(in addition to his being one of the great writers of our time, that is) Because he is wise, and erudite, and sometimes extremely silly. I enjoyed the chance to talk some - never enough - to Gene Wolfe & his wife Rosemary at Readercon. They drove there from Chicago in the company of young writer C.S.E. Cooney, who, at the con, made sure Rosemary wheelchair got where it needed to go. csecooney
's description of their trip, in her July 7-12, 2009 LJ posts, is a joy to read - a running record of what they talked about in the car, and, well, cute things longtime couples say to each other.
I have known the Wolfes since I was a pup: I think I met them first when I was working for David Hartwell and we published The Shadow of the Torturer
. I would hang around Gene at conventions, and talk to him about my aspirations as a writer. He gave me excellent advice. I remember one time telling him about trying to create Riverside, and he pointed out that seedy gamblers & their ilk always wore bits & bobs of misplaced finery (I'm not doing him justice, here). I hadn't thought of that. I put that in.
I met up with csecooney
and the other Goblin Fruit
lasses at their launch party. sevenravens
brought her harp, and I was smitten. We sang. The next night, we sang some more. I blasted out a capella ballads, and taught them "Grey Funnel Line" - it was wonderful hearing the harmonies come in strong & true by the 4th verse. I'm afraid I had a little too much of movingfinger
's single malt (which, for me, is not that much), and insisted on printing out the lyrics to "A Weekend in the Country" from A Little Night Music
and making poor, gifted Miss Cooney do all the parts with me. (O, when did I lose the ability to hear every tune and harmony in my head, and render them perfectly each time? Like Gene & Rosemary, I may well say, "Thank god for the support of the young!")
P.S. And my two Readercon panels really were cracktastic. My favorite takeaway - from a panel I moderated, on readers confusing authors with their characters, featuring the combined brainpower of Peter Straub, Suzy McKee Charnas, Shariann Lewitt & Kit Reed, was the latter's summation: "I am all my characters. But none of them are me."