Whirlwind Weekend

This week­end I: saw, and had a brief chat with, William Gib­son; did nage-no-kata with the head of the Cana­di­an Grad­ing Board for judo, and also had a brief intro to the first set of ju-no-kata; drew Darth Vad­er in Cray­ola cray­on; and heard the cutest ver­sion of the ABC song I think I’ll ever hear.

Fri­day
I took the day off, since I want­ed to be able to get to the read­ing at 2:30 PM. I left town about 11:30 AM, a lit­tle lat­er than I meant to, but isn’t that always the way? Bar­reled down the high­way, got into the city at about 1:15 PM or so, then made my way through the tail end of the noon rush to Portage Place. The read­ing was at the McNal­ly Robin­son book­store on the main floor, in the lit­tle eatery there. I got into the store, and the food smelled so good. I regret­ted eat­ing at McDonald’s in Portage, but I’d been hun­gry.

There weren’t any tables free. There were, how­ev­er, quite a few tables with one per­son at them, and most of them looked like they were there for the read­ing. I was just try­ing to fig­ure out who I was going to approach when two women got up from a table direct­ly in front of the read­ing area and said they were leav­ing, and I could have their table if I want­ed. Uh, yes. Thanks.

So I sat down, and the wait­er came around, brought me a water and a menu. I ordered a root beer and wait­ed. It was 2:00 PM, half an hour yet to go. A girl showed up, look­ing like she need­ed a seat, so I offered her a spot at my table. We chat­ted about writ­ing for a while, then the read­ing began.

William Gibson and John Havelda
William Gib­son (L) and John Havel­da

Gib­son read from his lat­est book, Spook Coun­try, which I fin­ished read­ing last week, and thor­ough­ly enjoyed. It’s set in the present day; as he’s said in recent inter­views, the present is pret­ty much sci­ence fic­tion these days. After he and the poet John Havel­da did their read­ings, there was about a half an hour Q&A with the audi­ence. Some good ques­tions were asked, on the nature of lan­guage (both authors like to play with lan­guage; Gib­son, after all, coined the term cyber­space back in nine­teen-eighty-what-have-you, and Havel­da is (IIRC) a Hun­gar­i­an poet, raised in Eng­land, now liv­ing in Por­tu­gal with his Por­tugese wife), on the future of books, and the like. After­wards I was one of the first in line, and I got my beat-up old copy of Mona Lisa Over­drive* signed by Gib­son.

to be con­tin­ued…

________

* I couldn’t find my copy of Neu­ro­mancer.

3 thoughts on “Whirlwind Weekend

  1. Cool! So … how’s his read­ing voice? I think it’s inter­est­ing how some authors can do this so well (like Bur­roughs) and some just don’t have the voice for it. And will you be review­ing Spook Coun­try on the blog?

  2. His read­ing voice is kind of monot­o­ne, but I’d nev­er noticed before, watch­ing inter­views and read­ings he’s done on TV, that he’s got quite the South­ern accent, even now.

    I’ll prob­a­bly review Spook Coun­try soon; first I should fin­ish this sto­ry, since it’s from two weeks ago now.

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