|Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 03:52 am: |
It occurred to me *finally* that this is a good place to solicit guest-list suggestions for our once-a-month Borders evenings and to make announcements.
OK, I was kinda slow on the uptake for this one. Big deal--I'm running *years* behiind on other things. I was put on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things during my lifetime and I am now so far behind that I will never die. So there.
Q: "What the hell are you on about?"
A: Once a month, usually on the second Monday (occasionally on the third), I host a reading/interview/Q&A at Borders Books on Oxford Street in London (the one in England, not the one in Canada); top floor in the designated events area located between the cds and the expensive books about entertainment.
Q: "Would I have to get up early for this?"
A: Only if you call 6:30 pm the crack of dawn. It's usually over by 7:45 pm, 8 pm at the very latest, so you can go back to bed if you're still knackered.
Q: "So what is it, anyway--The Goddam Pat Cadigan Show or something?"
A: That's *Ms* Goddam Pat Cadigan Show to you, pal (God, to my friends). And as charismatic and eye-catching as I am, the focus is actually on my two guests. Two writers with current books give brief readings from works of their choice (5 minutes, give or take). Then I interview them, referee the fist-fight if necessary, invite the audience to have a go if they think they're hard enough, and finish up with a standing ovation. The writers sign books and then we all adjourn to the pub, usually the Shakespeare's Head, right around the corner at the top of Carnaby Street, next to Liberty's.
Q: "Liberty's? Isn't that the one that sells those really expensive scarves?"
A: If you go in February with the Great & Powerful Datlow, her shopping karma might rub off on you and you wouldn't have to pay so much for them.
Q: "Sounds great. The Borders thingy seems to be pretty good, too. How long has this been going on?"
A: Since July 2001, actually.
Q: "And people keep showing up for this?"
A: Every month. We've had a few sparse nights here and there, but we've kept at it and now we have good support from a respectable following.
Q: "Oh. Same old scifi geeks, huh?"
A: Watch who you're calling a geek, pal. I'm a hot, sexy, red-headed power-babe, internationally famous and, for over half a century now, highly sought after by only the best. The audience is made up of people who read *without* moving their lips and have complicated love-lives--i.e., readers, writers, editors, agents, critics, reviewers, trouble-makers (including publishers), and my all-time favourite husband. This is usually supplemented by curious Borders customers who, upon hearing the in-store announcements, come to the top floor to see what's going on. Most of them decide to hang around for the whole thing, either openly staring or, if they're shy, sitting nearby and pretending to read.
Q: "Yeah, but what about the guests? You get anyone I've ever heard of?"
A: I don't know who you've heard of, but guests have included: M. John Harrison, China Mieville, jon courtney grimwood, Stephen Baxter, Gwyneth Jones, Justina Robson, Liz Williams, Laura Anne Gilman, Raymond Feist, Miller Lau, Peter Straub, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken MacLeod, Paul McAuley, Tom Standage, Ellen Datlow, Melinda Snodgrass, Tricia Sullivan, among others.
If none of these is anyone you've ever heard of, get a life.
Q: "So how much does Borders pay you for this?"
A: Three bottles of water a month. One for me and each of my guests. I used to get free bottles of wine for the audience, but then Starbucks took over the in-store cafe franchise.
Q: "They don't pay you? Then why do it at Borders?"
A: It's safer than doing it in the road. Also, because it happens to be centrally located, easy to get to, and, at this particular store, they make a real effort to support the event by providing adequate seating and a PA system. They also make a point of asking me who my guests are so they can order in extra numbers of their books and have them available on a special display for the evening. If the authors' publicists send in flats with pics of the book covers, the staff will put them up at least a week ahead of time in prominent areas (i.e., right at the top of the escalators) so that hundreds of customers see them every day.
Borders also includes us in the in-store brochure that lists upcoming events.
Q: "Yeah, but I don't see anything about it on their web site."
A: So email them and suggest they correct the situation. Tip: Try not to use the f-word, even in the nicest possible way. It makes them uncomfortable if they don't know you.
Q: "OK, so if I show up next month, who do I see besides you?"
A: Famous and important people. Specifically who will be announced in a later post.
Q: "Yeah? So who do you get for Christmas--Santa Claus?"
A: It's none of your business who I get for Christmas or any other day.
As for the events, we don't hold them in December or January. We're all so busy at that time of the year that we skip the events and go straight to the pub. The first event of the year takes place in February and the last one before Christmas is in November.
Any other questions?
|Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:25 pm: |
The next event:
13 October 2003
Borders on Oxford Street, London
Jay Caselberg and a player to be named shortly.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:23 am: |
Oh yes, come one, come all. These are an important fixture in the UK SF community.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:49 am: |
Also, folks, these are very informal events, so you get a chance to chat to writers in a relatively non-manic atmosphere (unlike cons). And other writers show up at them on a regular basis, so you usually get to talk to more people than the featured authors. And it's free!
