A skip week after 20 weekly newsletters seems pretty good to me. But I am famously lazy, so what would I know, eh?
Call me interviewee, multiple interviewee
I've spent the last week travelling. I've been in Boston and the general area, and was pleased to be i) rained on and ii) discover an appreciation of an excellent genre of music.
The reason for the trip was C's invite to Conbust – a small, literary-leaning comic convention at Smith. I tagged along as the +1 and spent my time incommunicado, only really raising my voice in panels about dice math in games.
(I did ask a lot of questions in that one, as I am very excitable about dice at the moment. When I say “at the moment” I mean “always and forever.”)
Being at Smith alone had its moments – the women only college which I mainly know as being Sylvia Plath's alma mater and the setting for The Bell Jar. Architecturally, it was easy to lose itself in that – it's the sort of buildings which I only really can process as “It reminds me of The Sims.” The con was much younger than a usual con as well, and with Smiths' demographic, it was excellent to sit back and watch roomfuls of utterly fearless women take on everything they cared about (which was basically “everything,”) I left optimistic, which with this week, is exactly what I needed.
I also met Kerry Turnbull (aka Coelasquid) who was delightful. If you're unaware of her stuff, go see.
Being in Boston was strange in its own way, as I spent a whole issue flattening it recently in Uber: Invasion. Walking around the city, noticing landmarks Daniel and I had destroyed added a certain frisson to the experience in a “Oh – here's where the Nazi superhumans swept in from the sea” way.
It was a fun time. If I had to boil Boston down to two things it would be that the seafood is A+ and its inhabitants seem to be blissfully unaware of the concept of Inside Voice.
One book out this week, which is issue 9 of Cinema Purgatorio wherein Fringe ends up being dragged to the pub. Clearly being in an anthology with Garth is rubbing off on me.
I actually handed in the eleventh script a week or so back, which basically means 7 more episodes to write for the trade, which I'm tempted to grab the first couple of weeks I have spare and write them all. It's only two and a half issues work, so eminently do-able. It's good to have the decks clear so you don't need to think about a project at all. There are new things starting, as I've mentioned.
On the other hand, there's also all the other things I could be clearing the decks of – writing the rest of Imperial Phase Part II or the three issues of Uber Invasion to round out the first twelve issues (and half of the remaining run.) One of the standard questions people ask is “how do you keep all the different stories in your head simultaneously.” The only real answer is “with difficulty.” In an ideal world, I'd concentrate on a single book until I'd ran out of things to write, and then switch to something else. In practice, the deadlines will get in the way of that. But I'm definitely reaching a period where I can do that.
I suspect that I'll concentrate on WicDiv, and try to get at least a first draft of those remaining four issues before C2E2. Or the end of the month, as the only other deadline in that period is an issue of Aphra.
See, this is what happens when I write a newsletter when I get off a plane. You just get my stream-of-consciousness To Do list.
I've been doing a little Bond press recently, with interviews at Comics Alliance and CBR. Go read and see me dance. There's pages from Antonio Fuso and Chris O'Halloran below, who are doing sterling work.
Note that it was publicised as happening on May 4th, but we decided to move it, because it was generally thought that having a signing before the book comes out is a too radical idea.
When I got home, these were awaiting me.
Strictly speaking, they were waiting for me in a local drop-off point as they'd come when I was away, facilitating working out a way to get a metric ton of these fuckers to my house. Phonogram is never easy.
There's a Forbidden Planet edition too, and the first thing I did was to sign a bunch of bookplates. The paragraph I wrote on Instagram was “Signing masses of bookplates for the FP edition of the complete phonogram hardback. The surreality of that sentence leaves me reeling. It’s very hard to connect the sleeping on floors 2006 us with this.”
(Well, that's what I wrote bar a typo correction.)
I'd like to write a lot more about the odd mess of feelings it provokes, but I suspect that better wait for when it hits the shops. The feeling is bittersweet and vertiginous. There's the space between that moment and now is this chasm, but simultaneously tiny. There's part of you which still thinks you're that person, and the other part – frankly, the more perceptive, aware part – that just sees the gulf.
In passing, this is one reason of many reasons why creators often have trouble on social media. We don't always recognise the moment we've moved from the cultural underdog to the cultural mainstream. This builds up like dust, this patina of power just slowly building up.
I need to get back to work, as I'd like to get some pages written before I go and play the Grand Old Man Of Games Journalism at a friends' Rezzed Party. It's Eurogamer's expo, and a chance to catch up with assorted people who I don't really see nearly enough any more.