You know you live in a fabulous city when…

In the month of October I:

— went to Amber Sparks’ book release party.  Her collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, was a curious fusion of that experimental/New Sincerist voice I read in places like red lightbulbs and Diagram, but meshed with fabulism’s love of the resonant image.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the event itself was a blast.  Every copy of the book came with a free shot of Maker’s Mark.  Smart marketing move there, Curbside Splendor.

— along with James, saw Don DeLillo speak at the Chicago Public Library.  DeLillo read a much-abridged version of the story that appears in The Secret History of Science Fiction.  I read White Noise as part of my PhD exams; it was amazing hearing a canonized SF writer talk about process and the inspiration(s) for his work.  He mentioned that he’d started writing seriously later in life but had gone on to have a career spanning over forty years, a fact I found tremendously heartening.

— along with James, saw Cat Valente read at the Book Cellar. I sipped a beer while she read from the second Fairyland book.  Oh how I love a bookstore with alcohol!  Decent crowd for a rainy night, but still fairly intimate — about the same turnout as she pulled for Deathless last year.  I asked a few obnoxious questions about languages.  I am so bad at asking questions…I get tongue-tied and wind up sounding confrontational when I’m really just fumbling.  Blech, me.  It was an all-adult crowd, though, which wound up making for a delightful Q&A, because she was able to walk at length about theme and lyricism and feminism and other good things.  I bought a copy of the book, but I’m waiting until my mother brings my copy of Fairyland the First from AZ so I can re-read it before diving in to book 2.

The signing line for Valente was long, and she was being very kind and talking at length to each attendee.  James and I were starving, so rather than wait, we decided to make a date of it and picked up Costa Rican food.  Ended the evening with plantain-stuffed empanadas.  I should’ve brought her the collected Akhmatova to sign.  Next time, perhaps.

But I did get DeLillo’s signature on my Viking Critical of White Noise.

I love living in a place where I attend so many fabulous things in a given month that I lose track and forget to blog all of them.  Just absurd.


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