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 03:44 am: |
And I, drat it, will be flying home from the Kris & Dean show in Oregon at that time and therefore unable to show up and heckle from the back row as planned. Someone ask Caselberg about the Nietzschen implications of Billie's speech patterns.
Seriously, perhaps the best of its sort I've attended, and that's coming from someone who used to get dragged to this sort of thing all the time. Fun, friendly, and absolutely you never know who is going to say what...
Much better to be there yourself than to hear about it the next morning.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 03:48 am: |
>Someone ask Caselberg about the Nietzschen implications of Billie's speech patterns.
I'll do it for a future whisky.
>Much better to be there yourself than to hear about it the next morning.
Especially given what gets said about people who are absent... (I'm joking! Honest! )
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 09:14 am: |
>Especially given what gets said about people who >are absent... (I'm joking! Honest! )
Yeah, cause if you're not there they just sneer at you later...
|Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 09:36 am: |
They sneer at me when I'm *there*. How sad is that?
|Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 02:55 am: |
And there you have it, folks--expert testimony from eyewitnesses and survivors. Laura Anne was one of our Surprise Guests. You never know when Surprise Guests are going to show up--we don't always announce them so you just have to be there or you'll miss out.
Which reminds me: Writers & editors from outside the UK should let me know if/when they're planning to be in London. If you're on a book tour, we're the number one choice among the discerning literate. If you're on holiday, we are proof that all your expenses are tax-deductible. All in all, the epitome of the win/win situation.
PS to Liz: I know who you're talking about. Honey, they're *smiling*--they just need their teeth fixed.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 03:30 am: |
>All in all, the epitome of the win/win situation.
I can vouch for that. Spending a few hours at Borders that night made me able to change that day in London from "vaction" to "out of town on business." Yes, my bosses bought that, shhhhh!
|Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 04:11 am: |
>PS to Liz: I know who you're talking about. Honey, they're *smiling*--they just need their teeth fixed.
However I think rictus might already have set in...
|Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 08:44 am: |
I can vouch for it being a fun event, especially if you go for barbecue afterwards ...
and I'll be back in February --if they'll have me and the timing is right
|Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 09:31 am: |
If I'm ever on that side of the pond at the right time I'll be sure to come. Sounds like fun.
|Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 03:24 am: |
Richard, do it, you'll have a great time.
Ellen, of course we'll have you. And judging from the dates you gave me, the timing is perfect. You can talk about your latest books and all that other good stuff. Besides, you know how everybody *loves* to see you. Think of it as your annual belated birthday party in London, with barbecue.
Which reminds me: it's true that we now have a high-quality American-style barbecue restaurant in Soho--Ellen will back me up on this. For more information, go to http://www.bodeansbbq.com/ and see for yourself. They are as good as any place I've been to in Kansas City.
Speaking of which, I think I'll add a restaurant-guide topic...
Richard, you'll enjoy yourself loads if you do.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 03:17 am: |
THE NEXT BORDERS EVENT!
6:30 pm, Borders Books, Oxford Street, London
Jay Caselberg and Graham Joyce
Be There. Your Coolness Rating may be at risk if you fail to comply.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 05:23 am: |
Will you send me some tickets, two for our flight and two more for the event itself? I'd hate for my Coolness Rating to drop any lower. I'm already having to put myself in the lettuce crisper for a few hours each afternoon to keep from going reprehensibly moldy after a full day's work.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 02:09 pm: |
Hey, I'm a much cheaper date, I only need one plane ticket!
(Peter took one look at the headliners, shook his head and muttered something about vice squads and police records...oh and curry shops. Ask Caselberg or Nash about that one).
|Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 05:18 am: |
Damn. I didn't know we making bids.
|Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 10:08 am: |
I'm willing to come over steerage class . . . what's the date again?
|Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 10:38 am: |
13th October, Mr. Minz. Be there, or be square.
|Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 02:16 am: |
You guys can bid all you want. I just don't know who's going to handle the arrangements if you win--you don't need tickets to attend the event and as far as airline tickets are concerned, I'm fresh out with no refills in sight.
On the other hand, if you win the lottery, literally or figuratively, you can come over any time you like and we'll all be more than happy to be your new best friends.
|Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 02:40 am: |
Hey, Pat, how about some tickets for me? Maybe you can arrange for me to break my ankle and we'll be even. :-)
|Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 05:13 am: |
. . . "were" . . . the word I left out between "we" and "making" up there about five postings ago.
Anyway, I'd love to come. Jeri and I have been to London only once in our lives -- or is that twice, given that there are two of us? -- but we had almost enough fun to compensate for our past failures to make the journey. Now, however, I'm getting antsy to see the city again . . .
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 12:51 am: |
And, tonight it is, people. Myself and the inimitable Mr. Joyce whipped into shape by the Goddess of the Universe.
|Posted on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 01:08 am: |
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 02:38 am: |
Well, folks, Jay Caselberg survived it.
And acquitted himself quite well, too, I must say. That's right, I'm saying something nice about you. Just deal with it.
