Monday, May 8, 2006

A busy week

On Tuesday of last week, I got a call from my speakers' bureau, asking me if I could give a talk two days hence in New York for a major technology company that was flying in its top 25 tech people from its offices worldwide for a meeting. Of course, I said yes. I gave a talk on the technological singularity, touching on nanotech, AI, programmable matter, the semantic web, and lots of other fun things, and it was very well received. Plus, I have to admit that I find it way cool that I get paid more to give a one-hour talk these days than I got as an advance for my first novel ... :)

As it happens, an old friend of mine lives not far from the company's offices, and so I arranged to get together with him. Back in 1989, he and I were two of the six members of the WordStar Advisory Board, a group of power-users of the word-processing program WordStar who consulted directly with the programmers and management of the company (and twice got flown in to the company's headquarters in California).

My friend's name is Kevin Lee (he was our token WordStar 2000 user), and there are several references to him and other WordStar Advisory Board members in my Quintaglio trilogy (Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, and Foreigner). The praenomen syllable Wab, used by several characters, is short for WordStar Advisory Board (and the female lead in the series, Novato, is named after the town where WordStar was headquartered). Wab-Babnol is in honor of Kevin (who back then lived in Babylon, New York); the province Kev'toolar is named after him; and there's a Quintaglio sailor named Vek-Inlee, which is an anagram of his name (Kevin is a sailor). Anyway, he and I had a wonderful dinner together -- it'd been eleven years since we'd seen each other, and we had a fabulous time catching up.

Saturday was also all about old friends: Carolyn and I got together with two high-school buddies, Gillian and Helena, to play Trivial Pursuit (the Canadian edition of Genus Five, a very good version of the game). Helena and I formed a team, and we beat (but just barely) Carolyn and Gillian in a very enjoyable game. We were then joined by Carolyn's brother David and Gillian's 19-year-old daughter Denise, and I took everyone out to dinner at my favorite Toronto-area pizza place, Dante's (in Thornhill). After that, everyone came back to Carolyn and my place to watch the classic Star Trek episode "Court-Martial" on DVD on my 50" big-screen TV, followed by another screening of "In Harm's Way," the wonderful Trek fan film I adore. Helena stayed overnight at our place. It was a terrific, pleasant day.


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