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Upcoming Appearances

Here's a rather vague list of where I'll be and what I'll be doing in public in the next three months.

December 12-17 [precise date TBA]: I'll be doing a reading and Q&A from the next Laundry novel, "The Apocalypse Codex", at Pulp Fiction in Edinburgh. [FB]

January 27-29: I'm Guest of Honor at COSine 2012 in Colorado Springs (at the Crowne Plaza).

January 31-3: I may (subject to arrangements) be putting in a public appearance somewhere in New York. Even if no bookstores ask for a reading, I'll probably announce a pub meet-up nearer the time.

February 5-16: I'll be in Boston. There will probably be at least one reading/signing. (Details TBA.)

February 17-19: I'll be attending Boskone 49 in Boston.

February 25-26: I'm Guest of Honour at Satellite III in Glasgow (in the Grand Central Hotel).

(As you may have noticed, that's 3 SF conventions in two different hemispheres in four weeks. I expect to be dead of exhaustion at the end of it. If not, I may try to set a world record or something by going to P-Con IX in Dublin the following weekend — March 3-4 — but I'm not sure that's entirely sane so I'm not going to commit to it in advance.)

Somehow while all this is going on I have to find time to write a book ...



Having travelled to 15 countries on almost every continent to speak this year I know how draining the travelling can be.

I hope you will be in Edinburgh during Open Source Scotland April 13, 14


Satellite III link in Upcoming Appearances borked.


Somehow while all this is going on I have to find time to write a book ...

Lost Dutchman tale about being caught in the SF Con circuit? Maybe a Laundry Files tale... If you could get your fans to contribute at the various cons, this thing could write itself! ;)


Brian, probably not -- Eastercon is 6th-9th of April, in London, and we're driving there and back. I expect to spend the 11th-13th being dead to the world ...


Would I be right to assume from that that you're driving down on Thursday 5th, back on Tuesday 10th?

(We appear to be, at least according to our hotel booking. Hearing that the hotel is now effectively full made us panic until we discovered we'd been booked in for many months.)


Busy, busy! I think I see some method in the madness. Starting in the west and working your way back east. Still, I don't envy the jet-lag when you get home.


Of course, that's also how the event timing works out.


So once again as we visit each others towns we run away ;)


FWIW Glasgow is, technically speaking, in the Western hemisphere. It's roughly as far west as Swansea and Exeter, thus well west of the Greenwich Meridian.

(It always catches me out how far west Scotland is compared to where I am down here on the edges of East Anglia. Cambridge just sneaks over the East side.)

On the other hand, you're almost certainly going to be travelling via the Eastern hemisphere on the way on your way home from the US.


~55N, 4.5W IIRC.


There's an outside chance I might be staying with some of Fiona's friends in Edinburgh around that time


The hotel is full? Shit ...


The con hotel has plenty of rooms, just not at the convention rate. Hmm.


Charlie @ 4 So you won't be @ Pigs Ear, but Eastercon is in London... I might go to a con agin, for the first time in 15+ years.

See you there, I hope!


Eastercons traditionally have a real ale bar. In case that matters ...


I should have said - yes, the con allocation (of doubles at least) is gone. There are certainly rooms available via other routes, as I found when I thought we'd missed out.

This is partly, I believe, because there was a concerted attempt by the con committee to get people to book membership and room at the same time. This means they've really filled up.

Also, the con rate is pretty good, unlike last year, where the rate when announced was actually 20% above the generally available rate for that hotel. Unfortunately, I didn't jump fast enough to grab one.

(Back in 2001, we missed out on the hotel room lottery. So we just went and got one in the same hotel via the travel agency allocation, much to the disgust of the hotel team who'd been going round saying "The hotel is full". No, it's not. Hotels have pre-existing contracts that they have to honour, no matter what.)


Charlie, just had a comment from the Con Chair crossing t's on contract (didn't say which hotel(s)but we can hope - I really like the Marriott next door!) for overflow hotel space. Hopefully kinks in the next few days.

btw looking at pricing Marriott pricing similar to non con rates at Radisson/ Anyway let's wait for the con pricing!


Argh LINKS! I meant Links!


Ever been on Jim Freund's radio show "The Hour of the Wolf" out of New York? It's live Thursday mornings 1:30-3:00 these days, when it isn't being pre-empted by fund-raising for the station...of course, I'd guess that Jim would be happy to tape an interview sometime else...but you could probably do that from home.



I believe the host of a blog can't be accused of trolling, otherwise ... erm ....

PROBLEM - with the con organisation: They don't seem to have slots for: People who live in London who will COMMUTE to/from the con. And there isn't a discount slot for OAP's (like me) - why should I pay full-price.... um err ....


The one and only time I went to a con at the non_Euclidean (I was so unimpressed by room, catering and cleanliness [and I'm easy to please here, no stains, visible dust or visible insects; they still failed on 1 and 3] that I will not go back unless ownership changes) parking was £5/day.

  • If you want to commute, buy a day membership on the door.

  • The reason there''s no cheap rate for OAPs is that it's a private non-profit event, run by volunteers, with no external (government) subsidies. Note: NON-PROFIT. Everyone gets the cheapest rate the committee can manage. What you're arguing for is therefore equivalent to preferential treatment for pensioners. While an unwaged/disabled/pensioner discount is desirable, so are free memberships for all -- which you can get if you go to Fincon in Helsinki (which is 100% paid for by the government).

  • 24:

    Parking was that cheap? The hotel is currently advertising £12/day (although the con may have negotiated a discount).


    That was the 2008 Eastercon; 2009 was Bradford, 2010 I didn't go to the non-Euclidean, and this year was Barmyhum airport (or near enough).


    Charlie @ 23 Thanks for that - I'll try to get a "two-day" (or even 3 day) membership, in advance if I can.

    OOPS, CORRECTION... The fine-print says OAP's get the same deal as unwaged/students. My bad, aplogies to "Olympus".

    From home it's Pick-a-dildo line to Hatton Cross, & bus 423/485, or Heathrow T 1/2/3 & bus 140/105/N9/111/285/555 (105/111/140/285/423/555/N9 - says the flyer!), or Vic-line/H&C line/Heathrow connect to Hayes & H, bus 140 (All free for me, of course.) The last might be the fastest route !!!


    Sorry about this, off-topic, but I thought people would be interested to know.

    Ann McCaffrey has died.



    Charlie's been known to travel via Dublin, though indeed he seems to prefer Amsterdam.


    Or Charles de Gaulle, for that matter.

    The Dublin option is useful for outbound travel since it permits one to clear US Immigration before leaving friendly shores. On the other hand, it makes much less sense for the home-bound connection. Since the rest of the routing wouldn't seem to require a return flight anywhere else, I see no particular reason why he'd feel bound to use an EDI-DUB return.


    @ 29 oh dear, another one. I've got a very fat little dragon tag signed by many now-dead authors. MZB, Sheffield, Chalker, Brunner. I think F. Pohl is no longer with us ......


    You could use the form on the website for a full advance membership. Day membership is more useful if you don't expect to come all days, but I don't know how much that will be.

    If you don't want to stay at the hotel (and we've been to Radisson conventions where we commuted out from Ealing, but one might also want to stay in a different hotel under your own arrangements), you could use the helpful button. The one titled I am not staying at the hotel, at the bottom of Part 1.

    (Charlie - can you enable the <em> tag, please? I note that <strong> works.)


    Pohl is showing as still alive, according to Wikipedia. He's also got a new novel out this year, so though he may have slowed down somewhat, he's still going. He could have learnt career longevity from his one-time collaborator Jack Williamson.


    Brian, that's a very nice lineup of speakers.


    Charlie, do you ever visit the Midwest? Maybe you could stop at Kenyon College in Ohio sometime on your way to Boston. You have plenty of fans here.


    I once swore a mighty vow never to return to the non-Euclidean. In recent years I have repented - it was the year that Eastercon had Charlie as one of four mighty guests that convinced me. These days the room and cleanliness seem fine. The con-arranged food has been good and good value, the service in the main restaurant for lunch and dinner was still terrible as of 2010.


    Fred Pohl is still alive and blogging!


    If there is time. The Cheyenne Mountain complex outside of Colorado Springs, Colo. "In a story she wrote in 2008, the journalist Annalee Newitz wrote of a tour of Cheyenne Mountain she got with a group of science-fiction writers that, "Yesterday, I traveled back in time to the Cold War...The underground base has become the stuff of historical myth and science fiction legend. That's why I felt gripped by the surreal as I walked into its rough-walled cave entrance, " Before 9-11 there were pubic tours. I don't know about now. Not something you run into every day. OR DOSES STARGATE 1 MEAN MORE NOW DAYS.


