Arrived in Tempe as planned, following a 400 mile, 6 1/2 hour drive from LA -- the first half slogging through city freeway traffic, the second half cruise-controlling across the desert as the just-past-full moon rose ahead of me, listening to R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, and Elliott Smith -- checking into the hotel just past 8 p.m., and just as the traditional Friday evening mass-autograph signing session got underway. Hastily packing earlier in the day, I'd scanned the convention's participants list and chosen half a dozen authors to grab books by to get signed, and having arrived, foregoing dinner until a late-evening room service, I wandered the central courtyard of the hotel where the authors were situated, hauling in successive tote-bags of books, and did manage to get signed most of the books I brought, in the course of having nice chats with Gwyneth Jones and Jeffrey Ford and Joe Haldeman and Patrick O'Leary and, yes, even Lucius Shepard, whose new Viator
I bought on the spot from a dealer sitting next to him. Then to my room, where the hotel's wireless internet connection works just fine, and where a dinner from the reduced late-night menu was delivered by a nice boy from room service. And so to email, and checking the critical websites one last time for the day, and a blog post, and to bed.