I got a very nice call last night to tell me I’d won 4 tickets to the SFX Weekender. To say I was pleased was a slight understatement.
It looked like a lot of what I know as the “book crowd” were going and I’d regretted not booking when there were offers on. Whilst there are a range of celebrities available, it was catching up with these friends that I was more interested.
So getting free tickets was ideal. “Great,” the caller said. “I’ll ring back in the future for the names of your guests.”
Guests? Oh crap.
You see, like everyone I have various social circles: There are the old workmates, there are the geocachers, there are friends from when I used to do charity work, friends from the collector community.
The trouble is, they don’t sit nice together. They’re all very different types of people and whilst variety is the spice of life, I don’t want to take someone who finds the prospect of sitting in a bar and talking books all day, boring.
Yes, my friend A would love a free day out as much as the next person but I have visions of him getting pissed up and telling China Mieville to f*** off. I mean, he doesn’t even read.
My friend P would love to come and would be unlikely to cause a ruckuss but he couldn’t afford to come down to me on the train.
My friend N isn’t the greatest of readers but has a good enough understanding of geek culture. He did come with me to San Diego Comic Con after I got Billy from the band Good Charlotte to record a personal plea to his wife. But she’s expecting their first child within a month of the event, and it would probably be wrong for him to leave her for a weekend.
A lot of my US friends would dig it… but they’re in the US, so they’re hardly going to fly over just for this event. Not when they go to San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con.
And my book friends? Well it looked like all those who were wanting to go had already got tickets.
So this left me with a quandary. Here I am with 152 friends on Facebook (and no I don’t try and collect them, just add people I know / interact with) and I had no-one to go with.
Now I usually have no issue with going to events alone. And it’s not like I wasn’t going to meet up with people. But the thought of telling the organisers I had no-one to bring really, really bothered me. I felt like Nobby No Mates. Oh the shame! How would I ever live it down?
But thankfully my friend Simon is able to make it, and it’s like a huge weight off my shoulders. He’s a reader (in fact he’s an alpha reader for my novel although he’s kept fairly quiet about his opinions so far) and I’m always giving him fantasy books to read that he doesn’t like. We agree on the Lies of Locke Lamorra and Tome of the Undergates, but that’s about it. Still I think he’ll get on with the book crowd.
Not sure if I’ll get another two people before they ring back, but at least if I have one I won’t feel like such a Nobby No Mates.