Monday, I drove to the Big Apple for SFWA's annual Mill 'n' Swill -- the one day a year when writers treat editors and publishers to free drinks. Because the Society of Illustrators raised the price of renting their extremely pleasant and gorgeously-illustrated facilities sky-high, this year the event was held at Planet Hollywood. So, for reasons of plot and convenience, that's where I ate.
And what sort of a restaurant is Planet Hollywood? Let's put it this way. It's the sort of restaurant where all the patrons are out-of-town tourists. New Yorkers are horrified at the very thought of eating there.
In fact, when quintessential New York sophisticate Ellen Datlow arrived, Gardner asked if she'd ever eaten there before and, after she said no, held out his hand and said, "Pay up, Michael!"
I handed him a nickel and Ellen, mortified, said, "Did you really think I'd eaten here before?"
"No," I said. "But it's more fun if you bet. If I'd thought there was a chance in Hell of it, I'd've risked a dollar. And if I'd really believed it, I'd've bet serious money."
Above, clockwise from left: Ellen Datlow, Gordon Van Gelder, Richard Bowes, Ricky Kagan, Gardner Dozois, Susan Casper. A pretty distinguished table of people, actually.
And as long as I'm here . . .
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a lot to be grateful for. And if you don't, then I hope the coming year will be kinder to you.