Friday, September 16, 2016

A real mistake

OK, you know any time I express an opinion that someone like David Gerrold or Adam Troy-Castro disagrees with, their minions will mumble "That's a mistake. It will hurt your career."

Let me make my position clear. I don't have a science fiction and fantasy writing career. I'm a proud and happy small-town newspaper editor. I write fiction as a hobby, a sideline. I'm almost embarrassed sometimes that I've had more success as a talented amateur who writes sporadically than some people who tried long and hard for so many years. I suppose it's a testament to the utility of getting the English language into your bones. I've been writing for publication in community newspapers since I was 12.

For better or worse, whether anyone likes it or not, people like Gerrold and Troy-Castro are REAL s-f authors. It's their job, their metier, as the French say. Don't look to me as an opinion leader.

You want to hear a story about a real mistake? Back in the summer of 1975, I was working at a newspaper in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. I got a phone call from the custodian at the War Memorial Auditorium in Plymouth. He said he just learned of something that would be big news in a few months.

I was real busy at the time, and I asked him if I could call him back and get the details in a little while. And then I forgot to call him back.

Summer ends, I go off to college in New York City, I'm a freshman at Columbia University, walking down the street. I pick up a copy of the New York Post for Nov. 1, 1975, at the Mill Luncheonette, and there's a headline:

"Dylan make surprising start of Rolling Thunder Tour in Plymouth, Massachusetts."

THEN I remembered I never returned the call. That was what he wanted to tell me. That fellow was the guy who did the bookings at the auditorium.

I could have scooped the world on how the Rolling Thunder Tour was going to start by four months!

Now THAT'S a REAL mistake!

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