3 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Libraries)

Friday Open Thread (with Libraries)

Dear Friends,

It's the end of the week! Incredible! I'm so glad we're here.

My experience of time's been a bit muddied the last several days. Last Friday, when I got my first vaccine jab, saw a lot of high-energy social activities kick off over the weekend, and even though they were all virtual, I've been a little mood-crashed since. In the beforetimes, when I'd travel to attend a convention, some of that incipient sadness could spread out over the course of a journey home, a long slow off-ramp of feeling; without it, I just sank like a stone into a scummy pond of sudden tooth pain and unreasonable heat wave and feel like I've only just emerged.

But the heat's broken and the pain's been addressed and I'm really excited about a few things happening next week! Here they are:

On June 16, from 7:30-9:00 PM EST, Max Gladstone and I will be In Conversation with each other under the auspices of the Brooklyn Public Library. We'll do a short reading from This Is How You Lose the Time War, chat about how we wrote it, and take questions from the audience. It's been a wee while since we've done this sort of thing, and I hope you'll join us! It's a free event, but you need to register for it here.

Then, on June 17 – only 6 days away! – you'll all be able to watch Dressed As People, the show I co-wrote I with Kelly Robson and Alyx Dellamonica for our brilliant friend Margo MacDonald to perform! You can get your tickets for on-demand viewing here; once you receive the link, you'll have 7 days to watch it.

We're still finalizing event details for a virtual premiere night afterparty and Q&A, but do save the date!

In honour of the BPL's event, though, I wanted to ask – what's a treasured memory you have involving a library? It can be a public one, or one belonging to a family member or friend.

My childhood library in the town I grew up in is a kind of memory palace for me – I remember its spaces and sections so well, even though it's since moved across the street into a completely different building. I remember the corners I'd sit down in to read undisturbed for what felt like hours, but must surely have been less; I remember how I associated that building with a thrilling independence, because by a certain age I could ride my bike to it alone. My memories of it are so vivid it's hard to even say I miss it, because I carry it with me so thoroughly, almost as much as my childhood home.

I'd love to know more about your cherished libraries and book spaces, if you'd like to share!

Wishing you all a lovely and easing weekend,



  • If you missed me chatting with Nicole Kornher-Stace about her brilliant new novel Firebreak, you can watch it here! It starts with Nicole reading from a ways into the book, so if you'd rather skip that for fear of spoilers and just listen to our conversation, that starts around the 14-minute mark. If you enjoy it and want to get the book, you can do so through Greenlight Books, which put on the event! It's a great way to support the incredible work indies have been doing During These Times.
  • A Japanese edition of This Is How You Lose the Time War is coming out in the next week or so! The cover is absolutely spectacular, completely different from any other take I've seen so far, and I love it. I hope Japanese readers enjoy it!
Two feminine silhouettes are vertically opposite to each other, one looking upwards from the bottom, one dropping head-first from the top. The bottom silhouette is filled with blue-green foliage, while the top one is filled with abstract pinkish swirls of paint. To the left are the words "Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, This Is How You Lose the Time War" in English, while to the right is the Japanese translation. The bottom of the cover says "A Hayakawa Science Fiction Series" in grey typeface on a black banner.
  • Finally, I know I've said this before, but I really can't stop watching this trailer for Dressed As People.