Monday, I was at the Mill 'n' Swill, SFWA's annual annual for industry professionals and took all of one photo of the literary celebrities present. That's it above with (left to right) Julian Yap, Tom Purdom, and James Morrow.
Tom tells me, incidentally, that the Mill 'n' Swill (though not its name) was the creation of Gordon Dickson, who felt that since all year round editors and publishers routinely treated writers to drinks and meals, it would be pleasant to just once in the calendar turn the tables on them.
Gordy was a master of the free meal and drink, so there was some genial speculation that this was his way of softening up the editors and publishers, so they'd be even more generous with their food and drinks in the future.
He of course would have said it was his way of softening them up so writers could get higher advances and better treatment. The drinks and meals were just icing on the cake.
And because I know you'll want an example of Dickson's mastery . . .
There is a story, also passed along by Tom, that Dickson was once taken out to lunch by a new editor. He of course suggested a nearby restaurant, which turned out to be rather a good one. As they were scoping out the menu, Gordon remarked to the green young man, "Don't you think it would be nice to have a bottle of wine with lunch?"
"Why, yes," the innocent said. "Do you have any suggestions?"
"Well, back in Minnesota," Gordy replied, "there's this thing called Dom Perignon..."