Everyone’s fooling people by taking their laptops to coffee shops, and here I am just editing anthologies

john scalzi in motion

So this is me, with my laptop, in a coffee shop, editing the science fiction anthology DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME, listening to an author reading by John Scalzi, author of YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR LAPTOP TO A COFFEE SHOP.

I read Scalzi’s blog Whatever and was pleased to hear he was coming to my favorite bookstore / coffeeshop combination, Books Inc. in Mountain View and the attached Cafe Romanza. It’s right up the street from my work, so I dropped in to the coffee house, got a copy of REDSHIRTS for signing (never having read his fiction, it seemed a good place to start since the book he’s promoting is a sequel), got coffee, got permission from the staff to set my laptop up at a small table above the signing, and camped out.

I edited. Friends dropped by. We chatted. The room filled, and then Scalzi showed up…

20130516_185944-MOTION(1).gif

…and he’s even more entertaining in person than he is on his blog. He read from his latest novel THE HUMAN DIVISION, a little side tale about aliens and churros (I’ve never had any, but they’re kind of like Spanish doughnuts, apparently), and from his blog the hilarious and insightful post “Who Gets to Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be.

When it got to Q&A, I didn’t ask any questions: everyone asked all my questions for me. It turns out Tor approached him about serializing his books, and THE HUMAN DIVISION came out of that conversation. I’m jealous; I and my publisher are still negotiating how to serialize THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, which I wrote with the design for it to be serialized.

After the talk, I waited for the line to die down before getting REDSHIRTS signed. Scalzi and I talked about the irony of me editing my anthology on my laptop in a coffeeshop while the author of YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR LAPTOP TO A COFFEESHOP was reading, and he pointed out that there’s two types of people who take their laptops to coffeeshops: those who go to write, and those who go to be seen.

He asked about the anthology, and I told him about DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME: an anthology that asks the question what would you do if you really could get an extra hour in the day. Oddly enough, Scalzi had the same answer about what he’d do with that hour as one of my barista friends in the coffeeshop: both said they’d use the extra hour to catch up on sleep.

I think John Scalzi and that barista must be two of the smartest people in the world.

-the Centaur

P.S. What’s this, Google+? You can animate several pictures taken together, even when I didn’t tell you to in advance? Really? We’re not living on the moon, but we are living in the future. That’s awesome. UPDATE: Apparently it only works by default on Google+, as I don’t see it on my blog that way. Still, the downloaded image has all the frames, so I could fix it up in Photoshop real quickly if I wanted to. Still the future. UPDATE UPDATE: May be a Ecto upload issue. Will fix later. Regardless, future. UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: I managed to manually upload it, but it took a little squeezing in Photoshop to make the image manageable.