Tag Archives: book signings

Gibson book-signing

I made one of my rare forays through the District and into Virgina today, driving. I had no idea where I was going but the GPS got me there safely and in only about 25 minutes or so. William Gibson was signing books at Borders at Bailey’s Crossing as part of a tour to promote his new book, Spook Country.

There’s a chance that I have friends or family who have no idea who William Gibson is. Well, you may be familiar with an excellent book called Neuromancer. He wrote it. Or, you may have seen a not-so-good movie, starring Keanu Reeves, called Johnny Mnemonic. It was based on one of Gibson’s short stories. Or you may have seen one of two episodes of The X-Files that Gibson wrote: “Kill Switch” or “First Person Shooter”.

I was looking forward to meeting him. I brought my copy of Spook Country with me, but in order to “support” the massively corporate Borders, I bought the August issue of Locus and skimmed it while I was waiting for things to get started.

There was a review of short fiction, and I was secretly hoping to see a few words about my story, “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer” somewhere within the pages. Alas, IGMS was not one of the magazines reviewed this month.

There was a fairly good crowd of, I’d say, 80-90 people by the time things got started. I managed to get a decent seat a few rows back and at 7:30, William Gibson was introduced.

First, Gibson read a chapter from Spook Country, and fortunately, it was a few chapters before where I am in the book. (I’m a little more than halfway through it and I was worried he might end up reading something that I had no yet read.) Afterward, he held court for about 20 minutes or so, answering questions from the audience. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the questions, but I couldn’t think of any better ones to ask myself so perhaps I shouldn’t complain.

After the Q&A session, he signed books. My copy of Spook Country is signed “To Jamie–“. I thanked him for signing my book, took some pictures, and then headed back home.

I was glad I decided to go. It’s always a pleasure meeting a writer whose work you enjoy and admire, and that is certainly true of William Gibson. He was not how I imagined him to be. I’d seen his picture, of course, but his voice didn’t match his face. But he was very witty and had us laughing more than once.

Driving home I was certain that I had met Gibson once before at Dangerous Visions in Sherman Oaks. But none of my other Gibson books were signed. I suspect that I was supposed to go meet him, and then flaked on it. I would check my diary but I don’t have the patience for that right now.

GTD, day 1

I was up at 7:30 AM in order to take my car into Saturn. I was scheduled to have the door check link replaced on the driver’s side door. I also asked them to check my brakes, which were squeaking. They fixed my door and brakes (only the front brakes needed fixing), resurfaced the rotors, rotated the tired and balanced the wheels. All is well. I got out of there around 10:30 AM, and then headed over to Staples to run some errands.

I set aside this weekend to begin full implementation of GTD. For those of you who don’t know what GTD is, you can read all about it here. It’s based on a book by David Allen called, Getting Things Done and I’ve read the book twice. I found the theory interesting, but as always, I’m a bit skeptical. Still, it seems worth giving it a shot. A few years back, I gave it a half-hearted attempt, but in order to be fair, I’m going full-out. I’ve got the weekend blocked out to do my initial collecting, processing, organizing and reviewing. We’ll see how it goes.

William Gibson will be signing books at Bailey’s Crossroads this evening at 7:30 PM and I’m thinking that might be a nice break. I’m not certain I’ll head over to the signing yet; it will depend on my progress and energy level, but the bookstore is only 18 miles away so it’s not a long trip.

The weather is beautiful today. I’ve got just about every window in the house open. There’s a nice breeze and its about 76 degrees out.

The “lost” Harlan Ellison meeting

I would have swore that the first time I met Harlan Ellison was at a talk he gave at the Learning Tree in Chatsworth, California in July 2005. My diary only goes back to April 6, 1996, so I thought I had no way to confirm or deny this. Until this morning.

I got into work early (because I need to leave a little early today to pick Dad up from the airport at 5 PM) and I was going through some archived files on UNIX and came across a folder of blog-like essays I sent out to friends in the latter part of 1994 and early part of 1995. There are 57 of these essays, totaling some 79,000 words! I couldn’t help but skim through them, especially since they all preceded my diary by more than a year! In the 4th essay, “Installment #4”, I read about my first encounter with Harlan Ellison, and it is amusing enough to recall here.

My first encounter with Harlan Ellison, December 10, 1995