Some reflections on the time I spent in Lisbon:
Editorial Presença couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. Inês Mourão, Ricardo Sabino and especially Raquel Dutra went above and beyond what I’d anticipated, keeping my schedule filled with magazine, newspaper and TV interviews, and making the city come alive in the spaces in between. In the end, they may have done too good a job, as I didn’t want to leave.
From beginning to end, Fórum Fantástico was tremendous fun, quite possibly my favorite convention to date. Perfectly organized by Rogério Ribeiro and Safaa Dib. Running one of these is a bit like directing a play; you’re responsible for everything, and you’re so busy making sure everything happens the way it’s meant to, that you don’t get to fully enjoy the performance yourself. Hopefully, they got to enjoy at least a portion of it. And Rogério, I’m so glad you made this happen.
A pleasure to meet the other guests. I had time in my schedule to attend Mark Brake’s Workshop of Fantastic Writing, and to hear Edward James speak about Medievalism in Fantasy. Both are impressive speakers and extremely knowledgable about science fiction. Plus, they’re fun to hang out with; I had a blast getting to know them over a few rounds of Super Bock. Fantasy author Inês Botelho and I shared an interview at SIC television; she struck me as very smart and charming, and I hope to someday improve my Portuguese to the point where I can read her work.Zoran Zivkovic is a Serbian author of over a dozen books, and quite fascinating. Here’s a man who’s written a novel longhand, without electricity, because his city was in the midst of a war. (I find it challenging enough writing on a laptop in a peaceful college town.) He was kind enough to give me one of his novels; I’m very much looking forward to reading it. As it turns out, Zoran has also translated a number of my dad’s books into Serbian.
Briefly, I was able to meet one of my own translators, João Seixas, who skillfully turned Edenborn intoParaíso Virtual. Speaking of which, the book launch was very good, and my sore wrist at the end of it served as testament to the many copies I signed and personalized. The Portuguese fans were exactly what an author hopes for, asking excellent questions, treating me to applause after my reading, queuing up to buy copies, etc. I wish I’d had more time to get to know everyone better. With a long line, people often feel conscious of those waiting behind them, and the “I’d best keep the line moving” impulse tends to get in the way of the “I’d like to talk with the author” impulse. If you missed me, feel free to contact me on this blog or my website. Sometimes I miss a message; apologies for that, and you can always send me a follow up.
Anyway, I could go on and on about Portugal (and I expect to say a bit more about it in the weeks ahead), but I’m catching a flight tomorrow and had best turn in for the night. Before I do, a word of gratitude to the many people who helped make my journey so memorable and so much fun. Obrigado. Thank you, one and all.