Having a Fine Time at RT Booklover’s Convention

RT Booklover’s Convention is primarily a convention by and for romance writers and fans, and so the attendance skews heavily female. It’s a very interesting experience, in a positive way, and I’m having a lot of fun. And as you can see from the photo above, I am opening myself up to new experiences, like walking a mile (or at least standing) in another writer’s shoes, in this case Rachel Caine’s. I’m not sure that color is right for me, but I am assured that the red makes the whole ensemble “pop.” Well, then.

Someone suggested that the picture meant they had blackmail material against me. So I showed her the pictures of me from Jim Hines’ Pose-Off. That settled the issue of blackmail. Sometimes being a man without shame has its advantages.

Also, my feet hurt just standing in those shoes. Honestly. I don’t know how people who regularly wear heels do it. Respect, y’all.

(Photo by Colleen Lindsay)

91 thoughts on “Having a Fine Time at RT Booklover’s Convention

  1. What worries me is that in that suit you look like a Politician or a TV Evangelist, not much difference!

  2. Hmmm. To really make it work, you’d need a coordinated tie and handkerchief.

    Also, nail polish.

  3. Also, my feet hurt just standing in those shoes. Honestly. I don’t know how people who regularly wear heels do it. Respect, y’all.
    Neither do most orthopedists…

  4. Low heels with comfortable cut/padding and a good fit aren’t too bad. The higher they are, the worse.

    They do make you’re outfit pop!

  5. Fie, red shoes with a pink shirt? I think you have been misinformed about said poppage. Switch out the ruby slippers for emerald, maybe.

    Also: insert smiley face.

  6. You clean up nice! Few unsolicited observations:

    1) That color red always complements black.
    2) Well coordinated on the tie+shirt.
    3) Any decent tailor will be able to bring in those shoulders a bit for a very reasonable fee. When dressing well, a good fit is the last small step to suave.
    4) I wish more guys read romance. My partner notwithstanding, the women I know who read romance are generally not interested in discussing it with a guy, I suspect because it’s seen as unseemly for a guy to read romance. I also wish more romance writers would write with a female and male demographic in mind. I believe that the broad failure to reach the latter has not to do with guys being uninterested in romance and eroticism, but in the male characters in most romance novels being unrealistic stereotypes. It’s getting better, but not quickly.If I can guess a character’s general trajectory a page after their introduction, they’re probably not very original.

  7. Also, I know exactly what point in the universe you were standing on when that was taken. Was there not so long ago. They did a nice job on the lobby rebuild.

  8. “He looked like such a nice, normal, person. Then he put on the Red Shoes Of Doome.”

    “Look for the Man With One Two Red Shoes”

  9. If you click your heels twice…. snappy suit and the heels really bring out the shirt.

    I saw the picture of the pose off and now I’m cleaning the keyboard as I laughed with my mouth full of coffee… Thanks

  10. Red shoes, particularly peeky-toe red shoes, are always right. Black socks, not so much.

  11. Now that Pope shoes are no longer red, someone must take up that sartorial mantle! Besides, I’m sure it will make Homophobic Asshat Trolls with Adorable Man Crushes simply *swoon*.

  12. Whoohoo! Shiny! The initial glimpse caught me by surprise. Stylin’! Is what immediately came to mind. Brought a smile even. Panning down I caught the red socks, and that brought a grin. That’s our John! You go, Johnny. Go, Johnny, go!

  13. Why should it be shaming to put on a pair of shoes? They’re only women’s shoes when a woman is wearing them! And being a woman shouldn’t be a shameful thing.

    Now, you’d be hard-pressed to catch /me/ in them, but that’s because I like not impairing my ability to walk. :) (I’m assuming they’re heels, though it’s not obvious from the picture.)

  14. I note you’re having to hold on to the balcony railing for balance. You need to practice more if you’re going to wear heels. Hint: Wider heels will help. KISS don’t wear spike heels, after all.

  15. Oh, any guy who was a ROCKY HORROR fan could tell you walking or standing in heels for hours is no joke, Scalzi! Yes, red goes well with black, but peeptoe heels do not go with that suit….

  16. Hmmm, a Big Idea from romance-writer Delilah Dawson yesterday, now an appearance at RT Booklover’s, and he’s leaving his post as President of SFFWA?

