I made my annual pilgrimage to the SFWA reception in New York City yesterday. It feels strange to be turning into an old pro at these sorts of things, but when guys like Bud Sparhawk and Trevor Quachri come up to me and say, "Hey, good to see you again," I guess that means I'm not a noob anymore. I had joked on the Codex forum that I'd be the socially awkward guy standing in a corner, but I never even got a chance to pick out a good corner. Jason Chapman found me immediately and pointed out that where I was standing was not technically a corner. Anyone who starts a conversation like that is my kind of guy, and we spent the rest of the night talking with each other and anyone else who drifted into our circle.
So who drifted in? Well, the first was Bud, who was charming and personable as usual. While we were talking, Rajnar Vajra stopped long enough to say a quick hello. He looked dashing with his invisible carnation. Later in the evening I led Jason on a quest to re-discover Rajnar so I could introduce him, but came up empty. Sorry we didn't get to talk more, Raj! While Jason, Bud, and I talked, Bud noticed Emily Hockaday, editorial assistant for Analog and Asimov's, and asked if I'd like to meet her. She recognized my name immediately, which was really flattering. I also got to meet her assistant and an intern who works with them; both were very interesting young people. It wasn't long before Trevor found us all huddled together and joined the circle. People drifted in and out of our little circle as the night progressed. Bud wandered off and came back a couple of times. Trevor went out to mingle a bit. Sheila Williams stopped by to chat for a while.
Eventually, the circle broke up. Jason and I wandered around the place and found the food table. We each grabbed a plate and spent the last hour of the night talking to each other. It's nice to get to know other people who are relative newcomers like me. He's had success at markets where I haven't and vice versa, so I'm sure we can learn a few things from each other. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to convince him to go to a con next summer.
Meanwhile...back to writing fiction!