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Upcoming: Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross on firedoglake book salon

Subject says it all. I'm on the book salon over at FireDogLake this Sunday, from 5pm EST (9pm GMT), talking to Paul Krugman and taking questions from readers about "The Trade of Queens". There'll be a chat transcript afterwards (and I'll link to it), but if you're there at the time you get the opportunity to join in.

(In other news, I just did an interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun. Being an author is a full time job — I could do it for 40 hours a week without writing a word!)



"I could do it for 40 hours a week without writing a word!" You could be the Paris Hilton of the science fiction community.

That's kinds scary actually.


Craig, you really don't want to see me topless. M'kay?

But seriously:

Monday and Tuesday were non-working days (real life intervened).

Wednesday I blogged, then spent most of the day abridging a chapter for reading (twice -- to a 40 minute format, then curse/swear to a 25 minute format because I misread the running order) then spent the evening on stage with Ken MacLeod and Andrew J. Wilson.

This morning I did an interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun, then a brisk exchange of "do you have an unencumbered author headshot you can let HIGH CIRCULATION NEWSPAPER run beside their INTERVIEW with me?" with a publisher, plus email with FireDogLake's book salon organizers, including sorting out blog/publisher communications SNAFUs over review copies. Then blogged briefly (this piece).

Friday I've got to catch up with some paperwork. In the afternoon I've got another call with the FireDogLake people; in the evening I get to watch TV do research for $SEKRIT_PROJECT.

Sunday I get to do the online interview/chat session.

In between doing this I'm reading some novels I foolishly offered to cover-blurb.

And somewhere in the middle I'm meant to be writing a goddamn novel.

My point?

There is more to being a successful novelist than writing novels. And no, I'm not talking about quaffing cocktails by the pool while my chauffeur polishes the Bentley and my secretary takes dictation. It's a lot like running any other small business, including the marketing and admin workload.


I don't particularly want to see Paris Hilton topless either...

At what point do you have to consider getting an assistant or publicist?


OK, Mr Successful Novelist, I just got my copy of "The Trade of Queens", I was shocked, SHOCKED, not see your face gracing the back cover flap! I thought you had spent many hours in a warehouse in Boston getting arty photos taken of you. What happened?

BTW: I purchased this copy from Powells. Say what you may about Amazon (after all, they are Seattle-based company, and the evil empire thing comes naturally to them), I could have gotten it a day or two earlier and cheaper from them (as opposed to laid-back Portland company like Powell's Books).

Gotta get back to your book, though. My, you really know how to keep the cliff-hangers coming!


I'll look forward to the transcript.

Mind you, Krugman is now no more than a bombastic shred of his former self, while Hamsher's FireDogLake is, well, more of less of the same.

So, good luck with hanging out with America's leftist flotsam and jetsam, and definitely have a good time for yourself. Just understand how you look to the coming intellectual majority.

BTW, if you're ever in Atlanta, I volunteer to put you up for the night, and buy you as much Sweetwater 420 as will satisfy you.


Given the current state of the FTO story, maybe you ought to take a leaf from Eric Flint's "1632".

You could do worse.

Well, depending on where you're going with all this.


Please let us know when and if and where that jap interview is available on line; in English.

Now that I think of it, are there any interviews with you somewhere? I don't think I've seen them.

And some people are into "moobs", so you never know. There's even people into Christian Fisting, for God's sake.


Just outta wonder. Isn't the Yomiuri Shimbun quite ...well...politically polarised from your own views shall we say?

Is it more a case of "Any coverage is good coverage" sometimes? Just an idle wondering - Not me attempting to insult/injure!

And uh - mentioned $SEKRIT_PROJECT...I know it's obviously $SEKRIT, but for what varying value of $SEKRIT? Can you tell us the media format? You know is it novel/short/!


beowulf888: the publisher who arranged the photo shoot was Ace; Tor ... didn't. (Tor don't often do back-flap photographs, anyway.)


Patrick, I find suggestions that Paul Krugman or FireDogLake are leftist somewhat amusing.

But then, I come from another country.

You might enjoy the political alignment quiz at EU Profiler -- unlike the possibly better-known one (with its American Libertarian spin), this matches you against the European political zeitgeist and suggests parties that fit with your beliefs. (While taking the quiz, I suggest suspending your disbelief in the EU and imagine you've just emigrated to somewhere in Europe and received your citizenship there -- some of the questions assume, after all, that you live here.)


CW: just google for "Stross" and "interview". The first eight hits you get are, er, me being interviewed.

Serraphin: the first rule of $SEKRITPROJECT is, we do not talk about $SEKRITPROJECT until it happens. But you will note that I am something of a contrarian, and sometimes kick the tyres on an idea on this blog before I engage with it fully -- for example, my "space colonization is utter bollocks" essay was part of the work-up for "Saturn's Children". Ask yourself what media format I was pissing all over about, oh, four months ago, and you'll be a long way towards answering your own question. OK?


