All About Me.

Here are a few bits and pieces that have been piling up in the background while I raged impotently against imaginary friends who let me down.

  • Dr. Mark McCutcheon, of Athabasca University, is presenting a paper called “The copyfight, science fiction, and social media” at Congress 2010, a Canadian humanities and social science conference. I figure prominently in the bottom third, and am particularly chuffed because the headline acts are William Gibson and Cory Doctorow. If I were significantly richer, I’d take this as evidence that I Have Arrived. As it is, I’m just pleased that my recent travails can serve to illustrate some of the dystopian arcana of the digital society.
  • Dr. Lejla Kucukalic, from Columbia, apparently plans to mention me in the upcoming June 7 installment of Columbia’s “Café Arts” series (scroll down a bit, to “Adventures in Science Fiction Today” — right after “Refiguring Atheism”, which sadly has already passed). Apparently I’m one of the geek brigade who “describe[s] human progress and potential failures in the developing fields of genetic engineering, information and environmental science, and space programs”. Don’t know if any of you hail from New York, but there it is. Wouldn’t mind hearing back from anyone who might attend.
  • Backing slowly away from Academia, we have a free-wheeling informal interview with my old internet buddy Tony Smith, the driving force behind the Hugo-nominated podcast “Starship Sofa“. He’s got an hour-long all-Squidgate extravaganza on the latest issue of Sofanauts, during which I rambled and meandered and finally opined that he might want to spare his listeners by editing out certain parts of the conversation. Including the part where I suggested that he edit stuff out. The fact that you can hear that exchange in the podcast tells you what Tony thought of my suggestion. Still, I tried, so don’t come whining to me. I know I need an editor.
  • Finally, the Hebrew translation of Blindsight has apparently been nominated for something called a Geffen Award, presented by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. (I’ve received no official notification or anything; I just stumbled across the news while egosurfing.) It’s nominated under the category “Best Translated Science Fiction Novel”, which means it has no hope of winning because other books on the list include classics by Dan Simmons and Poul Anderson, not to mention a short story collection from Isaac Asimov.  I think I’m gonna publish my next book under the pen name Susan Lucci…

Oh, and while I’m at it I’m gonna be at a couple of upcoming cons. Polaris and Contarian SFContario here in TO, Nantes in France in November, and it’s looking like I’ll even be at Worldcon in Melbourne come September. I haven’t really been announcing these things. Maybe I should stick a list of appearances over on the sidebar or something…

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday May 26 2010at 05:05 pm , filed under interviews, public interface, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

36 Responses to “All About Me.”

  1. Peter said: “…imaginary friends.” You have those?

    and: “…while egosurfing.” What’s that? :)

    then revealed: “gonna publish my next book under the pen name Susan Lucci…”
    You watch that show? They are imaginary soap people. Lucci just cannot get a break and win that darn Emmy…is that what you are alluding to?

    finally: “TO…Nantes…Melbourne”.
    Hmm, quite the worldly one Peter is I says.

  2. Peter revealed, after he said he egosurfed: “…the Hebrew translation of Blindsight has apparently been nominated for something called a Geffen Award…”

    Blindsight nominated yet again, and how long has this book been out there on this planet?

  3. The cover of the Hebrew edition hurts my brain in appropriate ways.
    Having appearances listed would be helpful, yes. You’re one of several reasons why I really want to dig the last dimes out of the sofa and my last vacation days out of the cracks in the calendar to attend say, SFContario, a 10 hour drive . . . . or perhaps a plane trip . . . . away.

  4. I find it amusing that so much of the time you only even find out about your own work being nominated for things is happenstance.

  5. I rambled and meandered and finally opined that he might want to spare his listeners by editing out certain parts of the conversation

    I enjoy Tony’s style and fabulous curvy accent; it’s super. Plus it was an interesting interview in part *because* it was rambling and unedited. I didn’t think you were gonna talk about the humiliating parts of being maced, beaten and locked up; that took a certain amount of guts to own up to.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by torforgeauthors, Alyx Dellamonica. Alyx Dellamonica said: RT @torforgeauthors: Peter Watts: All About Me. http://bit.ly/asQ6kp […]

  7. …and I look forward to the day when we can all look back on this whole thing and say, “Oh, yeah. That.”