    John is changing genres! j/k

  17. @ gleonguerrero
    Johnny B. Good

    @ J. Andrews
    Possibly the shamelessness pertains to how well he wears them.

    @ Beej
    I, for one, welcome our new romantic overlord.

  18. Those would be 4 hour shoes I’m guessing.
    Evening, and kick them off under the table while at dinner to stretch to 6 hour shoes.
    Female friends explained the “hour” shoes concept to me. I understand it, mostly. Too cute not to buy, to uncomfortable to wear for an extended period.

  19. 1)Rachel Caine is awesome. Love her Weather Wardens series.
    2)Wearing heels properly is a learned trick that even a number of women have difficulty mastering. Well done for trying.

  20. Now wait; how come Rachel isn’t clomping around somewhere in your socks and shiny black shoes? Black would go with whatever color she was wearing, and if she had a dress on I’m sure the sock/shoe combo would really have made a statement.

    Now I have a picture of a nerd in shorts and black socks and shoes stuck in my head. Sigh.

  21. My theory is that you’re clicking your heels together in an attempt to teleport to Kansas City, Kansas.(’cause there’s no place like home)

  22. @Gulliver, the writing of men is the biggest flaw with J.D. Robb’s otherwise-enjoyable …IN DEATH series (well, that and the thrift-shop science fiction!). It was pretty obvious that “Robb” was a romance writer even before Nora Roberts admitted they were hers over a decade ago – while the main character, NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas, is an interestingly multi-layered, flawed and compelling woman, her incredibly-rich & handsome husband with quick wits and a shady past who nonetheless loves her truly madly deeply is a walking romance novel cliché (Black Irish Bad Boy Reformed By the Love of a Good Woman variety). It’s took Roberts more than a dozen books to start giving Roarke some character shading that isn’t part of the package, and to show him as his own person rather than reflected through Eve – and thirty-six books and nine novellas later, he still doesn’t have a first name!

    This is hardly unique to Roberts – most romance crossover novels tend to read like they’re romances first, with elements of mystery/thriller, SF, Fantasy or Horror tossed in as window dressing. Too often, reading the crossovers is like watching Seventies “porn chic”, where the adult industry tried to “mainstream” hardcore by adding thriller, soap opera, SF or even (very cheap!) Biblical epic elements between the sex scenes. While a few did a decent job of it, in most cases the non-porn sequences were shoddy impersonations of even cheap non-porn counterparts.

  23. @ timeliebe

    I love the …in Death series (though I will admit to having fallen behind midway through the last century), even though it’s formulaic hard-boiled crime romance (but still fun to read for a romance/mystery fan such as I). Holiday in Death was the only SF I’d read until someone handed me a copy of I, Robot about 15 years ago. I did a LOT of traveling for work the last decade, and I used to take a Robb/Roberts book on each flight. I criticize both genres because I love them, not to be a hater.

  24. Re: Scalzi, nice shoes. You should wear red patent leather more often.
    Re: timeliebe… It comes out in one of the earlier books that he does have a first name, he just chooses not to use it and has hacked all of his records to reflect his choice. Think “Cher” and “Madonna”.

  25. Re: Scalzi’s Shoes… If you buy pumps with 1) a wide enough toe box to fit your foot and 2) enough padding in the toe box, pumps don’t hurt. It looks like you’ve squeezed a wide-width foot into a narrow-width shoe. Always painful.

  26. Linkmeister, karma has to be kept in balance. So occasionally writers have to dress in suits and ties to balance out the writers who write in the nude.

  27. did I miss the romance/love scenes in John’s books? Admittedly those bore me and I tend to skim over them, but I don’t recall any in his books.

    is it common for authors of one genre to attend conventions in another? I would think that the romance market and the sci-fi market are pretty different. John’s writing style doesn’t strike me as something that would crossover to romance. That isn’t an attack. It just strikes me as considerably different from what a romance fan would look for.

  28. Bruce, you may be right. I wonder whether the number of writers working in the nude increased once the electronic word processor was invented. Those mechanical typewriter typebars could be very dangerous to the dangly bits of either gender.

  29. is it common for authors of one genre to attend conventions in another?

