Utopiales 2007: In Training

Just an update on Utopiales. Right now, according to the website, their writer guests in addition to moi include Gregory Benford, John Scalzi, and Peter F. Hamilton (full list below). Looks like a great line-up.

I’ve actually started a training program for Utopiales. It consists of not drinking any alcohol between now and touching down in France. My reasoning is as follows: I’m probably going to increase my calorie intake in France anyway, so I should probably decrease that intake now by taking away the alcohol. But, also, the best wine in the world is found in France, and they have Leffe, among other beers that we adore. So I’d rather deprive myself now and have it taste just that much better in France. (Er, festival organizers, please note this does not mean that I will be going on an orgy of drinking while there. Besides, I owe my French translator Gilles about 20 beers, so I won’t be able to afford any for myself.)

I’m also trying to learn a little French…trying…



Pierre Bottero
Gregory Benford
Sylvie Denis
Johan Heliot
Hervé Jubert
Mathieu Gaborit
Gérard Klein
Peter F. Hamilton
Christophe Lambert
Nathalie Legendre
Éric Lhomme
Jean-Marc Ligny
Adriana Lorusso
Louise Marley
Xavier Mauméjean
Jérôme Noirez
John Scalzi
Gilles Servat
Karen Traviss
Robert Charles Wilson


  1. says

    You forgot Pierre Bordage, Andreas Eschbach, Simon R. Green, and Richard Paul Russo. We’ll be there too: Bogdan Hrib, Horia Nicola Ursu, Ona Frantz, and Michael Haulica. So don’t worry about the beers. I owe you some (I don’t know how it happens, but I always owe you some beers). See you there. We have news from Smaragdine…

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Well, I could only go by who they put on the site. So it’s growing exponentially!

    But very much looking forward to seeing you all (these are my Romanian friends and editors), along with my Portuguese translator Luis Rodrigues.

    I owe my French editor Sebastien many beers as well.

    I see no way on earth that *you* can possibly owe *me* beers!


  3. Gilles says

    I’m not sure being drunk at Utopiales after the first glass (because you will no longer be accustomed to drinking beer or wine) is such a good idea, actually.

  4. says

    I’m prone to say you should do the reverse, and start drinking heavily from now till the trip, just to get your tolerance up so you’ll have a chance of surviving the big French dinners and nightly parties. Nice to hear of another fan of Leffe! Radiuse, Brun, and the new Neuf… I like them all. If you’re adventurous, you may want to try some of the local Breton beers (like Telenn Du), local chouchenn (honey mead), and even Breton whiskey (Eddu is the best). My wife and I are Americans but we live and work over here in a little Breton village not too far from Nantes. The best French travel tip I can give you is to learn at least a very little French (“Non” and “Merde” can be used to handle virtually every situation). If you at least make the effort to communicate in some rudimentary French, you’ll find the locals much friendlier and much more welcoming than if you simply walk up to them speaking English.

    I have one request, which you may not have any power to do – If possible, please try and bring along some English copies of your books for sale. Last year, the attending authors only had the French translations of their books there, so I wasn’t able to buy anything! (I can speak tolerably in French, but reading en français isn’t exactly the relaxing & enjoyable experience I want)