Monday, October 6, 2014

The Secret Argot of Prodom

There's something so satisfying about the feel of a print dictionary...

Every business has its beggars' cant, the words and phrases that separate the insiders from the goyim.  So too with science fiction.  Today, I will teach you one of those Insider terms.

As always, I am on the road again.  This time I'm off to New York City (with my pals Tom Purdom, Gregory Frost, and Fran Wilde) for what is technically the SFWA Reception for Industry Professionals.  But if you called it that, everybody would know you for a noob or a fraud.  As would referring to it as the SFWA Authors and Editors Reception, which was the earlier name.

No.  All the cool people invariably refer to it as the Mill 'n' Swill.  Because that's what it is -- a big set of rooms where you mill about, having conversations that may or may not advance your career, while swilling down rather too much alcohol.  (Not me for the last part, though -- I'm driving.  I will put a big dent in the seltzer water, though.)  It's a simple, catchy, self-explanatory name.  Which makes it ironic that it was coined not by one of the hundreds of wordsmiths whom the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America comprises, but by an editor.

I won't mention said person's name, though.  I don't know if it's supposed to be public information or not.

And while I'm gone . . .

Behave yourselves.  Feel free to raid the icebox.  Don't forget to feed the cat.


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