Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kemble Scott at Books Inc.

book_coverThis evening at Books Inc. in the Marina I heard Kemble Scott talk about his satiric thriller The Sower. The novel started life on but has just now been released as a physical hardback. Mr. Kemble claims that, though it usually takes 18 months for a completed book to make it into print, The Sower was put into print in 29 days. He also says that this 1st print edition is being distributed exclusively to independent bookstores in the Bay Area, as a way of thanking them for helping to make his previous book, SoMa, a success.

Mr. Kemble seems comfortable with the self-promotional aspect of authorship. He explained the obscene meanings behind his characters' names & read a passage that seems to be a digression about the Armenian genocide. He offered the opinion that physical versions of books will continue to exist, side by side, with their digital equivalents. He observed that, with an on-line version of a book, the author is not committed to a final text. Indeed, he occasional changed his on-line text, & the readers would be entirely unaware of it. He imagined a future for the book in which the text would be fluid & not fixed.

There were at least 15 people at the event, many of them already fans. A man sitting next to me was late & must have been exerting himself for some time before arriving. He was amused when we both pulled out pocket moleskin notebooks. I discovered that he had already read the book & was eager to talk with the author. I also had the very unsettling feeling that I should have recognized him somehow.

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