Tonight I entered the Special World of the Seattle Literary Community by attending a reading by Elizabeth Bear at the University Bookstore next to UW. It was the first author reading I've ever attended and it was right in line with expectations. There was a large crowd that necessitated the moving of bookshelves and addition of seating; I was lodged semi-comfortably in the back row with my head brushing against stacks of books.
To my left was a young lady who had an outgoing and expressive personality of the kind that one immediately finds enjoyable but would likely wear thin on a cross country trip in a station wagon. She was, however, fun to trade witty rejoinders with. On my right was another young lady who sat down with a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I, of course, being the sophisticated and cultured individual I am, immediately exclaimed, "Wow, that's like the coolest book!" I then went on to gush about just how cool it was with all its dagger wielding pleasantries and brain munching goodness.
The rest of the crowd was about what you'd expect at a Seattle literary event. Lots of sweaters, beards, and piercings. People with oddly dyed hair who knew more about The Shadow Unit then I could ever hope to. A guy who looked like he lived in his mother's basement claiming that he hated science fiction that treated the audience like a guy who lived in his mother's basement. In all, I'd say the crowd was a fifty-fifty split between Normals and Angsty Urbanites.
I would have stayed longer to chat and stalk some other people I know only through the blogosphere, like Jordan Lapp and Cat Rambo, but I had to return to the Ordinary World of messy diapers, dirty dishes, and tunafish sandwiches for dinner.
(More on the literariness of the event in a later post.)