    Hm. It was my impression that around Bujold, there was a good chunk of SF/romance crossover.

  30. The whole Paranormal Romance genre is born of Urban Fantasy, from what I recall. And the Paranormal Romance genre is… well, big. There were several of them in the dinky drugstore I was in yesterday with my mother-in-law. (But not the one I wanted, darnit.) Sookie Stackhouse is filed in SF&F, for instance, as is Laurell K Hamilton, as is Shades of Milk and Honey and sequels — at least, in the B&N I frequent.

    Or, in other words… There’s actually not so much cognitive dissonance in a SF writer attending a romance convention. The Venn Diagram has considerable overlap.

  31. Nice look. A touch of red in the tie and it would have been perfect. Don’t feel bad about holding the rail – I can’t wear heels myself – I fall off them. And yes, they hurt. Lots.

  32. You really need a red & pink, or ruby, bow tie, with matching pocket square, preferably a floral or paisley. Let me look …. the Toscanini would do very well with those shoes. ;)

  33. I think you look smashing! BTW, I and any of my female friends who read SF&F also read romance.

  34. Jenny Crusie (screwball comedy romances) co-wrote a couple books with Bob Mayer (action/thriller). They’re very competent, amusing books; Exciting Things Happen and Badinage is tossed about and the plots are character-driven and there are a *lot* of guns on the mantlepiece in Act One.

    I thought they didn’t quite hang together exactly because they couldn’t paper over the difference in worldview in their two genres, but I have a lot of trouble articulating what I think that difference is. Someone else here must have read them; opinions?

  35. Also, I see that RT had a formal ball this year. Did you dance? …in the heels? ….backwards?

  36. @ Greg

    The story arc in the novel that follows the 3-act play is the main character’s relationship with his “wife”.

    And don’t forget the steamy transhuman sex! Okay, it wasn’t that steamy, but it showed potential.

    On the other hand, you seem to have read a different novel than I did.
    1) Earth was the only planet with a space elevator put there as a boondoggle to scare the Old World into line.
    2) We see hardly anything of the Colonial Union in the first book, and the CDF is not a government, it’s a military, so I’m not sure how it can libertarian. All militaries are dictatorships, which is why no military should be allowed to govern. And while I’m not a “flaming libertarian”, I have studied a number of libertarian-isms and nothing in OMW pinged as libertarian in the least. Neither, for that matter, did the novel to which you compare it.
    3) The aliens ignore Earth because they regard it as trashed, resources are the only reason for the ongoing state of interspecies war, and the CU is careful to keep them in the dark about their manpower source.
    4) Diplomacy not only works in the OWM universe (ultimately better than the CDF would really like), it has clearly worked in book one when a veteran describes the cohabitation that has been reached with several other species (notably one’s than don’t live in environs suitable for human habitation).
    5) The protagonist’s statement “humans can be as inhuman as any alien species” was clearly sarcastic and not meant to actually lower the bar or appease the protagonist’s misgivings about becoming a monster.

    You seem to have filled in a fair bit of the “off screen” universe on your own. Ordinarily that wouldn’t surprise me; even the best of us import our biases and ascribe our own interpretations to any work. What’s odd about it is that you’re pretty familiar with the author, his politics and his weltanschauung. Libertarian utopia, really?

    You’re dead to rights with the love story, though.

  37. Gulliver:

    1, 2) The elevator is there to tell the governments and politicians to not try to oppose CDF. Page 14 has a perfect sample of CDF “going galt”. every once in a while a legislature or president or dictator bans CDF recruiting until they reveal their secrets. “the CDF never argues. It packs up and goes.” If you try to control or regulate CDF, they simply “Go Galt” and leave that country. If that isn’t the wet dream fantasy of a Libertarian, I don’t know what is.

    3,4) “resources are the only reason for the ongoing state of interspecies war” -> followed by -> “Diplomacy…. cohabitation that has been reached with several other species (notably one’s than don’t live in environs suitable for human habitation”, made me chuckle. If war is fought over resources, then there is no need for war between two species who need different resources. And if there is no need for war because no resources, then that doesn’t show causation that Diplomacy->Peace, rather it shows causation of NoCommonResourcesToFightOver->Peace.

    5) ” The protagonist’s statement “humans can be as inhuman as any alien species” was clearly sarcastic”

    Oh, absolutely not.

