May 19, 2008
So here we are again, back at work. After spending a year writing Temporal Void looking out of the shed window at my garden thinking about all the mowing, pruning, digging, planting, and so on that I'd like to be doing; two weeks of actually being out there doing the digging mowing etc and I'm rather glad to be back behind the computer screen. Both sets of editorial notes for Temporal Void are in, and thankfully nothing major wrong with it -according to the experts, anyway. A few explanations required, some clarification on motives and a clearer definition of a nebuly moulding (what, you've never heard of it?) and we're home dry. Macmillan have given a provisional UK date for publication as October 3rd. No news on Del Rey's publication date; but Betsy, my USA editor has said 'early 2009'.

The rest of my break between finishing the manuscript and getting the notes back was spent on the American tour. Exhausting but fun. If you were one of those who came along to say hello: big thanks for making me feel welcome. Especially if you came to the Salt Lake City event, battling against some very inclement weather. I didn't even know there were any mountains there until the next day on the way to the airport when the fog finally lifted. It was an early morning flight out, and my driver had worked at the Sundance film festival last year where he got to drive Tom Cruise's bodyguard around -strange but true.

I was lucky to have good weather follow me down the West Coast, with San Francisco unusually warm and sunny, so the locals assured me. I did a whole lot of the tourist thing, even buying an Alcatraz T-shirt for Felix and a tie-dye T-shirt for Sophie, along with eating fresh crab at Fisherman's Wharf. Borderlands SF bookshop was great -and so tidy! The 'writers with drinks' event was certainly outside the ordinary for me, more performance art than a straight reading, which when you were as jet-lagged as I was made for a highly fear-motivated time. Thanks to Charlie for organizing it, and inviting me. Shame I couldn't stay on for yet more drinks, but by then I was so far out of it I got back to the hotel and crashed for eleven hours straight. In Seattle I visited the SF museum. Appropriately (ironically?) enough at the end of the monorail. I recommend a visit if you're in Seattle. They've got the captain's chair from the original Star Trek set, along with the Blade Runner police car, and a thousand other things to over-excite the fan in me. To my complete shock and surprise, they even had some of my books behind glass, which enabled me to wrangle a meeting with the curators, who gave me a private extended tour. Who would have thought the sub from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was so big -the thing is longer than my car. Still for the first time in my life, being an SF author actually meant something.

New York as always was a blast, and the good weather persevered, presumably for the Pope who was there at the same time as me. While I was there I had to get a Japanese knitting kit for a friend of mine who is a craft blogger -no really, I'm not making this up. So I dragged Betsy my ever-suffering editor and David the publicity manger on a trip to the garment district, to act as my local guides. I think we managed to get the right kit, time alone will tell.

And so onto ComicCon East. 30,000+ people in an exhibition hall big enough to park several jumbo jets. Wow, is the only word that will do. I've never signed so many books so quickly -well, Del Rey were giving them away; nor seen quite so many strange and bizarre products in one place before. You can do serious damage to your bank account at a place like that, thankfully I was a good boy. Though the kids are now proud owners of a solar-powered green alien nodding head doll.

When I got home, Felix had picked up several new words. Most prominent among them is 'cake'. That's my boy.

Peter F Hamilton

May 2008

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