public appearances

Bad Monkeys German reading tour schedule

I just got my itinerary for the German Bad Monkeys reading tour. I’ll be reading (in English), answering questions, and signing books at the following locations on the following dates:

Monday, February 4th, 19:00 — Berlin
Kennedy Museum,
Pariser Platz 4a,
10117 Berlin
Reservation:
Tel. (030) 8305-1161 or
IRCBerlin@state.gov

Tuesday, February 5th, 18:00 — Hamburg
U.S. Consulate General,
Alsterufer 27,
20354 Hamburg
Reservation required:
Tel. 040-41171-414 or
mierswasilvag@state.gov
(Valid passport or personaluasweis required)

Wednesday, February 6th, 19:30 — Frankfurt
The English Theatre,
Kaiserstrasse 34,
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Tickets: € 7
Reservation:
Tel. +49 (69) 242 316-20 or e-mail:
Box-office@english-theatre.org

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Coming soon to a France and a Germany near you

It’s definite: I will be coming to Paris in the last week of January to help launch the French edition of Bad Monkeys, and the week after that, I’ll be in Berlin, Frankfurt, and possibly Hamburg to help launch the German edition. A detailed itinerary is still in the works, but I expect to do at least one reading and signing in each of the cities.

In related news, it looks like there will be both Turkish and Polish editions of Bad Monkeys as well. See you in Istanbul and Krakow in 2009.

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French Monkeys, aka Matt goes to Paris

I also just got a scan of the cover art for the French translation of Bad Monkeys, which is due to be published early next year:

I will be coming to Paris during the last week of January to help publicize the book. The nice folks at 10/18 have even agreed to book me a nonstop flight, which will cut my travel time substantially, although if the plane goes down en route I may have to kill and eat a polar bear to survive. But hey, given a choice between that and a six-hour layover in Chicago, which would you pick?

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Leavenworth

I did, in fact, eat a bratwurst while I was there, and looked at lots and lots of faux-Bavarian tchochkes. However, I resisted the siren call of the Nutcracker Museum.

The signing and the reading both went well. The latter was held in a cozy private banquet room at Visconti’s, an Italian restaurant just up the road from A Book For All Seasons. Leavenworth is the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone, and my dinner companions’ story of how they were all related—through business, friendship, marriage, or blood—would have made an interesting novel in its own right. I came home well-fed and happy.

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Bad Monkeys reading tomorrow in Leavenworth

The Bavarian theme village, not the prison.

From 1 to 3 P.M. I’ll be signing at A Book For All Seasons. Then from 6 to 8:30 I’ll be at Visconti’s restaurant for dinner and a reading. Tickets to the dinner are $33 if you want a copy of the book, and $20 if you just want food and a chance to hear me read.

This is the last public appearance on my current schedule, although I found out late yesterday that I may be going to France to do publicity in January. More details about that when I have them.

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“Don’t be evil”

I gave a private Bad Monkeys reading at Google’s Kirkland offices this week. It was a fun gig—nice crowd, including some video-conferencers dialing in to listen from another site (Boulder, I think). The reading and Q&A session were videotaped, and should eventually show up on YouTube.

Lisa and I also got taken to lunch in the Google cafeteria, a Las Vegas-caliber* all-you-can-eat buffet that has got to be one of the nicer perks of working there. In between trips to the carving station (mmm, roast lamb), we had an interesting, Bad Monkeys-inspired conversation about the potential (ab)use of search engines as intelligence-gathering tools. Among the things I took away from the discussion:

(a) Google’s internal culture is open enough that in order to turn the company into an arm of Homeland Security, you’d either have to corrupt the majority of the employees, or be a lot cleverer than the U.S. government has shown itself to be lately.

(b) Notwithstanding (a), it’s actually very difficult to strip out all identifying information from search records. So…

(c) When researching your world domination plan, you probably don’t want to be Googling reviews of your latest novel during the same session you look up the death ray schematics.

* * * * *

*No Keno runners at the Google buffet, but that just shows they understand probability.

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So that’s where they all went

During the signing following last night’s reading at Third Place Books, I noticed a number of people had copies of Bad Monkeys with gold “LOCAL AUTHOR” stickers on them. Since I’d seen Third Place Books’ stock and knew they didn’t use stickers like that, I asked what was up, and learned that these copies were from Costco, which reportedly has a stack of Bad Monkeys next to the Harry Potter books. It wasn’t the discount that had led these people to buy from Costco, though — it was the fact that Costco’s copies were first editions. Unfortunately, because Costco is not a rare bookstore, they don’t understand about condition, and I have a feeling those stickers are going to be the kind you can’t remove without a chisel.

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If you’re ever invited to give a reading at Pulpfiction Books in Vancouver, BC…

…you should go. It’s a nice little store with a very friendly staff. Conveniently located, too: three blocks from my hotel, ten blocks from the Amtrak station, and an easy hike to downtown. I had a great time, both at the reading and after.

This was my first visit to Vancouver in almost twenty years. I recalled it being a lot like Seattle, and it is, but what I wasn’t prepared for is how much it also reminded me of New York City. Not Manhattan—it’s too short for that—but the outer boroughs, Queens especially. Something about the architecture of the high rises made me feel like they’d been transplanted from the Rego Park or Elmhurst of my youth, and there’s also an elevated train, which every time I passed under it had me thinking about Flushing and the IRT number 7. Even the slummy parts of Vancouver felt more like East Coast urban decay than West Coast.

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Next Bad Monkeys event noon tomorrow (8/11) at Seattle Mystery Bookshop

I have conflicting info on this, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a signing, not a reading. Drop by and say hi if you’re around.

Last night’s event at Elliott Bay Book Company went well—Lisa and I arrived an hour early and got in some quality browsing time. On the way home we stopped at Metropolitan Market and found the September issue of Men’s Health. As promised, Bad Monkeys was featured in the “Must Have” section. At least, the cover art was—I don’t know if it was an oversight or they just ran out of space, but there was no actual review accompanying the picture. Oh well.

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Publication party pictures

Courtesy of Tegan Tegani, some pictures from the Bad Monkeys publication party…

Here we see fellow local author Ted Chiang watching in amused fascination as I set up the scene I’m about to read. Or maybe he’s just studying my hand gestures:

Then, at signing, I flash my demon red eyes:

And here I am with Lisa, who looks remarkably cheerful after printing and cutting roughly one zillion Bad Monkeys cards:

No pics from Tuesday night’s reading at Powell’s, but if you imagine these same photos, minus Ted and Lisa, and with much taller shelves in the background, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it looked like.

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