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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dumb things people say to horror writers at SF conventions
by Gary A. Braunbeck

I've been to a lot of science fiction conventions, and while there are always perfectly intelligent, pleasant, courteous, well-read people at such gatherings, you inevitably run into those skiffy fans who are missing a lot in the way of clue.

Here's a list of things these folks have actually said to me at conventions, plus the responses I sometimes wished I'd given:
  1. Q: "You're a horror writer?" *smirks* "So tell me a scary story."
    A: There once was a writer who killed several innocent people in a hotel lobby because one person too many asked him to tell them something scary and he just snapped....

  2. Q: "What's your name again? Hmm ... never heard of you."
    A: And what do you do for a living? ... Really? You actually made a conscious decision to make that your life's work? For the love of God, man, WHY?

  3. Q: "So you, like, write that Friday the 13th stuff, huh?"
    A: So you, like, have a reasonable dental deductible, right?

  4. Q: "Do you know Stephen King? What's he really like?"
    A: So you, like, have a reasonable dental deductible, right?

  5. Q: "You write horror? Ew!"
    A: Phuck-u barada nikto.

  6. Q: "I can't write, but I've got a great idea for a book; you can write it and we'll split the money, okay?"
    A: Oh, MAY I? How long have I dreamed of this moment, when a selfless soul such as yourself would deem me worthy to WRITE SOMETHING FOR THEM while they sit on their ass and do nothing? How long have I prayed for yet ANOTHER person who isn't me to make money off my efforts while I work 3 jobs, turn insomnia into an art form, and eat macaroni & cheese four times a week? BLESS YOU, SELFLESS ONE! BLESS YOU!

  7. Q: "Why are you openly weeping?"
    (Usually asked after forty-seven minutes of sitting at an autograph table where the only person to approach you is an overweight drunk from the NASCAR convention sharing the hotel that weekend asking for directions to the "sh*thouse".)
    A: I want my mommy; my mommy reads all my books.

  8. Q: "Oh, I don't read books."
    A: Then WHAT are you doing here? Oh, you're a hooker? Here's a fifty -- there's a guy over at the autograph table who's openly weeping; go cheer him up, would you?

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