Zoo City nights

One of Angry Robot’s finest was in London last week for no fewer than three bookish events. I’ve been in touch with Lauren Beukes for probably a year or more now, and with such a rare opportunity to catch up with her in person, I couldn’t resist a London jaunt.

While I couldn’t make her BSFA event on Wednesday night, I was at the Forbidden Planet signing on Thursday, where a small but perfectly formed gathering got their limited hardcover editions of Lauren’s new book, Zoo City, personalised by the author before heading out for celebratory drinks. It was a really nice event and it was great to catch up with some friends, and as I expected Lauren was a delight in person. The limited hardcover (only 100 copies, exclusive to Forbidden Planet) is absolutely gorgeous too. Lauren brought me the South African paperback of Zoo City, published by Jacana, as well, which is a nice collector’s item with supercool Battlestar Gallactica corners.

So, all I need now is the regular UK paperback (out in September), the US paperback (January 2011), and the eBook, and I’ve got the set! Zoo City, I should point out, is an absolutely kick-ass book. I’ve plunged into the Jacana edition to read, and have hit the halfway mark after just a few days. If you can’t get the limited hardcover before it sells out, for goodness’ sake get the regular edition next month. Tying in to Zoo City, don’t forget there are five hand-illustrated Bares up for auction to support The Suitcase Project. Lauren brought one of them, Bi-Polar Bare, to London, and up-close it is a real work of art. The auctions run until August 10th!

On the way out to drinks, somebody spotted a familiar piece of art in Forbidden Planet’s window:

Fortunately they only had the shirt in an XL, so my wallet was spared. However, I’m taking the coincidental appearance of not-Ludmila in the window as a positive sign.

And as if I didn’t acquire enough reading material in just three days in London, I was met by this on the doormat when I got home on Sunday.

Two new books from two of my favourite authors, both in advance of their regular publication date. Not a bad weekend, all round!