Packing for WorldCon 2008

So I’m trying to get my act together for this year’s World Science Fiction Convention — AKA Denvention 3 — taking place next week in Denver. I just got word that I’ll be one of the featured writers at a “Rising Stars” reception on Thursday afternoon, and I’m hoping to get a few advanced copies of Pandemonium to sell or give away there.

The rest of the time will be serving on a couple panels, hanging out with friends, doing a couple of interviews with websites and magazines, hanging out with friends some more, and mooching a free meal off my publisher. Del Rey editor Liz Schier is hosting a dinner for several of Del Rey’s authors, including the legendary Fred Pohl. Pohl worked with Arthur C. Clarke’s notes to produce The Last Theorem, what will be Clarke’s last novel.  (There’s an interesting interview about the book with Pohl and others in this recent Chicago Tribune article.) The book was edited by my editor, Chris Schluep — so that’s one degree of separation for now, and zero degrees once I meet him.

Dinner with Fred Pohl, people! It doesn’t getter cooler than that.

Oh, if you’re going to Denvention, here’s my schedule:

Thursday, 8/7, 11:30 am

104: Panel: Science Fiction & Religion: How readers and writers mix the two
CCC – Room 504

Religion and science fiction can be an uneasy mix. Readers can sometimes read the story through their own preconceptions – how does the writer handle this? Can you successfully make religion the foundation of a story? — (m) Alexis Glynn Latner, Daryl Gregory, Janice Gelb, Samantha Henderson

Thursday, 8/7, 1:00pm

154: Signing (45 minutes) –
CCC – Hall D

Thursday, 8/7 — afternoon — Rising Stars Reception

Saturday, 8/9, 4:00 pm

547: Panel: A Passion for Electronic Publishing
CCC – Korbel Room 501

Why should we prefer electronic publishing to other formats such as audio, video, or paper copies? Will eBooks open up the publishing market to new talent? How can we convince mainstream publishers to add eBooks to their repertoire?
Daryl Gregory, (m) Jim Minz, Peter Bullock

Pandemonium Launch Party

Books, beer, and chili, people!

If you’re in the State College area on Sunday, September 7, 2008 you’re invited to the Pandemonium Two-Stage Launch party.

Stage One will be a reading and signing at the State College Barnes & Noble at 3pm. B&N will have books on hand for sale.

Then afterward — Stage Two, if you’re digging the organizational structure I’ve laid down in this post — we’ll have everyone over to my house at around 4:30 for appetizers, beer, lesser beverages, and chili. The chili will be provided in two spice levels, “Sane” and “Demonic.”  (Persons possessed by vegetarianism will also be accommodated.) If you need to skip the B&N portion, just show up at the house around 4:30. If you’ve pre-ordered a book, just bring it to the house and I’ll sign it there.

For directions to the house, email me at daryl.gregory@gmail.com. Hope you can come!

My thanks to B&N’s Meredith Rogers for hosting the signing, and to my in-house public relations manager, Kathy Bieschke, for hosting the Stage Two party.

Reading at ReaderCon

A couple of days ago at ReaderCon 2008 I did my first ever reading from Pandemonium. Two scenes, one of which involved singing. (Note to self: skip the singing next time.) 

Reading at ReaderCon

Reading at ReaderCon -- click to see the full-size version (with annotations)

I’d like to personally think all the people who showed up. Most people who say that—I’m thinking Celine Dion here—aren’t really going to think everyone personally. She’s a big ol’ French-Candian liar. But me, I totally can. Why? Because there were only five of you in the room, and all of you I begged personally to show up, even offering bribes. So:

Elaine Isaak, you’re a champ and I still owe you a non-beer beverage. David Louis Edelman, nobody looks better in a hat, and I still have to buy you something wet as well.  Sarah K. Castle, thanks for making time in the middle of what was for you a weekend-long family reunion. Sandra McDonald, you’re a star. No, you are! No, you are…And Paolo Bacigalupi, stop heckling me.

Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly

Well, this is pretty cool. Publisher’s Weekly, the industry’s leading news and review publication, gave Pandemonium a starred review. (And already I can hear my Mom wondering what a star means, and I don’t really know. My rough count says that about 10% of the reviews get a star.  So, harder to get than a star from Mrs. Melbaum, my kindergarten teacher, but much easier to get than a star on the Walk of Fame.)

Here’s the review:

Believable characters, a multilayered plot and smooth prose define Gregory’s darkly ambitious debut novel. In this fascinating alternative time line, thousands of demon possessions have been carefully recorded by scientists each year since the 1950s. Each case is always the same: a recognizable, named “strain of the disorder” possesses a person, wreaks havoc and then jumps on to its next victim. Del Pierce’s case is unique: when the Hellion possessed him at the age of five, it never left. Now an unhappy 20-something, Del undertakes a dangerous quest to exorcise the Hellion as it fights him for control. The trim prose keeps the pace intense and the action red hot through some emotionally disturbing scenes and heavy backstory. Absorbing psychological discussions of possession abound, from Jungian archetypes to the eye of Shiva. Readers will delve deeply into Gregory’s highly original demon-infested reality and hope for a sequel. (Sept.)  PW page.

My only problem? The next book (the latest draft of which is going to my publisher on August 1) has nothing to do with the world of Pandemonium.

I did an interview with one of the PW reporters a few weeks ago — I’m not sure when they’ll be running that.