LevGrossman

Archive for September, 2011


Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Returning from the Underworld

I write this on a train heading southbound from Boston to New York City. I grew up near Boston, and went to college there, and then spent some of my disastrous post-college years there. As a result there’s so much bad psychic ju-ju for me in Boston that going there always feels like some kind of monomyth-style descent into the underworld.

It’s not Boston’s fault. It’s my fault. My wife Sophie went to graduate school there, and she freaking loves Boston. She’s always proposing merry jaunts up that way. I bet she’d marry it if she weren’t married to me. Damn you Boston!

CafePress has opened its official Magicians merch store. It’s meant to be the central clearing house for any and all Magicians t-shirts, bags, mugs and other objects anywhere. They’ve seeded it with a few designs, but the heart of the store is going to be the fan-made stuff, of which there are already some kick-ass examples.

And there will be more, as people post them, including items based on the fan art I’ve featured on the site in the past. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for, check back. Chances are it will show up sooner or later.

I quite often appear on radio shows and podcasts and such. I don’t link to them up here, for reasons related to my laziness and inertia. I wish I had the power to change this, but you can’t fight City Hall. But since I’m stuck on a wi-fi-enabled train, I may as well mention that I was recently on Jon Armstrong’s If You’re Just Joining Us, Rick Kleffel’s The Agony Column, The Functional Nerds podcast, and the BBC’s Open Book (with Erin Morgenstern). Let the sound of my stuttery, strangly-sounding voice ring out across the land!

Oh, and on Friday my appearance on Kurt Andersen’s Studio 360 will air. I wonder if he’ll leave in the part where we agreed that Neil Gaiman is a beautiful man.

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Monday, September 12th, 2011

What Alice Looks Like [and Some Memories of September 11th]

If you’ve ever wondered, Alice looks like this.

[And Now an Unrelated Appendix to This Post: I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about September 11th, which isn’t the sort of thing I usually blog about, but there it is.
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Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Canada, a Concept Album, Book Court, Other Things Starting with C

This blog post is lacking in any of the Aristotelian unities, but I’m just going to have at it anyway. Take that, Aristotle.

— Here’s an interesting thing. You can send a postcard from Fillory at this website. Even if you’re not actually in Fillory. This may qualify as mail fraud, I’m not sure. At any rate the stamps are gorgeous.

— I’m reading tomorrow night — that’s Thursday night, Sept. 8 — at KGB alongside two fantastically distinguished writers, Lily Tuck (who won the National Book Award for The News from Paraguay) and Francisco Goldman. What were they thinking? I’ll ask them.

— I’ve got more readings in the works: in the immediate future there’s one at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA on Sept. 15 with Sven Birkerts, and one at BookCourt in Brooklyn on Sept. 28 with a player to be named later. Two fantastic bookstores.

— Still more readings: I’ll be touring Canada in October. I’ll be at the Calgary WordFest, which starts October 11th, then I’ll be at the Vancouver Writers Festival, which starts October 18th. Then I’ll be at the Toronto International Festival of Authors starting October 25th.

— Somewhere in there I’ll also be appearing in Austin, TX twice. Texas is not in Canada, though.

— Finally, if you want to have your brain melted a bit, check this out. A new album by a band called Fiction that is — what? Inspired by? Let’s just say it’s not unrelated to The Magicians. And here’s what else: it’s pretty damn good.

Actually it’s kind of amazing.


Monday, September 5th, 2011

Normality Has Been Restored

“Anything you can’t cope with is therefore your own problem” – Trillian, a.k.a. Tricia McMillan, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Gratuitous picture of Zooey Deschanel

I’m back from tour. The Infinite Improbability Drive is off or at least idling. The list of things I can’t cope with is still worryingly long.

A word about tour. Tour was great. Actually it was amazing. There was a whole new vibe out there. When I went on tour for the paperback version of The Magicians, I saw maybe twice as many people as had come out for the hardcover version. Something had changed. But this time something had really changed. This time I got, like, 5-10 times as many people as for the paperback. Let me tell you, that means a lot to a writer.

(Also increasing: the amount of e-mail I get. I’m really, really sorry I’m so crap about answering it. The math of it is all wrong: the busier I get, the more e-mail I get, and the less time I have to answer it. It should work the other way.)

I was also surprised by how tough the tour was on me and my family — my being away for that long. Sophie has to pick up a lot of slack when I’m away, and it’s not like she doesn’t have her own professional gigs to deal with. It’s tough to strike a balance. I don’t how much it bothers Halcyon, who’s 1 and therefore still kind of one with the universe in that way that babies are. But Lily (7) basically welded herself to my leg the minute I got home and refused to let go. And I knew how she felt. Maybe I’ll take her with me next time.

I’m not going to do a big roundup of the reviews. Google will do a better job than I will, and it gets paid more than I do. Suffice to say that they’ve been good! And that it’s been interesting watching reviewers and their reviewing organs try to decide whether The Magician King is literature or fantasy or art or entertainment or trash or whatever. (Correct answer is: yes.) Though I will cop to being happy that The New Yorker, that pillar of literary culture, did a short but nice review (this link is pointless unless you subscribe to the magazine, in which case it’s pointless anyway. Sorry.)

And now onwards and upwards! Or at least energetically sideways! There are more projects in the works, which I’ll announce when I can. I have plans for a third and probably final Magicians book. I know how it starts and how it ends, and a certain amount about the middle bits. Damn those middle bits.