Diaz, Delany, Dinner
Junot, incidentally, is so totally brilliant that he blurbed Daniel's novels, which is a sign of good taste in my world.
Joining us were George RR Martin, Ian Tregillis, Emily Mah, Terry England, and Parris.
Delany was gracious and funny. He was genuinely pleased that I teach his Nova at Toolbox.
Junot was extremely funny. ("Ayn Rand is a disease of white people. A black person would start reading Atlas Shrugged and think, 'Whooaa, what is this shit?")
And as an immigrant of color, he was totally gabberflasted by Obama's being elected president. He kept bringing it up.
His Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by the way, is the only Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to begin with an inscription from Galactus, and is full of references to science fiction, Lord of the Rings, comics, and RPGs. (Trujillo, the novel informs us, "suffered four hundred hit points" of damage during his assassination.)
Junot mentioned in the subsequent interview that he wasn't just riffing on these elements, he had something in mind. He was describing the inner life of a Dominican immigrant, and of Dominican experience, for a USian audience, and thought that the best way to describe the horror and madness and genius of Santo Domingo was to approach it as an alien world, through the medium of science fiction.
Which I totally understood, because that's how I approached New Mexico when I wrote Days of Atonement. The only way to describe New Mexico to someone who hasn't spent time here is to think of it as an alien world.
So we discussed RPGs, and he mentioned that he'd played a lot of FGU's Space Opera, which had so terrified me with the World's Most Vast and Cumbersome Character Generation Rules that I'd never dared to approach it. (Oh, we totally geeked out on our sad, wasted youth, practically rolling 2D10 at each other.)
Chip and Junot didn't eat anything, because the folks who had invited them to New Mexico were taking them to dinner after the talk, so they watched us eat. Then we trooped over to the packed theater and listened to the reading, with Junot paying very close attention to the young folks in the audience and cracking jokes about his own work as he read it, after which Chip began his very intelligent, very sensitive interview. (He is someone I would like to interview me.)
And then the event came to an end, and Chip and Junot were born off on the shoulders of the crowd to wherever they were going to get dinner.
And while this was going on, Kathy was geeking out in a whole different way, down in Socorro listening to Kari, Grant, and Tory from Mythbusters. They've done a show down at EMRTC, blowing things up I assume, and on a campus like Tech would be complete folk heroes, and--- like us--- Kathy was lucky to get a ticket.