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Upcoming appearances

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez:

* This Wednesday the 3rd I will be speaking to the Oxford University SF Society in St Hilda's Vernon Harcourt Room.

* The following Thursday the 11th I will be doing a reading and signing at Waterstones in Edinburgh (the west end Princes Street branch, at 6pm).

(Yes, this means I'll be travelling around the back of of this week and over the weekend — normal service will be thin on the ground for a while.)




I would consider popping in for the signing although unfortunately I'm over in glasgow and working till 530PM.

Wasn't there some controversy involving an employee at waterstones princes street branch who managed the SF section? He got sacked for an ill advised internet post or something, and iirc there was a short flurry of outraged posts from SF authors in scotland who wisely like to keep in with SF book section shelf stackers & organisers.


Vavatch: yup, you remember correctly (but he was at the other Princes Street branch, the east end one). It all came out okay in the end, with (if I remember correctly) an Industrial Tribunal finding in his favour and a new job at Forbidden Planet. I haven't been tracking things closely, but I think that was at least one change of corporate ownership ago.

(Note: 6pm is the notional start time, but I'm unlikely to begin reading much before 6:20, and it runs until 7:30, if you want to get stuff signed. Then I expect to be moving on to a pub or two ...)


Your mother will be so proud of her little boy going to
Oxford University


Brian: I think they'd rather it was Cambridge ...


I was beginning to wonder if I'd missed the announcement of the Edinburgh event or if you were just keeping it quiet...


Blast! I'd love to come to the signing, but I have to be in St Andrews again by 7:30pm, and the bus takes two hours. I'll have to find a doppelganger to take my place. If you feel like visiting St Andrews while you're up in Scotland (we have a very nice golf course...) I'd be happy to show you around



Having just read your Wikipedia page and realised you are actually based in Edinburgh, I am now feeling suitably foolish for the 'while you're up in Scotland' part of my above post @6. Still, the offer stands


Are we to apprehend the possibility Your Gravity may consider transiting via the Metropolis?


And buying you a drink?
There are several good pubs between Paddington & Kings Cross .....

#6 BUS?

Isn't it quicker to get an Edinburgh - Leuchars train & then bus/taxi/lift from there ???


Vernon Harcourt? How inappropriate.


G Tingey @9 -

A very good point. Yes, the train would be quicker, but it still takes an hour plus travel between Leuchars and St A., so doesn't solve the problem.


Chris @10:
What's the problem with Mr Vernon Harcourt? He seems to have been an eminently uncontroversial scientific gent.

Or is it the room that's the problem? What's the local skinny for those of us benighted souls who didn't have an inclination to share meatspace with the Bullingdon Club?



Founded Special Branch. Perhaps it's the other Harcourt. If so, St Hilda's might want to re-name it the Vernon 'not the spook' Harcourt Room.

Not all Oxford undergraduates are rich and selfish: many are quite ordinary, or at least they used to be when I was one.


Would the Oxford event be free for anyone to attend or do you need to be a society member Charlie?


gjm: No idea. Email them and ask?


singing in waterstones? never knew you were musical, you are multi talented indeed. is it a space opera?


Chris @ 13:

The Vernon Harcourt in question is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_George_Vernon_Harcourt -- He supported St Hilda's in the early days of the College.

[link fixed by moderator]


gjm @14
I thought when you mentioned "the Oxford event" for some reason I took it to be the Oxford Bar in Rose St. some 400m from Waterstones. But that is the province of another Edinburgh literary figure, it however is a good, no-nonsense pub serving good quality beer.

I'm working that day, the 11th, and finishing my shift at about 7:00pm, hopefully I can make it up from the large defence contractor based in North Edinburgh in time to catch the signing if not the reading.

And Charlie, if you're going to the pub (any one) I'll be more than delighted to buy you a jar.


Excellent. Carry on, that college.


