So, on Saturday I was invited to read a bit of Avery Cates for the Science Fiction Society of Northern New Jersey at their monthly Face the Fiction event. It was held at Bill Skees’ excellent store The Well Read Bookstore, which is one of the coolest indy bookstores I’ve ever been in. Like last time, I read a chapter from the newest Cates book, then took questions for over an hour. It was a lively conversation.
Of course, I had to have several moments of awkwardness. First, The Duchess and I forgot that this area of New Jersey was still battling severe flooding from all the rain we’ve gotten, so our choice of highway was closed off. Using the Jesus Phone, we plotted not one, not two, but three alternate routes to the store as nature and local government conspired to prevent us from arriving.
Second, when we did arrive, the sign in the front window of the store declared I would be there at 7PM, not 8, which was also a bit awkward. But I have, in fact, read to no one at a store, so I am prepared to endure anything.
Third, the jacket I wore was, unbeknownst to me, covered in cat hair, making me look like some sort of derelict when I walked in, which explains why the owners of the store came at me with brooms, shouting “Shoo! Shoo!” when I first walked in. Finally, during the questions, The Duchess piped up about not liking the ending to The Final Evolution and someone asked her if she’d ever liked any of my endings, and there was a silence that can only be described as awkward.
All good fun.
Here’s some pics. Believe it or not, I am more or less sober in all of them, and wearing pants in most!