    I'd want convincing from the likes of Rentokil about the insect problem, particularly since this includes cockroaches (they don't post here, but I do have friends who've also reported 'roaches in the bedrooms at the non-E). As for the food, IIRC it was 2008 that OGN was a GoH, and that was when I found it (other than one very good chicken curry) unacceptably badly cooked and re-warmed (reheated would imply an acceptable temperature when served).


    Finncon changes its place from year to year. In 2012 it's in Tampere. though that's only in Finnish for now.

    I'm thinking of attending that though I live near Helsinki.


    Charlie, do you ever visit the Midwest?

    I've never done so yet. (No personal/family connections with any of those areas, too low a density of readers/bookstores to make it worth a tour, and it's a very long way away from where I live: in flying time, the coasts are much closer.)


    Yeah, I was offered a seat on that tour. Unfortunately I had a prior lunch engagement/business meeting scheduled with an editor with whom my agent was in the process of negotiating a deal for the next three books.


    Unfortunately Cheyenne Mountain has been closed to the general public since 9/11, and they'd been working on moving Space Command and NORAD out to Peterson AFB for several years. Still kicking myself for not going on a tour before then, but I've never done the tourist thing in places I live.

    Clothing advice for Colorado Springs in January. Actually, it tends to be fairly warm in mid-late January, though I seem to remember last year was an exception. You're much more likely to freeze your ass off in NYC and Boston (which you probably know).


    d brown @ 38"Before 9-11 there were pubic tours"

    Now THAT would be worth seeing!


    I strongly suspect it will look very much like the Stargate sets, and like Cruachan and Dinorwic (sp) power stations; nearly all big caves blasted out of the rock, lined where necessary, and with corridors doing double duty as services conduits.


    I resisted saying anything about "pubic tours", though if you've ever seen the entrance.

    From what I've seen it doesn't much resemble the Stargate sets--according to the show they were in tunnels underneath NORAD. I believe it more resembles buildings on shock absorbers inside a man-made cavern. The Command Center looked nothing like in "War Games", though the new set-up at Peterson does. Not sayin' there's any set envy going on, but...

    As for Stargate's "Colorado Springs", it looked more like Vancouver and British Columbia (yes, I know there's a reason for that).


    errr, guys SG-1 was a joke about how old NORAD was and what many would think first now.


    I used to spend a fair amount of time in Colorado Springs. If you've never been before, a few comments:

    Altitude is around 6,000 feet. Some people are bothered by it. Unless you're particularly susceptible it shouldn't be a problem, at least compared to jet lag.

    Humidity is extremely low. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to bring some glasses along, or your favorite eyedrops, or both. Also lip balm and skin moisturizer in brands you are familiar with.

    Ice cubes will evaporate without melting.

    If you wash your hair, comb it immediately after getting out of the shower. It will be dry within minutes.

    Though it's a longish way from downtown, if you get a chance to visit Senor Manuel's restaurant, you might try their red chile burrito with mondongo sauce... [flashback] it's only 1,046 miles from here, and I've made that ride nonstop many times. Hmmm...


    Yep. Basically keep hydrated, especially in winter. Charlie's been to Denver, so should have some idea what to expect.

    Funny, I've lived in the Springs for 25 years (yikes) and never heard of Senor Manuel's, though their site says est. 1970. But then, I hardly ever eat out, and when I do it's usually Indian or or some sort of Asian.


    I haven't been down inside the NORAD site, but I have been in the Underground Pentagon, the command and control site on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border where the Joint Chiefs of Staff were supposed to evacuate in case of nuclear war. Inside a large cavern sits a really huge metal plate on top of truly gargantuan shock absorbers (I'd love to see someone recycle it into an Orion-class nuclear impulse rocket), with buildings and roads on top of the plate. To get from the access gate, which itself is a ways underground, you have to take a bus through a long and winding tunnel. The gate itself looks like the older sibling of a bank vault door, and I assume the winding tunnel was intended to reduce shock waves if the blast doors failed.



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