This last Monday was the date of the annual SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) Editorial Reception, where SFWA hosts a big gathering for members, editors, artists, and friends, to generally schmooze and reconnect. I hadn’t been to one in years, so I decided at the last minute to go down, just for the day. I treated myself to Amtrak’s Acela for the ride down. Great train. Then I hoofed it from Penn Station to the Tor Books offices, tipping my hat to the Empire State Building on the way. (I make it sound like I know where I was going. Yeah, me and my Google map.)
In the past, the publisher’s offices were always a gathering place for writers prior to events like this, and I expected to be joining a crowd. Nope. I was the only one there, and all the Tor people were actually working. (!!) But my publicist Sam Cutler took me around to meet all the publicity people, and I waved to all the editors I knew (my own editor not being in town), then I browsed the bookshelves, plucking down books to read. While thumbing through a book, I heard a mutter from the room next door about problems with Mobipocket Creator. Having spent a good deal of time on ebook creation, I poked my head in, and thus met Pablo Defendini, maven of Tor.com, and also the guy who’s doing his level best to get Tor ebooks up and running. Great guy, great conversation, and eventually I grabbed some dinner with him and some of the other Tor.com people, as well as Irene Gallo, Tor’s art director, all good folk. Then we all went off to the SFWA thing, where I indeed reconnected with some old friends, and even ran into my agent, Richard Curtis!
Coming home on the 3 a.m. train out of Penn Station wasn’t quite as much fun (actually, waiting for the 3 a.m. train in Penn Station wasn’t as much fun), but hey. A good trip.
Today, I turned around and drove to pick up my daughter and a couple of friends from college, a ways up the river from NYC, then turned around again and brought them home. Could have been a lot worse; the poor souls on the Mass Pike westbound toward New York as I was coming back east were in for a long time on the road!
Safe travels for the holidays, everyone (if you travel, which you probably will, if you’re in the U.S.)!