Saturday, June 17, 2006

Wild Ginger and Jimi Hendrix

I'm in Seattle. Had a lovely dinner last night with mostly that wild Locus crew, not to mention Eileen Gunn and her John, and Gardner Dozois, at Wild Ginger, then went on the Science Fiction Museum and did a short presentation for "A Short Film About John Bolton". I'd not seen it in a few years, and took some pleasure watching it with an audience of people who knew nothing about it at all.

Dear Neil, i'd like to become a writer,but i have also a lot of doubts:in your opinion,someone who is teetotal,and that doesn't drink can write something significant? It seems a stupid question, but sometimes i think that a lot of writers did this in the past.It seems that you have to respect these conventions to become a writer.Okay,this is a silly question,but a writer has really to be a dandy or a "wild one"? Thanks Neil,Francesco from Fondi, near Rome

I've often heard it said that there are no stupid questions, Francesco. But that one, if it's not a joke, does actually come pretty close.

You should meet some writers. I'm afraid that you may be disappointed on many levels, but you will undoubtedly stop imagining that we are the "Wild Ones" very, very fast.

(Well, we are, but it's mostly in our heads. That's how we get writing done. Be bourgois and restrained in your life that you may be wild and unconstrained in your fiction, as someone or other more or less said.)

And, in my experience, those of us who are wild carousers tend not to stay that way for very long, because if we do, one way or another, we stop writing, sometimes rather permanently.


Time just passed.

So the Locus brunch happened. (I didn't serve omelettes, I'm afraid. It was worse than that.) Then the Locus Awards, where Anansi Boys won Best Fantasy Novel (which I wasn't at all surprised by) and "Sunbird" took best short story (which completely took me by surprise -- I'd forgotten that it was even in the running). The Locus Awards have more voters than the Hugos or the Nebulas, as Charles N. Brown himself reminded us, shortly before smashing event MC Connie Willis's small Hawaiian figurine mascot to china fragments, like a rotund, Hawaiian-shirted Jimi Hendrix -- or possibly Pete Townsend -- if they used to smash little ugly china hula-ing figurines instead of electric guitars.

Half an hour until I MC the SF museum Hall of Fame thingie.