Kage Baker was very, very fond of Tachyon Publishing – they are wonderful people in general, and they published her children’s book, The Hotel Under the Sand. And they are based in San Francisco, which was one of her favourite cities.
She also loved Borderlands Books, an indie bookstore of incomparable grace and glory. The folks at Borderlands have long been Kage’s friends; and they, too, are in San Francisco – in the charming Mission District. (They have Ripley, a Sphinx cat, on staff, and she is incredibly cool … not literally, but, you know – spiritually.)
And Kage was also very fond of a series of monthly readings called “SF In SF”. They happen on Fridays, in the Variety Arts Building on Market. I cannot recommend them enough – great venue, nice people, giant Pixar statues, and a bar! Kage read there several times.
And summer, of course, is the best time to drive North on the infinite strangeness of Interstate 5 …
Tomorrow, I will be driving up to the City By The Bay (like there is only One Bay and One City). I mean to attend this month’s SF In SF, in the company of Kage’s (and my) agent, the patient Linn Prentis. We will also be going to the Tachyon annual Birthday Party, which will be held at Borderlands Books. It’s from 2 to 4 on Sunday afternoon, and Tachyon is 16 this year. They can drive now!
There will be a special Kage Baker surprise unveiled at the party: the collection of her silent science fiction and fantasy movie reviews, entitled Ancient Rockets. I will also be reading from it, but don’t let that discourage anyone in the area from attending – it will be fun nonetheless, and other, interesting people will be there as well. Nancy Kress! Jack Skillingstead! The extraordinary Peter S. Beagle! And some cake and stuff, plus Jacob Weisman and his wonderful Tachyon staff.
So tomorrow, early on, I shall commit my Cruiser and my luggage to the mysteries of I-5. It will be appallingly hot and yellow and dry – but the very home and source of fog waits for me at the end, and that hope will sustain me. There will be mirages beside the road, glimpses of unknown cities, scents of invisible crops; sun dogs will hover in the sky like rainbow nebulas, and prisms will run after all the long arching irrigation sprinklers.
I’ll be living on iced coffee and singing at the top of my lungs. And I will check in with all you, Dear Readers, to let you know what lovely madness I encounter on the long road. Time to dance in the streets!