Another day, another author appearance. This time it was Jeff VanderMeer at the Free Library of Philadelphia. He began by reading an excerpt from his Annihilation-Authority-Acceptance trilogy and then was interviewed by Chris Urie for Geekadelphia, which was the sponsoring organization for what will be a series of geek-related readings.
Chris hopes to makes the Geekadelphia series stand out from other local reading series by including something extra, something not normally seen at a reading, at each event. This time, it was a barn owl from the Academy of Natural Sciences. The owl was a whopping success, though it did threaten to upstage Jeff.
There was a good showing from Philadelphia's contingent of writers (Tom Purdom, Fran Wilde, and Eugene Myers, among others) and editors (Marianne Porter of Dragonstairs Press, Stephen H. Segal of Philadelphia Weekly), though as far as I could see -- but I didn't exactly poll the audience -- almost nobody from the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. Who showed up in force for John
Scalzi's appearance at Barnes and Noble a few days ago, so I can only presume they just didn't know.
Intra-genre communications in Philadelphia seem to be almost nonexistent.
Nevertheless, a splendid time was had by all, it turned out that I was having an allergy attack rather than (as I had feared) coming down with a cold, and the owl did not, in the end, upstage the writer. Though it can be a fearsome thing to compete against one.
So I am content. And so too, I hope, are you.
Above, top: Jeff VanderMeer to the left, Chris Urie on the right. Above, bottom: Marianne Porter to the left, barn owl to the right.