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China Mieville spoke at Cody's Books on 4th Street in Berkeley this evening. First he read from an early chapter of his new YA novel, Un Lun Dun, which was quite good (think elements of King Rat reinterpreted through The Phantom Tollbooth). He then took questions from the audience, and they actually came up with some good stuff.

Most of this, however, I am at a loss to relate these back to you because of the events that followed:

After questions and answers, China signed books at the Information Desk. I bought a copy of Un Lun Dun for the occasion, and he signed it "To Erik, To booksteps & storyladders... Cheers!," which he told me would make sense around the middle of the book. I thanked him and walked out.

I was about halfway back to my car when I realized that I had forgotten to get a picture of/with the man himself. I shrugged, and was about to go home when the imp of the perverse struck, so I hiked back to the store and got back in line. There were three of us waiting to get pictures taken, and I was third. When I went to stand behind China, he stood up on his chair, so I said, "No pecks on the cheek now." To which he replied, "I will, you know," and planted one on my cheek as the hapless store staff tried to work my Treo.

Sadly, the shot did not work out, and so I had to settle for this self-taken portrait:



I guffawed and giggled all the way home.

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Erik, the BFG

January 2016

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