Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

George R R Martin – The Game of Thrones SDCC

A few years back, before the Games of Thrones series came out, George R R Martin was at SDCC for a signing.
While I knew who he was I never read any of his work. For the most part he writes fantasy and I read science fiction almost exclusively. If you don’t read either genre, then you must be thinking it’s all the same.  It’s not.  They are very different and there is enough material in both genres to have sub-categories. I’m one of those readers that enjoys sci fi and particularly hard sci fi; meaning its more ‘science’ based than ‘fiction’ based.
When I heard that Martin was going to be at SDCC I figure this was a great gift opportunity.  I often get a book signed and just give it to a friend. Sometimes I wait for Christmas or a birthday but I usually just send it unannounced in the mail. 
A friend from college mentioned that he was a big fan of Martin so I figured I’d use this as an opportunity for a gift and while I had to wait anyway, I’d get one for myself.
When I got to San Diego I visited the bookstore near my hotel.  I browsed the bookshelves and found The Games of Thrones book. I didn’t know anything about the series. It looked like something my friend might like and it was the first book in the series. So I got two copies. I was even lucky enough to get a reprint at a special low price of $3.99
As I said, this was several years ago; at least 3 years ago and maybe 4 or 5 years ago.  I’m foggy on the details but I do remember two things.
The first detail was meeting a fellow collector. I recognized him from several different conventions over the years.  I doubt he recognized me but I know him.  He’s nice but he does one of my pet peeves. He arrives with several bags of books from the author to get signed.  He is an avid fan.  This gentleman is always nice about it. If there is a limit (5 books at one time) he will get the limit signed and then patiently get back in line to get another set of books signed.  It’s my peeve as often there is a long line and many of this type of collectors are so singly focused they are boorish. Again, this guy is nice but it’s a peeve.
The other detail was Martin himself. I was tired and had other signings to get so I was more in the ‘get the signature and run’ mood than let’s chat a little and have a memorable story to tell.  Martin was just the opposite.
As I hand over my books, Martin looks up and says hello. Then he mentions an article he read a while back about fans expectations at signings.  While I may have been looking at Martin in the eyes, I wasn’t seeing his face. I was seeing sand drop through an hour glass.  My time was tight. I just wanted the books back and to sprint to the next event.
He paused. He wanted interaction and he waited for me to ask about what he read.  A normal fan would have been thrilled about this interchanged.  I normally would have been thrilled about this. It would make a great note to put in the book when I sent it to my friend.  
So I unenthusiastically asked, ‘What was in the article?’  How rude of ME!
He said, ‘The first was eye contact’. He paused as he looked me in the eyes and then said, ‘The second thing is to have the person ask you a question; which you did when you asked me about the article.’  He smiled briefly. He then finished signing the books and handed back to me. He said, ‘the third thing is thank them for coming. Thank you.’ 
I took my books and mumbled a thank you back and quickly tucked them into my backpack and made a hurried exit.
I’ll admit, I lost my Inner Cow and I wasn’t very friendly nor did I seem very grateful.   Which seems all the more boorish on my part as I’ve watched the first season of The Game of Thrones and was captivated. I am so caught up with the series I looked through my bookshelf and pulled out my copy of the book to read.  Again, it’s well written and exciting and the show has been very true to the book. I really can wait to finish this book and start the next.
So now’s my chance to give an enthusiastic thank you, Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Ouch, on the positive you did get to meet him and get an autograph even though at the time you could have cared less. I've done that plenty of times mainly because I didn't, then kicked myself for not meeting somebody when I had the chance.