Merry Christmas! I'm posting this a little late in the day because, well, Christmas Eve is always busy. I had to pick up the goose from the Chestnut Hill Farmer's Market, engage in a little spontaneous drama with Sean (Me: "The most amazing thing just happened! The butcher delivered this enormous goose and said it was from, of all people, Ebenezer Scrooge!" Sean: "What possible reason could the old skinflint have for such an action?" Me: "Perhaps there's been a Christmas miracle and he's changed his ways." Both: "Hahahahahahahahahaha!"), compose this year's Christmas story, visit friends, and prepare for Christmas Eve services, where Marianne is reading scripture. So this might come out sounding a little rushed.
I received an early Christmas present on Friday, in the form of two fresh-minted copies of The Dragons of Babel, which Stacy Hague-Hill of Tor Books was kind enough to send me. And now, for a brief period I am as happy as any writer of fiction ever manages to be. The book is beautiful, the reversed lettering was printed correctly, the text is beautifully designed, the chapter numbers are in a charmingly bizarre typeface (the craze for the paragraph at the end of the book explicating the typography is over, unfortunately; but I think the font is Hyperserif Scissorshands or the like; you'll see what I mean if you get the book), and I am filled with enormous gratitude to Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, Kage Baker, Jane Yolen, and Vernor Vinge for providing the book with generous blurbs. Those things are a royal and unpaid pain to write, and it means a lot to me that they'd bother.
Also, Gene called me "jolly." So much for the slander that I'm sardonic!
This would be a good place to mention my scheduled appearances over the next couple of months. As follows:
January 8: New York Review of Science Fiction reading at the South Street Seaport Museum, New York City.
January 12: Appearance on Jim Freund's Hour of the Wolf, WBAI radio, New York City. (It's in the early hours of Saturday morning.)
January 25-27: I'll be guest of honor at Chattacon in Chattanooga, Tennesee. It was at a Chattacon, long years ago, that I had the privilege of informing Andy Duncan that he'd just made his first professional sale. So I have a special fondness for this convention.
February 15-17: I'll be one among many panelists at Boskone in Boston, Massachusetts. A lovely con, good people, and they published one of my collections, Moon Dogs, the year I was their goh.
March 19: Reading at the KGB Bar, New York City. If you're in the NYC area but have never been to a KGB reading, you owe it to yourself to go, just for the ambiance. The KGB is a genuine Commie Bar -- there are statuettes of Lenin and posters of Ukrainian Communist leaders all over the place. Even the walls are painted red! Is this a great country or what?
March 21-23: I'll be attending Norwescon in Sea-Tac, convenient to both Seattle and Tacoma. I don't get out to to West Coast very often, so this is a great opportunity for local signed-book collectors. You know who you are.
April 10: A reading at Temple University in Philadelphia. Actually, I believe this is in a Center City building, but don't quote me on it. Mostly this is intended for Samuel R. Delany's students, but universities don't mind when outsiders pop in for this sort of thing. As a general rule, they're open-handed with human culture.
And that's it for now! Though there may be more. The Hermit of Roxborough is actually going to be leaving his house for a change! Drop by and say hello if you have the chance.