VOLCANIC EVENT (Waterstones Hampstead Jan 22nd)

08 January 2015

glossy shiny lovely tigerman paperback

I proposed to my publicist and my editor that to celebrate the release of the Tigerman paperback we should print the pages of the book in latex Braille ON THE STOMACHS OF MALE AND FEMALE MODELS and invite a blindfolded audience to read the text with their hands. I also inquired about whether we could shave chapter four sequentially into the fur of HUNDREDS OF KITTENS. I suggested that we HIRE A PLANE to put “full of win” in the blue sky over Trafalgar Square. All these and other BRILLIANT IDEAS were COLDLY REJECTED on various SPURIOUS BASES, but I persevered, and finally I CAME UP WITH A MASTERPLAN which they also did not like. So instead of sitting on my authorial megathrone over an on-stage jacuzzi in which burlesque performers dressed as superheros fight other burlesque performers dressed as sexy marines while RICHARD E GRANT DRESSED AS A SEXY VOLCANO gouts suggestive clouds of white and silver glitter onto their insignia, I have to give you ACTUAL CONTENT. Do you see how my life is TRAGICALLY UNFAIR and the world would be infinitely better if I was appointed GODKING OF EVERYTHING?


So, fine. FINE. I’m having a more ordinary event at Waterstones in Hampstead on the 22nd, where I will read from Tigerman and answer questions. I will do all this IN A REALLY COOL OUTFIT. Since I’m not even allowed a single scantily clad dancer, I’ll also be reading a little taster of the new book. That would be the book I have not finished, which my editor (WHO WILL NOT LET ME HAVE SKYWRITERS OR SEXUALLY CHARGED VOLCANOES) has not yet seen. It will only be a small bit of what is a rather large and complex story, so it won’t give anything away, except of course the frantic awesome that is my next novel. I am very sorry that it will not be handwritten in caramel  by Michelle Dockery on the thighs of Benedict Cumberbatch AS WAS ORIGINALLY PLANNED, but you evidently CAN’T HAVE EVERYTHING. I will instead give it life with my breath.


So now you know all the might-have-beens, you should still come along, for fun.








The Gone-Away World: US Paperback

17 June 2009

How thrilled am I at this moment?

Is it:

a) very

b) amazinglyhugelyzomgone11!one

c) beyond the measure of human language and symbols, but within the scope of rational thought

d) running around in the carpark wearing only a beer hat shouting “squeeeee!”

e) yes, I experience a measure of satisfaction in uncovering the compleat opus within the rubble of my surging and searching mind, but the true happiness lies in the journey of self-expression and discovery. No real artist likes to gloat, of course, but I think we can safely say that [blah]

f) dude, I have totally run out of dumb ways to express my excitement, but it’s, like, totally.

The answer is g) all of the above except for the nudity.


Because the US paperback jacket design has just arrived, and it is gorgeous. Yes, it’s true, I wanted to ask all you guys to chip in and talk about it and so on, but this time around there wasn’t time and I was frankly too rubbish to sort it out, so we’ll have to save that for the next ‘un. However, I believe you will approve.


US Paperback - click for full image

The book comes out some time in September, I’m not exactly sure when. The idea, obviously, is that I should have finished the new one by then – by which I mean finished a presentable draft – so that I can have double bragging rights and give myself superior looks in the mirror. I’ve made a small list of things I will say to myself while brushing my teeth, such as:

1) You said it couldn’t be done, you whiner!

2) Who the bookdaddy? Uh-huh uh-huh.

3) Are those your teeth? And are they the teeth of a two-time novelist? Yes, yes, I believe they are…

And so on. Sadly, I cannot yet say any of these things because I am still only about three quarters of the way in. Ten weeks to go, I hope, maybe twelve… wish me luck…

Paperback Day! (In which I am King of Everything, Ever)

05 February 2009

Happy author

Yeehaw! It’s paperback publication day!

Right then! Toggle the disambiguation engine, fire up the structural declunkifier, step up the reactor power three more triangles! I’m ready to go! Tell my soldiers I said this: that today is our great day, our shining moment! We shall march forth from this confinement and we shall sluice the wickedness from the world of letters, we shall shatter the oppressive chains of mediocrity, we shall…


There’s nothing for me to do?



That’s just weird.


Actually, there are a couple of things I can do. I can mention Charles Lambert and Charles Cumming, both of whom have paperbacks out around now and who are superb and talented people despite being, of course, the competition, and therefore when my dark armies swarm like crawling flies across the face of the Earth and I am crowned on a throne of iced and gold-leafed chocolate by Fidel Castro, Tricia Helfer, and Kinky Friedman, and Mrs Harkaway is carried to my side by the entire cast of Mama Mia, I shall outlaw the name Charles and make them wear the pointy slippers and tinfoil hats of opprobrium, and they shall write only for the royal line, lest someone get the idea that they ought to be king instead of me.

Yes, really, this is how I think about the world.


I can also confirm that the Barnes & Noble on 86th & 2nd in the great city of New York is filled with awesome people! Step forward Irene, Christine, and Daniel, whom I met last week and who are superfantastic in all ways. Seriously. Go find these people, seek them out, marry them, give them beer, offer them early-release copies of your best television and films. Forget Andie MacDowell, these guys are worth it. (And that applies to Doug and Meredith, too, even if I didn’t get to meet you this time. And guys, in general, I cannot believe we did not take a single picture. I destroyed the work ethic in your store for an entire afternoon and there is no photographic evidence. How much do we suck?)


I can also point out that if anyone wants to spend a thousand dollars making me happy (and isn’t thinking of giving that money to Reprieve, who need it just as much now as they did last year, by the way, because although President Obama is amazing he does not actually exhale perfect legislation and enlightened behaviour along with the smell of dollars, love, and eucalyptus) they should buy me a keyboard from Datamancer. Or maybe better yet, pay the guy a massive sum to pimp my Prius.

Can you imagine? Wow.


And I can talk briefly about the weird, cool process of translation. The Gone-Away World is now being translated into Italian, French, German, and Russian. It’s fascinating to watch – so many things you take for granted are just not there. In Italian, for example, the word for “silverback” doesn’t have the same connotations as it does in English, so we can’t use that description for Humbert Pestle. There’s no translation for “pencilneck”.

As I look at it, it seems to me there will be places where I should write a couple of extra lines to introduce a concept which works differently in English – so if we end up using “calamari” and “leviathan” instead of “pencilneck” and “silverback” (which may or may not work in Italian, by the way, I just came up with it a second ago) I’ll maybe do a thing talking about how squid have their fingers in everything and grow up to be corporate monsters devouring everything they can, and so on. And that will only ever exist in the translation. (Well, okay, if I do it I’ll also publish the English text here, for fun.)

Really interesting, though. Mind-expanding, even.


It’s paperback day.


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Drop me a line! Forgive me if the response is not immediate - I tend to get rather behind. If something requires my rapid attention, please tweet me or get in touch through my agent, Patrick.

Cheers, NH





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