I got to meet Charles Stross! And drink good beer! I dragged the wife down to The Brickskeller last night to meet the author and his wife, and an eclectic group of local fans. It was a little tough for the wife, since they now have a bunch of Bell’s Beer on hand. But it was less tough than it could have been, because they were out of most of it, including the Hopslam they claimed to have on tap. But it was fun. He signed my copy of Halting State. I wasn’t sure which book to bring. I could have done what one person did, and brought everything Charlie had ever published. But really, the marginal utility of each subsequent signature is pretty insignificant. I thought about bringing Singularity Sky, which I really enjoyed. Or Accelerando, the first of his that I read. But I have both of those in paperback. And my favorite of his, Iron Sunrise, I apparently don’t own at all. I guess I must have gotten it from the library. Anyway, I finally settled on a nice hardcover, and I’m happy with my decision. Plus I got this great picture of him. Didn’t get to talk to him much, but that’s okay. Not sure what I would have said. The conversation mostly centered around Charlie, talking about writing and politics. He says he’s not writing any more in the Iron Sunrise post-Singularity universe, which is too bad because I really like those stories. He related some stats on the death penalty that suggest we shouldn’t be killing people. The wife and I talked to his wife about beer - she was looking for weird American stuff they can’t get back home in Scotland, which is exactly my attitude when traveling. I will never understand those who travel abroad and want hamburgers and Budweiser. It was a good night. We got a little wet walking home, but since this was the warmest day we’ve had since last summer, and it didn’t rain too hard, it wasn’t too unpleasant.