Tim Powers was signing his new book months ago at Mysterious Galaxy. I have most of his short stories in one form or another. But he’s one of my favorite authors and always a pleasure to hear him speak. During Q&A, he told a story from when his first book was published.
At a Los Angeles book fair, he spotted Kurt Vonnegut waiting alone between engagements. Tim rallied his courage, walked up to him, and said, “Excuse me, Mr Vonnegut? I just wanted to say your work has been a huge inspiration to me. I’m an author too. My first novel’s just been published, and it would be a great honor if I could give you this signed copy.” Vonnegut accepted the copy with a grunt and a nod.

Later that afternoon, Tim found that copy of his book stuffed in a planter. Tim made himself a promise: If he ever did throw out a fan’s book, he’d use a trash can with a lid.

Years ago, Tim Powers and I were on a Comic Fest panel. Afterward I told him, “Mr Powers. I just wanted to say your work has been a huge inspiration to me-”

If he did throw it out, at least I now know he used a trash can with a lid.

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