  8. ..seconded.

    Easier for us. We didn’t get beaten up by an authority figure (s).

  9. Quite.

  10. Have fun at WorldCon! I’m sure you will be greeted as a god.

  11. So far we like them nauts:

    As for being a free-wheeling, meandering, rambling sorta Sofa-nut on Lost’s Hugo Pod at the Gates of Squid, so, did you actually sit on a Starfish sofa as you, oh, pined, for suggestive editing of the extra vague ansah?

    (~POP~ fwoosh ~ a sound is made as I pop open the can O’mac nuts, while I sit here typing my droll drivel, endeavoring to make sense of my rambling snivel, but no beer is to be found, alas, anywhere around, no malt for me nutty salt, although Guinness is supposed to be good for you, I’ll have H2O thanks, that’ll do)

    Care not do I, if my ramblings are nutty, salty or _______ .

    Referenced mentionings, noms and cons, oh my,

    Having arrived is good, brotha, ‘cause you’re fly.

  12. If you make it to Melbourne, I’ll buy you a beer – or at least direct you to where the beer is worth drinking.

  13. As to the Geffen win I wouldn’t be too sure: we had some surprises there in previous years. Personally, if you win I’m going to try and convince people to GOH you here in a year or two.

  14. Contarian looks like a typo of a potentially interesting convention, Contrarian.

    My guess however is that you mean SFContario, the new literary-leaning convention which will be happening this November in downtown Toronto.

    And as I am the SFContario committee member in charge of publicity, I encourage you to list in the sidebar your convention appearances.

  15. Yes, yes: SFContario. I have fixed it. Many apologies: I have been tired and scatterbrained lately.

    Oh, and one really good thing about SFContario: it’s actually being held downtown, within easy walking distance of my place. Not four fucking hours and eight transit stops out in the boonies as local cons tend to be.

  16. About going to Worldcon.

    While it is possible to go from Toronto to Australia without going through the US (via Vancouver) apparently, the Vancouver-Sydney flights sometimes do unscheduled stops in Hawaii if the pilot feels fuel is low (depends on wind conditions I guess).

    Bear in mind that this is not first hand information, but I think it might be worthwhile to talk to the airlines/travel agent about this. I would not want to see you get in trouble if an unscheduled stop does happen.

  17. Shit. That could really be a problem. These fuckers are spiteful enough to use any excuse.

  18. I have heard several big name SF writers say that Blindsight and/or Starfish was the best science fiction they read in a five or ten year period, depending on the quote. The only one I can remember specifically is Neal Asher, but I know there were others. You need to shake that moneymaker so the brand is as big as the quality is good. Have you ever considered the possibility of giving Lenie psychic powers and a pet micro drago familiar and making Lubin a werewolf detective (to the extent he isn’t already a werewolf detective)?

  19. Maybe we’ll see you in Melbourne, and if I miss you there we’ll see you at SFContario. Yes, we believe it makes budget sense to be downtown, for just the reasons you’ve said. Function room costs are higher, but we expect that to be more than made up from membership sales to commuting members (i.e. not staying in the hotel so needing convenient access to transit) and non-local members (who, as you say, want to see the city, not some isolated suburb with few amenities).

  20. Peter, you might want to look into going to Australia “the other way around”.

    I’ve been down to Melbourne a couple of times a year for the past few years, and I’ve always gone on Air Canada and Qantas heading from Canada to Heathrow then Singapore or Hong Kong then Melbourne. Forget about the Pacific entirely and go the long way!

    It takes longer, although not necessarily a lot longer depending on how your connections are arranged, but it entirely avoids the US (and it’s significantly cheaper for business class tickets, which is why the company preferred that routing).

    I don’t know if it works for Sydney as well, but it might be worth looking in to.

