Tag: jay werkheiser

The SFWA Author and Editors Reception

I wrapped up my Monday evening by attending my first Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America annual author and editor reception at Planet Hollywood in Times Square.  I’d invited my brother-in-law, Jason, to the event and in a rather ironic twist, he–the copy editor who makes commercials–walked away with an agent’s card.  But I didn’t come away empty handed either…

The event was held upstairs in an area segregated from the rest of the restaurant.  It was crowded and loud when I arrived and it stayed that way they whole time I was there.  Checking in, I finally got to meet Steven H. Silver in person.  We’d been LiveJournal friends for years and it was great to finally meet him in the flesh.  (He’s edited a couple of books collecting the short fiction of Lester Del Rey, that are just terrific.)  There was an open bar and Jason and I made our way there so that I could obtain some liquid courage: there were people in the room who were science fiction heroes of mine, to say nothing of other writers who I’ve admired for a very long time.  I’m still getting used to the idea that I am a Real Writer, and as I’ve said before, my philosophy is “fan first, writer second“.  I was a little nervous but a bottle of New Castle helped.

I found Stan Schmidt and he took me and Jay Werkheiser around and introduced us as “two of his newest Analog authors,” which made me smile.  He introduced us that way to Joe Haldeman.  Joe-freakin’-Haldeman: author of The Forever War, and “The Hemingway Hoax” and The Accidental Time Machine.  I was so glad I got to meet Joe in person.  Stan also introduced us to his agent, as well as Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  Later, Stan, Jay and I found a table in the “quiet” room and sat with Carl Frederick and Ian Randal Strock, and talked more shop.  It was absolutely wonderful.

I got to chat for a few minutes with Mary Robinette Kowal, who I’d first met in person back at Readercon in July.  She had to have been the most elegantly dressed person attending the event, and I was so glad I got to talk to her again.  I also got to chat with Bill Shunn, whose writing I’ve admired since I first read “Two Paths in the Forest Toulemonde” in Science Fiction Age back in 1994, and who I met briefly at Balticon in 2007.  I introduced Jason to Bill since they used to share a neighborhood in Queens.  There were a few other people that I wanted to to say hello to, but I ran into two problems: first, it was so crowded that I simply couldn’t find them; and second, I was exhausted and I needed to be up at 3:30am the next morning in order to drive the family back home.

I made a final round, saying goodbye to the people that I’d seen, and thanking Stan again for lunch and for showing me such a good time at the reception, and then Jason and I headed home.

I dozed off Monday night floating on a cloud.

My first editorial lunch in NYC

On Monday, I had my first lunch with an editor in New York City.  I headed down to the offices of Dell Magazine and met Dr. Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog Science Fiction in person for the first time. We sat in his office and chatted for a while while we waited for others to arrive.  It was a surreal experience for me.  First of all, just seeing the offices of Analog (and Asimov’s) in the flesh: they are, in fact, more than just an address on an envelope.  Second, getting to meet Stan in person and chat with him one-on-one.  Here’s a man who has been the editor of Analog since 1978 or so–almost as long as John Campbell’s tenure–and who has been selecting the stories that I (and everyone else, for that matter) have been reading for more than three decades.  Stan was incredibly nice to me and we talked about all manner of things as we waited for the others to arrive.

The others included Carl Frederick, who has been writing prolifically for Analog for 7 or 8 years now.  He’s a tall fellow who speaks half a million languages and who has a great sense of humor.  Also joining us was Jay Werkheiser, a writer who has had 2 stories in Analog so far (in consecutive Novembers, as he pointed out to me when I asked about it) and who will probably have many more.  He’s a high school chemistry and physics teacher and that alone puts him in my high regard.

Once we had a quorum, Stan led us to Baluchi’s, which had some outstanding Indian food, and we sat at the table for nearly an hour and a half talking about all manner of things, only half of which had to do with writing.  I was pretty much in awe of Stan and Carl throughout the lunch.  Stan told us stories about his own rejection letters from John Campbell and about his process for reading stories submitted to the magazine and it was absolutely terrific.  The time flew by and before we knew it, the restaurant was closing down and our little party was breaking up on the sidewalk just outside the restaurant.

As a first editorial lunch, it set a high standard for future lunches (if I’m lucky enough to have any) to meet. I had an absolute blast.