Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for the ‘Public Appearances in Public by Me’ Category

April Appearances

Monday, April 7th, 2014

April is a busy month, with no fewer than THREE opportunities to see me sign books and/or read things out loud in public.

On Sunday, April 13 from 2-3 p.m. I’ll be signing and chatting with people at game store Endgame in Oakland, as part of their “Intro to Adventuring” one-day gaming mini-con devoted to the Pathfinder roleplaying game. (I will, I imagine, mostly be signing my Pathfinder Tales books, though who knows, surprise me.) I’ll likely be loitering in the vicinity a bit before and after, too — the event starts at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. There are a couple of great beer bars in that neighborhood, so I’ll probably wander off for beer sometime if anyone’s interested in joining for that.

On Saturday, April 26 at 3 p.m. there’s a (somewhat belated) Flytrap launch party at Borderlands Books in San Francisco. I will be there with my co-editor and wife Heather Shaw and quite a few of our contributors, so I won’t be talking too much there, but you should come, it’ll be awesome, I’m gonna bring cookies. Confirmed contributors attending include Jessica May Lin, Nick Mamatas, Dominica Phetteplace, and Sarah Grey (we’re hoping some others can make it, too). We’ll be selling copies of the ‘zine, and even a few copies of the illustrated bonus story chapbook that’s otherwise available only to Kickstarter backers.

On Sunday, April 27 at 6 p.m., I will be taking part in a FreemadeSF Launch Party at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco, with food, live music, and readings from people like Vylar Kaftan, Mike E. G., Mark Pantoja, and… Nick Mamatas and Dominica Phetteplace again. I’ll be seeing a lot of them that weekend. I did their first event last year and it was one of the most interesting and fun and delicious events I’ve ever done. I’m excited to be invited back.

I’m going to be hermit in terms of public appearances for a while after this, so come gaze upon the author while you can.

Kickstarter Wrap-Up and FreemadeSF

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Well. That Kickstarter I did went pretty okay, didn’t it?

Back in the day, Random House paid me $20K for each of the first four Marla Mason books. So… getting pretty close to that here. (Though not as close as it looks, once I deduct my costs for commissioning cover art and illustrations, shipping books to people, etc.) Plus, my single biggest backer (with a pledge that amounted to about 10% of my total) didn’t actually fulfill their pledge, unfortunately, so my actual total is only a bit over $16,000 — which doesn’t change much, really. It just means I’ll have a couple fewer interior illustrations than I’d expected. (The backer is apologetic and says they may be able to pay as promised in the near future; if that happens I’ll add back the illos, but it’s uncertain.) Still, though — I’ve only sold one novel in the past few years that paid me more than this. It is a strange new world and I am living right in the middle of it.

The writing of the book is going well, too, and that’s the best part of this, for me — getting to continue developing this world and these characters at length, in a way that would have been impossible for financial reasons under other circumstances.

My hybrid approach to the business of writing — small presses, big presses, weird passion projects, practical commercial projects, anthologies, short stories, crowdfunding, whatever else seems feasible and fun — is working out. It keeps me busy, and I am seldom bored.

And if you want to stave off your own boredom: I’ll be reading at the FreemadeSF Launch Party tonight in San Francisco, along with Nick Mamatas and Mark Pantoja and Cliff Winnig. There will be music and other delights as well. Should be fun. Come on out.

Booze, Bullets, and Books

Monday, September 17th, 2012

How is it already mid-to-late September? This mystery is impenetrable.

I have not been doing much, apart from playing with my kid and generally hanging out and recovering from the previous eight months of endless work. Though because I’m terrible at not writing I started a novelette last week — I think it’s called “The Fairy Library” — and it’s going quite well, up to about 4,000 words now. It’ll be one of the originals in the new collection.

I did a reading last Saturday at Other Change of Hobbit with Nick Mamatas (I was his opening act; his book Bullettime is excellent, my favorite of his novels). There was booze that tasted like cough syrup (by design) and brownies and a surprisingly great turnout for a Saturday night. Nick and I have the smartest and most beautiful and discerning fans. Look, Nick posted photographic evidence!

Otherwise, I have been reading a lot. Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City is fun and adorable; Salvage and Demolition by Tim Powers is as awesome as he always is at novella length; The Mark Inside is entertaining con-artist narrative non-fiction; Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis is dark and good and I’m eager to read the second in the series; Etgar Keret’s stories remind me of Donald Barthelme’s or Aimee Bender’s (which is a good thing).

I’ve played some Arkham City, and lots of Plants vs. Zombies and other casual games on my Fire. And I’ve been watching Revenge (it’s The O.C. meets The Count of Monte Cristo!). Playing lots of Candyland, War, and Connect Four with my kid, who already shows signs of being bitten by the gaming bug (when he’s a little older we are going to play all the games all the time).

