Monday, September 17, 2001


So. I'm going to Trieste, for the Fantasy Festival (you'll find something about it here at and the official site here at

I'm leaving this coming Wednesday.

Pretty much everyone I talk to seems to think this is a very bad idea, and I think I've rather managed to upset several people I care about by deciding to go.

I'm going because I got up this morning, fully prepared to cancel -- I'd already cancelled the flight to the UK last Saturday, to go to Douglas Adams's memorial today -- and then I thought, "You know, if I don't go, if I just sit here for the next week, I'll feel like those twerps have won. And to the extent that people stop travelling and stop doing things, to the extent that we withdraw from the world, then that's the extent that whoever did these appalling things wins and the rest of us lose."

Which may not be particularly profound, but I phoned the travel agent and established that, yes, I could fly out on Wednesday, and I established that, yes, the festival did still want me. And so I'm going.

I'm not sure that it's particularly brave of me -- in all honesty I doubt that I'm likely to incur much personal risk (it's probably safer to fly right now, when security is at its tightest, than it will be in a couple of years, when everyone's relaxed). I don't think that Trieste or Venice (where I fly into) are likely to be major terrorist targets. If things internationally go severely wobbly while I'm away, I might be stuck on the other side of the Atlantic for a while. I don't actually expect it will come to that. If it does, I'll go to England and hole up in Dave Mckean's spare room, or see if I can ride home on the QE2 or something like that. (I could hitch a ride on a tramp steamer, like people do in books, if I knew how to recognise a tramp steamer.)

I'll take the Libretto. I'll post from the road. I'll be fine.