Saturday, April 6, 2013

Red Planet Blues Vancouver Launch - 2/2

Jenni and I arrived in the target destination, on B1 of the library. Oddly, most of the library was dedicated to lending out books. Pfft. It was a serviceable venue, but not as glam as what I've seen of other launch locations for Robert J Sawyer across the country. Next book, I'll have to invite him to launch from my gala ballroom.
It's just like that, but mine is even MORE imaginary!

We were early, but a tidy lineup was already there, nabbing up books, and getting signatures from Rob, camped in the corner. Jenni told me she didn't have much time, and true to her word, she bought a book, had a quick chat with a couple of people, and vanished.

I took this time for my dose of vitamin T(aurine).
Today's "being awake" was brought to you by Monster:Assault.

Vending the books, were the good people from White Dwarf Books, who have been a pillar of the Vancouver sci-fi scene for ages. They're also often on hand serving book-vending purposes around VCON quite often.
I am the keeper of knowledge! All you nerds will bow before me, and gimmie your cash!

After getting my copy, and getting Rob to sign it, making sure not to monopolize him at all while more people waited, I receded to the opposite end of the vending table, where I might stay in earshot of any bits of wisdom that might happen to come from the experienced author.

Heck, a notable part of why I wanted to go to this event was to see how it all went down. I've done signing events myself, I've done readings, but being a hack, I had no claims of doing it right. I was kind of near the tail end of the line mind you, and I had to tell a couple people that I wasn't in line; that I was just loitering. Being a chatty SOB, I ended up in small conversations with random people in and about the lineup. I mentioned to one guy that I write, and found myself giving him my card.

BAD Joe, BAD. You're not here to self promote. No more cards! So I behaved.

A total surprise, one of the teachers from my daughter's pre-school appeared. My daughter's in kindergarten now, we briefly talked about her.

Around this time, Steve Fahnestalk showed up. Always good to see him. I usually see him at VCON. Oh, and good ole FB.

7:00 neared, and Rob politely told the lineup that he had to go up front, and that he'd be doing more signings after everything.
No more signings! Make it stop!

At the front, Rob was announced by... arg, I've forgotten her name. She works at the library, and is head of events or something like that. Rob took the podium, and hid his chocolate milk behind the book.

It might be hard to tell from my vantage point, (WHY DIDN'T I EXPLOIT MY WHEELCHAIR AND SIT UP FRONT?) but the chocolate milk eventually escaped.

Rob commented that dinosaurs, chocolate milk, and pizza are his favourite things. A glance at his library will speak much of dinos. No pizza or chocolate milk books?? WTF?

After a little chatter about the new book, (did he do the reading now, or later? I choose to say now...) he read us a poem from the front of the book that modified an olden gold rush era poem. He then read us a section involving a naked woman running around, a teeny little bomb, and a McGuffin. If they ever make a movie of Red Planet Blues, this scene will rival anime in the department of unabashed boob bouncing.

Character developments! Two of them!

A fun little scene, which promised to lead to treasure hunting and rival entrepreneurs galore. Rob's scene. Not the one above. I couldn't help notice that Rob's reading voice was much more animated than the voice in my head when I read. Even when I read his stuff. Mind you, it was a largely comedic scene. Heartfelt applause from the audience followed the reading.

Also introduced was Shoshana Glick. Aside from being an editor, Sho' is also known due to her name being used in Rob's WWW trilogy. If you google her name, you get half of the results being her real self, and half talking about Rob's version. She came to the table as an interviewer.

She would ask one question, and Rob would use that as a springboard to talk for quite a while. An interesting talk, but when he finished, ready for the next question, Sho' seemed a little shellshocked, and the audience had a bit of a giggle, presumably at the ratio of small question to big answer.

Things wrapped up, and applause given. Rob retreated to his signing station, and the lineup reconstituted itself. When they were all signed, he went on to a short stack to be signed for people who couldn't make it to the event, or copies to be stocked in White Dwarf's store perhaps. I didn't want to interrupt. When the fellow from White Dwarf was free, I asked him about stocking my books in the store. I'd meant to ask for ages. Brick and mortar stores have never been a priority for me, but White Dwarf is special. We traded info, and it was a good first step.

I was about to pack my books away, then I thought, "Hey, I should give my three books to Rob to read!" then I thought, "No, dummy, he's flying around, the last thing he needs is to jam three more books into his luggage." Some of those thoughts must have come out of my mouth, and Rob told me to send him eBooks. Well alright then! It's been done, and I await reports of him vomiting, and/or getting a restraining order.

My books, and Rob's book secured in my chair's storage, I began my trek home. Not wanting to pull out my shiny new book on the skytrain, I read my own stuff. I read my own books on and off. Partly to visit my characters, partly out of vanity, and partly to see things I'd change. Not to change them, (other than typos), but to see the kinds of things I'm prone to do, and think about other ways I could have done them better.

But then I realized I was reading them the way Rob was doing his reading. Bluaha, creepy! My head, get out! Thankfully it wasn't too hard to re-tune my inner reading voice.

I was almost at the end of reading Dracula back home. Rob's voice for a "light hearted funny scene" would not serve Bram Stoker.

I'm going to suck!

Well, I finished reading Bram Stoker's Dracula tonight. I might be whining about it next post. On the plus side, my reading time is now free and clear for sinking my teeth into Red Planet Blues!

G'nite, folks!


stevefah said...

Pretty good report, Joe! It was great to see you outside the confines of either Facebook or VCON.

Since my anthology is thin, I gave Rob a copy to take with him. It'll give him something to read when he has an off moment!

Joseph Picard said...

Hehe, yeah, I saw that. That's probably what got my head moving in the direction of throwing my books at him. I told him to check out Tom Smith, too!

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