Saturday, May 26, 2007
Hasty WisCon Dispatch
Hello! We're having a splendid time; here's a quick report. I'm not going to include links to authors and books because it will take too long, but please do look folks up on Google and Amazon.
The Shopping! The Shopping!
Madison is indeed shopping paradise. Gary and I did State Street yesterday. I got a heavy silk Hawaiian shirt, two new pairs of shoes, and a new purse (total cost: $140). Gary got a new rolling suitcase and a new jacket. Yay, State Street!
The Gathering! The Gathering!
This is a WisCon tradition where people mill around tables featuring various activities -- tarot, tea-leaf readings, hair braiding, and so forth -- as an excuse to schmooze. My favorite activity was the clothing swap, not really a swap at all, but a giveaway: folks bring stuff they no longer want, and other folks come and try things on and take what they like. With the help of our friends Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, I scored a beautiful red blouse that looks like raw silk (it's really polyester/nylon, and thus washable), a purple mumu/housedress thingie that's great for lounging, and a gorgeous long wool sweatercoat with a Southwestern pattern that used to be Delia's.
We also ran into Nisi Shawl, who reads for the Science Fiction Book Club, and who told me that she's recommended Shelter to them. I hope they take her up on that!
The Dealers! The Dealers!
In the Dealers' Room, we stopped by the Tachyon table, where I signed some books, and where we ran into Lawrence Schimel, an old friend from Yale. Nobly resisting acres of books -- since I have other acres at home waiting to be read -- I instead bought a small silver celtic cross to wear at the hospital (since the one I've been wearing looks too much like a Basque symbol, and people keep asking me if I'm Basque), and a small blue Ice Bat UglyDoll to hang on my new purse. Very silly, I know, but it makes me happy.
The Opening Ceremonies! The Opening Ceremonies!
We sat with our friends Philip and Jackie Brewer and Jackie's mom Barbara Land, a former Reno-ite I know from UNR circles, and whom it's always a delight to see at WisCon. There were funny skits and awful punning songs. It was great fun.
The Party! The Party!
Tachyon had a book launch party for Ellen Klages, Carol Emshwiller, and me. It was lovely. Ellen showed us all her pieces of Trinitite, glass made from fused sand created by the atomic test in New Mexico, and told us about talking to school kids about her wonderful book The Green Glass Sea. (Go read it. Now.) Seventh graders have never heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and know nothing about the atomic bomb and what it does: Ellen said that when she tells them about it, their eyes get very wide, and then they badger her with questions for an hour.
I also had a long chat with Gary Wolfe, who wrote the Locus reviews for The Fate of Mice and Shelter, and who seemed relieved that I liked the second; he'd been afraid I wouldn't, because parts of it are critical, but heck, I'm critical of that book too, and I'm just glad someone understood what I was trying to do!
Various folks bought my book and asked me to sign it. Yay! A woman asked me to sign her WisCon yearbook, and then analyzed my handwriting for me. According to her, I'm organized (not!), economical (not!), even-tempered (nope), have trouble trusting (yep), am creative (I guess so), and am slightly egotistical (for sure). She also told me I have a pretty accurate sense of myself (I hope so!).
I met Jeff Smith, who's been reading the blog. Such a pleasure to have a face to go with the name!
Rina Elson from Tachyon gave me a Ghirardelli "Citrus Sunset" chocolate bar as a book launch gift. She apologized that it wasn't a magnum of champagne; I told her that since I don't drink but do love chocolate, this was much better.
The Reading! The Reading!
I read with Louise Marley, Alma Alexander, and Caroline Stevermer. We had a small but appreciative audience -- of more than one person! We were opposite a bunch of parties and Laurie Marks' GoH reading, so I'm not surpised the audience was small. Folks seemed to enjoy the snippet I read from Shelter, for which I was grateful.
The Farmer's Market. Lunch with Alexis. The Julie Phillips/Dorothy Allison reading. The art show. Dinner at an Italian place we passed last night, or maybe at the Great Dane Pub, where we ate last night, so Gary can sample more of their beer. The Tor party, although Gary will be giving that a miss because he finds the noise levels on the party floor intolerable (so do I, but I enjoy the parties for short periods anyway).