First things first: MV005 may not have fired for all of you. The system seemed to glitch out halfway through the process. So here's a direct link to read 005. Sorry about that. Sometimes software farts.
Second things second: I did my first podcast interview the other day, for DisinfoCast. I was terrible. Here's a link to listen to it.
(I haven't listened to it, so I don't know what the audio quality of my voice is like: perhaps worth noting that I did it over Skype, through my iPad, with no mic other than the device's internal pickup. I'm told it's surprisingly listenable, considering.)
Third things third, I'm writing this on Friday afternoon, because it's been one of those months.
Okay. That's the housekeeping taken care of.
I got a PDF of the Little Brown season catalogue the other day, and guess what. It's not all been some horrible prank, and GUN MACHINE is in there. And now I've received very kind blurbs for the book from Charles Stross, Brian Michael Bendis and William Gibson.
The GUN MACHINE copyedit is done.
The one thing you really need to know about copyediting is the word STET. Adding STET to an edit means "run it as I wrote it, not as you have changed it." There is nothing about adding STET that does not make you feel like an arrogant arse. Proper copyeditors are almost without exception better-educated and more technically skilled in the use of the language than you. They also don't work in their underwear in a pit of empty Red Bull cans. This is the point in the book where the supremacy of the author's voice begins to matter not a single bit, because hard-working people with actual jobs are trying to save you from your own stupidity. A copyeditor isn't the enemy. A copyeditor is your own paid Jiminy Cricket, asking you if you really want to stick your unprotected cock in that beehive.
(No, you really don't.)
What happens next is that the copyedited book is printed up as bound galleys, known as ARCs or Advance Reading Copies, and those books are sent out to a list of people whom Mulholland Books think might like the thing, in the hopes that they'll prove a quote for the covers (often called a "blurb"). This stage can prove very odd, as sometimes you'll get a blurb from the most unexpected places. On CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, we got a blurb out of the blue from Kinky Friedman, who writes the strangest, funniest crime novels. And the quote was so nice and so kind and so funny that I pretty much fell down when it arrived. From a complete stranger, too.
Surreal image by Philip Park/@komeda on Instagram.
Tomorrow, I'm heading off to Hay-on-Wye, to speak at the literary/philosophy festival How The Light Gets In. Travel over to Wales Saturday, speak Sunday, speak Monday, leave for home right after Monday's gig. Presumably battling my way through the monkey hordes out on the streets to celebrate a hundred years of our lizard Queen or whatever.
Then I'm home for a couple of weeks, and then off to Eindhoven to speak at a public think tank about future cities and imaginary urbanism, along with the likes of Bruce Sterling, synthetic biologist Rachel Armstrong and he who now bears the permanent scarlet letter of New Aestheticist, James Bridle. More on this as I get details.
And on June 26, I'm in London, onstage with journalist Greg Palast. Details here. Apparently Laurie Penny's going to be there too, which mostly means we're going to have to stop ourselves from chuntering on like a couple of old soaks together and let someone else get a word in edgewise. Here's me and Laurie crapping on for over an hour during the Outer Church Community Broadcast. And then I think I'm done with travel and appearances for a little bit.
Not a gun that's in GUN MACHINE. Via EnglishRussia.
For me, this has been a serious number of public appearances (I was at Kapow the other weekend, too) and speaking engagements. I'm kind of forcing myself out into the world a bit. I was going to do some more podcasts, but, of the four who made arrangements to speak with me, only one of them came through. So I'm guessing I won't be doing too many of those going forward. (And I'm not doing comics podcasts at all, if for no other reason that I really don't have a lot to say about comics these days.)
Because, well, this is how you sell a book, for one thing. You're supposed to be out in the world and, I dunno, charming people or something. As I'm sure most of you are aware, I'm about as charming as a drunken coyote with an itchy bum, so we've lost that game already.
But this is, for me, also about the adjustment away from the weekly and daily deadlines I've been on for the last twenty years. Now I actually have a little bit of time to do something other than write scripts. Not that's made me a better blogger, oddly enough -- I was more productive on warrenellis.com when I was writing eight things at once than I am now. Funny how that's worked out. Presumbly a result of a mind being overclocked in pursuit of getting all the words out now now now now.
A 911 call is the pain signal that takes a relative age to travel from the dinosaur's tail to its brain. The lumbering thunder lizard of the NYPD informational mesh doesn't even see the swift, highly evolved mammals of phone data, wi-fi and financial sector communication that darts around the territory of the 1st Precinct under its paws.
It was a good seven minutes before someone realised that 1st Precinct detectives John Tallow and James Rosato were within eight hundred yards of naked shotgun man, and called upon them to attend the scene.
What was that?
And here's a picture by Simon Roy, who drew the first three issues of PROPHET. Been talking to him about comics lately. Just in general. Smart guy. His website is always a joy to look at.
Got to wrap this up now, as I have to pack and finish off some things. I will doubtless be posting to warrenellis.com, Instagram and Twitter over the long weekend. See you next week.