Last night was Kim Stanley Robinson’s talk at Hodges Figgis. It went really well: the audience was full and there were a lot of great questions, almost none of which I can remember right now. :) Someone asked about ESCAPE TO KATMANDU, which I haven’t read and which apparently I must, and ANARCTICA, which is actually one of my favourite KSR novels (and turns out to be one of his favourites, too, although it evidently made no blip at all when it came out) was mentioned, and there was someone who was a particular fan of THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT, so there were some discussions of history and philosophy that were cool, and a lot of discussion about economics and near future development and oh also he read from AURORA, which is out in July and which I have now heard two excerpts from and am really looking forward to.
Someone asked how he did his research and it turns out it was the same way I do too, which is to write as much book as possible without the research and then go back and research the bits that needed researching.
This kind of shoots all my excuses for not writing my climate change books right to hell. :)
To my childish fangirl delight, KSR recognized me from Worldcon, and when I asked a question gave me a smile and a little wave of recognition, which I’m still beaming about. During the after-talk signing, I handed over the second two Science in the Capitol series and said I’d had this big debate about whether I was going to haul their weight to Worldcon and had decided I’d just have to live with them not being signed, so I was extra-pleased to get them signed. He said the revised trade paperback will be out in November, and I can’t wait to read that, because despite my love for them they’re hard books to recommend, and I’m hoping the revised edition will be more generally accessible.
And then *laughs* one of the HF guys recognized me from my Twitter squeeing–“You’re CE Murphy, aren’t you?”–and we ended up discussing the possibility of a REDEEMER event there this winter, which would be extremely cool. :) Oh! *laughs* Also, MB, a woman I know who works there & with whom I’ve become friendly over the past few years, was telling me how she’d recently recommended the Walker Papers to a friend of hers, and then her friend had then not spoken to her for two or three weeks because she was so busy inhaling the books. Then while we were out after the gig, the friend texted to say she was on the last book but had decided she couldn’t finish it because she couldn’t stand for it to end/find out HOW it ended (a response that caused KSR to put his hand over his heart and make an “awww!” face, which I too was doing :)). MB said “I’m actually sitting next to CE Murphy right now and she says you should finish the books,” and her friend replied “OMG!!!1!!” so I took MB’s phone and said “Hi, this is Catie! I’m glad you liked the books but you should finish the last one because I really do think it ends well even if I cried all the way through writing the last chapter.” :) And now her friend is getting the Negotiator trilogy, which is just awesome. :)
Post-event, about eight or ten of us went around the corner for drinks, which was really good fun. If you had told me a year ago that I would be spending part of an evening in a pub with KSR, heads together commiserating about the utter lack of control a writer actually has over their career, I…
…possibly would have believed you, because my life has surreal moments like that, but I would have been suspicious about it. :)
Oh, and I asked what he’s working on now, and it’s–if you’ve read 2313, you know what happened to Manhattan? It’s set in that setting, and I’m REALLY looking forward to it. And so is he, he actually got all giddy and was like “This one’s really good!” :) And we talked briefly about shamanism, because I’m in the middle of reading SHAMAN, which, as I said to him, I’d been reluctant to read because I’d not yet finished my own series about a shaman when it came out, and he was all like “Oh me too I can’t read ANY fiction on the subject matter of what I’m writing about when I write it!” :)
There was loads of discussion about politics, Philip K Dick, utopias, Nepal, our favourite KSR characters (Frank is my favourite, but I really love Maya, who is so uncomfortably intense and raw)…all kinds of things. It was a really fun evening and I’m really, really glad I got to go.