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I'm off to the west coast of the United States next Thursday.

While I'm gone I have some bloggers lined up to keep you entertained — who I will be introducing in due course — including two talented hard SF writers, John Meaney and Karl Schroeder.

Meanwhile, if you're wanting to get books signed or hear me reading or ask me questions, I've got some dates for you:

* Seattle: I'm reading and signing at the University Bookstore, Tuesday July 26th at 7pm.

* San Francisco: I'm reading and signing at Borderland Books, Saturday August 6th at 3pm.

* Portland: I'm reading and signing at Powells City of Books, Friday August 12th at 7:30pm.

(There may be other short notice fixtures. If so, I'll try and blog them before they happen!)



Safe journey, hope you have good weather.




No, definitely not. The furthest south I'm going on this trip is as far as Cupertino.


Charlie, is the American edition of Rule 34 printed on acid-free paper?

I have an unfortunate allergy to decaying paper, so
1) I normally only buy books if they are on acid-free paper; or 2) I buy kindle editions. (But, much as I love your work, I don't want you to sign my kindle.)

I'm delighted to see that you're doing a *reading* at Borderlands; formerly I thought it was only a signing. w00t! Looking forward to it.


Charlie, does your schedule in Portland allow you to go out for a beer? I owe you a couple and would love a chance to chat.


I believe Ace print their hardcovers on acid free paper; however the front matter in "Rule 34" doesn't specify what typeface or paper were used.


You're doing a reading in SF! Awesome! Looking forward to this (-:


I'm arriving in Portland on Friday 12th, doing the reading at Powell's that evening, then flying home the following morning. Which means "yes" to drinks, but only on Friday 12th after 9pm (when the reading/signing winds down).


On a topic I touched on earlier about not being able to contact Iain Banks or anyone associated with him...
If I want to quote from one of your books, what hoops do I have to jump through?


Thanks. :)

In this case I would probably buy a copy even if I knew it wasn't on acid-free paper, to support you + Borderlands for hosting your reading/signing (and just for existing, they're a pretty cool store.)

I hate the idea of printing books on paper that self-destructs; if something is worth printing it's worth keeping around. So I'm glad to hear that ACE (probably) uses acid-free paper.


I guess this would be a belated question your in-depth analysis of the publishing business, but does your publisher pay for your book tours? Or do you have to do it on your own nickel (pence)?


If I want to quote from one of your books, what hoops do I have to jump through?

You email me. Simples!


If it's a real signing tour, yes, they do.

This isn't a signing tour; it's just that I'm going to be in the area and I'm hitting a couple of targets-of-opportunity along the way.


Simples for sure.
I wanted to quote the Richard Brautigan poem "Machines of Loving Grace" but the holder of the rights apparently does not do email. So I sent of a snailmail to NY weeks ago. Zilch.
OTOH the C S Lewis estate did get back to me on a quote of his I wanted to include. They merely wanted what would turn out to be around 4% of the gross profits of the book.


I was wondering something similar about conventions, as Guest of Honor, I assume the organizers take care of things for you?

Dirk Bruere @14; re: "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace", perhaps try e-mailing Steven Levy, as he used it in his book "Hackers" and may have suggestions. Just a thought.


You are allowed to negotiate, you know? Prod the C. S. Lewis estate again, say "this isn't a bestseller, you know: would fifty quid do? Hint: take it or leave it."


Can't you quote a certain amount under "fair use" guidelines without permission? Are you sure the quotes you want to use don't fall under fair use protections?


Any chance of buying you a beer while you're in Seattle? Last time you mentioned hanging out with fans at the Pike Place Brewery, is something similar happening this trip?


I'll try to swing by Powell's while you're there. Certainly that's better than hoping I visit the UK!


Tyler: yes -- I'll post a short invite on my blog once I arrive (on Thursday), but it'll probably be this Friday at the Pike Place.


I infer that Dirk is talking about publishing in the UK, where "fair use" does not apply in law (there's a rather more constrained right of "fair dealing" in British copyright law which doesn't, AIUI, automatically give Dirk the right to quote a phrase without getting permission).


Your SF signing is 5 minutes from my house! Are you planning on a social drinking/dining post signing agenda or just an evening retiring from the exhausting demands of the celebrity life? I for one would love to sit somewhere and hear your ideas explode forth a la Manfred Mancx!


Yes, there'll be post-signing drinks, but the question is where. I am told there's no drinkable beer (read: cask-conditioned ale) within easy range of Borderland's.


Are you kidding me? San Francisco is a small city with many places to drink. Too many. Toronado, Magnolia, and the Rogue Public House will all have something on the hand pump but selection will vary. Only a half hour North in Novato you will
find Moylan's Brewpub. Yum Yum Yum. A little further and find Pliny the Elder at
Russian River Brewing Company. Do not miss the Pliny. Racer 5 and Racer X are
made by Bear Republic only another 20 minutes North.
Growlers and 5 Gal. kegs are available everywhere.
I live 5 hours North and had not planned to attend the signings but, if someone
does not step up and take care of you then I will do it. What is "easy range" to these folks?


Only a half hour North in Novato

What Google Maps says is a sixty mile round trip by road is probably not 'within easy range' by Charlie's standards. I'm going to guess at what 'easy range' is here, but if you can find him somewhere within the city itself, reachable within 30 minutes by public transport, that might be practical.


You know you want to go farther south. You know you want to go to San Luis Obispo. Ooo... Ooo... You are getting very sleepy. Go South, South South...

They have a brewing co-op here where you can make your own microbrew!




