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May 03, 2007

Portland Says Hi


I should note that in this crowd there's a Campbell winner and a Hugo winner (although the Hugo winner's face is being obscured by the Campbell winner's hand), and the woman who read over half of "The Sagan Diary" for me. So this is a talented audience. And a fun one to read to, I have to say. I had a blast here.

I would write more but at the moment I have to pack -- turns out I have a 5am wake-up. Suffice to say my first trip to Oregon makes me want to come back again soon. I'll write more about this stop later, I'm sure.

Posted by john at May 3, 2007 02:24 AM

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Mary Robinette Kowal | May 3, 2007 02:58 AM

It was great seeing you. And, as the woman who read half the Sagan Diary, may I say that your reading of the first chapter of The High Castle was wicked fun.

Aaron Walker | May 3, 2007 03:11 AM

That hand in the lower right corner is me, the guy who was still trying to walk off his valium from the lasik procedure I had 5 hours earlier.

I just wanted to come up and shake the hand of the guy who single handedly turned me back on to sci fi. Thanks for writing such great books and making such a great event (even if it was in frickin' Beaverton).


gedalia | May 3, 2007 03:20 AM

I noticed that you always have bearded man in your audience, at least in all the pictures you uploaded

Joyce Reynolds-Ward | May 3, 2007 08:06 AM

t'was a case where I truly say I wished I could have been there, but the Beaverton Powell's is just too much of an expedition for me, considering the schedule and the fugly week I have going.

I did think about it...but was way too tired to brave further traffic after getting home. Glad you had fun...and hope you come back!

Evan Nichols | May 3, 2007 09:15 AM

Mary's right; I look forward to reading The High Castle when it comes out. The rest of your talk was a lot of fun, too. And if I ever am writing an amoral character who needs to die horribly, I know what I'll name him...

It was great to meet you, and I hope the rest of your tour goes well!

Jay Lake | May 3, 2007 09:30 AM

:: waves more ::

John | May 3, 2007 10:24 AM

The whole event was a lot of fun. Great crowd, great author, lots of entertaining conversation.

MAB | May 3, 2007 10:38 AM

Oregon's beautiful, isn't it? This summer will mark my third time there, and each visit makes it harder to leave. :)

David D. Levine | May 3, 2007 11:19 AM

::pushes Jay's hand down::

David D. Levine | May 3, 2007 11:19 AM

::pushes Jay's hand down::

RooK | May 3, 2007 11:40 AM

The supposedly unedited first chapter of The High Castle carries on John's trademark style of uber-entertaining first chapters. What I found especially pleasing was that his reading voice is pretty much exactly the same as how his writing voice comes across to me. Which is probably just a means to diagnose myself with some sort of mental short circuit, but whatever.

It was also really great to have John take my somewhat-snarky questions in stride and turn them into fun talking points. Although I must confess that my favourite part was coughing at an opportunely ironic instant, and making John perform a moment of defensive interpretive dance while the crowd chuckled.

Seriously, though, if you're ever back in Oregon with more spare time, John, I'd like to apply to be on the list of strangers who get to ply you conversationally with beverages. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Audrey | May 3, 2007 11:49 AM

Lots of fun, and the tiara is stunning. Pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ame/tags/johnscalzi/

MikeB | May 3, 2007 12:21 PM

Now if you could have just have included Vancouver BC on your book tour I would have driven down to see you. After all, it's only 800 miles...

Steve Buchheit | May 3, 2007 12:58 PM

Okay, so for those people who have heard or read the first chapter, I've got a question. Since there's an assasination attempt, does it involve the target ducking or bowing and another person getting hit and if so does the person getting hit have a name that begins with "a"? If so, John, you're a genius.

Sanguinity | May 3, 2007 01:17 PM


Not so much ducking as, um, deflecting. Also, not "a", but "i".

But, hey, that's close enough that you could make a go as a psychic. ;-)

Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers | May 3, 2007 03:16 PM

That was fun for me and my wife, and good marketing for you. Eva doesn't read much SF, and isn't into military SF at all, so you picked just the right thing to read. She liked it enough that she's going to read Android's Dream right away, and I think I can get her to go for Agent to the Stars too.

And watching and listening to you read corroborated a theory I developed when I read TAD: I bet you write the way animators work: from the inside, as a performance. Not just hearing the dialog, but speaking it and doing body english to the action. You were sure doing that in your reading.

Come on back to Portland as soon as you can; next time stay a day or two and see the place a little.

Bob Wall | May 3, 2007 03:44 PM

Crap, I totally forgot.

Kristy | May 3, 2007 03:50 PM

I hope you do come back soon! I really wanted to go up to Powell's and meet you last night. Alas, dissertation-writing deadlines wait for no man, woman, or Campbell-award-winning author.

RooK | May 3, 2007 05:01 PM

Well, you know Steve, we wouldn't want to deprive you of the full experience of the cumulative effect of the first chapter of The High Castle. (I just love writing that title, probably because my name is Castle.) However, it would be completely salient to mention that part of the discussion at Powell's was the development of a new term: Scazlination. The term to refer to a character in a book that is possibly named after a real person, and who is killed in some truly horrible way. Extra degrees of Scalzination are established by also making the character contemptible in some way while having traits which are suspiciously similar to the possible real person. We were even toying with the idea of a "Scalzi Award", for those writers that kill off a character in an outstandingly horrible way (not necessarily named after a real person).

I hate to think of what the lawyers might say. Or, rather, I'm too entertained about what they might say, which is a strong indicator that it's a bad idea somehow.

Lisa | May 3, 2007 05:49 PM

I was sorry to have missed you. I think I jinxed myself by telling you I'd come unless my kids were sick. Fine on Tuesday, 103 degree fever on Wed. and almost fine today. Grrr, toddlers.

But I'm glad I sent my SO down there, he said he really enjoyed it, and thought you were interesting and funny and "confident but not an inflated ego" I think is how he described you. Hope to catch you next trip!

Old Jarhead | May 3, 2007 06:05 PM

DAvid Weber kills off characters named after his friends and calls it something like "red shirts".

Steve Buchheit | May 3, 2007 07:18 PM

Sanguinity and Rook, thanks. My guess is that after my comments abou tthe furries I'm due for Scazlination. That way to start my new karmic life as a pillbug all the sooner.

Nathan | May 3, 2007 08:21 PM

The movie I'm working on will have a gunfight in a cemetery. We're having a lottery to decide which crew members get to have their names on the tombstones that get shot to shit.

Thena | May 3, 2007 09:17 PM

You know, if I hadn't moved to Maine two years ago, I'd probably be in that picture.

Oh well. When you run out of other places to tour, you can come up this way. We have pretty scenery here, too.

darren | May 3, 2007 10:06 PM

Shoot, I missed it. I'm in Portland, and yes, something about Oregon in general and Portland in particular makes you want to come back. That is how my wife and I landed here. I would've really enjoyed meeting you.

Ty | May 4, 2007 01:04 AM

I wish that I was still in Portland, but I'm Boise now. Maybe I'll have moved back by the time you return on your next tour.

Rabbit | May 4, 2007 09:40 AM

WHO is that Gnome in the background holding the books?

RooK | May 4, 2007 09:54 AM


WHO is that Gnome in the background holding the books?

Actually, that's me. A 187cm tall gnome. Perhaps the foreshortening effect of perspective in contrast to that guy's gigantic forehead in the foreground is preventing you from realizing just how statuesque I really am.

Rabbit | May 5, 2007 06:58 PM

Actually, that's me. A 187cm tall gnome.

Boy, do you have a twin named John...???? (Check out the look-a-likes of these two). To weird...or... maybe not.... just a way to be at two places at the same time....hmmmmmmmmm.....

Jerry Wright | May 6, 2007 03:37 AM

Oh NO!!! I was actually IN Portland May the second! And I could have been there, had I only have knew...(sic)

I went into Powell's on Monday and grabbed a couple of books. And I din't see nuffin' about yor visit.


Ah well...


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