    [after stomping around a city populated by 1 inch tall intelligent aliens]:

    page 214: “I have no horror about what I’m doing. I’m scared of that. I’m scared of what it means. I’m stomping around this city like a goddamn monster. And I’m beginning to think that’s exactly what I am. What I’ve become. I’m a monster.”

    [After Susan had been fed to a fish (a gaper) by humans to be swallowed whole and taken down to the depths and slowly crushed to death. CDF sent a ship in (the Tuscon), wiped out a bunch of the resistance, and then fed all the people who had a hand in killing Susan to the same kind of fish, to be slowly crushed to death. An act driven purely by vengeance, eye for an eye.]

    Page 220: “Susan’s death was clarifying to me, a reminder that humans can be as inhuman as any alien species. If I had been on the Tucson, I could see myself feeding one of the bastards who killed Susan to the gapers, and not feeling in the least bit bad about it. I don’t know if this made me better or worse than what I had feared I was becoming when we battled the Covandu (inch tall aliens). But I no longer worried about it making me any less human than before.”

    It had entirely lowered the bar and appeased the protagonist’s misgivings about becoming a monster.

    you’re pretty familiar with the author, his politics and his weltanschauung. Libertarian utopia, really?

    What’s Scalzi’s personal politics have to do with the way the world works in the story?

  38. clew, my wife agrees with you. (She is a big fan of Cruisie’s solo books.) She says the problem for her is, they didn’t blend. Each has a voice and they just don’t work together.

    I saw Scalzi’s Shoes open for Meat Loaf in ’05.

  39. @ Greg

    If you try to control or regulate CDF, they simply “Go Galt” and leave that country. If that isn’t the wet dream fantasy of a Libertarian, I don’t know what is.

    I’m not convinced that showing that one government using withdrawal tactics on others is at all the same as John Galt’s cabal of producers opting out of their own society. As I indicated, you’re filling in a lot of Earth/CU history that we are never privy to in any of the books (with the disclaimer that I haven’t read The Human Division yet).

    And if there is no need for war because no resources, then that doesn’t show causation that Diplomacy->Peace, rather it shows causation of NoCommonResourcesToFightOver->Peace.

    All I can say to that is, read The Last Colony. You’re generalizing the way the fictional universe works from one character’s experiences.

    It had entirely lowered the bar and appeased the protagonist’s misgivings about becoming a monster.

    Conceded. I had misremembered the context of the quote. My mistake. You must have the ebook or an eidetic memory.

    What’s Scalzi’s personal politics have to do with the way the world works in the story?

    If a story is open to interpretation, and the reader chooses to interpret it, then the author’s views are very much a factor. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a libertarian.

  40. All I can say to that is, read The Last Colony.

    Irrelevant to the world presented in “Old Man’s War”.

    You’re generalizing the way the fictional universe works from one character’s experiences.

    The pattern repeats throughout OMW.

    Private Senator Ambassador Secretary Bender is the only character in the book with a name containing such a long list of titles, which immediately ties him to the sin of “pride”. He is introduced at the beginning of one chapter as a completely incompetent, know-nothing do-gooder who in his previous life as a human on Earth secured a peace treaty in Ireland, which immediately failed, thereby showing diplomacy ineffective. We watch him as he walks up to several hundred Whaidians and attempts a strawman version of “diplomacy” and gets vaporized for it, thus demonstrating again the ineffectiveness of diplomacy. Viveros says she’ll become an officer some day and change the orders and get peace. She gets killed two sentences later.

    We are told as background information that there has been constant war for 200 years. And this isn’t some slow burn like occupying Iraq or Afghanistan. This war is more on par with WW2 level casualties. The period of time during which OMW takes place is supposed to have a casualty rate that is at least 40,000 humans killed every year. 200 years of constant war, with a minimum of the last 10 years, probably longer, being WW2 level casualties.

    If ALL THAT doesn’t show the ineffectiveness of diplomacy, then you are simply unconvincable.

    “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a libertarian.”

    Meh. I would suggest that you pointing out that you’re “not a “flaming libertarian”” means that you are at least sympathetic to libertarian ideas and that might be causing you to get defensive about whether OMW is libertarian or not.

