Preview: The Clown Prince of Accordion Playing meets The Dark Prince of Hacker Fiction

by Joey deVilla on October 24, 2003

Last night’s Neal Stephenson Q&A session was amazing, but even more so for me: I was one of the door prize winners! I got a chance to go backstage after the presentation to chat with Neal Stephenson and get my copy of Quicksilver autographed. This photo, featuring both me and Stephenson both flashing our trademark facial expressions is priceless:

Photo: Joey deVilla gets his copy of 'Quicksilver' signed by the author, Neal Stephenson.

Here’s a conversation that should’ve happened, but didn’t:

Me: TEH DR4K PR1NZE 0F H4X0R F1CT10N! I’m soooo not worthy!

Neal Stephenson: You’re the guy with the accordion. Cory warned me about you.

Me: Yeah, yeah, writer boy. Less talky! More book-signy!

Neal Stephenson (sighs, pulls out ostrich feather quill and dips it in an inkwell made from an actual human skull): To whom shall I sign it?

Me: “To Bubba: I really enjoyed being your prison bitch. Love, Nealy-wealy.”

Neal casts his Notorious Icy Glare at Joey.

Me: Uh, “To Joey” will do nicely.

Neal Stephenson (signs the book): Wait a minute. Is that really an accordion?

Me: Yeah, it is. [Puts it on] Glad you asked! Just for this occasion, I took the time to write some accordion backbeats for your Sushi K* numbers! Ah one, ah two, ah one two three four…I was goin’ to the Black Sun, but then I got high…

Neal Stephenson: SECURITY!

What actually happened (including my notes) will follow shortly.

* Sushi K is an Asian rap star from Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous October 24, 2003 at 9:56 am

Dude, I was so there! I almost yelled out, “Joey, play us a tune!” But I did not.

The winners were so quiet that it wigged me out. I would have screamed with glee if I’d won. But that’s just me.

(PS The sign-up process for blogware is painful.)

Anonymous October 24, 2003 at 10:46 am

Oh, Emma, you should’ve stuck around — I haven’t seen you in ages!

(By the bye, everybody — Emma gave me a hardcover Cryptonomicon last year.)

Anonymous October 24, 2003 at 10:48 am

Joey, that was damn funny. Great way to start the day.

Anonymous October 24, 2003 at 1:49 pm

I actually rushed the stage to say hello, but they whisked you off behind the curtain before I could get there. I checked to see if your accordion was still around to leave a post-it note, but I wasn’t sure if the jacket in the front row was yours.

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