and is run extremely well.