Tales of DragonCon: Scalzification

By Phil Plait | September 5, 2008 2:00 pm

Having a mancrush on Wil Wheaton has its advantages. I won’t enumerate them — read his blog, and then you’re on your own — but one is that he has good taste in writers, and that rubs off. Every now and again he’ll mention John Scalzi, a science fiction writer and blogger. It got to the point where I figured, why not? So I clicked the link to Scalzi’s blog. I’ve never looked back. Scalzi is my kind of people.

Scalzi wrote the Old Man’s War series. His blog, Whatever, just won the Hugo, the Oscar of scifi.
He writes funny short stories. Scalzi is semi-evil (in a good way), and engaging, and all-around cool.

He also taped bacon to his cat. Yes, that John Scalzi. He’s an internet god.

So when I heard he was coming to DragonCon, I was pretty excited. I figured I might get a chance to actually meet him IRL, though honestly, the odds were not 100%. The con is vast, dark, and deep, and it can be hard to actually meet up.

Bacon jelly beans. Srsly.Still and all, it helps to be prepared. Richard and A were visiting me in Boulder before the con, and then all three of us were to wing to Atlanta for the fete. While they were here in Boulder, we visited the wonderful pedestrian mall. We cavorted and enjoyed ourselves, and A made it clear she wanted to visit the candy store. I’m glad we did, because they had awesome gelatto, but also because, purely by accident, I saw they had a bacon-shaped tin of bacon-flavored jelly beans.

Yes. I bought them in anticipation of being Scalded.

And also, just in case, I kept them with me in my dorky backpack for the whole con, just in hope of running into him.

So come Saturday at the con, and by happenstance I am between panels, talks, gigs, scheduled appearances, and needed attendances. A, Richard, and I are still hanging (this time with Pamela, too), and decide to hit one of the dealer rooms. You can guess where this is going. We pause for a moment to gather our breath between all the booths selling toys, trinkets, fake weapons, and swag. I look around, and realize I am standing literally in front of the table where one John Scalzi was signing copies of his book.


I look at him for a second in shock, then gather my wits enough to yell "Scalzi!" He looks up, takes a moment, and yells "Phil!"

<Sniff>. It was beautiful. I gave him the beans, and he laughed (they were destined to be part of a larger and more interesting story that Scalzi — perhaps wisely — has yet to divulge in full). We shot some pictures. We made faces. And then I left.

Sadly, that was it for my Scalzi encounter, but I assume in the future there will be more. How can I resist a man like this?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Humor, Pretty pictures, SciFi

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