Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dan Simmons Signing

So last night (Monday) I dragged Mike over to the Colfax Ave Tattered Cover for the Dan Simmons signing. I love going to author signings, but I haven't been to as many as I would like because I don't always have someone to go along with me. There are not a lot of things that I really like to do all by my lonesome and this is not really one of them. So I was super excited that a. an author I like and respect was coming to town and b. that my boyfriend who has yet to read Simmons agreed to go with me simply because I asked. And you know what, Mike enjoyed himself quite a bit. He says that whenever an author is a good speaker, it doesn't matter if he isn't familiar with their work because it's interesting to hear them speak regardless. 

And now to the event! If you didn't know, Simmons is touring to promote his latest release, Drood, a story of Charles Dickens's final years. So what better a topic to begin with than his inspiration for the book itself, Charles Dickens. The book begins with an event that forever changed Dickens's life, a train crash that occurred just outside of Staplehurst. Though Dickens was uninjured, the event seemingly traumatized the man. Add to that the unfinished final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Dickens's behavior after the incident and you've got the makings of a really interesting tale. And that's what Simmons has done. Using fellow literary man Wilkie Collins as the narrator, Simmons has weaved a chilling and horrific tale of mystery and intrigue around the actual historical events of Dickens's time from the accident until his death. 

Simmons laid all of this out in his introduction to the book and then proceeded to read a short excerpt in which Collins himself resorts to some quite nefarious actions to save his own skin, or dignity as it may be. He followed with a brief question segment in which the only question was in regards to Simmons's personal feelings regarding the attempts to finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood and then he got on to the signing itself. 

There were a ton of people there. I brought my copies of Drood and Song of Kali to be signed (I restrained myself from bringing the whole collection). When it was my turn, Simmons jokingly asked if I had read Kali and said he was planning a trip to Calcutta for fans. I told him that although I loved the book and would happily read anything else like it that he produces, he has not sold me on Calcutta as a tourist destination, which of course earned some laughs on both our parts (now Mike has to read it so that he'll understand). Simmons also commented that although there has been interest in the past in a Kali adaptation for the big screen, there is someone currently interested who may be up to the challenge. I'm not sure if I can really see it as a film, but done well it should be as fantastically shocking as the book itself. 

Apparently, Carrion Comfort is set to be reprinted (I really didn't think it would stay out of print for long) and I'll definitely have to get a nice, crisp, new copy when it is. He also said that there is a French option for that particular book as well so, who knows, maybe a French flick about mind vamps is in the works. 

And finally, Simmons did reveal that he is working on a new book, one of more average length than Drood and Terror (but he didn't neglect to point out the great value you get in paying the same price for a 200 pager as you do for an 800 page whopper) but no word on the subject matter just yet. I can't wait. If you know Simmons's work, then you know that he's really all over the place. He has written award-winning sci-fi, horror, mystery, and now historicals, so there's really no telling what is up his sleeve this time. All I know is that it's pretty much a guarantee that it will be fabulous. 

So, here again is the list of tour stops for Drood. If you have a chance to make one, I suggest you do. It's a great way to show your support of a great author, the publishing industry, and whatever store is hosting the event. 


Jenn said...

I'm so jealous! I'm reading Drood now and absolutely love it!

Vickie said...

I, too, am envious. I wish I had someone to trek down to Tattered Cover with me that night so I could meet Dan Simmons.
CARRION COMFORT was my intro to his intelligent horror. He will always remain in my top favorites in horror. I can't wait to get my hands on DROOD and put it on my keeper shelf. I loaned CARRION COMFORT and never got it back, now I can get a shiny new copy for my keeper shelf.

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous, too! I loved Drood and hope to read The Terror soon.