  21. Actually you do stand a chance of winning the Geffen Award. Tau Zero is a classic but wasn’t well received here. The Asimov is a new translation and repackaging of already-published material. Simmon’s Olympos is not a classic. And BlindSight does have its local fans. Since the number of voters is quite small, surprises can always happen.

  22. Some brief research suggests that Air New Zealand may be the best bet; Air Canada could be, but then you need to trust them to have their information in order. Another option might be JAL, but I’m not so clear on that. I know at least one person who is going to the New Zealand national convention before Worldcon . . . . could connect you up. One thing to then keep in mind of is luggage weight limits, but unless you’re bringing boxes of books that may not be an issue. That said, I also know a guy who lives in Melbourne . . .

  23. mazel tov

  24. Shalom, Peter 😀

    As far as pseudonyms go, you should use “Peggy”. ReGender we tool suggested so when denizens of a certain forum ran “Blindsight” though it in order to perform an exercise in…feminist criticism, I think that’s what that kind of thing is called.

    Anyways, mazel tov!

  25. regernder is a web tool, not a we tool. http://regender.com/index.html

    Stupid keyboard is stupid :(

  26. I like how Peter always seems surprised when he gets nominated for awards, while we all seem surprised he doesn’t get nominated for more.

    Face it squid-man, you write good books. I lent Blindsight to my sister and she read it three times already. I told Brainbread about you and he finished all of yours before I even finished the one I was on. You are the equivalent of a book infectious disease.

    …Except, you know, in a good way.

  27. @Random – that regendering tool is awesome!

  28. Dang. I’m in Montreal at the Congress now, but I’m leaving before Monday. I’d definitely have wanted to attend that panel. . . .

  29. Only thing I would suggest is that a stopover in Dubai to get to Australia could be useful – give some exotic background material for stories. Dubai is supposed to be an astonishing place — full of characters. But — so is the Drake Hotel in Toronto … and then there are the Toronto parades & festivals coming up …

    Hmmm. We maybe ought to contribute to a Dubai travel fund?

  30. One vote for appearances on the sidebar here =) Nothing like being able to show off the signature of a convicted felon =P

    And really enjoyed the interview, I’m glad it wasn’t edited. And the contingent you mentioned, bothers me the most as well. It just seems to me, at least, to be incredibly short sighted to accept it. I’m always thinking of the poem, “The Hangman” when considering these sorts of things.

    Be well

  31. Re: ego-surfing.

    Can see why that might fill some time. Truth is, everyone’s done it from time to time.

    Boredom is like waiting for the mailman.

    Hey, keanani is back! Aloha! 😀

  32. Peter, thanks for your generous response to the Congress paper. For my other Congress talk, which I gave just this morning, I managed to add some discussion of Maelstrom and Blindsight as well. (Dominick can vouch for that.) The way I see it, more people who teach literature should know about your work.

  33. I can indeed vouch for Mark’s references to Blindsight and Maelstrom in his excellent and thoughtful paper this morning. I hope the references inspire a few of the folk there to seel out the books. Allan Weiss did a paper in the session, too, by the way, Peter.

  34. […] reminds me, Watts has generously shared a kind word about my other Congress paper, which goes into more detail about his work, in relation to the copyfight. Meanwhile, […]

  35. Re: Getting to Worldcon: Flights to Vancouver sometimes use American airspace, so you might be denied boarding. (This happened to someone I know.) I second the “go east instead of west” advice.

  36. Peter, I’m so glad to hear you’ll be coming to Melbourne for Worldcon! We have to catch up on that dinner we missed in Toronto because the trains don’t go to the city from Mississauga after 5pm. You live in a weird country, so you’ll be right at home in Oz.

    The alternative to flying direct from Vancouver and risking a stop in Hawaii, is to fly from Canada to Europe to Singapore to Australia, and build up your Frequent flier points. I did this the last time I fled Canada, and it was much more comfortable than being stuck in one plane continuously for the whole long flight. It breaks up the journey and gives you a chance to stretch your legs. It misses the USA completely.

    I still have the chronic ciguatera, but I talk betterer now.