I wrapped up my Monday evening by attending my first Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America annual author and editor reception at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. I’d invited my brother-in-law, Jason, to the event and in a rather ironic twist, he–the copy editor who makes commercials–walked away with an agent’s card. But I didn’t come away empty handed either…
The event was held upstairs in an area segregated from the rest of the restaurant. It was crowded and loud when I arrived and it stayed that way they whole time I was there. Checking in, I finally got to meet Steven H. Silver in person. We’d been LiveJournal friends for years and it was great to finally meet him in the flesh. (He’s edited a couple of books collecting the short fiction of Lester Del Rey, that are just terrific.) There was an open bar and Jason and I made our way there so that I could obtain some liquid courage: there were people in the room who were science fiction heroes of mine, to say nothing of other writers who I’ve admired for a very long time. I’m still getting used to the idea that I am a Real Writer, and as I’ve said before, my philosophy is “fan first, writer second“. I was a little nervous but a bottle of New Castle helped.
I found Stan Schmidt and he took me and Jay Werkheiser around and introduced us as “two of his newest Analog authors,” which made me smile. He introduced us that way to Joe Haldeman. Joe-freakin’-Haldeman: author of The Forever War, and “The Hemingway Hoax” and The Accidental Time Machine. I was so glad I got to meet Joe in person. Stan also introduced us to his agent, as well as Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction. Later, Stan, Jay and I found a table in the “quiet” room and sat with Carl Frederick and Ian Randal Strock, and talked more shop. It was absolutely wonderful.
I got to chat for a few minutes with Mary Robinette Kowal, who I’d first met in person back at Readercon in July. She had to have been the most elegantly dressed person attending the event, and I was so glad I got to talk to her again. I also got to chat with Bill Shunn, whose writing I’ve admired since I first read “Two Paths in the Forest Toulemonde” in Science Fiction Age back in 1994, and who I met briefly at Balticon in 2007. I introduced Jason to Bill since they used to share a neighborhood in Queens. There were a few other people that I wanted to to say hello to, but I ran into two problems: first, it was so crowded that I simply couldn’t find them; and second, I was exhausted and I needed to be up at 3:30am the next morning in order to drive the family back home.
I made a final round, saying goodbye to the people that I’d seen, and thanking Stan again for lunch and for showing me such a good time at the reception, and then Jason and I headed home.
I dozed off Monday night floating on a cloud.