Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One Thing I Learned From Joyce Carol Oates


Captains of industry are almost never mentioned in Locus and, similarly, I did not expect ever to make even the briefest appearance on  Yet, skipping over the programming, John Farrell wrote an article on the Huckster Room at Readercon and, more specifically, how charming it is to be surrounded by vast numbers of books both contemporary and vintage which one is permitted to buy.  In which appeared not only my name but my photograph (above, with David Hartwell).

The observant will note three things about the photo.  First, that (being an old hand at this) when asked to pose for a shot, I leapt to it.  Second, that I stood slightly behind David in order to not block his extraordinary shirt (it being safe to say that the viewers were going to want to ogle as much of it as possible), and third, that when the camera appeared, I took off my name tag and slipped it into my pocket.

This last, I learned from observing Joyce Carol Oates.  We were at a literary event and even chatted briefly -- about our mutual friend Ellen Datlow, of course.  It was a glancing encounter but just before the photo op, I noticed her take off her name tag and slip it into her purse.  That seemed sensible to me, so I took off mine and slid it into a pocket of my tux.

This may not have been responsible for the fact that when the roomful of writers was rounded up and arranged in rows on the staircase, Ms. Oates and I got to sit in chairs front and center, with the others arrayed behind us.  But it certainly didn't hurt.

And it makes for a cleaner photo, dunnit?

You can read the article here.

Above:  Detail from John Farrell's photograph.


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