Bryan (raoulraoul) wrote,

Yar! American Library Association, ahoy!

Every year, like it or not, my wife attends the American Library Association annual convention. The site varies — Anaheim this year, Washington the year before, New Orleans before that. I pick up a pass to see the exhibits; it costs $25, and it’s basically an excuse to swipe freebies from the exhibitor tables — usually books but also quite a few tote bags, pens, and notepads.

This was the best ALA ever in this regard, even putting aside the Dodgers / Angels game (thanks, Thomson Gale!) Here’s the haul:

  • From Diamond: Two books from Paizo Press’s Planet Stories series, in which they reprint older, overlooked science fiction stories. Michael Moorcock’s City of the Beast is the obvious star; the Eternal Champion in this case is Kane of Old Mars. The book jacket description is reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s books starring John Carter of Mars. More intriguing is C.L. Moore’s Black God’s Kiss, six short stories published in Weird Tales in the ‘30s that featured an early female sword-and-sorcery hero.
    Diamond also provided a Marvel TPB: What If?: Civil War. I didn’t care about What Is Civil War, but I took it anyway. There were also several issues of comics; I chose Comic Book Diner and Killing Girl.
    Last but not least: A “Soul Eater” pin, which will be transformed into a fridge magnet.

  • From Wizards of the Coast: Bookmarks and three books: Devil’s Cape by Rob Rogers, Cross Country by Tim Waggoner, and A Song in Stone by Walter H. Hunt. All three are part of the publisher’s Discoveries imprint; only Song, which features a protagonist sent back in time to the 14th century, is even close to the company’s bread-and-butter genre of fantasy. Cross Country is “part manhunt, part murder mystery” that WotC claims is part Fargo, part Silence of the Lambs, and part Stephen King. Most promising is Cape; the eponymous city is a sister city of New Orleans infested with superheroes and vigilants.

  • From Perseus: The Right Mistake by Walter Mosley, the latest Socrates Fortlow book. I won’t pay for one of Mosley’s non-Easy Rawlins books, but I’ll take one for free.

  • From Shonen Jump: A nice little notebook, about 80 pages, with a transparent hard-ish plastic cover.

  • From Gen Con: A couple of promotional cards that can double as bookmarks.

  • From DemCo: A DVD opener and a few tote bags — as my wife notes, DemCo has the best totes at ALA.

  • From ALA: A cheap, convict orange but capacious tote.

  • From ISI Web of Knowledge: A triangular pen.

  • From Web Junction: A blue pen with a thick — although not padded — grip.

  • From Serials Solutions: A nice mechanical pencil.

  • From W.W. Norton: Crime by Irvine Welsh, who wrote Trainspotting. A blend of Drugs, Miami, and a Scottish DI.

And the best:
  • From Harper Collins: Thomas C. Foster’s “jaunty” How to Read Novels Like a Professor; Louis Bayard’s historical mystery of early 19th century France, The Black Tower; and a collection of Scott McCloud’s complete black and white work on Zot! Most importantly, McCloud was signing at the time, so free signed copy. As an extra bonus: a set of three Zot! Pins.

By far, this is my best haul — so good I barely managed to get it home. After last year, I was debating whether it was worth spending $25 for the Exhibits pass. Now I’m looking forward to next year.
Tags: american library association, anaheim, c.l. moore, demco, diamond comics, freebies, gencon, harper collins, irvine welsh, isi web of knowledge, loot, marvel, michael moorcock, paizo press, perseus publishing, pierre bayard, planet stories, reading list, rob rogers, scott mccloud, serials solutions, shonen jump, socrates fortlow, thomas c. foster, tim waggoner, w.w. norton, walter h. hunt, walter mosley, web junction, wizards of the coast, zot!

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