    The libertarian prophet is John Galt. Galt represents a libertarian fantasy that government is for sheeple, that government is created by the lazy to take money from the hard working, that if the hard working were to get out from under the yoke of government, they could become much more powerful, that regulation only weakens and punishes the hard workers, that regulation only hinders and obstructs fair business. And the libertarian fantasy believes that if the hard workers, the captains of industry, were to GO GALT, then they would become extremely powerful and extremely rich. The libertarian fantasy also fully embraces laissez faire which says that without regulation, capitalism will naturally solve all problems, the most efficient way possible, and everyone will be better off for it. Most importantly, libertarians and laissez faire both say that with zero regulation, zero interference from government, that monopoly can only be beneficial.

    That is the CDF in a nutshell. They are outside all regulation. Think about that for even a second, and one can see it as libertarian PORN. An all-powerful entity, with more military capability than all the nations on Earth together, with zero accountability, and yet, they do not abuse their power.

    History shows that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The CDF has infinite power and absolutely nothing preventing them from abusing and misuing that power against the people of Earth, and yet for all the years they’ve been in this position, they haven’t abused their power?

    Whether it was intended or not, that is libertarian porn. That is a libertarian wetdream. It says unregulated, unconstrained, individual or corporate power will be guided by the invisible hand ot produce not only the most cost efficient solutions for every problem, but also without ever seeing the abuses of monopolization and abuse of power.

  41. Stuck between the idea that this post could have been titled “John Scalzi’s Red Shoe Diaries” and that Red Shoes, how very Papal of you.

  42. The Last Colony spoilers ahead…

    @ Greg

    Irrelevant to the world presented in “Old Man’s War”.

    Yes, but not irrelevant to the world inferred from reading OMW. When I read OMW, there were many things I wondered about. But until the author elected to spotlight them (or not), all I could do was attempt to map the Sistine Chapel through a keyhole, cognizant of the limits inherent therein.

    We watch him as he walks up to several hundred Whaidians and attempts a strawman version of “diplomacy” and gets vaporized for it, thus demonstrating again the ineffectiveness of diplomacy.

    No, thus demonstrating a moron’s attempt at diplomacy.

    Viveros says she’ll become an officer some day and change the orders and get peace. She gets killed two sentences later.

    Demonstrating that the CU has stacked the cards against diplomacy (we see a lot more of that in the sequels where it becomes a central plot point). IIRC, Perry consciously chooses to remember Viveros’s strategy and, for him, it sort of works in The Last Colony, albeit in a very subversive way.

    Meh. I would suggest that you pointing out that you’re “not a “flaming libertarian”” means that you are at least sympathetic to libertarian ideas and that might be causing you to get defensive about whether OMW is libertarian or not.

    I am unabashedly sympathetic to some libertarian ideas. And you may well be right that I am more defensive than I might otherwise be, but perhaps not altogether in the way or for the reason you think. I’ve long noticed a trend, really beginning with Ayn Rand, of strawman effigies of libertarianism being sent up (as often by shallow libertarians as by their opponents) as placeholders for nuanced ideas. That’s the fault of the author when it happens, and I wouldn’t criticize a reader for critiquing the author’s politics. But I do think that this has resulted in some readers finding these strawmen wherever they could be wrung from the pages.

    I’ll admit that I’m also highly skeptical of canonical interpretation of literature and authorial intent in general (subjective interpretation makes more sense), a skepticism that began with a class I took on Shakespeare where the instructor was, to put it charitably, inventive in what she seemed certain the Bard was saying.

    I also really like vigorous debates.

    The libertarian prophet is John Galt.

    No. Possibly the Libertarian prophet, but not the libertarian prophet.

    The libertarian fantasy also fully embraces laissez faire which says that without regulation, capitalism will naturally solve all problems, the most efficient way possible, and everyone will be better off for it.

    No, the libertarian misconception is that government is ultimately less efficient than individual volition in solving social problems, relegating its “proper” role the the enforcement of contracts. Anarchism extends this to government having no proper role. Anarcho-capitalism restricts anarchism to markets, and hence is more a type of libertarianism than of strict anarchism. None of those philosophies suggest capitalism will naturally solve all problems, only that alternatives to government (coercive force) are inherently superior. This is not a view I share; I believe alternatives are only sometimes superior depending on context and circumstances, and that a hybrid is often better than either stand-alone approach.

    Most importantly, libertarians and laissez faire both say that with zero regulation, zero interference from government, that monopoly can only be beneficial.

    You’re referring to a natural monopoly. The idea is actually a bit more complicated than that, but that is a feature of anarcho-capitalism specifically and laissez-faire economics generally.

    That is the CDF in a nutshell. They are outside all regulation.

    Since you insist we must analyze OMW independent of the sequels, how can you know this when the novel shows you virtually nothing of the CU government itself?

    An all-powerful entity, with more military capability than all the nations on Earth together, with zero accountability, and yet, they do not abuse their power.

    Where is it said that they do not abuse their power? Where is it said that they are not accountable to anyone? This would be like saying that because Greece is no longer the dominant European superpower, Europe is libertarian.

  43. Clew: I like a lot of Crusie’s stuff, and Agnes and the Hitman is probably my favorite. I actually like the different voices of the authors, because they’re each writing a different character. Adds verisimilitude. :) Which is a harder word to type out correctly than I thought it would be. Stupid i’s.

    I do have to admit that while I enjoyed the other two books she and Mayer wrote together, I like her solo works better. So Agnes is at the top of the list, but the others are much farther down. I’ve never really thought about why, but I think it is because the authors’ voices don’t mesh as well. Hmmmm.

    (Random story…my girlfriend bought herself a copy of Agnes and the Hitman as something to read while she was recovering from surgery. I realized how effective those pain killers are when she looked up at me, halfway through the book, and said, “That’s interesting, a Crusie book with no dogs in it!” I think I managed to keep my reply to something like, “Yes, that would be interesting.”)

  44. The libertarian prophet is John Galt.

    Libertarianism ≠ Objectivism just as progressivism ≠ communism.

  45. Tangential to the topic of romance or lack of same in John’s work: An acquaintance of my husband’s was participating in the annual record-a-thon at Learning Ally (a nonprofit that records textbooks for blind, print-handicapped and dyslexic students) and the passage he ended up with was the, um, “getting acquainted with the new equipment” scene from Old Man’s War. He was, to put it mildly, not prepared.

  46. I bought the first Sookie Stackhouse book at Worldcon b/c the author was on a panel with Bujold and Willis and she was so gosh-darn charming and funny I thought I’d give it a try.

    So if Charlaine Harris can be at the big SF convention, ain’t no reason Scalzi can’t hang with romance.

    There’s always been a big overlap between SF and mystery, and a huge overlap that I’m surprised to find out that people are surprised about between SF and romance. We’re all out there in the “lesser”, “genre” category compared to the so-called Literary Fiction. We’re ghettoized for still wanting our books to have plot, I guess.

    JD Robb sells a bajillion books, though I’d guess most of her readers might scream in horror if you pointed out they’re really SF; sure, Roarke’s a yummy god and Eve’s a tough cop, but hey, 2050′s and space colonies, people — looks like SF to me.

    “Assassins in Love” is SF, some mystery, and definitely romance (they START with the hot sexin’ in chapter one). The author’s name is listed as Kris DeLake, but that’s a pen name for Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who used to edit F&SF Mag, so she knows from her sci-fi.

    And romantic heroes are generally no more unrealistic than the firm-jawed, strong-thewed men who go out conquering the galaxy in SF — just in different ways.

  47. Those shoes aren’t made for walking.*
    -
    This is wrongish vis the how-can-wear-’em.
    It’s an how do you feel about pain versus being socialized or
    instinctive (adverts versus what you saw while tiny/actual
    instincts.) about feet.
    -
    Back when I could see as far away as my feet I never noticed
    shoes except for mine: Damn, my feet sweat so much. I’m
    almost sloshing, and what’s the the seam that’s cutting into my
    toe. And it’s forty minutes ’til I can change socks!
    -
    About libertarianism.
    Let’s go to freedom. I am free to swing my fists about so long
    as I don’t hit someone’s nose (not actually free to do so – let’s
    go to the putting of an unloaded revolver to something that person
    would rather not have a bullet damage and -_- click—I was just
    joking, what’s wrong with you that you can’t take a joke!).
    SDT

    *( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbyAZQ45uww )
    ( Wow, Nancy Sinatra. Who could expect Frank to have
    kids. ;)

  48. What a writer implies and what a reader infers can be very different things (I suspect that they’re always different things, because the writer and the reader are bringing at the very least, different histories to the two sides of that message transaction.)

