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.
Greetings from Reno, Nevada. I’m here for WorldCon. It’s incredibly hot here. The kind of heat that kind of weighs on your head, like as if masses of photons are literally pounding down on you. The kind of heat that makes you think, I am not evolved for this shit.
OK, Google says it’s only 88. But I’m telling you, it feels hot.
I have been reminded of the tour name. It is Gimme Welters. All credit for this great name to commenter Austin Wilson. In honor of the greatness of the name, the infinitely great Amy Billingham has created this official tour graphic:
I know, right? I know!
(People have been asking me when the CafePress store is going to open. Soon. Seriously, I saw the final designs for it like five minutes ago.)
Now some things that need announcing:
— The Magician King will be number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list next week. As far as news goes, this goes in the good category
— Over at Largehearted Boy I wrote a (heavily annotated) playlist of the music I listened to while I wrote The Magician King. Topics covered include: Metric, Ravel, famous people who went to my high school, and the advertising jingle for Mercenaries 2.
— At Whatever — John Scalzi’s blog — I wrote a mini-essay about The Big Idea of The Magician King. Yes, I dragged my mother into it.
— Finally at the Huffington Post I wrote a list of the greatest cocktails in literature.
As Brett Ashley would say: bung-o. If you’re at WorldCon, I’m doing a literary beer at 3:00 today, and tomorrow at 2:00 I’m reading in room A-14. Then tomorrow night are the Hugo Awards. This is important because it’s an excuse for me to wear my tuxedo.
Finally — and I put this to the commenters — I’m trying to decide whether to take an hour off from WorldCon and play some poker in the casino. I’m an avid home-game poker player, but I’ve never taken it to the card room. Because I’m not James Bond. Or am I? The tuxedo could come into play here too.
I don’t know whether I’ve ever produced more words, just by volume, than I’ve done in the past two weeks. Essays, interviews, journalism, radio, etc. etc. I am a processor of words.
It’s all part of the process of “launching” a “book,” which is a weirdly abstract though not unenjoyable activity. Sometimes you wish you could just smash a bottle of champagne over it and say, there, done, launched. I have a doc in my Google docs, prepared for me by Viking, that lists all the Magician King-related things I’m doing over the next month. It’s 22 pages long.
I also have another doc listing the things I’m doing that I haven’t told them about.
[The above image — it’s a Brakebills South crest — is one of a whole slew of Magicians-related designs done by an absolutely brilliant DC-based artist named Amy Billingham. It’s all going into the CafePress store…]
It’s work. I’ve become that guy who brings his MacBook Air on the subway to grab some extra writing time on the way to and from the office. But it’s the kind of work you want. It’s the kind of work I fantasized about having to do when I was 20, Snoopy-style — “here’s the world-famous author … ” This while lying on the roof of my doghouse.
What else? I spent last weekend at Comic-Con. I don’t exactly enjoy Comic-Con as such. When I’m there I’m there to work, and while I’m there, I’m always working. But I do get to see people I don’t see anywhere else. Random House gave a party on Thursday night, and if you stood at the bar — and I did — you could take in, without turning your head, George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, David Anthony Durham, Christopher Paolini, Scott Westerfeld and Charles Yu. Among others.
And Christopher Paolini was riding a mechanical bull.
Reviews and other mentions of The Magician King have been popping up online. So far the response has been … pretty great. But I’m spazzy about this stuff, and I’m mostly not reading them. I killed the Google Alert I used to have on myself two years ago. I don’t need any more information about myself. I get more than enough of that just by being me.
It’s been a few weeks since this happened. Since then my purpose-built Magicians art mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been filling up with gorgeous Mags-related artwork — Brakebills crests, a Two Moons pub logo, portraits of the Beast and the Watcherwoman, a Brakebills school scarf … awesome stuff.
If only there were some way you could see it. But there is: I stuck a selection of it in this gallery on Facebook.
(Unrelated: after watching this video I can only hear ‘Facebook’ as ‘Fa-chay-book.’ Because that’s how Voldemort says it.)
Please take a look. You can also do me, and the artists, a favor: hit the ‘like’ button for your favorite pieces. The artists who did the most-liked pieces will get signed copies of The Magician King.
The ultimate destiny of these images is the CafePress Magicians store, which is going to carry shirts and shot glasses and I don’t even know what all else related to the book. It’s not open yet. But it will be. Oh, it will be.
(If you’re interested buy xanax in doing art for it, it’s not too late! Send it to me at email@example.com).
Catch you later, mustache buddies.