All right, I have now officially responded to all of your comments. I’m even mostly caught up on my personal emails, so if I owe you one of those, feel free to poke me.
Tonight I went to the book release party for Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest. I was kind of super excited about it. Firstly because I loved the two books of Valente’s that I’ve read (In The Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice, which collectively make up The Orphan’s Tales). I’ve been meaning to read them aloud to Girlfriend, Esq. (reading aloud is one of the nauseatingly cute ways we spend time together while not being in the same city). They’re made up of gorgeously nested stories, the writing is lush and beautiful, and I just found reading them to be a terribly pleasurable experience. The other reason I was excited is because the universe seemed to want me to be there; I’ve got two degrees of separation going on several different ways. I’m friendly acquaintances with two people who performed. Another performer and vendor was my first girlfriend five years ago (we had dinner last night after a year and a half of emailing; it was the first time we’ve seen each other since we broke up. It went really, really well, and I’m delighted to have her friendship in my life again and to have seen her again tonight). Girlfriend, Esq.’s wife emailed me last night to tell me that she’s LJ friends with Valente’s partner, and they have real-life friends in common from when they all lived in the same city. It is a small, small world, and an exciting amount of it came together tonight. And a good friend invited me to go before I even knew any of that. Also the show itself was all kinds of fun and exciting, with music based on the book (and people who have recommended SJ Tucker to me were so totally right), bellydance and burlesque (I know I’ve seen too much NYC burlesque when a woman in a Godzilla costume walks onstage and I say to myself “I know those boobs…that has to be Jo Boobs”), a rope suspension performance, readings from the book itself, and more. It was book release carnival! And there were pretty things for sale and lots of good people to catch up with. I enjoyed myself right up until the moment I realized that if I didn”t leave I was going to run into nasty post-midnight construction on the train.
I don’t actually have anything to say about bisexuality in Valente’s writing, mostly because I read The Orphan’s Tales before I became quite such a bisexual superhero and started looking at most things through this lense, and because I haven’t yet read Palimpsest. But I think very highly of the way she writes about a variety of imaginary cultures and makes them compelling and believable and something other than vaguely exoticized white people. I bought Palimpsest tonight, and once I’ve read it and reread the others I’m sure I’ll have something good to say. I kinda trust her to get it right.
So I’ll be honest and admit that I’m pimping the book here because it enters me in a contest to win a Palimpsest Immigration Package (with all kinds of goodies, including a signed copy of the book, and chocolates and other lovelies inspired by the book). But that just gave me the idea to post about it. I’m doing it because I believe in what Valente has to say about internet marketing, and I want to support books like this one so that people continue to publish them, and it sounds like how this book does in particular will have a lot to do with whether Valente can continue to support herself with her writing. And because so many cool people I know are involved in promoting the book. And because this is my platform and I can use it way I darn well please, of course.
So go buy Palimpsest, hm? Then send Valente your receipt to be entered to win the other Immigration Package (or send her a link to your own blog/LJ/whatever post pimping it, and get entered to win the same one I’m going for. Jerks. No, seriously, do it anyway, no hard feelings.) Also check out where else she’ll be promoting the book; there’s a lot of stuff going on, all over both coasts. And with this sort of multimedia, carnival approach, it’s sure to be fun.