  49. I suspect part of the answer to why John was at the convention is that Romantic Times is one of the larger publishers of serious reviews of speculative fiction out there. (Interestingly, they are also one of the few that are not doing so with a skewed gender balance.) They seem to be a bit broader than just the “romance” genre.

  50. Swinging your fist in someone’s face or putting a revolver to someone’s head are both coercive actions. As with all political philosophies, libertarianism has real and substantive flaws. Trotting out tired old strawmen is just lazy.

  51. With those shoes? Definitely a coordinating tie and pocket square. And you should probably switch into some sheer off-black hosiery for evening, rather than the socks. (With trousers, you can do knee highs rather than full pantyhose.)

    The red’s a great color for you, though.

  52. Gulliver: effigies of libertarianism being sent up … as placeholders for nuanced ideas.

    Libertarianism

    According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. … Since the 1950s, many American libertarian organizations have adopted a free market stance

    Gulliver, there is no nuance in a philosophy that says government should be funded voluntarily. That’s the sort of idiocy that responds to calls to raise taxes by telling people that they can pay more if they want to. Idiocy is not nuance. And most American libertarian groups are proponents of laissez faire, which in 2013 is like being a proponent of alchemy being able to turn lead into gold.

    Tully: Libertarianism ≠ Objectivism

    Objectivism:

    the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (or rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, ….

    Tully, when you get beyond the metaphysical and philosophical handwavium of Libertarianism and Objectivism, when you get into actual policy, the first thing that both of these two knucklehead groups do is argue for laissez faire. The reasons why may be different, but its irrelevant to the fact that both these groups push for policy that is fundamentally insane.

  53. Great meeting you yesterday, sans ruby red slippers (although the red polo shirt was a nice touch). I apologize for appearing inane; I get nervous in crowds, and when meeting famous people I admire. While I enjoyed your easy accessibility during the book fair, I felt for you and your location. Like an afterthought in a quiet corner amid the lusty romantic chaos around you.

    Despite the surprise snow, I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Heart of America. I am honored to have met you.

    Best wishes and safe travels home,

    Jon

  54. @ John

    Greg was only replying to my dragging his review of your book into this thread. All he did was mention the on-topic love story aspect. The derail was my doing. I am dropping it. We have a golf date to get to anyway. Have a good flight.

  55. Gulliver:

    To be clear, Greg was mentioned because his post was the most recent in the thread, not because he was the instigator. The, “et al” was meant to note other people were involved as well.

  56. [Deleted because I had already noted this line of discussion was far off-topic - JS]

  57. An aside.
    “Swinging your fist in someone’s face”
    Uhm, no, just, no: Easy to try to punch a respected
    sparring partner.
    Difficult to connect.
    -
    “[Swinging my fist in person's face].”
    Last time somebody swung a fist _AT_ my face
    all worked out good enough, no bleeding.
    !In my face!?
    Now, here’s a story! Go write it! Fist _IN_ face.

  58. My apologies.

    I said a thing.
    Gulliver says: May 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm said a thing.
    Since all comments are present I assumed it was okay enough
    for me to answer him.

  59. Just wanted to say what a pleasure to see you again, John, and my friend was so excited to finally meet you! Thanks for always being so gracious.

  60. Darn it to heck, and sorry, boss.
    I have no idea what you deleted, barbecue (I’m down to 225!)(sorry)
    what I thought was gone is present.
    But back, way back to when I posted a recipe.
    My experience was that the only souvenir I could afford was the tickets
    to get in.
    A print out of a recipe that was baked by Athena and Scuzzy (fuck spell
    check) _Scalzi_ approved could sell for a buck or so.
    And maybe signed ones for more than initialed ones.

  61. Dammit what is with the icon. Lemmee try this because maybe.
    - Of course what I meant about my experience referred to when I wuz
    twunny YO and didn’t get chest pains from smelling hot bacon and had
    half a pack of ramen noodles for the next week.

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