... Steve Perry. Today is Steve's 60th birthday, and I want to wish him a happy birthday and congratulate him on still being on the right side of the dirt, which is a real accomplishment when you're as ancient as he is.
Steve is a man of superb good taste, as partly evidenced by the fact that he's repeatedly said nice things about my writing, and without actual payment. Probably more indicative is the list of other work he likes -- Ursula Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, Lonesome Dove, the Travis McGee series -- the dedication to the Machiavelli Interface mentions both the McGee series and "Great Souled Sam" -- and you know, McGee is McGee and Great Souled Sam is the guy I took my handle from: I've been FatSam online for closing in on 30 years now, and Mahasamatman from Lord of Light is where that came from. (Frequently people think it's the drug dealer in "Fletch" -- which is one of my favorite novels -- and is the only other FatSam I know of in fiction, outside my own work. But it's the Zelazny.)
If it turns out he's a fan of "Rustler's Rhapsody" as well, I might have to travel to the northwest to marry the guy. ("Rustler's Rhapsody? Rex O'Herlihan, the Singing Cowboy? No, no, no," Perry said hastily, "I swear I've never heard of it.")
Steve does beautiful work. The trilogy he's probably best known for, starting with The Man Who Never Missed, features a protagonist who's non-violently waging war against a corrupt, failing, centralized government ... which I wish I'd read before writing The Long Run, because there's stuff in there I could easily have lifted and rubbed the serial numbers off of. Steve Perry: one of the writers I wish I'd stolen from, and will steal from going forward.
Happy Birthday, Steve. :-)