Worldcon Friday morning

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For a change of scenery, Laura and I went over to Hilton for breakfast. It was a touch better than at the Marriott. Then it was upstairs to the Lido rooms for my hour-long 10:00 am reading. But on the way we ran into—surprise!—our friend Gordon, who had mentioned something Wednesday about wanting to come down from L.A. to the con for the day but not being sure he could. It was very cool of him.

There were maybe eight or nine folks in the audience. Laura and Gordon, of course, and Scott Edelman and Paul Melko, plus a few folks I didn't know. What I read was an unpublished novelette called "Not of This Fold," a near-future story about Mormon missionaries assigned to a large space station at L2. A woman in the audience kept smiling at different missionary references, so I assumed she was or once had been Mormon. Partway through I began to realize that I was in trouble. I was feeling a little emotional, and was very worried that I would get to the climax and choke up. Well, that's just what happened, but I think it was only ten or fifteen seconds before I got it together enough to finish the last few pages. (Scott dropped me a very nice note about the story later, and Melko kept giving me shit about it the rest of the weekend—which of course means he was being supportive. <g>)

After the reading, the woman introduced herself as Diane. She said she was ex-Mormon, a podcast listener, and also the girlfriend of John Barnes—and that she had missed the John Barnes reading next door to hear mine. Good thing she liked the story!

Paul and I both wanted to say hello to John Barnes, so with Laura and Gordon we hung around outside the reading rooms waiting for him to finish signing books for the dealers with wheeled carts who seemed to keep appearing from nowhere, as if summoned by sympathetic magic, to replenish the line. I told him that his novel Mother of Storms had been the reading that got me through the physical upheaval of moving from Utah to Seattle to New York in 1995, shedding my Mormon beliefs along the way. Barnes joked that I was abandoning wives in cities across America as I went.

Gordon and I went to see the "World Government" panel at 11:30. I don't recall what panel it was Laura went to, but I think I remember it was supposed to be funny. At any rate, it was a little after noon during the panel that I checked my CrackBerry and discovered that Shana, back home dogsitting for Ella, was trying to reach us. She wanted to know how best to get Ella to the emergency vet.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on September 1, 2006 2:39 PM.

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