It was particularly surreal to be reading from Autumn Rain trilogy finale THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT in Toronto this past weekend; not only is BakkaPhoenix one hell of a bookstore (and its owner, Chris Szego rocks—thanks for helping me find my way back to my hotel Chris!), but Toronto played more than a small role in my getting published in the first place. Having worked on the Homeworld video games together (though never concurrently), Peter Watts and I made sure to have a drink or three whenever I was in Toronto for my day-job (which related to neither video games nor science fiction but did involve a great deal of air travel and more than one lamb-burger at C’est What). I still remember him telling me about this crrrrrrrrrazy idea he had for a novel involving the nature of consciousness, alien contact and space vampires….of course, that became the stunning BLINDSIGHT, which really ought to have won the Hugo back in 2006, in much the same way that his short story “The Island” ought to clean up the Hugo’s novella category this year (along with the Locus and everything else).
But not only is Peter a brilliant writer, he’s a total masochist, which is why he agreed to take a look at an early draft of MIRRORED HEAVENS some years back, and pointed out many invaluable things, not least of which was that it needed a #$# ending. Good point, I said, and set to work to write one as soon as my hangover had worn off. To have him in attendance at Saturday’s reading was an honor that frankly rates as one of the highlights of my career thus far; to see him free and having beaten the bullshit rap that consumed so much of his 2010 means that maybe, just maybe, there’s some justice in this world. The only bars this man should be behind are the ones that serve Toronto’s finest brews. May he be the toast of the town at Aussiecon this August.