Attended SFWA “Mill & Swill” at Society of Illustrators

Last night was the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) yearly event celebrating all those involved with the proliferation of science fiction and fantasy publishing (which usually falls on the heal of Philcon, which was just this past weekend). It is the party thanking all the authors, editors, and other industry professionals for their involvement in the field at the swanky Society of Illustrators locale on East 63rd street.

Earlier in the evening, I met my partner-in-crime for dinner and we discussed the publishing world and how we’re glad to be celebrating fiction and our lives in it even in these hard economic times. It felt good to be able to kick back with some friends and have a drink.

At the party, I ran into Tricia Narwani, editor at Del Rey Manga, handling all sorts of interesting books these days. It was good to see her. I also caught up quickly with Liz Gorinsky, Assoc. Editor extraordinaire at Tor books, she seems to be everywhere these days (it must be one of her innate abilities, like a drow’s levitation).

I also ran into one of my favorite bosses, the esteemed Ellen Asher, who introduced me to industry veteran Ellen Datlow and they kindly posed for a photo. I had worked for Ellen A. for years at the book clubs, and I had always heard good things about Ellen D. and witnessed her winning and accepting another World Fantasy Award at this year’s WFC in Calgary for her work at Tor.

Also, my friends from the Jabberwocky Literary Agency were on hand, Eddie Schneider and proprietor Joshua Bilmes along with friend and aforementioned partner-in-crime, one Peter Brett. I’ve done some consulting work with Jabberwocky this past year, and really enjoyed working with them.

Also, later on in the evening on the second floor terrace, I got to sit with some friends. In the following photo is: buddy Pete Brett, my old SFBC colleague Andy Wheeler, and I got a chance to meet John Ordover (former Pocket Books Star Trek Editor) and Glenn Hauman (of Comicmix). Not pictured is Alex Lencicki, Orbit Books marketing & publicity director, who chatted for a while but somehow evaded photo reconnaisance (he's pretty slick) as well as current SFBC Senior Editor, Rome Quezada.

It was a great time; I got a few minutes to chat with one of the first editors I worked for back when I was an intern at Marvel Comics, Steve Saffel. It’s always good to catch up with Steve, especially since we’ve done lots of business over the years and have always kept in touch. Aside from that, he’s been a great mentor.

I also got to talk to Orbit author, Jeff Somers, whom I met last year at WFC and someone I haven't seen since his reading a few months ago at the KGB Bar. It was good to quickly chat before he and his lovely wife headed back to Jersey. His second book, The Digital Plague is at the top of my 'to be read' list.

The surprise treat of the evening was running into Larry Hama, veteran comics scribe and editor of G.I. Joe comics and other war comics such as The ‘Nam. I’ve read tons of his books and have been a fan for a long while. It was great to talk with him about comics, and my work at Osprey where he did some writing for them as well. It was a real treat to talk to one of my inspirations.

Overall the night was really cool. I'd say that I successfully Milled & Swilled. I’ve been attending this event on-an-off since 2005, and am glad to be a small part of this wonderful publishing community. For anyone I forgot to mention, please forgive me, I did my best to recollect.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Janet Reid said...

I thought Jeff Somers was making it up when he called the party the "Mill and Swill"! I love the name!

And wait till you get your hands on his third one (May 2009). The Eternal Prison is the best one yet!

Dave said...

You used to work at Marvel?! Man that must have been cool - you have no idea how I wish the industry would just take off here in SA. :-( Sounded like a great evening! :-)

Jayf44 said...

Looking forward to it Janet, trying to get all caught up.
Dave, I was only a lowly intern, but those were the days.

Peat said...

I had a camera in my pocket the whole night, and didn't take a picture. Woke up the next day with nothing but a hangover and some business cards. What good is a blog post about it with no pictures? Bo-ring!

Still, it was a great time.

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