@7, Posted by Duncan Reynolds: "Having just read your Wikipedia page and realised you are actually based in Edinburgh, I am now feeling suitably foolish for the 'while you're up in Scotland' part of my above post @6. Still, the offer stands"

A *true* Scotsman would have immediately covered for himself by claiming that, of course, St. Andrews *was* the only True Scotland within what the English know as 'Scotland' :)


gjm @14:

From looking at this page:

They seem to suggest you can pop along to one or two meetings before deciding to join. But I'm surmising a bit. If worst comes to worst it looks to only be £4 to join for a term...

As a mad coincidence I'm actually in Oxford today...and altough I'm supposed to be driving back 'up north' tonight - I'm very tempted to say screw it - and just get home post midnight...hmmm


Hi all,
The event at St Hilda's college; Vernon Harcourt room this evening is free. As a society we allow people to go to several events before paying for membership at all, so it's perfectly fine for people to just turn up for one thing without ever paying.
8pm til 10.30
See you later!


Addendum - I contacted them :

"Yes, please come! We generally allow people to come to a few of our meetings before we expect them to join, so you're welcome to come on Wednesday without joining."

And seeing as a lifelong membership is only about £18 it really wouldn't break the bank :)


That was definitely a nifty panel. I'm looking forward to The Fuller Memorandum even more now.


Charles, sorry for the off-topic post but I just ran across a mention of ebook reader software for the iPhone / iPod touch with a nice little graphic plug!



.... drat and blast. Was hoping this Stanza/ Fictionwise thing meant I would be able to get an ebook of The Jennifer Morgue but apparently not. Is that out in ebook format anywhere?


It was good to finally get into the same room Mr S - I really enjoyed the readings. And thanks for taking the time to answer the inane questions too.

Managed to get back at 2:30!

Hope you and the lovely lady wife enjoy the shopping and editor meets!


I'm afraid I was too lazy to go in the end anyway (at least an hour each way). Sorry. I feel ashamed of myself for missing it. I'll catch up with you some time I'm sure, maybe in Edinburgh if I ever make it home - I haven't been back since 2001!

On the plus side I did have a very enjoyable evening in the pub where I was propositioned by a mad woman from New York. I didn't take her up on it but it's nice to have the offer.


Just a short post to say thank you (for the discussions, the answers to the questions, and most of all all the books). I would have loved to stay for the pub, but : had to drive back to hertfordshire, bring a dad back to his little baby he was missing already, a girl to her bed and lecture, and I could have only drunk one decency pint being the driver.

And big thanks to to the OUSFG for letteing "stranger" (in a strange land) attend!


PS sorry for the bad bad pun


gjm @ 27 - you big wuss. I had a three hour drive back! In blizzards no less! ;)


did you go to the turf tavern for a pint?

they sell really good ales there


Andrew @25, three SF titles out of five on that graphic, that's pretty good!


Serraphin - as I said, I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself.


"And seeing as a lifelong membership is only about £18 it really wouldn't break the bank :)"

Posted by: Serraphin

This year, I wouldn't bet on that.


Did the Oxford SF club uphold their university's honor, in the sense of the recent international ranking of the top 200 universities in the world?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it began:

#1 Harvard
#2 Yale
#3 Oxford
#4 Cambridge
#5 Caltech

Anything to say about Science fiction at the other Top 4? I haven't been to a meeting in a couple of years of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the Caltech science fiction club, where Dr. G. David "Dave" Brin met the astrophysicist who became his wife.


Embarrassing situations of our time: going equipped for a reading of SATURN'S CHILDREN, only to discover that the president of the OUSFG is called Freya.

Andres @26: AIUI, Orbit have pushed out an ebook edition of THE JENNIFER MORGUE ... via the Sony Store, with DRM, but at half price.


Charlie Stross @36

As long as her surname isn't Nakamachi - that would have been _really_ embarrassing!


Charlie @36, Freya posted here the day before!


Here is the video of the first 28 minutes of the Waterstone's Edinburgh reading: