Monday, May 23, 2011

Mass book signing

First of all, congratulations on the world not ending. I'm sure we're all very proud of that.

Second, the Nebula Awards were this past weekend. Science fiction and fantasy writers from all over the country came to Washington, D.C. to be told they were good enough to be allowed to buy a plane ticket, but not good enough to get up on stage.

Late Friday afternoon, before things really got underway, all the writers that were interested in signing (and selling) some books gathered in a large room in the Washington Hilton and greeted their adoring public. The adoring public wasn't exactly huge. Most of the people I saw had name tags because they were there for the ceremony. Their number was slightly larger than the number of authors. The number of bums off the street (i.e. me) increased the crowd by that number again. This is a rough estimate. I'm sure there were others coming and going. But what this allowed was a more relaxed air than at most book signings I've been to. The authors were arranged around the room in alphabetical order, but some took their name cards and went to sit by their friends. More friends stood around chatting with the authors. And we bums got to have a better chat than we would have in a bookstore with a crowd behind us.

I went for three names: John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, and Mary Robinette Kowal. I recognized other names, but these were the three that got me to show up. And, true to form, I walked away with a stack. I got my picture taken by the Washington Post, but they found someone with a similar stack who better looked the part of sci-fi geek.

I picked up "Vixen" by Bud Sparhawk. Bud does most of his writing for sci-fi magazines. Short stories. And he's been writing them for years. He's appeared in some anthologies, but "Vixen" is his first novel. I asked him to "Make it out to Doug, please" so he did. "To Doug-(Please)"

Eric James Stone was there celebrating the release of "Rejiggering the Thingamajig and other stories". Truth be told, it's not supposed to be out until September. Even the author had only seen the proofs before then. I got the honor of being the 10th person to have a copy of his book autographed. I also got his business card with a short story on the back.

John Scalzi's new book, "Fuzzy Nation", is on sale. "Fuzzy Nation" is a reboot of the H. Beam Piper series that started with "Little Fuzzy". You can read the original for free here. I plan on reading both.
I also got him to sign my copy of "The Android's Dream".

"Impact Parameter and Other Quantum Realities" by Geoffrey A Landis is apparently hard to find. But he was good enough to bring copies to be placed on the table with all the rest of the books for sale.

I couldn't find my copy of "The Forever War" for Joe Haldeman to sign, but there were copies for sale. I think I got the last two. If my old copy shows up I'll pass it on to someone else. He also signed "The Accidental Time Machine" for me.

Stanley Schmidt, PhD signed "The Coming Convergence". He almost signed the book to Doug Please as well.

James Morrow's "Shambling Toward Hiroshima" came with a fake monster movie booklet called "Filmland of Famous Monsters (special Syms Thorley issue)"

And Mary Robinette Kowal was signing her first novel "Shade of Milk and Honey". It's sort of a "Sense and Sensibility" era book, but with magic. I got a lovely thick paper bookmark that strongly resembled a slat from the wooden fan that she also gave me.

I did take pictures, but between the indoor lighting and the zoom I was using they all came out shaky.

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