The San Diego County Library presented “Page One: Celebration of the Written Word” at several branches this weekend. At the branch in Poway there was a science fiction and fantasy panel that included Alica Henn, Jeanne Stein, and David Brin. Although I hadn’t read anything by the two women, I like Brin’s work. Earth is my favorite of what I’ve read by him.

I live here in the county and was pleased to be able to attend the panel. They all are interesting and Brin is a very entertaining speaker. It was a enjoyable session both for the readers of their work and for would be writers as they discussed the practicalities of their craft.

My rant? There weren’t more than 25 or so people in the audience – and I understand that was one of the better attended panels of the weekend. Joseph Wambaugh, a world renown mystery writer, had less than 10 attendees to his talk. There was a romance writer panel on Saturday that only had two people come. The Latino panel after the science fiction panel had around ten people.

Where were all these authors’ local readers? I mention the local bookstore Mysterious Galaxy on occasion in this blog. If they were to have Brin there, I’m sure the audience would be well over 50, plus you’re implicitly expected to buy his book to be signed.

The library sessions are free. Afterwords the authors were available to talk and sign books. Yes, there were book available to buy through the Friends of the Library to get signed. But the authors were all approachable and easy to chat with. A purchase wasn’t necessary. We in the audience learned that Brin has three teen aged children. So he and I chatted about the troubles in that part of parenting. I assured him that he will get past that. I told him how now my daughters are good friends – but when they were teens…

Hey folks – the economy is in a downturn. Take advantage of your local library and its programs. Your property taxes probably help fund it. Use your money wisely.

Oh, yes, I bought of copy of Startide Rising and Brin personalized it when he signed. Now I’m going to check out Alicia Henn’s and Jeanne Stein’s work. I might like it.


  1. Comment by kaikhor:

    I would like to point out that I go to my local library frequently now and the only thing I knew about this was a single comment you made about going to a panel at the library the day or two before. I learned more in this blog than I ever did with the library.

    At the same time, Mysterious Galaxies sends out flyers & tells people all the time that their favorite authors are coming.

    And that is the difference. Advertising.

  2. Comment by Aravis:

    It sounds as though the public missed out on a really great opportunity. How sad!