Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Week of Distracted Tidbits

I've been a bit distracted this week. A lot of stuff going on, really. I'm in the thick of teaching again, and trying to keep my nose in The Other Lands, dealing with interview queries and such, and also juggling some family-related decisions (this last is not actually the last in terms of the attention it's received recently). Oh, and, yeah, I've been keeping one eye on the election news and another on real estate in Europe (depending what happens). I've no major upheavals to report, or drama like that on Gulf Coast right now, but if you're interested in some of the new developments, I offer these...

Joseph Mallozzi, a producer for the very successful series Stargate: Atlantis, contacted me early in the week. No, not because he has series plans for Acacia... (You'll forgive me for inhaling sharply before reading the rest of his email.) Instead, he mentioned that his book club - which choses a sci-fi, fantasy and horror title to read and discuss each month - will be featuring Acacia as their November fantasy pick. Rather nice, this. (His blog is very well trafficked. So I can be sure Aliver and Corinn and Hanish will please and upset a few more folks.) And, better yet, he asked if I'd answer questions and interact a bit with his readers. I was quite happy to say yes. Here's the announcement. (John Twelve Hawks is doing it also, although I bet I'm a bit more approachable.) If you're reading the book now and would like to have a community to talk it over with others, this is probably a good place to start.

Also this week, I was invited to become a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists (SF Novelist, for short). I accepted, of course. It's sort of discussion/support/networking group for established authors. Invite only, thank you very much. I'm thrilled to get in. I've been too busy this week with a variety of other things to post much yet, but I've had a flood of interesting emails coming from the group. It's very nice to hear professionals talking candidly about all aspects of their experiences in the business. I think I'm going to really like being part of it. They also keep a blog in which we rotate posting and offer news about our books: Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists.

And, finally, I spent a deal of time chewing on this dilemma... (I know, it's a pretty nice dilemma to have. That doesn't mean it doesn't make my head spin a bit.) I'm scheduled to go World Fantasy in Calgary next month. Super terrific. I thought last year's con was great, and I've been looking forward to this for ages. I know so many more people now and - even better - I know who I don't know, and who I'll look to accost this time around. So that's all good.

The possible problem is that my French publisher tossed out the suggestion that I go to Utopiales, probably the largest European SciFi Con. (It's in Nantes, if you want to Google the locale.) They're very excited about the book, see, and the timing would be just perfect for the launch of Acacia in France. They'd try to set up interviews, events, meetings, etc. I'd do a lot more of that than at World Fantasy, I imagine. And, just like World Fantasy, there are lots of groovy authors and events at Utopiales. It's decidedly a different slice of the international literary world, but it's one that I'd love sample. I don't have all the details yet, but I'll know soon what's possible with such a trip.

The problem? The two events happen at exactly the same time. Oct 29 - Nov 2. Though I tried to twist my head around it, there's no possible way to do both at once. Is there? Believe me, I tried to think of ways... If you have any suggestions on how I could manage that let me know. Otherwise, what to do? What to do?

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Blogger Jim C. Hines said...

Congrats on the book club discussion! (And I'm sure my heart would have skipped a few beats at seeing an e-mail like that too.)

On your convention dilemma, has your French publisher said anything about helping with transportation costs or anything like that? If they're willing to cover or even chip in significantly on a trip to Europe...

And welcome to SF Novelists!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if you haven't already started to weight the two options as far as practicality issues go...think of it this way: You just got invited to the SF Novelists, and you're being promoted through a bookclub.

They're both great accomplishments, and the World Fantasy convention would probably be really awesome...
BUT if you went to the other convention, Utopiales, it'll coincide with the launch of the book. It'll probably have a huge impact on how your book is read and received at the very least in France. You're so obviously doing well here, I would think that the better thing to do would be to expand yourself, and your world a bit, by going to a convention you haven't been to before.

And plus, I seriously doubt you'll be skipped over at World Fantasy next year. =D

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Utopiales is a pretty small con, I think, compared to others, but it's a fun one and Nante's gorgeous. Would look forward to seeing you there and get my copy of Acacia signed.

6:59 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


I get some reimbursement aid from my university for going to conferences. This would be quite a trip, but I think it remains within my travel budget parameters. So, let's say that part of it isn't a problem. My publisher wouldn't pay to get me across, but I get the feeling they'd be very nice to me once I got there!

And thanks for the SF Novelists welcome. I'm pleased about it.


Very reasonable advice. You're right. The cons I've been to - World Fantasy, ComicCon, Readercon, WisCon - have all been great, but none of them really coincided with a new book launch. Utopiales, hopefully, would provide all the basic con stuff AND have the added benefit of strong support from my publisher at the same time.

As for the "skipped over" aspect... Well, one never knows with such things as awards. Thanks for saying that, though.


Yes, looking at the author list, it's clear Eutopiales isn't as large as World Fantasy or Worldcon. Still, it sounds pretty substantial. I can definitely see a few writers I'd like to meet on the list... So, we'll see. I would, of course, be happy to chat with you as well - and I'm always happy to sign books!

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*looks up Utopiales program**whistles* wow, yeah, they've really invited some topnotch writers this year. I'll have to bring a lot of books.

Interesting to see that they've had you listed as if it was a done deal.

I think if I were you, I think I'd ask some Anglo-saxon writer invited in the previous years at the con to know about how it was for them, and what it did for their sales.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Excellent, David. And I must say, what a problem to have -- hm... which prominent convention should I attend... hm... :)

You knock them dead, whatever the decision.

10:45 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


What do you mean? I'm listed somewhere on a Utopiales website? I haven't seen that. If so, can you direct me to where you saw this?


Yes. Perhaps "dilemma" isn't the right word...


12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess I must have confused your name with someone else's, I can't find it anymore. Sorry!

6:57 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Ah, okay. That's good, actually. I was getting confused and now I'm not. I like your suggestion re talking to an Anglo author that's been involved. I'll shoot out an email soonish, after I hear a bit more about what's possible. I'll let you know how it all turns out, of course.

7:27 PM  

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