What can I say about the Brotherhood without Banners?
Who are these people, anyway? They come from all around the country, from all around the world.
Some are young and some are young at heart. Some are men and some are women. They are lawyers,
teachers, computer programmers, writers, artists, musicians, marines, journalists, and what have you.
Or so they would have us believe. But underneath that thin veneer, they are all knights and bards,
drunken knaves and wild wenches. They are mad poets, and somewhere along the way they learned that
life is a cabaret, old chum, and besides, winter is coming.
Other writers have readers. I have the Bros. They started out by reading my fantasy novels. Then
they started talking about them with each other on a succession of internet bulletin boards and chat
rooms. At the Philadelphia worldcon in 2001 a few of them got together, and we had a dinner and a party.
It was a pleasant little party, but nothing compared to the ones the Bros have thrown since. I have
vague memories of flashing lights, beautiful bartenders, lamprey pies, strip trivia games, Mardi Gras
beads, haiku, ice sculptures, three-fisted roisterers and red-faced Irishmen, hot babes in leather
cat suits, midnight quests, and strange drinks with stranger names being thrust into my hands.
The Bros know how to party. At Torcon and again at Noreascon, they were recognized for throwing the
best party at worldcon. And I hear they mean to keep on doing it. They do other stuff too, though.
They go to panels and readings, attend signings, volunteer at registration and program ops. During
the day they look almost like normal people. They Do Good and Fight Evil. But then the sun goes down...
And now they have a website. The web will never be the same.
Eat your heart out, Rowling. Maybe you have billions of dollars and my Hugo, but you don't have
readers like these.