Today, among other things, we had a mass autograph session for a ballroom full of writers. It was great fun! I measure the fun level of a signing based on a) whether anyone comes up and asks me to sign some books, and b) whether I’m sitting with people whose conversation I enjoy. Home run on both counts! A fan named Brad appeared with some books and said such great things about my work that it totally made my day. Then I had a delightful conversation with the author seated next to me, a soon-to-debut writer of SF for kids, a field that I really feel needs more good books. Her name is Nicole Valentine, and I mention that to give her forthcoming book a tiny plug. (I’d give it a proper plug by name, except I—doh!—seem to have misplaced the bookmark she gave me. Time travel and a bit of quantum physics.)
Actually, I’ve had a succession of great conversations with other writers this weekend.
This year’s Grandmaster Award went to William Gibson, one of the founders and the best-known practitioner of cyberpunk SF. In an interview session, he said something I really liked (I believe he was quoting another writer, but I missed that part). He said: “Writing is like digging an 8-foot hole because your scanner seems to indicate something interesting down there. Then you discover that the scanner is just picking up the steel toe on your work boot. There’s only one thing you can do at that point, and that’s keep digging.”
If I were a good reporter, I’d show you some pix of the awards ceremony. I forgot to take any. But I did get this picture of a life-sized R2D2, who brought one of the envelopes forward.