Re Jo Walton: Tooth and Claw

deborah deborah.dwj at
Mon Jan 31 22:52:27 EST 2005

On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, Paul Andinach wrote:

|On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 deborah.dwj at wrote:
|> I haven't read any Jo Walton yet, but I mean to, if only because she
|> dumped her Coke on David Brin's head.
|I assume there's a story attached to that remark?

I'll tell it as I heard it.  Minnow, the consummate fan, was probably
*there* or something, and can provide details.  :)

At Boskone 40 (ObDWJ:  DWJ was a Boskone guest of honour several years
back which is when they published Everard's Ride), David Brin was Guest
of Honor.  He'd written an article for Salon not too long before about
how Tolkein had killed fantasy because more mosdern fantasy writers just
rehash Tolkein's feudalism; the article was thought provoking about both
the state of fantasy and of the state of the real world, but hardly
uncontroversial.  Jo Walton disagreed.

So.  They'd argued about it at Boskone some, at a Tolkein panel which
Brin assumed was organized to discuss his article (which may well have
been the formative reason, but was not officially the reason for the
panel's existence).  Brin expostulated, Walton disagreed.

(Apparantly Brin was pissing people off throughtout the convention.
For example, he gave a canned speech about the graying of fandom, and
didn't recant when it was pointed out to him that Boston runs two major
annual cons: Boskone, with older attendees, and Arisia, for the younger
set.  Additionally, it turns out he was invited to speak at Vericon,
Harvard's annual convention, and *turned it down*.  So much for
supporting younger fans!)

Later that night, at the annual Tor party given for all Tor authors at
Boskone, they met.  Brin, in writing about the event, claims the part
was "in his honor" -- it wasn't.  Certainly he was the GoH at Boskone
but Tor has the party whether or not the GoH is Tor.  (Though, really,
how many SF authors of note *haven't* published something with Tor.)

Brin's version:  Walton and her friends crashed the party and blocked a
doorway all night snarking about the guests.  When he asked her to
discuss things with him in a non-confrontational way, he lightheartedly
commented on her intelligence and beauty while tapping her on the
shoulder.  She dumped a coke on his head.

Walton's version.  At the Tor party, Brin waltzed up to her, put his arm
around her and patronizingly and in a sexist fashion complimented her
looks in a manner reminiscent of "what big brains in such a cute little
head!"  She dumped a coke on his head.  She has since publically
apologised.  He ranted about being attacked by her legions of minions,
and said i was a sexist act for a small woman to pour a carbonated
beverage on a large man, but if she'd been a man he'd have demanded

It's such a wonderful story.  Most of this, by the way, is straight from
the keyboards of the two themselves.

What is an 'evil shape', I wonder?  Could a triangle be evil, for
example?  Are some kind of triangles decent and God-fearing,
whereas others are treacherous and inclined to furtive sodomy?
And could you tell that from the 'shape'?
		-- Philip Pullman, "The Republic of Heaven"

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