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The first thing I thought when I walked into KGB Bar this past Wednesday for the Fantastic Fiction reading series was that it was the kind of bar I’m always looking for: plenty of space to grab a seat at the bar (that changed fast), good jazz music playing, and writers everywhere.

I took a seat and ordered Jameson’s on the rocks, then spent the rest of the night drinking bottles of┬áBaltika #3. Russian beer!

John Kessel and S. G. Browne both gave good readings. I was unfamiliar with both writers’ work, but I enjoyed what I heard. Looking forward to next month when Jack Ketchum will be reading.

Yeah. Jack m’f’in’ Ketchum.

Did I mention that there’s no cover to this series? That I just walked in, had a few drinks, and listened to some quality writers read their stuff?

Also of note for me: the great Ellen Datlow runs this series. I actually had a short conversation with her and shook her hand. She mentioned that after the readings, everyone’s invited to join the hosts and the writers across the street for Chinese.

I might’ve run screaming from the Sphinx’s eyes this week, but next month I’m going to steel my nerves and have some lo mein.

Just another reason I love living here.

That, and the public transportation system.