Last Saturday, my old friend, New York Times Best-Selling Science Fiction and Fantasy Author George R.R. Martin (or, as Time Magazine or some such publication anointed him and he prefers to be called these days, "The American Tolkien") was in town on business, so the old gang gathered once more at the Hop Li Restaurant down in Chinatown for another of what used to be our monthly get-togethers. The old gang, in this case, includes myself and my lovely wife Christine; producer of the film Robert Heinlein's Puppet Masters Dr. Michael Engelberg and his lovely wife Kathy; writer of various comics, TV, and the wonderful novel Moloka'i Alan Brennert and his lovely wife Paulette; TV writer and novelist Michael Cassutt and his lovely wife Cindy; and co-screenwriter of Aladdin, Shrek, and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy Terry Rossio and his lovely significant other Jocelyn. Terry's writing partner, Ted Elliott and his lovely wife Kim, unfortunately, were MIA.
It was terrific to spend an evening in the company of some old friends I don't see nearly often enough these days. The banter was fast, loose, and funny, and the topics ranged from classic science fiction stories, about which both Michaels are experts, to the space program to comic books to vegetarianism to what we're all working on these days to the death of Hawaiian singer Don Ho. I posited that, if he had to die, it shouldn't have been from heart failure, but from an embolism...you know, a "tiny bubble" in his mind. I was then forced to sit at a separate table for the remainder of the meal.
Still, there's something about the energy that gets generated with you're in the company of your peers, when ideas start flying fast and freely, when you feel that tiny twinge that makes you want to work harder, that is hard to describe and precious to capture. If you're interested in what most of these fine folks are up to these days, just click on their names above and you'll be shuttled to their various websites.
Oh, by the way, for those of you who care about such things, breakfast this morning consisted of an Egg Beaters omelet and cream cheese on a toasted English Muffin. Not nearly as good as yesterday's breakfast.