So I’m at the dinner table with Jerry Pournelle and L.E. Modesitt, and Jerry turns to Leland and says “Who are you?”
“Oh. Haven’t heard of you. What do you do?”
Lee smiled. “I’ve written almost as many books as you have, Jerry.”
Jerry, only a little flustered, said “Well, I don’t read as much as I used to,” and then shoved a bite of salad into his mouth.
The two of them seemed to get along just fine after that. Jerry told us all a very amusing story about how Louis L’Amour became a famous author (it involves buying lots of beer for truckers).
Earlier in the afternoon we did a Star Trek LARP at the McAuliffe Space Education Center. It’s an amazingly cool facility, even if you do have to use a mouse to interact with the ship’s (Macintosh) computers. It was hilarious — Jerry was running sensors, but long before we actually boarded the ship he started shooting holes in the scenario. “Do you people know how big a light year actually IS?” Oh, and one of the “enemies” we had to placate on this mission was a team of 24th-century Greenpeacers, out to save Space from warp ruptures. Jerry and I agreed that as soon as shooting began with the Orion Nebula Pirates, the Greenpeacers were going to be declared “collateral damage.” Jerry’s first suggestion involved a black hole (“I guarantee, we will NOT have to worry about them complaining to the Federation President… even in the Star Trek universe”) but plausible deniablity is trickier there.
Kiki (my 9-year-old) was running the internal comms, and during a collision alarm she jumped under a nearby table. It turns out the smoke effects (yes, they blew the room full of smoke when we had our little collision with the Greenpeace runabout) pumped into the room through several vents, one of which was under the table with her. Almost as soon as the smoke began pouring out I found myself with the 9-year-old Internal Communications Officer in my lap, quite terrified, but laughing about it. Shortly afterwards we ran out of time. It’s a good thing too. The shields, they cannae take much more o’ this.