Daily Archives: March 28, 2013

The Human Division Tour: Official Itinerary

Yes, folks, I will be touring to support the hardcover release of The Human Division when it hits the stores (and online retailers as a compiled single eBook edition) on May 14. This tour sees me visiting some familiar places as well as some cities I’ve never been to on tour before (hello, Cleveland!). Here is the official itinerary as it stands today (borrowed from the official Tor.com announcement).

The Human Division Tour:

Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21
LA Times Book Fest (Panel and signing on Sunday)
Los Angelas, CA

Friday-Sunday, April 26-28
C2E2 (Panel on 4/27)
Chicago, IL

Thursday-Sunday, May 2-5
RT Booklovers Convention
Kansas City, MO

Saturday, May 11
Mysterious Galaxy 20th Anniversary Party
San Diego, CA

(All the dates above are before the official release date, so hardcovers will not be officially available yet. However, I will be happy to sign your eReaders with the episodes on them, as well as any other books of mine you have.)

Tuesday, May 14, 7:30 pm
Mysterious Galaxy (Redondo Beach)
Redondo Beach, CA

Wednesday, May 15, 7:00pm
Borderlands Books

San Francisco, CA

Thursday, May 16, 7:00 pm
Books, Inc
Mountain View, CA

Monday, May 20, 7:00 pm
University Books (at University Temple)
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, May 21, 7:00 pm
Powell’s
Beaverton, OR

Thursday, May 23, 4:00 pm
A Room of One’s Own
Madison, WI

Friday-Sunday, May 24-26
Phoenix Comic Con
Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, May 25, 5:00 pm
Poisoned Pen
Phoenix, AZ

Tuesday, May 28, 6:00 pm
Booksellers at Laurelwood
Memphis, TN

Wednesday, May 29, 7:30 pm
Quail Ridge Books
Raleigh, NC

Thursday, May 30, 7:00pm
Eagle Eye
Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 4, 7:00 pm
Joseph Beth
Cincinnati, OH

Wednesday, June 5, 7:00 pm
Joseph Beth
Lexington, KY

Thursday, June 13, 7:00 pm
Books & Co.
Dayton, OH

Saturday, June 15, 2:00 pm
Barnes and Noble
Woodmere, OH (Cleveland suburb)

If I am not making it to your town this time around: Sorry. Where I go is not up to me, it’s up to the Tour Gods, who move to their own mysterious rhythms. Please don’t be angry, or, you can’t help being angry , please go scream into a pillow rather than taking it out on me. As noted, I am very pleased this tour makes stops in some places I’ve never been before; I’m looking forward to visiting there new places.

Also note that these tours and events are the only places I am currently scheduled to be this year (as noted before, I am largely taking a breather on convention appearances in 2013, although I may pop up a couple of places), so if you want to see me in 2013, these are the places to be.

For those of you who have never seen me on tour, what I usually do is a reading (often of new, exclusive stuff that I only read on tour), followed by question and answer, followed by a signing, followed by the Lambada, the forbidden dance of love. You thought the Lambada was over! It’s not! It lives on! Come experience it, my friends.

(Note: No Lambada where the forbidden dance of love is forbidden. Sorry.)

Anyway. Hope to see you on tour this year. It’ll be fun. Promise.

The Big Idea: Will Ludwigsen

Before you read this Big Idea entry by Will Ludwigsen, about his story collection In Search Of and Others, I just want to say that I, too, loved the In Search Of television series to an insensible degree. And in honor of my and Will’s love of the show, here’s the opening theme.

Yes, that should set the scene for today’s Big Idea piece quite nicely.

WILL LUDWIGSEN:

When I was a kid, a television show called In Search Of hopelessly addicted me to weird epiphany. Hosted by Leonard Nimoy in the late 70s and early 80s, it examined the intractible mysteries of existence like ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs. It often “solved” them too, usually with a big pseudo-scientific middle finger to Occam’s Razor.

Why believe that Amelia Earhart crashed and died off Gardner Island when you could imagine she was captured and turned by the Japanese into Tokyo Rose? Why think that settlers built the rock formations at Mystery Hill in New Hampshire when, hey, the Phoenicians might have?

That show (and the crackpot books I also read at that age) seriously warped my scientific education.

For one thing, I felt like an insider privy to arcane knowledge. Pissed as my father was that I couldn’t tell the difference between metric and imperial socket wrenches by touch, I still knew that there were pictures of ancient astronauts on the walls of Incan tombs and that seemed far more important. I figured that if everybody agreed about something, what was the point in knowing it?

For another, my endorphin rush upon learning new things became miscalibrated to the flamboyantly weird and surprising. There are ten times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than human ones? Meh, whatever. But there’s a PLESIOSAUR IN LOCH NESS? OMG!

I outgrew that, more or less, and these days I’m hopelessly skeptical. I’m probably just as mistaken about the world as I was then, but now it’s within the dull and conservative borders of “plausibility”– a confusion between cause and correlation, maybe, or a misjudgment between representative data and anecdote. That hulking shadow on the side of the road is either a bear or a cow, but it almost certainly isn’t Bigfoot.

Yet sometimes I miss being creatively, unabashedly, whole-heartedly, all-in WRONG about the universe in a way that seems most common to kids and lunatics.

Being wrong in that way was comfortably personal. When I was wrong about UFOs, it was because I wanted one to take me away. When I was wrong about ghosts, it was because I wanted to talk to someone with the cosmic perspective to tell me things would be all right. When I was wrong about the Kennedy assassination, it was because I didn’t want a squirrely little jackass to control the course of history.

Being wrong is really just a form of wish-making, isn’t it? You’re fitting what you want of the world onto whatever evidence you have. You’re making your own mythology, which might well have certain virtues over the received ones we take for granted.

Is it possible to cling too long to our wrongness? Certainly. Is it dangerous? Of course. Has being wrong caused millenia of human misery? Alas, yes.

But there’s a good way to be wrong, a way without the arrogance or petulance or zeal. Being wondrously and responsibly wrong means taking a moment to enjoy it, revel in it, and ask ourselves just why we want the world to be that way.

I was drawn to the genres I choose to write and read, science fiction and fantasy and horror, because they seem to be the literature of epiphany. They’re often about people who discover that their convictions about reality are more about them than the universe. I call these moments of “personal singularity,” realizations that change one’s perspective so completely that everything before seems primitive and alien.

I didn’t set out to write a collection of stories about personal singularities, but somehow In Search Of and Others seems to be one anyway. It has ghosts and abandoned houses and homicidal children and botched science fair experiments, and the thing those characters seem to learn over and over again is that you should be careful what you’re wrong about.

Why? Because you never know quite how right your wrongness might be.

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In Search Of and Others: Amazon|Barnes and Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read sample stories from the author. Follow him on Twitter.