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May 02, 2007

San Diego Says Hi


Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego is an excellent, excellent place full of many fine people, including these folks waving to you now (what you can see is another large group of people off stage left -- hey, the camera captures only so many people at once). I was feeling just a little under the weather tonight, actually, but hopefully it didn't come through in the reading or in the Q&A afterward. The foklls who came out were a lot of fun, and there were a lot of folks in the crowd who I knew, both from my personal and professional lives, but some of whom I haven't seen for years. It was just friggin' cool to see them again, you know? Made me feel better.

Now I'm heading to sleep, hopefully to wake up feeling better, and then off to Portland. Portlandites (Portlandians?), if you're coming to the event tomorrow, remember that the Powell's bookstore the event is going to be at the Beaverton store, not the Portland store. I've heard that some folks are complaining about this, but I've been led to understand that the advantages to the Beaverton are a nicer author event area, and much easier parking. So please (please!) make the trek. I'll make it worth your while.

Posted by john at May 2, 2007 01:06 AM

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Mitch Wagner | May 2, 2007 02:18 AM

It was a fine and very entertaining talk. I didn't know you were under the weather at all. Great to see you in person after all these years reading your blog and fiction and occasionally commenting here. Oh, and talking on the phone once.

I wanted to come by and get signed and introduce myself, but the copy of the book I had was one I'd bought (at MG as it happens) a few weeks ago. I don't go to signings much so I didn't know whether that would be weird. So I picked up a copy of Michael Chabon's new book, and rang it up. While doing that, I chatted with the cashier (her name is Sam I think), as I usually do when I go into MG, and she said it would be fine to get the book signed. ("You're not going to have me arrested, right?" I said.) So I went back to the line, but by then it was too long. And I was hungry and cranky. So I left. And I had dinner at Souplantation. Good place, Souplantation.

In case you're wondering who I am: I came in a minute late, I was wearing a black microfiber trenchcoat because it looked like rain when I left the house, not because I think it looks cool, even though actually I think it does. I was carrying a yellow messenger bag with the red atom-and-spaceship logo on it that used to be used to mark science-fiction books in the library when I was a kid. I bought it at CafePress after one of my fellow ScalziFans linked to it from here. I joked with the cashier (Sam?) abut the hair extensions place that I just noticed was nearby in the strip mall. She said she was thinking of going in there; I think she was kidding. I said I should go in there, and she said she didn't want to say anything, but now that I brought it up... I commented on the cosmic injustice, which just occurred to me at that time after 15 years of watching my hairline thin and my hair recede, that I should be pretty much as bald as you (on the one hand) but, on the other, still have to suffer the inconvenience of going to a barber. You may have heard me. My voice carries.

Okay, I've bored myself now with this long, rambling pointless post. Looking forward to reading The Last Colony, though.

ben | May 2, 2007 02:38 AM

[1] Portlanders.

[2] Anything west of Washington Park is an easy target for Eastsiders. Washington County has, for the most part, incrementally more character than an infomercial. That said, it's easy enough to get to, especially if one takes the train.

[3] Depending on your timing, there are three really good places to eat (kebab, sushi, Thai) off Canyon Road, i.e. about a mile from the bookstore. And my favorite bakery of all time, if you're in that neck of the woods before 6pm.

Malcolm Tredinnick | May 2, 2007 02:54 AM

Did your publisher get their maps muddled up? I know I live in Australia, so aren't exactly used to the quaint local customs, but if I was visiting Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, somewhere in Arizona and Los Angeles, there is a certain north-to-south ordering you could do this in, that wouldn't read (1) Seattle, (2) Californian cities, (3) Arizona, (4) Portland.

Okay, you're just zooming up and down the west coast (it's not like you're doing California, Georgia, Oregon), but clearly I'd be looking out for the camera crews from "Amazing Author Races" if I were you. There's something else going on here. Just something to think about.

MWT | May 2, 2007 03:04 AM

Yeah, I was wondering about that ordering too, especially with the whole LA --> Arizona --> San Diego part, when LA and San Diego are right next to each other.

Did you get to the In-N-Out yet? Or is that still to come?

Bookninja | May 2, 2007 07:16 AM

So, I used to work at Powell's in Portland (the big one downtown) and the Beaverton store is not the kiddie table. It is by most standards a big, nice used/new bookstore. However, the best used bookstore in the world (world meaning all US, Canadian, French, German, Chinese and Cambodian bookstores I have personally visited) is downtown. If you can John, you *should* check out the downtown store. You won't buy anything, you'll just walk around stunned. Beer, coffee, Asian & Mexican foods are all good in Portland. I suspect the In n' Out burgers are about the same, but I'm a Taco Bell man myself.

John Scalzi | May 2, 2007 10:03 AM


Got In-N-Out. It was yummy.

One reason the schedule is not travelogical (to coin a phrase) is that Tor needed to fit availability of space with travel as well -- it may have been that there wouldn't have been a space available in portland/beaverton earlier than today, for example. Also, some places were put in at the last minute (like the phoenix/scottsdale stop).


I saw you and recognized you and wondered where you had gone off to. It was great to see you anyway!

LovelyAngel | May 2, 2007 10:52 AM

I live in Beaverton but can't attend tonight! :( So I'll be there in spirit (which doesn't help make the crowd look bigger, unfortunately).


Dennis | May 2, 2007 01:23 PM

It was good to meet you in person after years of reading your blog and the occasional email. I'm glad to know I can hide out among the Amish in Ohio if I need to lay low for awhile!

Is it wierd to meet people who know so much about you, but you don't know them from Adam?

Dennis | May 2, 2007 01:25 PM

Also, I thought the reading went well, despite your being under the weather. We don't really have "weather" as most people describe it in San Diego anyway! I certainly enjoyed the reading, even though I have never golfed or assasinated anyone (yet).

Carol Elaine | May 2, 2007 02:25 PM

I was in San Diego when you were in L.A. Now that I'm back in L.A., you go to San Diego. *sigh* Someone is avoiding someone, methinks.

BTW, I understand from a certain former a.s.g-x member that you did no monkey dance, interpretive or otherwise. Since you were under the weather, I'll let it slide. This time.

Jeff | May 2, 2007 06:17 PM

I hope you at least get to SEE the downtown Powell's. It is one of the world's great bookstores.

Kevin Marks | May 3, 2007 05:13 AM

I went to Mysterious Galaxy with Cory last month and it is indeed a splendid bookshop, but also in the same group of shops is a lovely game shop whose name escapes me, where I bought pressies for my boys. Definitely worth visiting when in San Diego

Brian Dear | May 3, 2007 02:21 PM

John, it was great to meet you in person. I'm the guy from Eventful.

My wife and I both enjoyed reading OLD MAN'S WAR and THE GHOST BRIGADES, and now we're fighting over who gets to read THE LAST COLONY first :-)

I still would like to see the whole trilogy made as a set of films. Maybe we can get Peter Jackson to direct?

Allison Lonsdale | May 3, 2007 06:47 PM

John, it was fabulous to see you again. The chapter you read was hilarious; I'm really looking forward to The High Tower now.

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