Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Recent book signings

Christopher Moore 1/30/07

Ok, if you haven’t read any of Chris Moore’s works you are missing a great fun read. I have been a fan of his since his first novel came out about 15 years ago. I picked it up and thought, “What an odd title...” and the rest is history. It took Chris several more books before a cult following blossomed. For the past few releases of his I managed to get Chris to come to the store early on the morning of (or after) his book signing in town to have a potluck breakfast with the staff for two hours before the store opened. Call me selfish, but I’d rather him do that than do a signing at the store. (I have pics if anyone os interested) Alas, since I’m no longer at the store that did not happen this year and when I saw Chris it was a good thing too, as he was sick and heavily medicated with Nyquil. But he was a trooper to be here in town to promote his new novel, You Suck: A Love Story, a sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends.

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Chris’ books are full of humor and just plain oddities and quirks and not surprisingly he comes across as stand-up comedian. He’s a great speaker and rambles about everything pertaining and not pertaining to his book. He has moved to San Francisco from Maui because as he explains, it’s like dating a supermodel. It’s beautiful and all but then there comes a time when you just need some intelligent conversation. People on Maui are not very deep and intelligent (Ok, I’m paraphrasing here, just in case there’s an Islander who reads this posting...). And he gives his reason why he will never do a book signing in Mississippi. One of his characters is a teenage goth named Abby Normal (who first appeared in his novel A Dirty Job) and he got her teenage girl goth voice down by lurking on to view the users chat. His next book will be based in the Middle Ages.

Great turnout! I estimated about 300 people of all ages showed up to hear him talk and to get his books signed. That’s why I like having breakfast with him... Unfortunately, looking his website,, he is not making an appearance at SLC.

Dan Simmons 2/8/07

As I was fishing about my bookshelves for any unsigned Dan Simmons’ titles, I hadn’t realized how many I acquired since I last saw him. It is not uncommon for me to see Dan between two and four times a year. But then I realized I haven’t seen him since his Ilium book tour. (He did not do any here in town for Olympos that I recall.) It then occured to me that recently, Dan has been something of a recluse of Neil Stephenson-esque proportions. Not sure if that’s good or bad...

Overall there was about 70 people total for the signing of his latest book, The Terror .

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Not too bad, but I had expected more. One must admit, however, that Dan’s novels are substantial and not fluff so his following is a minor cult status as opposed to Christopher Moore’s CULT status. Dan started off explaining how he came about to write this novel, his research into the historical records and how Hollywood recruited him to do the screenplay to one of Richard Matheson’s work (got to love tangents) and how they immediately fired him with the moral of the story being, “ goes to show how Hollywood considers it’s viewership to be essentially brainless.” Then he read a passage from the beginning of the book and took questions. No, he did not visit the Arctic or Antarctic to get the feel for the novel, he did add a homage to Poe, the mentioned the reason he did not think it was just the tainted tinned food that killed so many of the crew, and yes, Hollywood sucks. No one asked what his next project was surprisingly enough. I did get to chat with him about a scene at the end of the novel I was confuesed about; I wasn’t sure if I missed something in another part of the book or if it was another obscure homage reference to something else. He told me that was the most asked question , but as a one-on-one chat rather than a forum question. It all makes sense now after he explained it so if you read the book and run across something you aren’t sure about at the end of the novel, let me know and I will fill you in.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger CaptStrange said...

Hey Scott -- Yeah, I finally had to return The Terror to the library without finishing it. I had to pay fines, and still didn't get to read the last 200 pages (couldn't renew it, since others had holds on it...) So anyway, maybe you can just tell me how it ends -- and what the weirdness was that you asked him about. I probably didn't get to that part. They all die in the end anyway, right? Chances are I'll not go back & read the last 200 pages... so just tell me all the spoilers. I was enjoying it, it was just too long for me to get through these days with everything else going on in my life -- just bad timing. So, c'mon, fill me in.


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