The ICFA reception took place in what looked like a little banquet hall across from the main hotel. Ann and I got there around nine and stayed until eleven. We had an interesting conversation with L.E. Modesitt about writing careers and other things. Modesitt says to sustain his career he writes about two books a year and relies on the selling power of his backlist. He also knows Matt Cheney, which led us to reflect on the fact there are about four degrees of separation between Mr. Cheney and almost anyone in the world.
We also had a chance to catch up with Michael Arnzen, a great guy whose new novel Play Dead (sic?) is getting good reviews. Arnzen, Ann, and I go waay back to before the collapse of the horror market--Michael was one of Jeanne Cavelos' discoveries at Dell Abyss back in the late 1980s. He's just gotten tenure at his college and will be going on sabbatical for a year starting in June. "When people ask me if I'm going to travel," he said, "I tell them, 'Yeah--to the Island of Sabbatica.'" Actually, he's going to stay home and write for a year.
David Hartwell found a novel way to keep watch on his kids but get them some sleep time--by using tableclothes to create a kind of tent in a corner booth area. It was quite ghostly, really, to see, out of the corner of one's eye, the sudden appearance of a hand or foot from beneath what one had assumed was an uninhabited area...
Mark Wingenfeld, book dealer and friend from way back, was also at the party and we look forward to seeing more of him in the next couple of days. Also Jacob W. from Tachyon Press, and the troika of Ted Chiang, John Kessel, and Jim Kelly in another corner, whispering to one another. I would have gone over but in that slight moment of hesitation in which I thought, "Yes, but Ted Chiang HATES Evil Monkey," someone else came up and started talking...
As for today, it's two readings. I'll be reading with Patrick O'Leary and Liz Hand (or Big Bird as I call her--long story)--two excerpts from Shriek--and then tonight the Ambergris Rough Guide multi-media extravaganza. Along with doing some interviews for the documentary.
Still can't quite get the Wonderland B&B out of my head.