Fast Forward

They have an entire wall of prog-rock albums here, replete with listening stations.  They have a dealer’s room which  puts a lot of real bookstores to shame.  They have cool sculptures and a shitload of guest authors in whose shadow I pale; I have drunk and snarfed at length in the company of China Miéville, Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, and Brandon Sanderson (you know, the dude who took over the Wheel of Time series).  Of course I would probably have spent all this time just sitting in my room if not for Caitlin’s influence;  that woman hits it off with everyone.  I swear she’d have Osama bin Laden eating out of her hand if she could just lure him into range.

So far, everyone has been awesome.

Finally met Bénédicte Lombardo: my publisher in France, who named her cats after “Aliens” characters.  (That’s her chatting with China to the right).  In public she is elegant and charming and unflappable; I have yet to see her behind the scenes but I’m thinking she must be an adrenalised caffeine junkie at such times, given the fact that she’s got me lined up for no fewer than six interviews over the next couple of days, and I’m nowhere near her headline act.  The Utopialés folks have also got me slotted in for eight signing sessions, which strikes me as a bit extravagant (judging by my sales rankings on, scheduling even one is hopelessly overoptimistic) but at least I’ll have time to write while sitting at the table.  (Late-breaking edit:  just came back from first signing.  There were actual people there, carrying copies of my books in three languages.  And one of them gave me a t-shirt with “We Don’t Give A Fuck” emblazoned across the front. )

Seriously.  I’m getting more promotion over three days in France than I got over ten solid years in N’Am, for a market a fraction of the size.  I have no idea why.  My only complaint is, I have no complaints.

Some stuff from the first night:

Sculptures by Caroline Carret

Is this seat taken?


Main Stage

Now I gotta go to that last place again.  Second panel.


This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday November 11 2010at 04:11 am , filed under On the Road, public interface . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

18 Responses to “Fast Forward”

  1. You know, Pete, something tells me you should see this. Even if it won’t make much sense…

  2. Ooh, way more fun than my week, even sans the virus! You two have some fun for us stuck here, would you?

    This suggests a question:

    Finally met Bénédicte Lombardo: my publisher in France, who named her cats after “Aliens” characters. (That’s her chatting with China to the right).

    “China” isn’t a character from “Aliens” I hope. I’d love to have a cat like that around the house, myself.

  3. 1. re: Hljóðlegur: China is China Miéville, an sf writer from the UK.

    2. People like your stuff, PW! YAY! Btw, Annaïg says she often takes visiting writers to the elephant of which you spoke, but it sounds like you won’t have time. Hee hee.

    3. People carrying copies of your books in THREE LANGUAGES. *brain explodes* So. very. nifty.

    4. “They have an entire wall of prog-rock albums here, replete with listening stations. ”
    Sigh. I wish me and René had teleporters.

  4. V: I was being facetious – I just meant I’d love to have a cat/fellow like Mieville around the house because he’s so pretty.

  5. Hey Peter, please tell China that I’m totally willing to be his Mohawk love slave if he wants to come to Toronto!!!

  6. Hey! Sounds like a good time. You’ll have to post a shot with that t-shirt some time.

    The cat naming scheme sounds fantastic, though I figure I’ll probably end up with a bunch named after Babylonian gods, myself.

    Have fun, don’t die.

  7. I have been away from reading your blogs or anything since quite some time ago. I am glad indeed to see you are no longer on the wrong side of the border and the wrong side of prison bars.
    I certainly won’t be visiting there any time soon.
    I wrote a note, in case of fascism, pull tab.
    Well, I suppose it sort of helped but didn’t altogether work.
    As you can see things have turned to such grand fun back on our side of the border again.
    You know, I’ve probably read Maelstrom 3 times. I’ve probably wondered just how long it will take for where we live to really resemble it.
    May as well make a list and cross a few things off already and see what else will come to pass.
    Good luck to you Peter.
    Not using my prior blogger name. Remember a certain inane G20 officer who feels he needs to sue people that make fun of him? Guess what? I’m a lucky contestant. Hoo-rah.

  8. Wow, cool con–color me impressed with their organization.

  9. Awesome to hear Peter. Europe is more about the arts, especially quality then some capitalist nations ont he wrong side of the Atlantic.

    Btw, I owe you beers when you get back.

  10. Prog rock? Really?

    I think I have aired my opinion on progressive rock before, maybe even in this space.

    The sculptures are pretty cool, though.

  11. I was gonna suggest testing some European borderguards, but I’m not confident that they are much different anyways…

    Good to know you’re in Europe. Somehow it’s a calming thought if people that you preder to live a little longer and that live in, or next to, the country most likely to initiate end times to be on safe and relatively sane shores.

    My advice is stay.

    On another note; sounds like geat fun, sir! Enjoy the hectic time in France and good to hear fans of your books turned up! I’m beginning to suspect you of some false modesty there. 🙂

  12. Good times, sounds like.
    Hopefully some of the promotion will somehow magically translate across the oceans.

    Interesting choice of King Crimson records, as well.

  13. An entire wall of prog-rock albums with listening stations? And here I thought heaven was just imagination…

  14. Wow. That’s a lot of Zeuhl on that wall. I agree with Hannu – man, that is a pretty good definition of heaven.

  15. France doesn’t appear to have left 1975, in spirit at any rate.

  16. Forget the China dude. Where are the pics of you?

  17. You are so close to London – will you be coming over?

  18. I’m back already. We flew over London, though.