Back From France…and Very Sleepy

Thanks so much to Rick Klaw for guest-blogging so diligently while we were gone. We’re now back–got in late last night–and very, very tired. Normal blogging will resume tomorrow.

Perhaps needless to say, but…we very much enjoyed Nantes and our brief time in Paris. Utopiales was a blast–in fact, I hate to say it but I think Utopiales really sets the bar high for excellence in a lot of different ways. I saw many, many innovative processes and ideas that I thought would go over great at a US convention. We also enjoyed meeting so many interesting writers, translators, editors, etc.

The only bad thing is that this was my convention schedule the first four days:

Thurs – Badly jetlagged, 9am to 9pm
Fri – Sick from both ends, 9am to 9pm (food poisoning)
Sat – Febrile and kinetic from relief that the Thursday programming had ended
Sun – No longer energetic, but at least not doing the Thurs programming again.

Anyhoo…Jules Verne Museum, mechanical elephants, corpses as art, and much else to report on, but for now…

Just a few random thoughts before I go back to sleep….

If you’re going to have a tour of a castle in Nantes, let it be by someone like Se(r)bastien Bonnet, an English instructor, who gave us the modern, updated, cool version, and then led us to a local bar that just happened to feature wonderful local beer and a North African singer who was amazing.

If you’re going to take a wrong turn on a Paris street, I suppose you could wind up somewhere less pictureque than by a kind of huge sandstone arch led up to by a street full of rather mature and husky prostitutes. (I really thought they were just shop owners taking a break, but they were, in fact, prostitutes not taking a break.)

If you’ve spoken rudimentary French all day and are asking a film theater cashier if the movie is dubbed or subtitled, don’t lapse into English so as to avoid this beat-down: “You could at least be polite. You are not in your large, shiny home country now.” (Hey–maybe we were the twelfth American couple to revert to English that day; anyway, once we had left and come back a few minutes later armed with as much French as we could muster, she was very nice, and it turned into a very pleasant experience. Other than that, the French were all either nice or amused by our crappy French.)

If you see a group of demonstrators for a local union on the Parisian streets, walk in the other direction instead of right at them, because a trampling may ensue.

And, now, sleep….

P.S. Got most of the rough draft of my Jack Vance story, “The Three Quests of the Wizard Sarnod,” done on the plane ride back…


  1. Jesse says

    Welcome back, welcome back…I probably missed the relevent earlier post but what sort of Vance thing are you working on again? From your title I presume it to be some sort of “Dying Earth” short story. The (so-called) Complete Dying Earth is one of my favorite collections, and I must say I vastly prefer that run to the straight SF stuff I’ve read of his.