Me in a Suit and Tie

The Facebook page of the US Consulate General in Frankfurt is currently featuring pictures of me at my Frankfurt event. The page is here, and the direct link to the photo set is here. (The photo of me and the American ambassador to Germany? Here you go.) And yes, as advertised, there are pictures of me in a suit and a tie. You know you want to go look right now.

Another View of Tübingen

This is the old part of town, which has parts the date back to, like, 1400 or something. If you’re an American, your experience with buildings that look like this comes out of animated Disney films, which means that when you see them in real life you have a hard time grasping that they are authentic, and possibly older than your country. And the bottom floors of these buildings are filled with cell phone shops and hair salons, which feels incongruous, but isn’t, because after all, humans actually live in these places, and they live in the 21st century.

Yeah, you can tell I don’t get out of the US much, and when I do, I go to places like Canada and Australia, where, as nation-states, they have the same thing going that America does, i.e., not a whole lot of free-standing structures more than a couple hundred years old on the outside. I remember going to Boston and thinking, wow, there’s a lot of old stuff here. Brother, I’m an idiot.

In Tubingen

Which is in fact rather prettier than this gray picture would lead you to believe — it’s a bit rainy here at the moment. My hotel is quite pleasant, although my streak of hotels with lousy Internet continues; this one promises wireless access in every room, for values of “every room” that mean “the lobby.” But at least it’s reasonably quick in the lobby. The hotel is also just across the street from where the event is this evening, so that makes it very easy to get about. I’ll probably go for a walk a bit later to see some of the old town. Because, you know. When am I going to be in Tubingen again? Exactly.

And remember, if you do happen to be in or around Tubingen, I’ll be having my event this evening. Please come. Otherwise I’ll have traveled thousands of miles and six times zones to be in a room all by myself. Which would be sad.

Science Fiction Film Writing Prompts

This week over at my column, I thought I’d switch things up and have you try some writing — so I have thought up of twelve writing prompts, based on science fiction films, for you to consider and maybe write up on your own blogs, Facebook/Google+ profiles, Twitter feeds, or the comments on the column itself. And yes, one of them involves a flamethrower, so the picture above actually makes sense. Check it out and happy writing!