26 January 2007

JPK Speculates

James Patrick Kelly is touring New Hampshire at the moment as part of the NH Humanities Council's year-long Speculate program, and I went to his presentation at the Pease Public Library in my hometown of Plymouth.

Jim, Meghan McCarron, and I went out for dinner beforehand so that we could be geeky and talk sci-fi. (Meghan and I had, earlier that day, caused a slight scene in the dining hall of the school where we work, because we were discussing some writer or another, book deals, sub-subgenres, conventions, etc. all in the space of about a minute and a half, because we share common reference points and can thus speak in what sounds to everyone else like a different dialect. We stopped when we realized everybody around us was silent and staring at us in bemused horror.) It was a marvelous dinner, and Meghan didn't insult New Hampshire, the state Jim and I have lived in for much of our lives, too vociferously, which disappointed us somewhat, because there is nothing a true New Hampshire-ite likes more than for somebody to proclaim the state impossible to live in -- it makes us lifers feel hardy.

Meghan then had to return to work for dorm duty, and I led Jim to the library, where about twenty people were waiting to hear him read and listen to him talk about whatever he was going to talk about. He began by reading his story "Unique Visitors", which proved a fun warm-up, and then he discussed The Singularity. This was not a discussion that people who have been familiar with the concept for a long time would have found to be a revelation -- although Jim's presentation style is so engaging that it would nevertheless be fun -- but was, instead, intended to let an audience know about some of the things that contemporary science fiction writers think about. It was a big hit, and the audience seemed both inspired and enthralled. Jim even got into an extended discussion of the Metaverse. As we say around here, great fun was had by all.

1 comment:

  1. next time i will think of some truly vicious things to say about New Hampshire.

    then again, i like to be viewed as hardy too...

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