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Sensible Shoes

Well, I actually spent some time involved in professional development. The 2002 ALA Conference was in Atlanta this year, and since it was so close (and KSU picked up the registration), I decided to go. Friday I had dinner with an old friend & colleague from IU (hi, Maryann!), and Saturday I went to the conference. ALA is big: roughly 20,000 folks attend, mostly librarians, mostly women, mostly in sensible shoes. It was my first time attending, and I had a blast. All sorts of people show up at those things besides librarians: authors, publishers, editors, and other folks interested in the library world. I attended a panel discussion on Science Fiction and the Future of Technology, which featured Charles Sheffield, Nancy Kress, and Ben Bova. They talked, Q&A'd, then signed books. And if you didn't have one of their books with you, not to worry. The publishers provided free copies of a work from each one.

I also got the leatherclad Neil Gaiman to sign my copy of American Gods, as well as a copy of Stardust (provided by a young lady from the publishers. actual conversation: "do you have something for Neil to sign?" "Yes," showing her my book. "Well, take this one too."). Tor books had an booth, and gave away free titles (I also got to chat with one of the editors for a bit. No, not PNH or Teresa). There I also ran into Thomas Seay, startling him by recognizing his name (hah!). HarperCollins gave away galleys of soon-to-be released books. Pioneer gave away music DVDs, mostly operas and Windham Hill. All that and more, including the usual suspects (pens, totebags, post-it notes, etc.)

In short, I made out like a bookreading bandit.

Recent reading: Lord Dunsany's Book of Wonder, Paul DiFilippo's Strange Trades, M. John Harrison's The Pastel City, Glen Cook's Passage at Arms, the Avram Davidson classic The Phoenix and the Mirror, and a spot of nonfiction: Big Chief Elizabeth: How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World.