Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Australia, Land of Enchantment; Also, The Magician King Is Out August 9

I’m just back from a month in Australia, where it was summer, and the animals are all different. Seriously, they have sulfur-crested cockatoos and blue-tongued lizards and huntsman spiders just running around like it’s no big thing.

Trust me, it’s a big thing. Australians say huntsmen don’t bite. Don’t believe it. I heard them talking about it, they totally do.

I went to Australia for the Perth Writers Festival, which was really terrific. Perth is one of the remotest major cities in the world, and you really feel like you’re at the writer’s festival at the end of the universe. (Prices are comparable to Milliways, because Perth, despite its remoteness, is a mining center and quite wealthy.) I got to sit next to Margo Lanagan onstage, which alone was worth flying 30 hours for.

(Movies watched on the flights to and from Australia: The King’s purchase zithromax Speech, The American, Red, The Town, True Grit, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.)

Then we drove down to the Margaret River, which is one of Australian’s wine regions. If you took a bunch of Hawaiian beaches and spot-welded them onto the Cotes du Rhone, that’s what you’d get. If this place were any closer to civilization it would be mobbed. You taste wine all day, then you go and frolic in the Indian Ocean while dolphins swim by.

I was also in Australia because my wife is Australian, and we wanted to hang out with her family, in the city of her birth (Sydney, not Perth). Plus it’s summer in Australia. And if we don’t start exposing the baby to huntsman venom now, it will never built up an immunity.

Also: The Magician King will be out August 9. More on that in a bit.

13 comments on “Australia, Land of Enchantment; Also, The Magician King Is Out August 9

  1. Rita says:

    Was insanely jealous about Australia until the spider part.

    I cannot wait for Magician King.

    I’m glad you’re back to blogging.

  2. […] Otra excelente noticia para este año. La nueva novela del crítico de literatura de “Time“, Lev Grossman, verá la luz el 9 de agosto. […]

  3. Jaimie says:

    I cannot wait for The Magician King either.

    I love the in-flight entertainment on those 14-hour flights. I watched The Sound of Music again, when flying to/from Australia a few years ago. It’s something you never have time to watch. Heck, I just love flying.

  4. K.M. Walton says:

    My younger sister married an Australian and lives just outside of Sydney in Dee Why beach.

    She and I have wicked arachnophobia.

    Her husband and his family have lived in Dee Why their entire lives and have seen four huntsman collectively in thirty years.

    My younger sister, the one with wicked arachnophobia, has seen TWELVE live huntsman since she’s lived there. And she’s only lived there for four freaking years.

    One was IN HER CONDO. I’m shivering just typing it.

    Thank all that’s good and holy that both times I went to Australia it was their winter and the huntsman were like sleeping or hibernating or driving the buses or something. Who knows. All I know is that I didn’t see one. I would’ve died. As in literally.

    Oh, and I can NOT wait for your damn book to come out.

    That is all.

  5. Martin says:

    Excellent news! (About the book, not the biting huntsmans… huntsmen…)

    I have been checking your blog every week for updates. It’s rare for me to have enjoyed a book so much to be this eagerly awaiting the sequel.

    Funny, I finished the third draft of my first novel earlier and then I check your site and, lo and behold, there is an update!

    Another coincidence is that my novel has ‘King’ in the title too: ‘Ethan King’ (working title).

    Glad you had a great time in Oz. I’d love to go, but I honestly think I’d be trying to smash my way out of the plane with a plastic airline fork after about 12 hours.

  6. Basil says:

    Don’t worry, huntsmen don’t bite. They just frighten you into a heart attack.

  7. Jacob says:

    Martin, I understand the feeling perfectly. I have never been so excited about an upcoming book before in my life, and I was a teenager during the height of the Harry Potter craze.

    I look forward to buying a dozen copies on the release date.

  8. Coop says:

    HA! I like how you slipped that release date in there. Can’t wait.

  9. Tservo says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Milliways!
    Lucky you.
    We are about to take a car trip p, and have “The Magicians” audio book.
    I read it a few times, now my 12 year old daughter will hear what I am talking about.
    No Nilliways this trip, sadly…

  10. Alison says:

    Funnel Webs bad, Huntsmen good. But don’t say Funnel Web, say it more like Fun-o-Web spider.
    And you forgot the redback, which IS deadly, but at least looks the part, like an evil disney monster. Next time you will need to hear more kookaburras.

  11. On December 24, Lewis was brought into the shelter barking and growling.

    These people do not worship the God who made the heavens and the earth.
    s worth it since they even provide some world-class orchestra guaranteed to fulfill your holiday listening pleasure to the max.

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  13. Phytotherapy Research 199610(2):181-189.

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