Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Things To Come

So along with Gary and Neil I was through in sunny Edinburgh yesterday, at an Independent & Radical Book Fair where two new chapbooks were being launched by Writer's Bloc (the spoken word / publishing collective which is, according to Gavin Inglis, to the East Coast SF Writers Group as the IRA is to Sinn Fein... or vice versa, maybe): one from Andrew J. Wilson (of NOVA SCOTIA editorialness) called "The Terminal Zone", being a play about Rod Serling; the other from Hannu Rajaniemi called "Words of Birth and Death", being a collection of stories about Finnish mythology irrupting into contemporary situations (and featuring an introduction by Johanna Sinisalo). Ended up in the pub with them afterwards supping Guinness and chowing down on a rather nice "Black and blue" burger (with Stilton and black pepper -- yummy). Much fun was had, including the advancement of the theory that J. K. Rowling's problem with getting her manuscript on board a plane ("Why, you could threaten the cabin crew with paper-cuts!") may have been due to her traveling incognito as "Jakey Roland". (A "jakey", for those of you outside Scotland, is a wee old Scottish drunk of the type that doesn't actually ask for money, just waylays you with friendly singing and/or mad rants, often initiated with an "A'righ' rere by ra way, big man?" and accompanied by the Buckfast bottle / Tennents can salute.)

Off to Poland tomorrow. I'm half-tempted to take a copy of the manuscript for INK with me, see if I can get the Jakey Roland treatment, but I think I'll be sensible and just go for the bare essentials -- laptop, book, paper, pen. The flight to London from Glasgow lands at Gatwick and the flight from London to Warsaw takes off from Heathrow, so I can't be arsed carting around more than is absolutely required in the cross-London transfer, never mind the sodding security checks.

Poland looks to be a wild time, with a ton of interviews organised by the guys at MAG -- press, radio, student radio. Man, it looks like they even have some sorta TV thing lined up (it says so on my itinerary, but I can't really believe it... TV? Naaaaah, that can't be right). Anyay, in case there's any Poles out there reading this, I thought I'd post up some relevant schedule things. Oh and I may as well post up my preliminary schedule for WFC while I'm at it. So:


Tuesday, 17/10/2006, 11:00-12:00: I'm scheduled to be at EMPiK Junior Megastore in Warsaw, meeting readers... which I guess means yer usual signing / Q&A / reading thing.

Friday, 20/10/2006, 17:30-18:30: I'll be at Stand E22 at the Cracov Book Fair, meeting booksellers... which I guess means, uh, I have no idea. I'm tempted to take my bowler hat and braces along for this, and practice my Tom Waits selling technique... "Step right up! I said, step right up... Yes, it strenghtens, and it lengthens... it gives you an erection, it'll win you the election!... Change your habits! Change your life! Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife!... I said, step right up!"

Saturday, 21/10/2006, 13:00-14:50: I'm scheduled to be signing books in the first hour then meeting readers from 14:00 on, but I'm not sure what the exact set up is here... an open-to-the-public thingy at the fair, I think (there's a note of "s.4" here which could mean "stand 4", right? Or maybe it's something else entirely but any Cracovians will know exactly what it means anyway? Anyway...) Saturday's my birthday, by the way, whereupon I shall be officially middle-aged (35, exactly half-way to the allotted three-score years and ten; and, yeah, I know that's not what most people call middle-aged, but I've always insisted that I'll be a mensch about it, none of that whiny denial shite from me; no, I shall proudly accept my mid-life with no pathetic clinging-to-the-last-vestiges-of-youth mid-life crisis). Not that I'm fishing for presents. Oh no, I wouldn't dream of angling for presents. Why, the very idea of presents is just silly. I mean, should someone offer presents, I would be so embarrassed. Why, you have brought me presents, I would say. How incedibly kind of you to bring me presents! You really shouldn't have brought me presents.


Saturday, 21/10/2006, 16:30-17:30: I'll be at Imladris SF convention. I don't know if they're going to want me to be doing stuff, or if I get to just mingle in the bar, but I'll be there. And if I can make it back to hang out later I'll try. Did I mention that it's my birthday? Oh, yes, I did. And that beer makes a good present? Not that I'm fishing for presents or anything. God forbid.

Anyway, that's the official shtuff I have lined up for Warsaw and Cracov. I have Thursday in Warsaw and Sunday in Cracov as free time for sightseeing, so any natives or previous visitors to the cities who have "Oh! Oh! You must see..." style comments please feel free to post them below.

The WFC schedule is highly tentative, I understand, and liable to change, but I thought I'd post up my events as they stand, subject to change:

Friday, 03/11/2006, 17:30-18:00: Reading (Bosque). It's a half-hour slot, so I'm thinking of doing a wee bit of VELLUM (or maybe a taster of INK?) then inflicting my "Sonnets For Orpheus" on anyone who doesn't leg it for the exit. I kinda think they'd make a good live performance, lots of scope for snarly, froth-mouthed rabidity, which is always entertaining. Or will this just clear the room as people scarper, muttering "Fucking poetry. Fuck that shit!!...?

Saturday, 04/11/2006, 14:30-15:30: Panel (Wedgewood). The Phantom Book: Lovecraft, Borges And Others. Come see me, Ed Bryant, Darrell Schweitzer and Don Webb discuss "books that don't exist, especially ones that the people believe are real. What does a fictional book add to a work of fantasy? What does it mean to have a book as a character?" I'm looking forward to this; it's right up my street.

Anyway, that's the shape of things to come, though it may be reshaped a little before it comes.


Blogger Paul F Cockburn said...

Travel safe, travel well, and may all your presents and futures be good ones.

Or something like that.

7:26 pm  
Anonymous Jakob said...

You'll be practically around the corner from Berlin - I guess I'll have to find some time for a little trip to Poland ...

Anyway, have fun - and travel safely!

9:17 pm  
Blogger sara said...

Happy birthday, Hal! I know blog comments are more lavish than most gifts, but I do what I can. :)

1:17 am  
Anonymous Marcin (Imladris boss ;)) said...


I'd like to thank you for coming to Imladris. It was a big thing for us. I hope you like your birthday present :).

12:55 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Heh! Thanks guys!

Pity you didn't make it out, Jakob, but a trip back to Germany next year is looking like a good prospect, so I'll catch up with ye there, I hope.

Sara: it's the thought that counts, as they say. Or is it the cake?

Talking of which...

Marcin: Man, I had a great time. You guys were swell, and it was just a crying shame I couldn't spend more time at Imladris. I'll be giving you guys a big shout out in a wee bit. Watch this space. :)

10:47 pm  

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