This is just too cool not to share. In the fall, I contributed free books to help with a GoFundMe campaign that Amazing Stories was running to help them relaunch as a paying fiction magazine.
I'd had one of my first big pro story sales to Amazing when I started writing ("State of Disorder"), and I wrote a column for them when they resurrected as a web presence a few years back. So I have a fond spot for Amazing and was only too happy to help out.
When the campaign ended, the new fiction editor, Ira Nayman, sent me the list of the people who had claimed my offered books, asking me to autograph and personalize the copies (which he kindly shipped to the winners). I was blown away to find that my collection, Impossibilia, had been claimed by none other than Spider Robinson.
Yeah, that Spider Robinson. Winner of the John W. Campbell, Nebula, Robert A. Heinlein, and multiple Hugo awards... and basic science fiction legend.
I signed his copy and included a note saying I'd been a fan of his for years and was thrilled he'd selected one of my books. And there I thought it would end.
A few weeks later, I received an email from Spider, saying how much he was enjoying the stories. Nothing is better than hearing from readers but to get that feedback from a writer you admire is about as good as it gets. He was kind enough to provide the following, which I now proudly display on my website:
"The man is Sturgeon good. Zelazny good. I don’t give those up easy. I’m not certain the man is a Martian—I haven’t yet grokked the fullness—but his name is Smith."
And if I have to tell you who Sturgeon and Zelazny are, or explain the Martian and grok reference, you're probably on the wrong website.