Actually, I have to say that the success of the Borders evenings is really down to the willingness of my guests to give good show. Both writers chose good passages to read and read them well, and the discussion afterwards was entertaining. Last night's event was SRO and a lot of people came up to tell the writers how much they enjoyed it when we adjourned.
And even better, agents and editors came to the pub with us afterwards and bought the drinks.
All in all, another successful evening, courtesy of Jay Caselberg and Graham Joyce.
And of course, me for being clever enough to invite them. But then, I am, as Jay C himself pointed out, Goddess of the Universe.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 06:07 am: |
As mentioned over on Caselberg's board, a good time was had by all. I overheard several people say how good the readings were this time. BTW, Pat, I have a pic of you and your guests - remind me to send you a copy.
Also that young Borders lady seemed incredibly keen on the event. And even bought a book!
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 09:42 am: |
As a first time visitor I really enjoyed it. It was nice to put names to a few faces I only know through email or reading bulletin boards.
I'll be making an effort to get to the next one. Any idea on guests yet?
(Oh, and I was the one with the pony-tail sitting next to Liz Williams...)
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 10:39 am: |
Glad you enjoyed it, Mike. Fancy asking a question next time? I'm sure people are getting bored of me.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 11:35 am: |
Hopefully next time I won't have had to be at work at 5.45am that day and will therefore be a little more compos mentis...
|Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 03:22 pm: |
Urk! I certainly hope so. No one should have to go to work in the middle of the night.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 12:06 pm: |
Mistress Cadigan, I thank you wholeheartedly for the opportunity. I think we had a good showing and a good time. Many thanks to all who showed. Even though I was told I didn't look it, I was as nervous as hell.
Tell you what though, I'd do another.
|Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 03:40 am: |
When is the next reading at Borders and who is going to be there?
La Diva Loca
|Posted on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 03:17 am: |
The last Borders Books event of the year takes place on 10 November--
Gwyneth Jones returns in the company of Farah Mendlesohn!
And me, of course.
Be there or you'll hate yourself for the holidays!
At the usual place--Oxford Street in London, 6:30 pm.
|Posted on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 06:54 pm: |
Since Pat isn't around I'll announce that the next Borders extravaganza will feature me and Paul McAuley, on February 9th. Come one, come all. See you there (those in the nabe).
|Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 01:15 am: |
Dear God, is it February already?
Oh. It is. How did that happen?
Will be great to see you, Ellen! I'll be there barring accidents!
|Posted on Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 01:41 pm: |
I have a question.
When is the next Borders? Isn't there some convention or other that might get in the way of the usual gig? I'm assuming that Jeff 'n' Jeff won't be swanning around the UK indefinitely, however.
Thanks! And a good session the other night, BTW. I'm never travelling by train on the continent ever again.
She Who Must Be Displayed
|Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 05:19 am: |
The Borders Event for May 2004 is cancelled, due to your Diva being overwhelmed with real life stuff to deal with.
We will, however, resume in June. However, it is almost certain that we will be shifting from the second Monday to the second Tuesday of every month (I'm working on that now).
Stay tuned. Sorry to have to call the May event off, but sometimes it can't be helped.
Please pass the word.
|Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 12:22 pm: |
Pat, no worries and will pass on the word. From my point of view, there is a silver lining as we've got the Clarke's the next day and I have a publisher's lunch the day after that, so for the sake of my liver and my travel balance...will be looking forward to June.
|Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 12:24 pm: |
And Pat - look after yourself. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help, eh?
La Diva Loca
|Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 02:38 am: |
Actually, when I checked the date and saw that the Clarke was on for the next day, I decided it was the right thing anyway.
Watch this space for June.
She Who Must Be Displayed
|Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 01:22 am: |
!!!EVEN MORE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
Well, I warned you people that we would be resuming in June, and we are. But pay attention because there has been a scheduling change:
THE SF BORDERS EVENT WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON THE SECOND *TUESDAY* OF EVERY MONTH.
Which means that the date for the next Borders event is:
8 June 2004
Borders Books on Oxford Street
Cherith Baldry and a special surprise guest
AND, of course, La Diva Loca
AND, last but not least, you.
Go forth and spread the word. Tell everyone you know. Tell people you don't know. Get the news out there.
If you're caught flyposting, I don't know you.
La Diva Loca
|Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 09:55 am: |
Guests at Borders Books for 8 June will be:
If you're not there, life as you know it will be *over*
|Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 03:03 pm: |
Modern communication is truly a wondrous thing, God wot.
Cherith got your message re Borders via my cellphone on Friday, via a tortuous chain of people, in a bar in Samarkand. We are now back, safe and sound, and will see you on Tuesday.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 03:22 am: |
Pat, is there another Borders night coming up next week?
|Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:42 am: |
And answering my own question - it seems as though there will, as I've just heard from Pat that it will be myself in the hot seat, and presumably someone else as well.
Tuesday, July 13th, Borders in Oxford St, London - 6.30 p.m. onwards.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 05:12 am: |
Pat! Is there a Borders night on Monday next?