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Names have not been changed to protect the innocent

 


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That was not the case. “Are they out of f@%#ing books? Tell me they’re not out of f@%#ing books!” screeched a frazzled-looking girl who was being forced to stand with her buttocks pressed against the glass of one of the entry-level doors. I had to come in through the OUT door.

(No, they were not out of f@%#ing books. She just needed to look in the right f@%#ing place. )

Being that the downstairs level of Vroman’s Bookstore had a very snakey-looking line that wove in and out of various aisles, I immediately assumed the signing was also taking place on that same level. Of course it was not. I followed the line through the aisles and around a corner, and then discovered there were actually two lines: one for people waiting to get to the second floor–where the signing was actually taking place–and one for people who were waiting to get tickets…

…so they could then stand in line on the first floor in order to go to the second floor where they could then get their books signed. Fair enough. I ascended a packed stairwell, made a few dozen enemies with my sharpened elbows, and arrived on the second floor approximately ten minutes later. I got to see THIS.

Blurry? Well, of course. This wavering picture is not due to the unsteady hand of an amateur photographer* but rather the result of waves of heat pouring up from the mass of humanity. It was hot! I was amazed the mood was as good as it was, though there was indeed a sense of brotherhood. And, clearly, being ASoIaF fans they all had impeccable taste and a superior intellect. An added bonus was that it did not smell as I feared it might. (Any of you who have ever been to Gen-Con know exactly what I’m talking about. ) Perhaps the general good cheer was due to a general sense of good cleanliness.

George was there, happily signing books and chatting with fans. Despite his recent illness, he looked great. The turn-out had a wide range of ages, as well as a nearly-balanced mix of genders; there were easily just as many women as there were men (plus one rather sublimely-dressed trannie), and all seemed THRILLED to get their books vandalized by The Man.

Perhaps the coolest thing (or the strangest, depending on how you score things at home) was the appearance of Jeffrey and his Tight Tee Harem. Jeffrey, the amiable-looking chap down front, designed each of the ASoIaF-themed tee-shirts you see here. Sadly they are not for sale. No, he made them for his harem, which is also not for sale. And it’s an attractive harem. For a bunch of kids, I mean. Even George wants to be in the picture. (Get out of the damned picture, George! Does everything have to be about you?! Cripes!)

We’re still trying to pressure Jeffrey into making a copy of THIS ONE so we can send it to Emilia. That’s brilliant. Almost as brilliant as Jeffrey claiming not to be dating** anyone in his harem, even though he quietly pulled me aside*** and admitted he was secretly seeing each one without any of the others knowing. You go, Jeff.

There were also a few HBO representatives on hand (I was asked not to name them), Game of thrones dvd just to see the hubub firsthand, and I have to say they seemed moderately surprised by the wide variety of GRRM fans. And I don’t blame them; I too am from a generation where fantasy nerds only came in two sizes (skinny male and fat male), so the fact that this guy who looks like ol’ Captain Abner Marsh (sans his mighty steamboat) had men and women of all ages eating out of his hand…

Well, I think it’s safe to say they are pleased to see he can cross both generational and gender lines even without their marketing teams. George R. R. Martin is his own force of nature.

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