Bewildering Stories Editorial
by Jerry Wright
Visiting the Monkeyhouse
Actually, that's kind of cruel. I just returned from a couple of days at NorWesCon, in Seattle. And I had lots of fun. I met Matt Hughes. Very nice fellow, which was no surprise. I met Alan Dean Foster. Also a very nice person, kind of busy though so I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him. I met Patricia McKillip, author of one of my favorite fantasy trilogies, Riddle Of Stars featuring the very, very well done Riddlemaster of Hed, and again just a very nice lady.
And then there was Robert J. Sawyer. More than just a nice guy! Rob is friendly, outgoing, personable, and a pleasure to be around. He also invited me to the TOR room party on Saturday night, where a great spread was provided by TOR, and I got to mingle with a bunch of writers, editors, publishers, and a few fans. Mostly it was a professional group, and wasn't THAT pleasant. I spent a certain amount of time talking to Rob and to Gordon Van Gelder (who is just a kid! Well, not really, but he was a lot younger than I expected). Both of those gentlemen were very much sought out though, so I didn't try to monopolize them.
I did get a chance to spend close to a half hour with Jim Grimsley, a slight man of middle stature, greying a bit, but like me, not one who has spent much time going to cons. In fact, he had never been to a con until he started writing. Now he's been to six or seven, and still somewhat bewildered by it all.
I also talked a bit with Jerry Oltion, who has just come out with a sequel to his Hugo-nominated The Getaway Special called Anywhere But Here and who is going to send me a review copy of his book as soon as he gets some. Jerry has been writing a number of short stories for Analog, and it was a surprise to meet this young, kinda long-haired, tie-died shirt wearing tree-hugger, who is not only comfortable with technology, but feels that better technology is the answer to a lot of the problems we see now.
Then there is Matt Hughes. Matt is a stocky greying bearded gentleman who writes a lot of stories set in a Jack Vancean world reminiscent of the Dying Earth, but set a couple of thousand years earlier. He just had a novel called Black Brillion come out from TOR, but sadly, it isn't doing as well as we would hope. His hardback print run was only about 5000 copies, and they are kind of sitting there. Which is too bad, because Matt is a very enjoyable writer, and this "con-man/straight-arrow-buddy-comedy" is quite a romp. I'll be reviewing it later.
As to the "Monkey House" comment? Well, basically there seem to be four types of people who go to Cons. The Pros, of course, fans and collectors of SF, gamers, and people who like to dress up in strange costumes. My dear friends, I have never seen so many women almost falling out their dresses, with bustiers forcing their breasts up and out. Men in kilts. Lots of kilts. Women (and a few men) with animal faces; cats, squirrels, Cthulhu, and I don't know whatall. Lots of tight leather and vinyl. Some really professional looking Romulans and Klingons. And swords, and rayguns, all peacebonded, of course. And these were just the "hall costumes". I didn't go to the masquerade. But I have in times past. May we all live in peace.
One final comment... My badge said "Jerry Wright Bewildering Stories" and a lot of people, many of them professionals, are now aware of Bewildering Stories. Hurrah!
Copyright © 2005 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories