I’m planning on attending the Philadelphia stop of Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book Tour, which got me thinking about author readings in general. I’ve been to relatively few – fewer than I would like certainly – and each was completely unique.
The first reading I ever attended was by Maya Angelou. It was part of distinguished speaker series, and it was held in a very large theater. My seat was far enough back that she was mostly a squidgy blur on the stage, but even so – wow. She probably could have read in a space twice that size and her voice still would have touched everyone in the room.
One of the coolest readings I attended was a Charles de Lint reading. It was small and intimate. He wasn’t up on a stage, he just sat on a folding chair pretty much right in the middle of the audience. He and his wife are both musicians, and after the reading they played a few songs. Everything was very casual and relaxed – everyone hanging out as though they were the best of friends.
The weirdest reading was by Timothy Findley, mainly because I don’t recall him ever actually reading. He told a long, rambling story about a piece of artwork in his house, and that took up most of the time. He did sign afterwards, but he seemed largely uninterested in being there. This was towards the end of his life, and he was probably ill. I don’t blame him at all, but it was still very strange.
And yes, I have seen Neil Gaiman read before. And yes, I am looking forward to hearing him read again. Not only do I love his work, but really – everything sounds better in British!
In totally unrelated news, I was very pleased to see that my story, Little Red, received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #21. The story also received an honorable mention from Rich Horton back in February in his year end summation. The story originally appeared in Jabberwocky 3, although it had a long and winding journey to get there. It was originally rejected, then accepted by a magazine, which eventually folded before the story ever saw the light of day. Luckily, Sean Wallace, formerly associated with said folded magazine, scooped it up for Jabberwocky – so thank you, Sean, for rescuing it from oblivion – twice!