Thursday, October 8, 2009

My last night at the ICon

Posted by Simcha 3:43 PM, under | 2 comments

After two wonderful days of book selling fun it was time to pay the piper.

As a volunteer at the ICon I had received a special vendor's discount which meant that despite my less then positive experience as a volunteer earlier in the week, I was still committed to another day of volunteering. That is why, despite only getting four hours of sleep for the past two night, I was up bright and early this morning, and heading once again to Tel Aviv.

But I'm happy to say that today I actually really enjoyed myself. Since I had expressed an interest in the children's events, today I was assigned to the room where these events took place. To my relief, my duties were pretty simple. All I had to do was collect the tickets at the door and help tidy up the room between events. The rest of the time I was free to observe.

When I first entered the room, before the event started, I found a group of young men and women dressed in various costumes milling around and laughing together. But as a group of children was ushered in, each of these girls and guys went to their individual tables where they magically transformed into the characters of pub owner, pirate, drunkard, assassin, thief and strong silent man.

The children were each given some "coins"
by the wizard who was guiding them and were told that they had a mission to complete, which they must do by speaking to each of the figures in the room and fulfilling the tasks assigned to them. Once the children received their instructions, most of them gravitated to the "pub" where they were able to
exchange their coins for a slice of bread with chocolate spread and a cup of juice. Chocolaty bread in hand, the children moved from table to table where they got to gamble with the thief, learn tricks from the pirate, arm wrestle with the strong man and have their fortune told by the gypsy.

The children rushed around the room purposefully, earning coins and picking up clues. Outside of the room, the wizard sat with a group of kids, narrating for them an exciting adventure in which they got to participate, with just the use of dice and some imagination. I watched fascinated, as the costumed ICon volunteers created for these children a world of fantasy and adventure in which each of the kids emerged a hero. One group even came bounding into the room with the head of a beast on a stick, that they had vanquished in battle. The energy and excitement was infectious and I was glad that I had the opportunity to witness it.

I was also amazed by how many incredibly talented individuals there are within the scifi and fantasy community here. One young woman that I met makes beautiful Renaissance style gowns, just for fun, and which her and her friend displayed last night at the ICon. And one guy that I met makes the most amazing foam masks of beasts; a skill that he taught himself. It was one of his beasts that was slayed at the hands of the children and impaled upon a sword.

I returned home tonight tired but satisfied. I had had some reservations, when I had signed up to participate at the ICon, both as a seller and a volunteer. I wasn't sure if it would be worth the time and effort that I would have to put into it, but now I'm really glad I took the chance. I met a lot of great people, sold a lot of great books and I got a revealing glimpse into the Israeli SFF community.

Our Third Contest Winner

Posted by Simcha 2:43 PM, under | No comments

Congratulations to our third contest winner, Ramona, from Ashdod.

Ramona will receive an autographed copy of the Tel Aviv Dossier, a novel by Israeli authors Nir Yaniv and Lavie Tidhar.

If you can manage it, Ramona, I suggest you read the part with the detailed apocoliptical destruction of the Tel Aviv Bus Station, while actually in the Tel Aviv Bus Station. I found it adds a little extra spice to the reading experience.

Enjoy your book!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Second Winner of the Book-A-Day Giveaway

Posted by Simcha 6:38 PM, under | No comments

Congratulations to our second winner, Susan from Rishon Letzion, who has chosen to receive a copy of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

Now the remaining books in the giveaway include:

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

The Tel Aviv Dossier by Lavie Tidhar and Nir Yaniv

The Apex Book of World SF Edited by Lavie Tidhar

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

The Warded Man by Peter Brett

The Dreaming Void by Peter Hamilton

For more information about the contest and the books being given away, visit my earlier blog post here

My second day at the ICon, much better then the first

Posted by Simcha 5:58 PM, under | No comments

I just got back from my second day at the ICon, where I had an awesome time!
Selling books is much more fun then volunteering (or waiting around to volunteer)
I got to spend a whole day surrounded by books and talking to people about books. I met a lot of new and interesting people (with an emphasis on interesting- this is a con after all) and I even made some money! Nir Yaniv also stopped by my table and signed his book, so now I have an authographed copy of the Tel Aviv Dossier to give away.
Overall, I had a really great time and I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.

