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April 28, 2007

Berkeley Says Hi


Since you asked, I'll tell you what was so cool about the Berkeley stop of the tour: It had the highest proportion of people who are actually my friends in it. In the middle of this picture you see three examples: Susan, Jen and Mo, all of whom I have known for years and who I was thrilled to be able to see and spend a little time chatting with, because they are much, much more awesome than I (also in this picture: Whatever reader/commenter Madeleine F, SF Chron science fiction reviewer Mike Berry, and a lovely young lady whose name escapes me at the moment). It was also notable because Dark Carnival is without a doubt the most delightfully chaotic bookstore I've ever been to: between the screaming flying monkeys and the piles of books strewn about, it was what you'd expect a bookstore to be if you caught it mid-explosion, and I personally find that wildly appealing.

I also went to Google, but I signed a non-disclosure going in, so I can't tell you about all the cool things there, including the time machine (in beta). Whoops. Forget I said that. Suffice to say Google was as wildly Google-tastic as you've heard rumors about it being, and also a video of my talk there should be available on the Web sometime next week. I'll let you know when it goes up, of course.

Now I'm in LA, at a hotel that's clearly too good for me; As I checked in Jim Lehrer was hanging around in the lobby with some pals, talking about, you know, important stuff. All I want to do is go to sleep. And that's exactly what I'm going to do now.

Posted by john at April 28, 2007 03:44 AM

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Ron | April 28, 2007 04:24 AM

That was fun! It was a pleasure meeting you. After the signing, I saw Black Sheep at the SF International Film Festival - a New Zealand horror movie with killer transgenic human sheep hybrids and fart jokes. I kid you not. Inspired by the works of Peter Jackson and Bruce Campbell.

Tim Pratt | April 28, 2007 05:42 AM

Glad the reading went well! Dark Carnival is my favorite East Bay bookstore. Sorry Heather and I couldn't make it to the reading -- she works in San Francisco, and by the time I picked her up at the train station, your appearance was nearabout over. Next time!

Madeline F | April 28, 2007 05:48 AM

Yeah, I didn't know "Black Sheep" involved fart jokes when I went... I honestly wasn't trying for a fart joke theme today... Bought a copy of TAD on a whim... (Great minds, Ron.)

Reporting on the Dark Carnival appearance: on the other side of that photo was John Scalzi in a high-backed brass-tacked leather chair, walled into a corner by piles of books signed by his own hand... A clever Montresorian twist.

I mean, getting around Dark Carnival at all involves a Dex check, or taking 10 to slowly pick your way past piles of books, but Scalzi's corner was something else again. That's why there's only a few of us in the picture: everyone else had vanished into the pocket universes of the stacks. A steady stream of people shot the breeze with Scalzi and wandered into the store: I'm not sure how many others besides me and Ron got out.

Scalzi seems well, though I did feel bad for him separated from his family. He dealt with the flying screaming monkeys with aplomb. He seems very aplombful in general.

ronbailey | April 28, 2007 06:17 AM

Yikes - you seem to be drawing some really attractive women to your book signings... I'm either gonna have to hurry up and get published, or start following you around from stop to stop...

punkrockhockeymom | April 28, 2007 08:51 AM

I almost was roped into a business trip to LA tomorrow for a court appearance on Monday morning. And when I got out of it, I wasn't thinking about your tour dates. Then I saw this and remembered and said "DOH!"

Jeez oh pete. I'd a been put up in a fancy hotel too. What was I thinking??

Since I'm starting to think about starting to think about dating, John, when I come to Novi I'm going to get all dolled up, and we'll make sure I'm in the group photo from there, and then Whatever can be my match.com. :)

Nathan | April 28, 2007 09:11 AM

I fully support your news exclusion bubble, but if I ran into Jim Lehrer, I'd sure as hell try to ask him for the real news. I mean, the guy knows stuff.

Also, TLC showed up yesterday, carried regally by Mr. FedEx, nestled in its cushioned box, all shiny and new and signed. I'm saving it for this week's hotel room nights, assisting in my own news exclusion zone.

JJS | April 28, 2007 01:32 PM

Check out this comic strip concerning authors autograph sessions. Any comment?

Chris Gerrib | April 28, 2007 01:52 PM

Ron Bailey - I noticed that about John's pictures. I do wonder if it's "really" heavily-female-based or John just corrals all the chicks into frame.

Mike Cane | April 28, 2007 02:03 PM

What's with all these pretty women there?

I think next time you go, I come along!

(I'll bribe ya! Ooh, look: bacon!)

CJ | April 28, 2007 07:09 PM


Since I'm starting to think about starting to think about dating John

Are you sure you want to mess with Krissy's guy? Just sayin' ....

Tom Galloway | April 28, 2007 08:32 PM

For what it's worth, everything I showed you on the tour, as well as the cafe and menus, are public knowledge so you can write about any of that.

Steve Buchheit | April 28, 2007 09:32 PM

What a freakin' cool bookstore.

Say, John, you should have gone up to Jim Lehrer. He's a former Marine (one of the speakers at the opening of the Marine Museum), and we all know how well you do with those types.

Mo | April 28, 2007 11:31 PM

Oh, aren't we darling?

It was lovely to see you! Let's do it again in less than five years. And Ron Bailey, I will accept your compliment on behalf of all the women in the picture you find attractive.

Dawn B. | April 29, 2007 01:29 AM

It was so good to see you and the screaming monkeys were the best.

ronbailey | April 29, 2007 06:06 AM

Chris - John wouldn't do that - would he? :-)

Mo - you can be the arbiter - is John stacking the deck just to make the rest of us guys jealous? Does Scalzi actually have groupies? ;-)

John Scalzi | April 29, 2007 11:13 AM

Not only are they good looking, but they're also all unspeakably talented. So they have that going for them too.

punkrockhockeymom | April 29, 2007 11:50 AM

CJ, you had to remove a comma to make that joke...that is so not what I meant!

jen fu | April 29, 2007 05:07 PM

Oh, we really are precious. And hot. Preciously hot. Sizzlingly talented. Etcetera.

And it was very nice to see you, John Scalzi. I am shy and not good at crowding around, so I am sad I didn't get to talk to you more. But hooray for flying scream monkeys!

John Scalzi | April 29, 2007 08:31 PM

Jen, I was so glad you came.

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