I’ve never met John Shirley, as it happens, despite having posted and paid for numerous film reviews of his over the past three years. I’ve also not met Jeff Berkwits, Gabe Chouinard, Lucius Cook, Nick Gevers (in his case, very few have, since he’s far away in South Africa), Rich Horton, Phil Shropshire, or Cynthia Ward, to name several past and still-active contributors to Locus Online. It’s not necessarily true, in this age of easy commercial airline travel and easy online communication, that people have actually met; not much more often, I’d suppose, than 50 years ago when John Campbell and other New York editors sat in their offices and met only those writers who troubled to journey to the city.
I did meet John Joseph Adams this past week in Boston. I owed him a check.
It’s curious, or odd, that though I live in a major metropolis (Los Angeles), I only associate with SF-folk when I go to conventions. There’s not an active SF community of writers or fans or semi-professionals here, the way there is in the Bay Area, or Seattle, or elsewhere, at least none that I’m aware of. Yes, I’ve met Harlan Ellison and David Gerrold numerous times, at conventions or more informally, but not to the point of being associated with an SF community here of which they’re a part. Perhaps it’s due to the hugeness, the diffuseness, of the metropolis, or the way SF folk here are likely to be part of the TV/film community, and thus somewhat above the fan/semipro SF crowd. Or maybe it’s just my nature, not especially outgoing, as happy to sit at home reading a book, or tapping away at my computer, as going to parties or hanging out with fans.