Thursday, November 15, 2007

WFC Parties and Food

Darren Nash commenting in the last post reminded me that I wanted to write a bit more about the social life at World Fantasy. I realize I made it sound like I was only in the bar, and, of course, I spent plenty of time there.

But there was more, of course. First day there Guy Kay and I had lunch and a great conversation at Mrs. London's. Twice I ate at a Mexican place, one with Nathalie Mallet and her husband Andre Losier, the second time with R. Scott Bakker and the group from Orbit (mostly) UK, including Darren Nash. One night I ate at Wheatfields (I hope I'm remembering the name correctly), a lovely meal with Joe and Gay Haldeman, Jack Dann, Dena Bain Taylor, Guy Kay and Guy's Israeli publisher Rani. A group of us, including Bill and Jae and Karen, ate at Sperry's (which I was told is Robert Redford's favorite eatery in Saratoga - take that for what it's worth); I had an excellent chicken salad. Breakfast once (or was it twice? Most days I was up too late for that meal) was at Compton's, a greasy spoon that opened at 4am on weekdays, 3am on weekends. The one morning (well, almost noon) that I can recall there was with Bill, Ted Chiang, and Daniel Abraham. We also met Ron Drummond, publisher of the 25th anniversary edition of John Crowley's masterful Little, Big. I would have liked to have had a longer conversation with him (as, noted earlier, I would have very much liked to meet Crowley himself). The last meal I recall is at the Circus Cafe, where I had one of the finest burgers ever. That meal was also good for the company, with Jim Kelly, Judith Berman, Brett Cox, Ted Chiang, and Patrick O'Leary.

The other events were a couple of parties. One was a typically noisy room party, hot and loud and crowded and smelly, and so I didn't last long there. The other was the Orbit party, held at a restaurant/bar whose name escapes me. I attended as Fleetwood Robbins' guest (he's an editor at Del Rey and was kind enough to drag me along, even though I wasn't on the guest list), and it was there Darren invited me to dinner. Again, the party was loud and crowded, but not being in a hotel room the atmosphere was quite different. Many people ended up staying there for dinner, which looked like a fine option.

Finally, the last night the bar was so crowded a bunch of us sat out in the lobby, where a small auxiliary bar had been set up. That is where Guy introduced me to Joseph Bruchac, which was a fabulous conversation; if you ever get the chance to listen to this man read or speak, by all means jump at the chance.

That seems as good a place as any to wrap this up. I feel relaxed even writing about Joseph, and that's a good feeling to be left with.

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