In current US MurdochPoxLyingNews format ......

"leftist": someone who thinks the guvmint should occasionally pay for roads. "commonist": someone who thinks that, as in all the civilised countries of the world (the US is obviously excepted here) there should be a government-backed and at least partially funded comprehensive Healthcare System for EVERYONE.

"teabagger": fascist front for corporate USA - see the failed coup against Roosevelt, mentioned a couple of threads back .....


Ask yourself what ... I was pissing all over about, oh, four months ago, and you'll be a long way towards answering your own question. OK?

You're going to buy an iPad and put Windows on it?

(See December 2009 archives) ;-)



Is there any chance of you expanding the discussion to include putting the boot into, sorry, analyzing Amazon's latest hissy fit?


So are we allowed to make guesses at $SEKRIT_PROJECT now?

Guess 1: New Star Trek series - 'The Klingon Singularity'

Guess 2: New Dr Who series - 'How to Kill Your Grandfather and Not Get Stuck in a Time Loop'

Guess 3: Saturn's Children Porno - 'Sexbots in Space...!'

Guess 4: Laundry TV Series starring Simon Pegg! Doubleplusawesome!


Guess 5: none of the above.


Paul Krugman? In a virtual appearance in the lions' den at FireDogLake? Gad, I hope the moderator has nerves of steel.


Gues 6: STROSSDOS - Operating system with multi-tentacle mindtouch interface?


Well my mostly useless grey-matter has narrowed it down to two things.

Police procedural 'stuff' work...thing.

The other one is such a scary and, i'm sure insane thought, that I won't voice it. For fear of ridicule - and that I might burst a geek vein if it's true!



S: feel free to fill my inbox with your speculation.


Off-thread, but in line with some other posts here. OK Today I have to admit the US sucks. Peter Watts was found Guilty this morning.


I'm awaiting more information. I suspect he was found guilty of assaulting a border agent's fist with his stomach -- the technical meaning of "assault" is so broad that folks have been found guilty of assault in the past for raising their hands to protect their face from a truncheon.

Edit: here's Peter's account of the trial. Looks like he was found guilty of assault because after being punched in the face he didn't immediately obey an order to drop flat on his front but asked "why?"


As I get older, I find injustice harder and harder to take.

Unfortunately, as I get older, I'm not getting much better at expressing my outrage. So I have to wait for other people to do so.


I see the fact that Krugman is correct in his musings about economics and current American politics makes some feel threatened. Personally, Charlie, I think your appearances with Krugman suggest a very positive association.

And I got a good laugh regarding your response regarding 'leftist'--indeed, that term has very different meanings on either side of the pond. I'm fine with an intellectual majority operating on reason and logic; it's refreshing after eight (or perhaps the better part of 30) years of fear and obfuscation. The current trends here in the States must freak out those who support the latter M.O., and give hope to those supporting the former.


EUprofiler is very interesting - especially when you view the results for all parties. But it clearly has its own biases - Labour might have shifted far to the right of their historical position, but I'm fairly sure they're still slightly to the left of the Tories, contrary to euprofiler's view. The scope is also limited; I'm way off on the left, as with all these things, despite only agreeing to what seem to me fairly unobjectionable positions - I don't recall being asked my opinion on statements like "capitalism should be replaced by a more equitable economic framework" or "we should recognise that there are fundamental limits to economic growth". Also interesting to note that the BNP and UKIP are placed as equally (maximally) anti-EU, but with the BNP to the left (and to the left of Labour) - no doubt as a result of their mostly worker-friendly policies outside their core agenda - perhaps they should consider a name change to the "British National Socialist Party"? No?


Thanks for the steer to the EU profiler,

I think I broke it! The answer I got was 'No information available'

Oops! Maybe I ought to try again later when it's recovered


At what point do you have to consider getting an assistant or publicist?

Most writers consider this every day. Then they wake up and remember that they are writers, and can barely afford soup.


Charlie, have you seen any episodes of the HBO talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher"? I bet your agent could hook you up as a guest for it.


Bill Maher?! Are you serious? Now admitedly there are far worse people in American telelvision than him, but he's still a dangerous nutjob. And a misogynist.


What's HBO? Is it a TV channel?

For what it's worth, the minimum cost for me to appear on a US TV show is on the order of $1500 -- because, in case you hadn't noticed, I live on the wrong side of the globe, and talk-TV shows aren't renowned for paying their guests' expenses (except when the guests are a ratings draw, which a midlist SF author isn't). This ignores the opportunity cost of a week of lost writing time (preparation, two-way trans-Atlantic travel, a day on the show, two days to recover from the jet lag afterwards).

