Sci Fi London

Still busy as hell. Got freelance editing-type work to do and getting things sorted out back in my old flat has become enough of a nearly-full-time occupation that there are times (I joke, but only half-joke) it feels like I'm beginning to forget what the book I'm working on is even about.

But I do at least have the time to say I'll be taking part in Sci Fi London (really not sure about that name) this Saturday at the Piccadilly Apollo; specifically, I'll be taking part in a panel on Future Publishing (ebooks, in other words). After that, there's a chance to have, er, coffee with me at 3pm - I'm slotted in between 'coffee with Adrian Tchaikovsky' and 'coffee with Tony Ballantyne' in which you 'get the chance to have a coffee with some leading lights in SF and Fantasy writing' according to this here web page. I think this is what they call a kaffeeklatsch in SF conventions, but if so it's the first time I've ever taken part in one.

I'm really not sure precisely what the whole 'coffee with...' thing is going to entail, or if anyone's even actually going to turn up; it's a little like a signing session in that you've no idea exactly how it's going to work out. I've never been inclined towards the idea of taking part in a signing session because I've heard too many stories from other authors of sitting around and feeling like a complete lemon when no one comes. Or else they sit in a row of several other authors, all with long, winding queues, but no one in front of their own table.

Not that I've ever been asked to do a signing session, mind you. But I remember seeing Neal Stephenson when his book tour for Cryptonomicon came to Glasgow xxx years back, and if a Big Giant Head like Stephenson who was by this point already a bit of a legend in his own lunchtime can attract only twenty or so people to come hear him speak, then surely there's not much point in the rest of us really bothering. But that, of course, is being typically Scottish (ie defeatist) so for the moment I'll assume it's going to be a glorious merging of wits and intellect in an undoubtedly deeply profound discussion of, er, something or else.

Anyhoo, the other thing I'm taking part in (as I say) is the Future Publishing panel at 1pm this Saturday along with, amongst others, Tom Hunter and Paul Graham-Raven. Kindles, Ipads, the end of traditional publishing and all that jazz. I took part in a similar panel at Eastercon this year, which was enormous fun, I must say. I can be an opinionated git at the best of times, but the elephant in the room on that particular occasion was DRM. If there's one thing that surprised me coming away from that con, it was the number of editors and publishers apparently in favour of DRM to an extent that surprised me. If there's one thing that has me going off on a rant, it's DRM.

Shit, I'm going to have to bone up on this stuff now. Did I ever tell you I have nightmares of taking part in an ebook panel and suddenly spotting Cory Doctorow in the audience looking at me in disappointment and slowly shaking his head? Too much information? Oh well, too late now...

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