Though as I had predicted, I did end up spending a considerable amount of time driving aimlessly around Tel Aviv trying to find my way. For some reason there are no signs around Tel Aviv helpfully pointing drivers towards the freeway. It's as if they don't want anyone to leave. When we stopped to ask for directions people seemed baffled by the fact that we wanted to go to Jerusalem. One conversation went like this (honestly):

"Excuse me sir (OK, I'm not sure about the "sir" part), can you please tell me which direction I would go to get to Jerusalem?"
"You mean the street?"
"No, the city of Jerusalem"
"The city? That's very far away. Are you sure you want to go there?"
"Yes, can you please tell me in which direction to go?"
"But you would have to drive and hour and a half to get there..."

Eventually we convinced the man, despite his better judgement, to point us in the right direction. And it only took us 40 minutes to get to Jerusalem.

Very strange

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Day at the ICon

Posted by Simcha 3:12 PM, under | 3 comments

Yesterday was the first day of the ICon and I was scheduled to volunteer from 6 Pm to 8 PM.I took a bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and got to the ICon at 5 PM, which I figured would give me enough time to look around and see if there was anything interesting going on. Ten Minutes later I had determined there nothing interesting was going on.

I had received five free event tickets but none of the lectures interested me and the workshops were all centered on gaming and comics, which don't interest me either. Aside from these events, which took place in closed off rooms throughout the building, there was not much else happening. Groups of teenagers were sprawled all over the place focused on the colorful cards spread out in-front of them. I'm not too familiar with role-playing games, but that seemed to be what was going on here.

I then walked around the vendor area a bit. There were mostly Hebrew books, comics and roleplaying games for sale. And only one person was dressed in costume. Very disappointing.

So I went on the Cinameteque where the film
festival portion takes place, to see if there was anything happening there. But it was mostly just people milling around and more vendors selling games.

I did see the Guest of Honor, Bill Willingham, and I took his picture. I didn't bother to introduce myself since I'm not too familiar with his work as a comic artist and if I talked to him he would probably figure that out pretty quickly. There was some other guy with him who looked vaguely familiar and it wasn't until I got home that I realized I recognized him from my Twitter account, though I have no idea who he is or why I am following him.

As it was now close to 6, I headed back to the
main ICon building to the room I was told to it was my duty to supervise. I peeked in at the five people inside, quietly sketching a drawing that was on the blackboard and wondered what exactly I was supposed to be supervising. But I guess it didn't matter because a moment later I was told that I would not be needed until 7 so I can run along and have fun .
So I retraced mysteps and ended up back at the cinamateque where a small stage had been set up with two fairies, one dancing and one playing the harp. Another fairy stood by a table, to the side, mixing potions.
This was a bit more like it. Though a strange boy in an elf costume made me a little nervous. Outside a couple of people were exchanging blows with plastic swords in front of a small audience. It wasn't the DragonCon but things were looking a bit more interesting.

With nothing else to do, I sat down to read until 7:00, at which point I returned to my assigned post only to be notified that the event I was to supervise had been canceled and my services were not needed after all. Sigh. So I got back on a bus and headed to the bus station and arrived home in a rather foul mood with nothing but a few pictures to show for the day. On the plus side, I did get a lot of reading done.

I'll be back at the ICon tomorrow to sell books though I'm curious to get a look at the children's events that are scheduled to take place.

More ICon pictures:

Guy dressed up as ogre

Bloody stump created at the makeup corner

Picture from the exhibit outside of the Cinameteque

First winner of Book Giveaway

Posted by Simcha 2:18 PM, under | 3 comments

The first winner of the Book A-Day Giveaway is....

Revi from Beer Sheva!

Revi has chosen to recieve The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, by Leanna Renee Hieber; a book I highly enjoyed and I hope she enjoys as well.

Congratulations Revi!


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