Interesting unit of distance measurement, the hour. Are you talking in terms of walking time, or driving time? Hint: I won't have a car while I'm in SF, and I don't mix alcohol and driving anyway.


The furthest south I'm going on this trip is as far as Cupertino.

Okay, I gotta ask: does that mean you are going there? The only thing I know about Cupertino is that a certain Large Computer Company is headquartered there. Any connection?


Your speculation is correct, but I need to clarify whether the event I'm doing there is open to the public before I talk about it publicly.


Ah... negotiate.
It did not even cross my mind that this was a possible response. One of the (many) reasons I do not shop in Tottenham Court Rd - I hate hagling over prices. They quoted me £40 per 1000 sales, which on a $3 ebook is IMHO excessive. Which brings up another problem concerning floor price of eBooks that use paid for quotations.



My wife Liz and I would be delighted to drive you from Borderlands to a pub with acceptable beer (wherever in SF that ends up being), and then drop you off wherever you're staying.

We'll be there in a nice rental car, and my wife will be the designated driver. (She lived in SF for 5 years and has developed the requisite survival skills for driving in San Francisco.)


Sadly, work calls or I would definitely be at Borderlands for your reading/signing. I would like to submit a suggestion and a traveler's advisory for your time in San Francisco:

1) If time permits, you might consider walking a block south from 866 Valencia (Borderlands) to 826 Valencia. It's a non-profit educational organization co-founded by Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) that provides classes and programs that help kids develop their writing skills.

It's also the best pirate supply store on the West Coast (click the ship on the lower right part of their home page) - they offer designer eyepatches, peg-leg sizing charts, bottles of "Captain Blackbeard's Beard Dye (Black)", mermaid repellant, etc.

2) The San Francisco Giants baseball club is playing in town from August 1st to the 10th. This is most likely irrelevant to your interests (although their ballpark is quite lovely and the onsite pub has cask ales), but depending on the time of day and the direction you're heading, the various flavors of mass transit (MUNI, BART and Caltrain) may be filled with polite, cheerful, orange-and-black clad citizens to the point of Tokyo-subway level compression. Caveat vector, and try not to make eye contact with anyone wearing a fake beard and/or panda hat. Especially the young'uns.


Thanks for the tip.
I have sent an email via Facebook to his daughter (I assume). If no response I will try your suggestion


See you in SF - Borderlands is a great spot.


OIC, thanks.


And you have only one day? Well, hopefully you are not staying out by the airport.
San Francisco is easy to get around by taxi if you are absolutely on your own. The
Brewpubs are spread out all over and it will be difficult to sample the local real
ale so quickly.
Toronado is on Haight St.(up-to-date list is online) and should have something nice for you. Do not be surprised if most folks do not know exactly what cask
ale is. Again- if someone local who knows what's up does not step up, then I will
drive down and take care of you. You deserve to have the best. Don't we all?


It's a good thing there aren't any Borders stores on this tour, seeing as they'll all be owned by the liquidators effective Friday.

Have you been to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View yet? (It is quite awesome, but unfortunately somewhat of a pain to get to without a car.)


If time permits, the Computer History Museum is on the agenda.


"Easy range" is within 10 minutes walking distance from the bookshop to the pub. The handy beer map shows the nearest proper beer to Borderlands is at Toronado, which is a 2km walk away (1.4 miles, about 30 minutes).


"She lived in SF for 5 years and has developed the requisite survival skills for driving in San Francisco"

Is this the 'flying down steep streets with much suspension crunching and flying hubcaps' skillset?

/car grates & sputters to a halt outside pub on smashed shocks, OGH waves small Union Jack in the back seat.


I'd love to hear your reading (and having books signed too). But you go (and live) far far away ... Any chance you come to France in the next year ?


Mountain, don't frighten the nice Scottish author...


Oh, I rather fancy that our Host is more than old enough to have seen " Bullitt " ...

In any event we British are hard to scare don't you know?

Which is neither a challenge nor an Invitation!

Return Our Host in the condition in which you found him!


San Francisco's streets are not steep.

Steep streets are those where you have to put in a handrail and steps (because they're not suitable for vehicle traffic). Like, oh, Fleshmarket Close.

If you enjoy driving in SF you'll enjoy Edinburgh -- same general experience but with cobblestones, much narrower roads, and a stick shift (automatic transmissions are for wusses).


I was thinking more of the narrowness of the streets and the aggressive way people drive there when I said Liz has developed "the necessary survival skills for driving in San Francisco."

Steep streets are those where you have to put in a handrail and steps

SF has streets like that, much to my delight.

If you enjoy driving in SF you'll enjoy Edinburgh...

Liz doesn't exactly enjoy driving in SF, she's just good at it; and I stopped driving when I lived in Vancouver for 15 years (it has a great public transit system).


P.S. My wife Liz notes that she has driven around Edinburgh as well (in fact she drove from Edinburgh to London when she missed her train), and she agrees with you that automatic transmissions are for wusses.


Some friends and I were thinking of tempting you with Brouwer's in Fremont (, but Pike Place Brewery is a nice spot as well... especially if you're keen to sip on the local brews.


There are other kinds of good or interesting beer, of course (:-), and one of my favorite biker bars is about 1km north of Borderlands, at Duboce and Valencia, with many things available, and a back yard to hang out in and eat and drink. Or it's a short walk and a longer bus ride to Magnolia, in Haight Ashbury, which is on Alex's beer map (Google Maps knows about San Francisco public transit, and that seems to be a shorter walk than connecting to the closer good bar.)



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 17, 2011 9:59 AM.

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