It was my pleasure to read with Kim Stanley Robinson last Thursday evening, and in the company of so many excellent friends and lovers of the written word. Many of you know that Stan is one of the greats of science fiction–in fact, it was a regular science fiction hijacking of the Davis Poetry Night at the John Natsoulas gallery (hosted by local Davis legend, Dr. Andy Jones.)

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Just to shake things up a bit, I read a little from Stan’s newest novel, Shaman, and he read from my novella, “Wormwood Is Also A Star.” Then we swapped back to our own respective works. I also gave a sneak peek of my forthcoming story “The New Cambrian,” which will appear in the January/February issue of F&SF. Overall, I couldn’t have imagined a better reading, or turn-out.

(Here’s a recording of our reading, thanks to the efforts of my good friend and fellow writer Tony Bonds.)

 

Kim Stanley Robinson reading with Andy Stewart from Tony Bonds on Vimeo.

Stan and I are both Clarion grads–in fact, I met him during my stint at the workshop in 2011 when he stepped in for a brief visit. Since moving to Davis,  I’ve shared many morning weeding sessions in Stan’s garden over the last two years, which is where I’ve really gotten to know him. In exchange for our support in his relentless battle with the nut sedge, my wife and I are sometimes sent home with handfuls of tomatoes, basil, and boysenberries. A more than fair trade. But, then, that’s just who Stan is. He’s the guy who popped open a bottle of champagne for me when I received word of my first story sale. He’s talked me down from the ledge when I was so frustrated with my novel that I wanted to throw it out the window. These past few years, we’ve had many great conversations about writing, about art, and life. In sum, as well as being an excellent writer and human being, he’s become a most excellent friend, and I was very honored to share the stage with him. Also, go read his book. It’s excellent. (And here’s an excellent review of it!)