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Monday, April 28, 2008

Just Back from the Nebulas

and boy are my arms tired.

I am worn out, but I will have a full report in a day or so.

In the meantime some highlights were:

The incredible thunderstorm Friday night, viewed through the 15 story glass lobby of the Omni hotel in Austin.

A two-hour BS session with Joe R. Lansdale and others in the bar.

Mike Moorcock's speech, about the struggle through the years to make SF/Fantasy respectible--- his line about the mainstream critics thinking SF geeks had slide-rules for genitals had people falling out of chairs.

Doing the live blog, an honor I have had before but still is a great thrill.

Looking down during the live blog at the entree in front of me to find a 2 pound slab of steak--- Texas, baby, Texas.

Spending a very pleasant couple of private hours chatting with Mike and Linda Moorcock in their room just after he arrived, about mutual friends and shared interests, and complaining about the restaurants in our respective home-towns.

And after the ceremony helping Joe Landsdale clear a path through the crowd so Mike and Linda could get his wheelchair through, rear guard provided by John Picacio. We made our way to the largest table in the room, and sat to chat. To my left was John Picacio, with Boxcar Sanford and Kirryn Eis-- two of Michael's friends next to him, and then across the table from me Mike. Sanford is a musician and all-around good guy and Kirryn is a high-risk armed body guard-- a real-life woman of action. To my right was Joe Lansdale's daughter, a blond stunner whose impending marriage is the source of great wailing and gnashing of teeth by heart-broken young men throughout Texas, and next to her Joe. We were soon joined by Walter Jon Williams, and shortly by Michael Chabon. At this point I realized that no one would ever believe me when I told them who I was talking about writing with (believe me, I was not doing a lot of talking, there was far too much accumulated wisdom at that table for me to waste a moment doing anything but listening---) I told John Picacio that I felt like the world was a tuxedo and I was a pair of brown shoes, and at that moment a compact fellow wearing a black leather hat appeared to congratulate Mike and shake hands all around. Steven Brust was a bonus for all, as he seldom appears at such events, and was the final straw. I kept my James Bond cool, but it was a near thing :)

Breakfast lunch and dinners with many old friends and a few new ones--- Vera Nazarian, Lee Martindale, Peter Heck, Jane Jewell, Robin Baily, John Moore, Elisabeth Moon, Diane Turnchek, Sean Fodera, a very funny conversation about boxed wine labling with Joe Haldeman, and a crowd of others to be named later when I am less beat-up.

Keith has the first few photos up at North American, here:


Scriptorius Rex said...

At least your picture wasn't listed as 'Mike ?'.

michael said...

Or worse, Mark Arhart.

The first time I was mentioned in Locus, they misspelled my name. Now, I think, if they ever give me a cover story, I'll insist that they misspell it the same way :)

Camille Alexa said...

Wow! That's some high-wattage star company you had there. Sounds like total win (if you like steak). Get any BBQ in?

michael said...

I had a great time. I think the overwhelming part was all those folks at one table.
The BBQ situation was less than satisfactory, though I still ate well most of the time I was there.
I'm thinking the classic crossroads BBQ pit/dive is how I'm gonna have to go next time I'm there. Not certain when that will be, but I tend to travel to places in bursts, so no doubt I'll be in Texas again soon, or visiting relatives in New Mexico, where a brisket is treated with equal respect.