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Forbidden Planet Signing & Singing

It is a balmy summer’s evening and a crowd is gathering. China Miéville, Adam Nevill, myself, publicists and organisers, all head into Forbidden Planet and down the stairs, preparing ourselves for the signing.

China Miéville: I feel like there should be some kind of grand music on our arrival.

Me: What, like the kind of thing you get at a wrestling match?

CM: Absolutely. What song would you have playing as you head out for a signing?

Me: Um… I’ve never actually thought about it.

CM: Oh come on, surely you’ve got a song you’d want playing as you go out for these things?

Me: Nope. So what’s yours?

CM: “Original Nutter”, by Shy FX & Apache Indian. This song changed music in London.

Me: Huh?

CM: Oh you must have heard of it? [China begins to sing the main riff]

At this point I make an observation that I’m of a younger generation (as I will continue do until I am no longer the younger generation). Later, China whips out his iPhone to reveal the video. And here it is, in fact, the song that Three Clarkes Miéville would have playing, if authors were to walk out to music at signings.


I never got to find out what Adam’s music would be, but since he was going to Download, you can be sure it’s none of this Drum & Bass filth. And I still haven’t decided upon my own. More thought required.

The Forbidden Planet signing was, quite simply, a great event, and while I remember I should thank Danie Ware and the gang at FP, as well as Chloe Healy at Pan Mac, for making it such a splendid evening for myself, Adam and China. Here is a picture of me doing some actual, live signing, stolen from courtesy of the lovely Adele:

There was such a big crowd there, and a huge turn-out of bloggers, and given the open-plan nature of the day, it meant that many people could attack the authors from all sides. I signed solidly for the hour, met lots of very lovely people, signed their books, signed a monstrous pile of stock, then did a short video interview, which I failed to take seriously again. A lot of people were extremely kind about the blog, too, which makes typing into this little box a little more rewarding.

Afterwards, we all went to the Phoenix Club, and I enjoyed chatting properly – you know, in meatspace – to readers and bloggers. I’m not going to name everyone here, mainly because I’ve just got back and currently my memory will neglect someone. Oh, but Gav from Next Read, deserves a mention because he gave me a tarot reading on the night. There were several people who I didn’t get the chance to talk to for long enough (including Adam – top guy) but I’m sure the chance will come again in the near future. Other write-ups are materialising, and I’m sure there will be more very soon.

By the way, for those of you seeing me moan on Twitter, I finally managed to get copies of City of Ruin. While I’m at it, here is a very lovely review of the book.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

19 replies on “Forbidden Planet Signing & Singing”

Lol, or you could come to Australia – where they make real grog, by which I am of course talking about Bundeberg Rum.

Is that China with hair doing the sweet singing? The more a watch, the more I’m convinced of it. Even if it’s not, I’m going to pretend it is. Man’s got wicked rhyme abilities.

I’m sold on the Real Ale, and yes that was my special signing pen! It got plenty of action.

Different Rachel – yes, it’s a fantastic looking book isn’t it? Very happy with the quality. And the map.

Jonathan – I see it now. Who knows? He’s a man of many talents.

Gav – I think that’s my problem. My mood changes far too much…

I dunno about entrance music but as a youngster I spent many a time daydreaming as to what music I would have accompany me as I walked up to collect my Hugo. So as a lifelong Star Wars fan, you can imagine my shock and disappointment when I finally saw a Youtube video of the ceremony and instead of a full orchestra there was some girl with a tape recorder and the Star Trek theme.

Drum&Bass filth?! How very dare you Mark! Nuttah’s a chooooooon! I used to skank to that one in the smokey discotheques of my youth. WHEEL-UP MY SELECTA!

(it’s more Jungle than D&B FYI)

Had a great time by the way, was lovely to meet all the authors, blogfolk and so on.

I missed the Forbidden planet event for the second year! Maybe it will be third time lucky.
Just can’t seem to do a work night,grrr…
I look forward to reading book 2 Mark and wish you great success.
China has definately gone way up in my estimations!
Shy FX, that was the sound of my summer, big car, loudspeakers and lots of raves!

Forbidden planet should definitely use that signing approach more often as it made it very informal. I did get a laugh at how Mark was leaning against a shelf so that he could sign the books – it made the whole thing look unsanctioned. Reminds me of the Stephen King incident

Ah, the Phoenix Club (not to be confused with Phoenix night’s show). The safe bet for finding an author.

Adrian – now Hugo music is something entirely different. Much more majesty is required for that!

Aidan – you totally do.

Larry – actually, yeah, Led Zep wouldn’t be bad. Immigrant Song would totally rock.

Alex – great to chat with you, even though you’re a fan of dirty Jungle music. 😛

Sharon – good to see you too, and sorry we couldn’t have nattered for longer.

Jacqueline – sorry to have missed you! Can’t believe I’m being outnumbered by fans of this music.

Thanks, Dave – yeah, after I signed stock at the end, I was ready to crash – but we had a party to attend…

Neil – great to meet you again. Yes, I much preferred it to last year, though something to lean on would be an absolute bonus. Now signing at the Phoenix Nights club – I would be there at the drop of a hat.

“Junglist” FYI ;P

But yeah, great chat, esp. the Mythago Wood stuff: you raised a lot of very interesting possibilities as to the way Fantasy could go in the future and I’ll be interested to see them come to fruition

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