Rats! The Size of Buses!
This is probably my favorite picture from my New York trip. The rat was up as a way for a union to protest some company that, apparently, was engaging in unfair labor practices; not content to have its members protest, it also brought an inflatable rat to the proceedings. I wonder if you need a permit for something like that. Needless to say, New York pedestrians were totally blase about a 10 foot rat standing among them. After all, they’d seen the real rats in the alleys. This was nothing.
I enjoyed my New York trip, as I usually do. This one, as previously noted, was taken primarily to commune with the folks at Tor, to strategize on marketing/publicity and to plan upcoming work, and indeed there was much strategy and planning to be had, the results of which you will no doubt be made aware of soon, because, after all, this is my site and I do so love talking about myself and my career here. Beyond all the strategizing and planning, however, it was also just nice to see the Tor folks, who are my sort of people, and not just because they give me money and publish my books.
It was also lovely to spend time with Tor’s publicity and marketing folks, who I got know a little better this trip, and with whom I had some very interesting discussions. As most of you know I am a proponent of being good to one’s publicists, on the grounds that people are willing to promote you more when they don’t think you’re an insufferable twit. Tor’s publicity/marketing folk make it easy to want to be good to them because they are all scary-competent at what they do, as well as being genuinely nice people. Yes, yes, I’m buttering them up right now. But really: Great folks. Authors take note: Publicists. Give them love. And chocolate (especially chocolate).
One event of note for readers of the Whatever was that while I was out and about in NYC I had lunch with Dave Itzkoff, science fiction reviewer for The New York Times; it was in fact a really excellent lunch, with lots of good conversation and back and forth. We briefly considered taking a photo where we appeared to go after each other with knives, just, you know, to amuse you, but then we decided it was below our mutual dignity; also, I had left my camera elsewhere. Suffice to say we had a fine time talking about science fiction among other topics.
Aside from work I also used this trip to NYC to visit some friends who I hadn’t seen in a while; I did this by showing up at their offices and having the lobby security staff phone up my pals and go “a Mr. John Scalzi here to see you.” This is a fun way to get the attention of people you haven’t seen in a decade or so. Fortunately all the people I called upon in this manner were able to make a little bit of time to see me. It’s amazing to me how many people I know from back in the day who have ended up in the New York area, and who are now doing very well for themselves. Unfortunately I was not able to see all the folks who I liked, because this was primarily a work trip, but hopefully soon I’ll be scheduling a trip that is purely recreational. And then, oh, the fun we shall have.
Also, for those New York folks: Condolences on the Jets and the Giants. These things happen.