July 8th, 2009


Darwin Festival capers

Yesterday evening, bellinghwoman and I went off to Cambridge, to go see Sir Terrence Pratchett and Dr Jack Cohen in one of the Chemistry Dept.'s lecture theatres. It was part of the Darwin Festival, and it took the form of Jack and Terry conversing on the subject and themes of their book 'Darwin's Watch' (one of the Science of Discworld series), occasionally sparked off by a moderator.

300 or so people were packed in - it was a ticket-only event and every seat was filled - and I think it went very well. Jack occasionally fumbled for a word, but that's to be expected, and he was looking a lot better than he was about a year ago. As for Terry, he was on good form, despite having been up since pretty early in the morning, off being interviewed by the Beeb and so on.

The odd thing was how few of the regular suspects were there. We recognised Terry, Jack and Rob Wilkins (of course), but in the audience, Mad Hamish was the only person we recognised, apart from Colin Greenland (who is not noted for his following of the Discworld series, being better known as an SF writer himself. I didn't see Susanna.). A number of people had brought books to sign, but it was only a relatively small proportion of the audience, certainly not what would have been there at a reading or a con appearance.

We had brief chats with Rob, Colin and Terry, reminding the latter that there's a Worldcon in Melbourne again next year, before the organisers whisked the guests away in taxis, at which point we politely disappeared off in a different direction.

(Edit: corrected spelling that I always get wrong due to adjacency of a certain Cambridgeshire village.)