5 min read

Home from the Time War

Equinoxes, where to get double-signed copies, & quitting Twitter for a month.

Happy Autumn Equinox!

I don’t feel the autumn yet, but I do feel the season’s shift. Summer keeps bursting back up unexpectedly like heat from a hidden vent, a panting exhalation of warm yellow light, but it’s slanted, hits my eyes at a different angle—and when the dark falls earlier, it falls thick and hard, velvety and opaque in a way that makes 8:00 PM feel like midnight.

And I’m done with events for This Is How You Lose the Time War.

Can it be called a “launch” when it lasted two months? When I traveled to Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Ottawa (it counts as travel when you have to travel BACK to it!), Dublin, Glasgow, London, New York City, Westerly, and Toronto? When some of those places had multiple events over a couple of days? When I signed so many books I actually emptied two fountain pens multiple times? (A Lamy Al-Star in Pacific Blue and a Conklin Nozac in Ohio Blue, for anyone curious—both full of Pilot Iroshizuku’s Kon-Peki, my current fave.)

Eleven cities over 69 (nice) days. That’s not a lot by the standard of people who go on real actual tours (the kind where you’re in a new city every day, sometimes the same day), but it was a lot for me because of how much else I was doing alongside the book events: teaching at the Locus Awards, then teaching at Clarion West, all while trying to keep on top of the next legs of the journey, not to mention my other jobs—writing book reviews, working on a TV pilot with Max, developing and prepping syllabi for two new courses I’m teaching at the University of Ottawa (where I’m also suddenly the Creative Writing Coordinator!) on top of, you know, finishing the ol’ PhD.

(I had to request an extra term to complete the dissertation, and in the box provided for “reasons” literally wrote “unexpected Hollywood success.” They gave me the extension!)

Every single event was wonderful. Every single event involved meeting so many of you—talking, signing, hearing your stories about the book, your experiences of reading it, of sharing it with friends and lovers, of being inspired to pick up physical correspondence again. There’s been COSPLAY and FANART, the two dearest wishes of my authorly heart, so much that I’m going to gather them up into one celebratory letter of their own!

But I think possibly this is what did me in the most: a couple who came to my autograph session at Dublin Worldcon to ask me to sign, not a copy of the book, but of their freakin’ WEDDING PROGRAM—because they’d read from This Is How You Lose the Time War in their ceremony. With permission, I’m sharing my reaction and their faces below.

It just makes me so happy. I hope their paths will cross with Max’, too, both so that they can have a complete signature set and so that Max can feel the way I did witnessing it.

Signed Copies

Speaking of double signatures! As of one hour ago, the only places you can still get double-signed copies are as follow:

McNally Jackson (Seaport): NYC, 1 copy

The Savoy: Westerly RI, 5 copies

If you’re looking specifically towards holiday gifts (!) it might be a good idea to snap those up—there’s a possibility that there’ll be one more opportunity this year to get copies that are signed by us both, depending on whether or not I’ll be in the Boston area one more time this year in October, but then that will be it! And the paperback comes out in March 2020, so if your heart’s set on the hardcover, there’s the frame of the window you still have before potential remaindering sets in!

(PS we just learned that the book’s gone into a third hardcover printing. The book’s been out for 69 days. …Nice?!)

As an added inducement towards the Savoy: they ship for free in the US and do a gorgeous job of wrapping books!

As for copies signed by me alone or Max alone: Max frequently re-ups at Porter Square Books in Somerville and Trident Books in Boston, while I tend to keep Perfect Books and Chapters Rideau in signed stock (and contributed a grand total of 3 unclaimed sigs to Bakka Phoenix in Toronto at Word on the Street this weekend). I’ll make sure to let you know if I’m able to get to any other places!


It’s been hard to balance being on the road with all the responsibilities attendant on being stationary. Equinoxes are, naturally, a time to think about balance—about where you’re pouring your light and energy with the dark oncoming, about what’s nourishing, what’s sustainable.

Now that I’m home from the Time War, as it were, I’m quitting Twitter for at least a month. I want to withdraw, recover, refocus—I want to be better at teaching, better at keeping my house clean, at making home. I don’t usually spell this out so much for myself on the eve of a hiatus, but I feel the need to now, as there are more consistent, long-term demands on my attention than usual, and I want to be more deliberate about where that attention’s directed.

And, finally, just a rapid-fire overview of some stuff I’ve been doing:

Reading: Alternating between The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger. Reviews forthcoming to subscribers!

Listening: The wind rustling the still green but gently drying oak leaves.

Watching: I’m so excited for Frozen 2, a new trailer for which dropped today, and have instructed my sister to clear her weeping schedule for November 22 when we shall embrace each other throughout our viewing and stain our sleeves with salt.

Tasting: I had orange wine for the first time recently and it was lovely! Reminds me of still cider in some ways, yellow plums and honey in others. If you’re in Ottawa, get yourself to Fauna or Citizen for a glass, or to Quebec for a bottle from the SAQ—the LCBO hasn’t figured it out yet, it seems.

Writing: My next column for the NYT, which will appear in their Halloween issue, and which is due this Friday! Very excited to share these books with you.

How about you?

That’s all the news that’s fit to print just now. Take care of yourselves and each other, and fight for the liberation of all sentient beings.



PS: Happy BiVisibilityDay!