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Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Allen Steele

Three years ago, I attended a Science Fiction convention in which Allen Steele served as the Author Guest of Honor. I enjoyed hearing his input on panel discussions, as well as his views on contemporary society. He seemed eminently approachable, without pretension, and a real down-to-earth guy.

He told us an interesting story about meeting his writing hero Robert Heinlein. As a young man, he snuck into a private party at a Science Fiction convention. When Robert Heinlein arrived, he approached the great author only to find himself tongue-tied, and unable to tell Heinlein how much he admired his stories.

While Allen Steele signed my books, I told him about meeting SFWA Grand Master Robert Silverberg. How I had gotten tongue-tied, and felt embarrassed afterward. Thankfully, I was able to speak clearly and concisely with Allen, and told him about sections of two of his novels that had really spoken to me. He thanked me for my input, and shared with me what had motivated him to write those particular scenes. 

As I walked away, I heard something rip behind me. Somehow, my shoe had gotten wrapped in the fabric draping the signing table, and I had just torn half of the fabric away from the table. Hurriedly, I reattached it, and left the signing room. 

So much for meeting my literary heroes without (in any way) embarrassing myself.

Happy Birthday, Allen Steele! Thanks for being so approachable, for sharing with your fans, and for writing your fantastic novels!

Dragon Dave

Related Internet Links
Allen Steele's website

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