What it boils down to is, I'd drop everything if I got an invitation from Oprah, but she doesn't do SF and anything lower-level than her isn't cost-effective (unless it's in the UK). I am not a recluse, but I'm not a camera whore either.


I don't know if this counts as intelligent profanity, but they (my previously favourite internet book shop) bloody sent me "The hidden fucking family" while the "The family trade" was out of stock.


Off-Topic The Peter Watts thing is horrible. Can he appeal against conviction?

Can anything be done about US "border security" behaving like the DDR Grenzpolizei on a good day?

I trust the US and Canadian web will be up in arms about this - but will it make any difference?

In the meantime... No more Wolrdcons in the USA, since it is obviously heading in a fascist direction.....


Have had a dandy time reading the moderation policy so I could decide if a comment was appropriate/acceptable, and was rather delighted to see so many of the readers weighing in on the minutiae, along with, mostly, approval of your brand of moderation. The rules are eminently sensible, which makes me wonder once again if all British-educated persons read law, or if it's just out there in the noosphere, and so osmosed by anyone with 3 a-levels under her/his belt? Full disclosure: I'm a female Jewish American lawyer, also trained? (and for several years, a trainer) at Oxford for a jurisprudence DPhil (dissertation not yet finished), with extensive London cabbie experience over nearly 30 years of visiting and living in England.

As for my comment/question, I see that the 6th Merchant Princes book is not available for the Kindle. Now I seem to remember that you've said before how you feel about ebooks/ereaders/Amazon, but I frankly don't remember what you said. I've gone over to the ereader because I like to keep a handful of books, magazines and newspapers in reading rotation at all times, and can't carry them around or store them anywhere (I'm in no fixed abode at the moment, and have been for two+ years), plus I feel guilty about the paper/trees problem. If it's just a publisher's holdback because of Amazon's crappy monopoly-building pricing policy, that is totally fair cop. No plot spoiler types in my social circle, so I'm safe to wait. But if there's some other reason, I'd love to hear it. Especially if economics and sociology are involved. But don't make extra work for yourself, I feel guilty about interrupting your work week as it is. If there's a thread on this out there already, and I can be pointed to it, that will suffice.


lawworks: "The Trade of Queens" only came out on dead tree last week -- Tor are still getting their ebook workflow streamlined, but I'm assured an ebook edition is on the way (along with ebooks of the earlier books in the series).


Canada will not be up in arms about the Peter Watts verdict. Canada kowtows to the US about everything, since we currently have "Li'l Bush" as our PM, and Watts has indicated that he will grudgingly accept the jury's verdict:


See next blog entry (going up now).


Charlie, yes HBO is a TV channel, a popular pay channel that many middle to upper class viewers watch, and this demographic is most likely to buy your books in hardcover. Putting aside the marketing reason for being there, IMO you would have fun. Bill Maher agrees with many of your political and environmental views, and he doesn't totally monopolize the conversation. Basically he invites three people to debate and discuss various issues on each weekly show.


And given the budget of the show, spending $25k putting you up would be a no-brainer.

However, getting an invitation to the show is not easy, and Charlie (or his publicists / agents) would have to Know Someone.

Hm, has Krugman appeared on the show? Yes, it looks like he has been.


I sure hope any similarities in views Our Gracious Host and that idiot may have in common is pure chance, which, given how he seems to arrive by them mostly based on magical thinking and lunacy, should be the case for all his views.


Sean, imagine Krugman AND Charlie on the same Real Time panel. It may create a mini black hole, and if the 3rd guest is a right wing whacko who gets sucked into the event horizon, it's gonna be a win-win.


You gotta remember that it's a debate show and a comedy show. Maher sometimes exaggerates his own beliefs for comedic effect. That being said, there's one issue I totally disagree with Maher about which is based on paranoid thinking, and that's his opposition to the H1N1 vaccine, based on his fear that it's worse than the flu itself which is ridiculous.


Charlie Stross:

"Craig, you really don't want to see me topless. M'kay?"

Charlie, I don't expect you to be up on every little detail of USA Paparazziville, but you are aware that in her most famous informal photo, her top was well-covered, aren't you? Trust me, we aren't worried about some photo of Shirtless Scottish SF Author on the beach in the Med.


Patrick Carroll:

"Mind you, Krugman is now no more than a bombastic shred of his former self, ..."

I just love how people step up and say this, about a guy with the #1 record of public truth-telling in the past decade in the USA. No evidence, no reason whatsoever, just raw assertion.



Okay, Patrick, consider yourself banned for trolling. Or being a Bush-worshipping shit-head; take your pick. (I make no pretense at being non-partisan. For more information, see the Moderation Policy. -- Charlie.)



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on March 18, 2010 11:56 AM.

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