Of course, as any bibliophile will tell you, being able to get so many books at Book Expo America (BEA) is great (especially the signed books – I am such a sucker for those!). But I’ve already talked about during my weekly book update posts so now it’s time to talk more about the experience (although I will include any interesting book-related news just in case you missed it in the other posts).

Due to technical difficulties with my husband’s camera (ok, a wrong setting but I swear I tried that one multiple times), I do not have pictures so I’m afraid this will just be lots of babbling without any photos to break up the monotony. However, a lot of other people got pictures so I will direct you to the blogs of some awesome people I met who have plenty of them.

So after finally figuring out how to get a ticket for the LIRR and then going the wrong way once I got off, I found the Javitz Center. Not that long after getting my press pass, I met Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers at the Tor booth (or, er, Macmillan since Tor didn’t really have its own section in spite of being one of the more present speculative fiction publishers as far as having books available in the signings went). Their blog is one of my favorites so this was exciting, and they were both so much fun.

We made sure to get there early for the signing of Felix Gilman‘s forthcoming novel, The Half-Made World, and were so close to the front that we also had a chance to go back to Macmillan and get signed copies of Passion Play by Beth Bernobich. I had been agonizing over not getting this one because both it and The Half-Made World looked so good and were at the same time so this made me very happy. After looking at the book, I think this is the one I am most looking forward to reading. When I got my book signed, I asked if it was the start of a series and was told it is the first novel in a trilogy and there is also supposed to be a related book and a short story. It just looks so good from the description, and yes, I admit the fact that the cover is striking doesn’t hurt either. Plus Ana and Thea found out the day before at a tour of Tor that Bernobich’s editor was the same one who discovered Jacqueline Carey so that just moved it even higher up on the ‘must-read’ list.

Actually, October 2010 is looking pretty good for new releases since the three books I got that I am most looking forward to all come out then – Passion Play by Beth Bernobich, Dreadnought by Cherie Priest and The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman.

After some signings, we caught part of the Dystopian Fiction panel featuring authors Ally Condie (Matched), Adam Dunn (Rivers of Gold), Lesley Hague (Nomansland), and Sigrid Nunez, (Salvation City). There was an interesting discussion about whether or not there should be a glimmer of hope in dystopian novels. Afterward, I got to meet Angie from Angieville who runs another one of my favorite blogs ever and was a lot of fun to talk to.

Most of the rest of the day was dedicated to signings – there were so many to get to and unfortunately I missed the steampunk panel with Cherie Priest and Catherynne Valente.

I had been so disappointed that were not going to be any authors at BEA that I had read and enjoyed. There were two I had read, but I didn’t actually like the book I read by either of them, not even in a “it’s ok” sort of way – I actually wanted to go back in time so I could read something better in place of these two books. So I made sure to read a book by one of the authors who was going to be there that I thought I’d like – Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I did enjoy it and really wanted to get a copy of Inside Out, but the scariest, craziest line I saw the whole time I was at BEA was for this signing so after all that I missed it!

The most fun autographing session had to be for Zombies vs. Unicorns, a young adult anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. It stemmed from an argument between the two editors about which of the two was better, and they were asking everyone if they preferred zombies or unicorns. Before I even got a chance to answer, each of them said I must be on her side. Not being a zombie fan (gore, ick) but having been a little girl who adored unicorns as well as a big fan of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, I had to side with Holly Black on that one. To which she exclaimed “YES!” and Justine Larbalestier asked me if I was sure since I was wearing black. They were quite funny and I’m looking forward to reading the book more after talking to them (even if I am a tad disappointed that it sounds as though there will be no unicorns waging war on a zombie horde).

On the first day of BEA, I also met Kenda of Lurv a la Mode, who had the prettiest bookmarks. She writes great reviews and her blog is one of my go-to blogs now too so it was very nice to get to meet her.

Those are the highlights of day one at Book Expo America. Next I’ll write about day two, which should be shorter since I ended up crashing from exhaustion with some coffee and a book in the middle of the day, as well as some general impressions about the event.