Friday, August 14, 2009

My Dinner with... well... Near Neil Gaiman

It was like having dinner with Neil Gaiman! Only he was sitting two tables away and talking to someone and I could only sit and watch casually because I didn't want to stare or do something crass like going over to interrupt him to start gushing about his work.

French-Canadian food. Great little restaurant and as soon as I remember the name, I'll put it in here.

But it was cool to see him! Wish I'd gotten to his signing, but I was running around like a mad creature pushing books and doing panels. Too bad. He seems like a neat guy, though he has a strange fascination with bees and bell jars.

So this is my six-day late-WorldCon wrap-up piece. Work has been busy as all get out and I've been too tired to do anything except edit a little bit and get to bed. Today, however, the house is mine, and I wanted to post about what an excellent time I had hanging out and going to panels and doing panels. It was all cool.

I spent a great deal of the convention hanging out at the Hades Publications table. Met Brian and Anita Hades, and had good talks with them. Excellent folks who run a fine publishing house (and I don't just say that because the publish Small Magics through their Dragon Moon Press imprint).

Also got to hang out with my soon-to-be editor Gabrielle Harbowy, who will be doing the edits on Cold Magics in the near future. Good woman, excellent editor, and fun to hang out with. She was also present during my dinner with near Neil Gaiman and can attest to the fact that he was two tables away and we didn't go over and act like idiots in front of him.

I didn't make it to any of the parties except the Tesseract book launch because exhaustion had its way with me. Work has been long and busy and home has been the same. Plus there's the writing which I need to finish ASAP.

The panels I attended were fun, and the ones that I was on were more so.

Panels I Attended: The Function of a Cover (sell books), Podcasting (get professional help), Elizabethans and fairies (didn't talk about fairies much, but lots about Elizabethans and magic).

Panels I was On:
Research and Writing (with Aliette de Bodard, Darlene Marshall, Mindy Klasky, S.M. Stirling -- ever feel like you're outclassed?). This was a great panel. The other panelists were extremely well-versed in the topic, and very well spoken. I discovered I was the moderator when I walked in the room, but managed to pull myself together to ask intelligent questions of the panelists and answer some of the audience questions fairly intelligently myself. Cannot say enough good things about this group and the audience we had. Thanks to everyone.

Also, met a woman from the audience who was the spitting image of someone with whom I went to high school. No relation at all, but a professor down in the USA (If you happen to read this, send me the name of your book [it was an academic study of on science fiction] I want to get a copy).

Martial Arts Primer for Writers (with Sean McMullen and Walter Jon Williams -- remember that outclassed thing I mentioned before? Here it is again!). This one was a hoot. Nothing like putting three martial artists on a panel and letting them go. Got put in an armbar by Sean, got to demonstrate some cloak and dagger fighting with help from an audience member's cloak, talked a whole bunch of martial arts and even managed to be occasionally on topic. Lots of fun.

I did two other panels: The Morning Workout with Birgit Houston on Saturday to which no one attended but myself and Birgit, who is a lovely woman and an excellent martial artist. And Fitness for Geeks with Nancy Louise Freeman (whose name I kept geting wrong. Sorry, Nancy!) which was all right, but under attended. Nancy was a great co-panelist and excellent to work with.

I was supposed to do another panel, but had to get on the highway instead.

And that's my time at Anticipation/WorldCon 2009. Great fun and maybe I'll get back to Anticipation next year, if I've got something to show (like a new book!)

UPDATE: The restuarant was the Restaurant Vallier. Great food. Try the halibut BLT (Yes, halibut. Welcome to Quebec). Thanks, Gabrielle!


gabrielle said...

That really good restaurant was Restaurant Vallier -- it even has a website (

Trust your editor to get your back. :) (The fact that I'd looked this up for my own convention report? Completely irrelevant!)

Darlene said...

You did a great job as moderator! Herding c/a/t/s/ a group like that is no easy task, but you managed to keep it all working.

Erik Buchanan said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I certainly did, and look forward to more in the future.

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