I have also been eating less and exercising way more, after the horror of seeing my highest-ever weight on a scale back in July. I’m down 15 pounds since then. Let us hope this trend continues for another, oh, fifty pounds or so.

Autumn is coming. Soon it will be time to make the first chili of the season. Life is good.

Curvaceous

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The Impossible Dreams screening on Saturday was good! Pretty well attended for a mid-afternoon weekend non-kid-related library function (meaning that, counting me and the librarian, there was an attendance into the double digits — nothing like the dozens of attendees the typical children’s program event gets. I should’ve added some basic clowning or magic to my act!). I showed the movie and did a Q&A (a good crowd, with lots of good questions). Pretty fun. Afterward I got a beer with a couple of friends, then came home.

We’d anticipated nice weather, so Heather and I had a few people over for a cook out, but it turned out be cloudy and cool. (Curse you, weather shamans, and your flawed precognition!) Still: great mounds of grilled meat were prepared, and rare beers were consumed, and much conversation was held, lo deep into the evening.

Sunday was mother’s day, so River and I let Heather sleep in, and then gave her gifts, and took her out for lunch. Then I gave Heather the greatest mother’s day gift of all: freedom from being a mother. I took the kid on a train ride into San Francisco to fulfill one of his great dreams: to ride all the curved escalators at the Westfield mall. (I know. One of his favorite things lately is watching youtube videos of people riding the world’s longest escalators.) So we rode a great many escalators numerous times, bought some legos, and played some video games at the arcade. (By which I mean, he sat in front of a video game and pushed buttons and turned the steering wheel. He’s four. He doesn’t care if he’s really playing, at this point.)

A fun weekend… but I’m now even farther behind on my writing. Too much fun. I have to step things up this week. All play and no work makes for a blown deadline.

Impossible Dreams Screening This Saturday!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

There’s a screening of the short film version of Impossible Dreams this Saturday, at 3 p.m., at the Temescal branch of the Oakland Public Library. If you are local, please come — it’s a really cool film. (It’s different enough from my story that I can say that without any unsavory arrogance.)

Here are some more details, and the library address, and all that. I’ll introduce the movie, show the movie, and then I’ll take questions, talk a little about writing and other East Bay writers, and so on. It’ll be fun.

Here’s the trailer:

It’s 21 minutes of romantic science-fictional weirdness; with kazoo. Don’t miss it! (And for those who attended the SF in SF screening, where we had technical difficulties: I’m 99% sure we won’t have any such difficulties this time. We are taking steps and having backup plans. It should be good.)

Reading in Berkeley this Sunday

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

I’ll be reading and blathering at Other Change of Hobbit (my neighborhood bookstore, and one of the great specialty science fiction shops around) this Sunday, from 4-6 p.m., with Claude Lalumière and Camille Alexa. (Other people are reading from 2-4, as you can see if you go to the website — it’s an all-afternoon extravaganza!)

Other Change has had some financial problems lately — they were closed for the past few months — so this event is meant to bring in some traffic and help them keep the doors open. Please come! Tell your friends. They have great books (new and used) and cute cats. What more can you ask?

Movie Night! Tonight!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The short film Impossible Dreams, based on my Hugo-winning story of the same name, is screening tonight in San Francisco as part of SF in SF! Here’s where and when:

The Variety Preview Room
582 Market St. @ Montgomery
1st floor of The Hobart Bldg.
Doors Open 6:00PM
Film starts: 7:00PM
Free Popcorn!

Just take BART to Montgomery if you don’t want the hassle of finding parking. I’ll do a ten- or fifteen-minute intro about the story and the movie (which is itself only 20 minutes long). The short film will be followed by the Harlan Ellison documentary Dreams with Sharp Teeth. I hope to see lots of you locals there. (And, you know, anyone farther away who feels like jumping on a plane.) There’s a cash bar. Donations are welcome at the door ($5-$10 suggested), and benefit the Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California.

My wife and I will likely slip out during the Ellison movie to get some dinner, since we won’t have time to eat before the event, so if you want to talk to me, captivate me beforehand!

Me at World Fantasy

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

World Fantasy! It’s so soon! If you’ll be there, and you want to see me read some things, that can be arranged:

I’ll read a tiny bit at the ChiZine Publications party on Friday night, at 8 p.m. in the Lanai Suite.

I actually got a reading slot on the program (whee!). That’s Saturday at 10 a.m. in Pacific 4/5. Drag your hungover bodies in there!

I’ll also take part in the Fantasy Magazine group reading at 3 p.m. on Saturday, room TBD.

