Yes, I actually found myself in the presence of the Scalzorc and lived to tell the tale. [Click on that link for awesomeness.] ;-) Seriously, a few weeks ago I went to a reading at the NYPL where Mr. Scalzi, along with Cat Valente, Lev Grossman, and Scott Westerfeld, were giving readings. This occasion was the NYPL's effort to support those who write and enjoy Speculative Fiction. The event was titled, Speculating on Fiction. Isn't that wonderfully telling? These authors all happened to be on book signing tours for their respective new releases. I've been an admirer of Mr. Scalzi's for some time now. Just recently became aware of Cat and knew Lev and Scott by name only. Cat had a really cool publicity promotion for her new book where she wrote some small essay type tales that dealt with her new book which were posted on several of the websites of the venues she stopped at along her tour. I read them all in sequence. They were pretty cool and they worked 'cause I bought the book. However, the main draw for me for this shindig was John. I've been a follower of his online shenanigans, mostly documented here. What I like most about John is not only is he an excellent writer of many things but he also is a huge fan and proponent of SF and intelligence. He showcases other writers on Whatever along with his thoughts, journeys, and insights. Cool dude. And he is a proud Geek! And a very entertaining one as well. For his reading at the NYPL gathering he decided to read a short little tale he wrote as an April Fool's joke for the world. He regaled us with the tale of how the whole thing came about. (I will not reiterate it here for it is well documented on Whatever here.) Then he read us this most epic of epic beginnings the likes of which fantasy has never seen nor will it ever again! Also of note was that he was pretty much hoarse and yet he still gave an excellent performance. And it was a performance, not a reading. This guy is super animated in a good way, he loves what he does and it shows. I like that. He was on tour for Fuzzy Nation, which I bought and will read very soon, and I also bought Cat's new book, "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" and Lev's, "The Magicians". The Magicians came out last year and Lev is touring for the sequel The Magician King but I figured since I was just being introduced to his work I'd start with the first one. All the readings were wonderful and all of the books were signed by the authors so I am a happy Dragun. Oh and look:
That is John Scalzi next to the Awesome Afro!
(Note the dark background. The NYPL was closing on us and they weren't playing! They shut off the lights in the middle of the meet and greet. Good thing the flash was working! I got my pic and my signatures so I'm good. I'll meet him again.)