LA Times Festival of Books; Ingram Lists

latfob.jpgFor those of you in Los Angeles, gird your loins: I’ve been invited to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books as a participant, so I’ll be among you the last week of April. More details as I know more, but obviously I’m very happy about this. Yay! Los Angeles! Yay! Double-Doubles!

One other nice bit of news for me today: Ingram is the top wholesale book distributor on the entire planet, and it keeps its own list of bestselling hardcovers, trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks. I have been informed that this week Old Man’s War is their #4 bestselling mass market paperback. That’s #4 on the general list (i.e., all mass market paperbacks), not on a SF/F-specific list. Needless to say, this makes me feel shiny. My little book, making its way in the world. They grow up so fast, they do.


ConFusion 2007 Wrap-Up

ConFusion was the first regional con I ever went to, not that many years ago (I didn’t start going to SF conventions until after I sold Old Man’s War, after all), and it continues to be one of my favorites: It’s well-run, has good guests and a varied and interesting selection of fans. Basically, a fun time all the way around. This year was, happily, much of the same.

The good news for me was that last year’s “tradition” of fans coming up and kissing the top of my skull seems to have died an ignominious death, which I appreciate; sure, it was amusing to be the subject of random cranial osculation one year, but having it happen two years running would be a bit much. The only person who planted a smacker was Chuck Firment (i.e., the Guest of Honor last year what started the whole craze anyway), and he can get away with it because he’s a friend of mine, and also (as I’ve already warned him, with a maniacal laugh) next year I’m planning my revenge upon him. Bwa ha ha ha hah! Heh. Anyway, scurrilous rumors you may have heard of mass head-kissings or me being subjected to a hallway cuddle pile of furries or whatever are all simply untrue. Untrue! And I’m going to keep saying it until I believe it.

I’m also happy to say that my programming went very well; I had three panels, all of which were lots of fun thanks to the participants. The first, on Saturday, was on unusual characters in science fiction, for which I was on a panel with Anne Harris and convention Guest of Honor Elizabeth Moon, both of whom are fascinating panelists; we talked about what it means to have be “unusual” in fiction (versus being unusual in real life), the problem of characters so alien that readers can’t relate, and other various issue of interest. Later that day I was on a panel on “Committing Trilogy” with Karl Schroeder, Steven Harper Piziks, Toby Buckell and Jim Frenkel. The discussion broadened slightly to include series as well as trilogies, and we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of writing trilogies and series, both from an artistic and commercial perspective (briefly, the upside is that people like series; the downside is that if they stop liking them, you’re in deep trouble).

On Sunday, Toby and I were slotted in with Elizabeth Moon to talk about what it’s like to become a fiction writer when you’ve been a journalist; I think initially none of us had a clue about how to discuss the particular topic, but once we got started I think it became a very interesting discussion indeed. So out of three panels, I had three good ones, which is a nice batting average to have. So here I tip my hat to ConFusion programming director Rikhei Harris — she did an excellent job, at least in programming me.

For me, however, conventions are mostly about the folks I get to see there, so spending a bit of time with people I already know and people I’ve newly met is lots of fun. On the “people I already know” front there were the aforementioned Karl and Toby (and their lovely respective spouses Janice and Emily), Dave Klecha and his group of excellent pals who I have filed in my mind as “The Klecha Clutch,” and the ConFusion con folk who include Rikhei, Jeff Beeler, Matt Arnold among many others.

Among the new folks I got to spend a bit of time with was PZ Myers, the famed science blogger and the convention’s Science Guest of Honor; he’s got a nicely dry sense of humor and is as interesting in real life as in his blog. I also got a few moment to spend with Bill Higgins, the Fan Guest of Honor, who was a lot of fun to chat with and who should avoid manhole covers from now on (long story). And I met Yanni Kuznia, who I noticed actually a couple of years ago at Penguicon because she and husband can hit a dance floor and cut a rug well enough to make the rest of us look like twitching monkeys. Turns out that in addition to being a fabulous dancer she’s also a hell of an interesting person; it’s always nice when it works out like that (she and her friends were there to promote their TV show InZer0, which has a MySpace page, of course). Among Whatever commenters I spent some time with Steve Buchheit and also saw Hugh57 at my panels. I saw and hung out with tons more people than this, of course, but it’s till early in the morning and my brain is like swiss cheese. So forgive me if I missed you in the shoutout.

I’ll be returning to ConFusion next year; I kind of have to, because I’ll be a guest of honor; specifically, I’ll be the Toastmaster. You should come; we’ll be having lots of fun.


The Sam Sale at Subterranean: Good Books, Good Cause

This is Sam, and he’s a really cute kid. Sam has also been diagnosed with pontine glioma, a pernicious sort of brain cancer which requires specialized treatment. Sam’s getting that treatment, but it’s far away from his home and his parents have to run two households — one at home and one at his treatment site — and they’re feeling some of the strain of this.

This is where Subterranean Press comes in. Today (January 22), Subterranean is having a special sale to help out Sam and his family. Today, every book Subterranean current has in print is 25% off — and for every book that Subterranean sells, it will contribute 25% of the retail price to Sam and his family. Subterranean has promised a minimum $2,000 no matter what, but clearly it would be nice to if more could be added to the sum.

So: If you’ve been looking longingly at the current stock of Subterranean Press, which includes books from Poppy Z. Brite, Orson Scott Card, Joe Lansdale, Jonathan Lethem, Charlie Stross, Connie Willis and lots of others, today is a fine time to make an order. You’ll get some great special editions at a great price, and you’ll be supporting a good cause as well.

Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press says: “Please mention 25% off when ordering. Your shopping cart total and automatic email confirmation won’t reflect the sale price. We’ll take care of that when processing your order. If you use PayPal, please don’t go through our online store. Instead, email us and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice for your order.”

Please note that this sale applies to current stock — preorders are not eligible for the sale. Don’t worry, there’s lots of excellent stuff available now.

Feel free to let people know about this.

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