Portrait of the Artist as a Not-So-Young Parasite

Dateline, EDMONTON, near “the chipping yards”. Okay, I’ll admit I wondered what I was doing here at first. The people were nice enough, but everything was games and action figures and Klingon prosthetics; I saw no great fascination with the written sf lit, and it seemed pretty obvious that anyone who showed up to an hour-and-a-half interview with Peter Watts would probably have just gotten lost on their way to the bathroom.

But wouldn’t you know it: the room was packed. The questions (delivered by Barb Galler-Smith, who arrived in the nick of time after convincing us all she must have been run over by a bus) were ripe for riffing. And the audience was pretty damn appreciative, even if some of them had already heard my comparison of God to an invisible purple hamster who lives up my butt and tells me what to do. There were many books to sign. And then a bunch of them (the fans, not the books) went out to this bar across the street and forced many beers and breadsticks and slices of pizza down my throat:

I met Bahumat, who posts here sometimes and insists that his LJ userpic is not an angry purple unicorn with erectile dysfunction. I met a wandering Rasputinian Mennonite with LaGrange-point Jovian-Earth asteroid trajectory calculus tattoed on his back. I met geeks and techheads and editors and we talked about neurology and political metaorganisms and other things beyond the ken of your average Harry Potter fan (notwithstanding that several of them seemed to be Harry Potter fans themselves), and — and this is the really cool part — I didn’t pay for anything.

I even got interviewed by CTV for a piece that might get national exposure, although I think the word “fuck” may have slipped into a couple of my answers. The guy seemed to like my answers, anyway.

Very, very occasionally, being an author does not suck. This was one of those times.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Saturday October 13 2007at 08:10 pm , filed under writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

15 Responses to “Portrait of the Artist as a Not-So-Young Parasite”

  1. “Very, very occasionally, being an author does not suck.”

    Good to hear it, also kinda neat to see that some of the people that go to those sorts of conventions are actually interested in the written word as well. ^_^

  2. are we on for tomorrow?

  3. in case you wanted to actually read the LaGrange-point Jovian-Earth asteroid trajectory calculus, it’s here: http://www.adastragames.com/graphics/Shirts/rock_shirt_back.8.jpg

  4. Wish I’d been there, Squid. Would’ve beat the hell out of my thrilling evening with the folks.

    Hope you get a chance to buzz down to Calgary before you head back.

  5. He’s got the whole world in his hands!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kintair/1566015403/

    Cath

  6. Speaking of parasites, cats are actually mind leeches. They feed off of you and make you feel good about it. Compare “think of the children” with “think of the kittens”. The moment you see their cute faces you feel the urge to OBEY.

  7. Pleasure to meet you, Peter, and see you on tomorrow (now today).

  8. Wil!
    I meant to get your contact info before you left Saturday night.
    Please email cathjackel@hotmail.com
    Thanks,
    Cath

  9. One: apparently your blog site has figured out I’m in Poland. It’s sneaky like that and means I can’t read the options. Fortunately, there are very two.

    Two: I realize this is really, really farfetched, but I don’t suppose you’ll be going to a con or anything in Europe in, you know, the next ten months? Maybe those Finns who wrote you the incomprehensible but probably complimentary review can help with that.

  10. Kevin said…

    I realize this is really, really farfetched, but I don’t suppose you’ll be going to a con or anything in Europe in, you know, the next ten months? Maybe those Finns who wrote you the incomprehensible but probably complimentary review can help with that.

    Man, it would be nice if I was in such demand — but no. Now that PureSpec is over, I’m not even planning on hitting any cons here in N’Am over the next ten months.

  11. If your interview ever hits CTV natioanally, it should be very entertaining. I remember a much younger Peter Watts (OK, very much younger) giving an interview to CBC Saint John about harbour porpoises. Needless to say, the aired interview did not resemble the recorded one.

  12. OK, so who are you? Middlebrook and Pauli are the leading suspects, although Delbeek and that other guy with VD who ended up at Oxford for a while are not to be excluded.

    My money’s on Middlebrook.

  13. Which is why you should never gamble. Don’t limit your list of suspects to those that went to CBC with you. Since Thomas Edison uttered those imortal words “Mary had a little lamb…” the recorded voice has been used for good and evil.

    And I am shocked to hear that Delbeek had VD.

  14. And I am shocked to hear that Delbeek had VD.

    Okay then, that rules out any of the women who hung out at the Huntsman that summer. (Not that Charles actually got entangled with all of them , mind you— he just told them all he had VD as a pick-up line. Not really sure how much luck he had with that…) So whoever you are, you’re definitely male.

    Not Pauli either, I’d bet. That Edison quote doesn’t sound like the kind of thing he’d say. And unless you’re lying by implication, you’re not Middlebrook either.

    Damn, I wish I could remember the name of that Oxford dude. He even came out to Vancouver briefly when I was there. Jack, I think. Jack, Jack…

    Damn. Can’t think of anything but “Bauer”. Thank you, Rupert Fucking Murdoch…

  15. And I am shocked to hear that Delbeek had VD.

    I like that as a tag line but I suspect that it wasn’t too successful as a pickup line. The Jack you are thinking of is probably Jack DaSilva. But once again, you are incorrect. I’d like to buy a vowel, Pat.

    Remember that there were a lot more people around Huntsman that smmer than the ones that lived in the house. But, then again, I’m not saying that I didn’t live in the house.