Stuff’s been piling up in the wings as a side-effect of my ongoing battle against ego creep— enough now, as it turns out, to warrant a whole catch-all catch-up post in its own right. And since some of the following travel plans might intersect with the occasional fan, I should probably outline where I’m going to be for the next few months. And why I’m not going to be here all that often.
I already mentioned that I’m going to be at Pyrkon a couple weeks down the road. For those who will be in attendance,
I’ve now got a preliminary listing of my panels in hand [update: actual times and schedules!]:
- (Fri, 28 April, 18:30, Sala Ziemi): Peter Watts – Q&A
- (Fri, 28 April, 19:30, Aula 2): [Panel] How to make one’s debut?
- (Fri, 28 April, 21:00, Aula 2): [Panel] False morality
- (Sat, 29 April, 13:00, Autografy): Autograph session
- (Sat, 29 April, 17:30, Aula 2): [Panel] My life in my hands: does free will exist?
- (Sat, 29 April, 19:00, Aula 2): Worst-case Neuroscenarios from the Peanut Gallery
- (Sat, 29 April, 20:30, Aula 2): [Panel] The limits of humanity and playing God
All characteristically Polish in outlook, except for that second one (and even it would fit if they just swapped out “make one’s debut” for “meet one’s end”).
“Worst-case Neuroscenarios” is a solo talk. About 50 slides so far, although I can’t seem to get the gom jabbar clip from “Dune” to render properly in Irfanview. (Stupid Lenovo Thinkpad. This stuff always worked fine on the Asus, before I punched it.)
We’re sneaking into Poznan after a few days in Warsaw and sneaking out again via Berlin, where the BUG and I will be reading at the Otherland bookstore on May 3rd. Not yet sure what I’ll read, although it’ll be from either the Sunflowers novella I’m currently finishing or the David-Bowie-themed piece of military SF I recently finished for the latest installment of Jonathan Strahan’s Fill-in-the-Blank Infinity series. (
It’s coming out this fall, by the way; not seeing any cover art yet. Cover art and contents over here.) Pretty much all the fiblets I’ve posted this year hail from one or the other, but there’s plenty of yet-unposted stuff to choose from.
Bulgaria in June. I’m giving a talk at the Ratio Symposium, which frighteningly is not SF but straight-up pop science— usually delivered by leading lights and actual experts in their fields, not half-assed pretenders who happened to make a lucky guess ten years ago. I keep telling this to the organizers, but they seem to want me anyway. They’ve booked my tickets, so if this is all a cruel hoax it’s an elaborate one.
Still trying to figure out that talk. If I wanted to focus on my own area of current expertise, I’d give one on dealing with stained pants.
The Ukraine in September; I’ll be at the Lviv International Book Fair & Literature Festival from the 13-17th, which I’m told will coincide with the release of the Ukrainian edition of Blindsight. Also Lviv is evidently the birthplace of Stanislaw Lem, and has many fine drinking establishments. (This seems to be a recurring motif; people in Warsaw, Berlin, Sofia, and Lviv have all emphasized unto me the quality of their local drinking establishments. Go figure.)
Lviv appears to be the go-to place for various festivals, and much as I’m looking forward to the literary one I can’t help but cast a wistful eye over references to the annual “Coffee and Chocolate Feast” and the intriguing “Feast of Pampukh”, an event I would very much like to attend if for no other reason than to find out what a “pampukh” is. I’m thinking, maybe a gaff used by eighteenth-century whalers to hook porpoises and heft them over the gunwales.
Fish. To Mars.
Those are the road trips, although there might also be a Skype appearance at the Bergen Aquarium on May 31 for, well…
I don’t know exactly how to describe this. It’s kind of a teaser for a currently-under-development post-apocalyptic Norwegian Black Metal Science Opera about sending Marbled Lungfish to Mars. I’m told the embargo’s lifted this week so I can talk about it, but I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes just yet so it’s probably best to keep it vague. Suffice to say the project seems to be drawing in talent from a number of different institutions, scientific and musical. We’ve got head-bangers. We’ve got classical librettists. We’ve got marine biologists (real ones, not Twentieth-century dropouts clinging to some shred of credibility by sticking technical references onto the end of their SF novels). I am apparently responsible for the basic storyline, and I’ve got the co-discoverer of Dark Energy checking my astrophysics. No pressure there at all. (I hope to meet the guy in person some day. I’ve got a bone to pick with him. That discovery of his is directly responsible for one of my stories going from cutting-edge when it was written, to completely obsolete when it was published.)
In the meantime, I’m told it’s okay to share this protoype promotional art by Kim Holm.
Finally this, just over the transom: Bélial’s edition of Beyond the Rift (Au-delà du gouffre) has made the finals for France’s Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire under the “Foreign Short Fiction” category. I’m up against some heavy hitters so I’m not getting my hopes up— but hey, any excuse to trot out Manchu‘s awesome cover art one more time, am I right?