(CONTINUED FROM PART ONE)
Outside the kidlit purview, I met the delightful Keith DeCandido, son of GraceAnne DeCandido and heir to the DeCandido throne. Or something along those lines. Keith’s sort of the go-to guy in terms of Star Trek novels and Buffy ones as well. I met (hastily checks the cards now swimming merrily in the bottom of her purse) Mr. Marvin Kaye who wrote a sequel to A Christmas Carol called The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge (performed every year). Had I but known that he was so involved in Nero Wolfe stuff, I’d have grilled him on the subject. I met Tom Doherty, President of . . . oh my . . . Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. We appear to have the same birthday. Mr. Doherty got me a nice white wine at the bar which was very gentlemanly of him. There were others too, but they either weren’t wearing nametags, were wearing them and managing to cover them up with a spectacular series of eclectic hand movements, or were wearing them and my potato chip-primed brain couldn’t take the letters in. Holly Black says that for every new name you learn, an old one gets booted out the brain’s back door. If true, maybe it’s safest if I just don’t meet anyone else from here on in.
On the children’s literary side of things we went from Ms. Yolen to our own Sarah Beth Durst, remarkable hair and all. I assured Sarah that in spite of the fact that we kept showing up at the same functions, I wasn’t actually stalking her. We talked about how her book sales went up a little with the release of the movie Into the Wild (a very different critter from her debut novel of the same name). "Did they not notice the purple cover and the walking cat?," she pondered. Tis a puzzlement. Sharyn November (Viking editor) and Michael Stearns (Harper Collins editor) were also slated to come but did not make it, which was too bad.
I learned many interesting things during the course of the evening. How often, and in what conditions, Neil Gaiman has been known to wear his black leather jacket, for example. Speeches were eventually made and I found that the acoustics on the third floor of the Society of Illustrators is 500% better than the acoustics in the actual gallery. Either that or I was able to hear with clarity because I was a mere five feet from the presenters. Hm.
Food = potato chips, which was just fine n’ dandy with me! You could place me on a desert island with a life’s supply of Ruffles and an equal smattering of white wine and not get so much as a peep of complaint.
Speaking of which, in the end they sent me home with a bottle of Mount Horrocks 2006 Cordon Cut, which appears to be from "The Australian Premium Wine Collection", twist-off cap and all. They also gave me a pretty cool Society of Illustrators t-shirt that has an image by an Anita Kunz. She has recently written a book by the name of The Anthropomorphic ABC. Not really a children’s book, but well worth a gander I should think.
In conclusion, I learned many important things. Things like:
It’s called science fiction and NOT "sci fi".
Australians are very hot right now. They were handing out little booklets of the New Australian Fantasy and SF titles due out between October 2007 – December 2008.
SFWA folks are sweet, welcoming, and quite a lively crew. I will ponder whether or not to join them.