View From a Hotel Window, 3/27/17: Houston!

Definitely not a parking lot. I could get used to this.

(Don’t worry, I’m sure more parking lots are coming.)

This is a fine time to answer a question I get sometimes about touring, which is whether I can any control (or say) regarding the hotels I’m in while on tour. The answer to this is that before the tour starts I make requests, not of hotels, but of what I’d like as my baseline for touring. In my case, I basically want three things: A decent bed, a viable internet connection, and not to be murdered when I exit the hotel.

This gives the tour booker a lot of leeway, and I assume they then move forward with hotels they’re used to working with and/or hotels that fulfill a practical purpose (like, for example, being a short walk to the event venue). So sometimes I get a boutique hotel, like today, sometimes I get a something like a Marriott or an Omni, and occasionally I’ll get something like a Holiday Inn. And in all cases: Does it have bed, internet and no murders? Great! That’ll work for me. Also, I mean, I’m not paying for the room. From my point of view it’s all good.

(Also, when I fly I typically fly Premium Economy, which (usually) means I get on reasonably early and I have overhead space for my carry-on. I don’t request business or first class because I don’t see the utility of spending hundreds more for one of those seats. I fit reasonably well in a standard airline seat, and I don’t take advantage of the “free” drinks, and most flights I take are not long enough for me to get either antsy or achey. This personal preference should not imply that other folks don’t have valid reasons to ask for business or first class seats, although I’m sure Tor is happy I’m happy with Premium Economy.)

So, that’s how I do hotels (and flights).

On an entirely different note, I wrote a piece about Seven Secrets to Writing a Best-Selling Science Fiction Novel. Just in case you were wondering.

Finally: Houston! See you tonight, 7pm, at Brazos Bookstore. And tomorrow, Dallas, you can see me at 7pm at Half Price Books (the one at 5803 E Northwest Highway, which gets a full three compass points in the address). See you there!

29 Comments on “View From a Hotel Window, 3/27/17: Houston!”

  1. It would be nice to know which hotels these are
    Some look downright inviting

  2. Looking forward to seeing you in Dallas. As a bookseller for two decades, I’ve been hawking your titles for years. Old Man’s War is my go-to title for people who are looking to get into Science Fiction but don’t know where to start.

  3. Unfortunately, I’m stuck on secret number three. I choose to believe you’re hoarding all the magical book fairies. That’s much easier than admitting I just haven’t made myself carbs out enough time to write.
    Also, now that I’m almost caught up on The Expanse (TV version) and I found out that they used one of the central plot points of my novel, I’m a little depressed that it only took up part of a single episode.

  4. Do you ever do any driving on tour? Between close venues or ones close to home?

  5. Oh, gosh, then if you’re ever in our area (yeah, not likely, since I think we have one big bookstore, and its dying), you can stay with us. Foods good and the bed’s comfortable.

  6. Wacky. I figure that 99% of the time, a resident of city X can tell what hotel you’re in when you post these, but I’ve lived in Houston for 20+ years and have legit no idea where that is. Looks cool, though!

  7. Say hey to the Brazos for me! I hope you get a good crowd. SF isn’t usually their thing.

  8. I remember when I saw you at the U of C Seminary Bookstore you noted that originally you were booked into a hotel in . . . somewhere you didn’t really want to be. It apparently looked like walking distance on a map. Glad you changed.

  9. “…and not to be murdered when I exit the hotel.”

    ♫ You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. ♫

  10. So Dallas and Houston and…?

    That’s a nice hotel in Houston… Didn’t expect to see the beachiness.

    A few months ago my United Airlines flight to LA was canceled and I got to meet Erik Estrada and Kelly Griffin when they put me in a 787 dreamliner 1st class on the flight I was rescheduled .

    I was non-plussed.

  11. That Dallas address took me back to a song most of you will be too young to remember…
    “South Street” The Orlons
    Remember black & white television? Here’s a link to the American Bandstand vid, looks like the kids are trying to do the Mashed Potato.

  12. @msb: I think this is the third time he’s come to Brazos. Full house tonight, just like the other two times — standing room only.

    You’re right that SF isn’t usually their bag, though they’ve been taking pains to stock more in the last few years. I bought my copy of THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS there, plus most of my Ann Leckies.

    OTOH, when Richard Kadrey comes to town, he reads across the street at Murder By The Book.

  13. So you don’t want to risk being murdered- are you willing to chance being lightly maimed?

  14. Dagnabit, I missed getting to see you! Well, maybe some future year. Hope you had a good stay in Houston and a good time at that bookstore!

  15. Half Price Books is amazing! The last time I visited Dallas, I went there almost every day. Enjoy!

  16. Good seeing you in Houston. Was a bit surprised when you read that plot outline for the next Eric Flint time travelling future transhuman warriors novel, apparently set in the first century CE. It wasn’t clear from the portion you read whether David Drake is collaborating on it.

  17. Looking forward to seeing you tonight in DFW if the weather cooperates. We may see more of the small tornadoes and baseball-sized hail that we had two nights ago, and that will make driving a bit more adventurous than I’m comfortable with. I suppose I could click my heels three times and whisper, “There’s no such thing as climate change,” but I remember how well that trick worked for Dorothy.

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