We’re bringing our kid to the convention, so my wife and I will be splitting up childcare, which means I won’t be in the bar as much as I might like — I imagine I’ll be in the pool with my son more often than I’ll be drinking with my colleagues. I am doing some other convention-related stuff — I’m doing an interview with an author for Locus, and have a couple of meals scheduled — and there are a couple of parties I hope to attend. I’ll be around.

Crawl Before You Can Walk

Monday, October 17th, 2011

It is a cornerstone of my personality that I don’t like to go places or do things. (This is not entirely true; I like going to brunch, and Hawaii, and I enjoy doing readings occasionally, but mostly, I’m hermitlike by nature and action.) So this was a very eventful weekend for me. On Saturday I did a mini-panel discussion with recent Clarion West grad Mark Pantoja at CIIS in San Francisco, talking to a class of writers and artists about Kickstarter (the professor has been talking to the class about “autonomous practices” for artists lately; basically now to succeed outside the existing publishing infrastructure, engage with readers directly, etc.). It was a good class with smart questions, and we had an hour and a half, so it was even possible to move beyond the very broadest strokes and get into nuances a bit.

After the class I came back home to give my wife a little childcare break. (She heroically took the kid to a farm/pumpkin patch for many hours in the morning.) The boy and I spent most of our time exploring the back yard, playing “archaeology” (burying toy dinosaurs and digging them back up again), looking at spiders, and so on. Four years old is a great age. (Well, he’s actually still three, but only for three more weeks.)

In the evening I hopped on a train back to San Francisco to see a bit of LitCrawl. I hit Borderlands and saw Richard Kadrey, Thomas Roche, and Naamen Tilahun read (alas, Ray Garton was ill, and couldn’t make it). The store was packed and hot as a blast furnace, but the readings were good. Afterward I headed next door to the Borderlands Cafe, which I had never seen before (see above re: not going places or doing things) — what a fantastic space! It’s gorgeous. Specialty store + awesome cafe = Tim Pratt’s Ideal of Heaven.

Best of all, the spot where we read had open windows, through which a cool breeze blew. No monster-heat! My fellow readers were Steve Boyett, Seanan McGuire, and Kirsten Imani Kasai, who all did wonderful work. By the implacable rigors of alphabetical order, I read last, and rather than subject the audience to a fragment of my new novel, I read a bunch of short pieces — “Scientific Romance,” “Bacchanal,” “My Night with Aphrodite,” “Soul Searching,” “Ghost” — lots of fun, and the audience seemed to like it. I’d vaguely intended to go to the afterparty, but ended up hanging out at the cafe talking to my friends Chris and Maggie for an hour instead. It was immensely pleasant, and probably the right choice, as the alternative would have almost certainly led to me being hungover Sunday morning.

Of course, all that socialing meant falling behind on my writing for the weekend. I did manage to do what I think is the last revision pass on the Christmas Carol/Ghost Finder mash-up story co-written with Heather Shaw, and responded to editorial queries on my new story “Ill Met in Ulthar”, but I had to knuckle down and buckle down on Sunday to work on Grim Tides. My mad goal is to have a complete draft by Halloween, which means producing 30 to 40K words in the next two weeks. So, uh, that’s what I’ll be doing.

LitCrawling

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Busy times. My wife Heather Shaw and I are collaborating on a Christmas story, tentatively titled “The Curious Case of A Christmas Carol” — it’s our “Christmas Carol/Ghost Finder” mash-up. (We couldn’t actually use Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost Finder as a character, since the events of A Christmas Carol take place too early, but we have a Carnacki-esque occultist). It’s pretty much done — we just need to add a couple of scenes to the middle and tweak the ending a bit. The story was commissioned as an audio original, but I’ll hold off on further details until it’s turned in and accepted! Heather and I haven’t collaborated in a few years, so it’s fun to be working together on a project again.

I’m doing the LitCrawl portion of LitQuake this Saturday night, so come to the Borderlands Cafe at 8:30 to hear me read, along with other exciting people like Seanan McGuire (in her Mira Grant guise) and Steven Boyett and Kirsten Imani Kasai. I’ll probably be there early, to hear the previous batch of readers next door in the bookstore itself. (And earlier that afternoon I’ll be on a panel talking about crowdfunding to a group of graduate students just a few blocks away. It will be a busy Saturday.)

I’m told Briarpatch is on front tables at at least some Barnes & Noble locations this month (whoo!), though I haven’t been to the local B&N yet to see for myself. Very nice to see the publisher getting behind the title with that kind of promotion, though. If you haven’t bought it yet, please do! It has a magical car and a weird ghost and a chrome shotgun and philosophical underpinnings and a guy who is magically granted a sense of smell! Also bears.

Order from Amazon, or from Barnes and Noble, or from Powell’s