Thursday, March 8, 2012
An evening with Matt Ruff
So, last night I had the pleasure of hearing Matt Ruff read from and talk about his novel, The Mirage. This is not the first time I've gone out to see Matt, and it's always worth the trip. I've been reading his novels for, gosh, a very, very long time now. I discovered him with the very bizarre Sewer, Gas, & Electric--which is still my favorite--and I've been a fan ever since. (People who know me are nodding and saying, "Yes, Susan, we see the shark on the cover.") He's not the most prolific writer, but that makes me value each of the novels even more. Learning that a new book is about to be published is a real cause for celebration.
One of the most awesome thing's about Matt's work is that you never know what you're going to get. So many writers revisit the same territory or the same themes. In the worst cases, they rewrite the same novel over and over. Not so here! Each of his books is completely different. But this book is really different from what's come before, one of several subjects I bring up with Matt in the Q & A session recorded below.
Anyway, enough prattling from me. In the film clip above, you'll see a few opening remarks Matt made before he began reading. In the next three clips below, you'll hear him reading from the novel. I'm afraid I cut off the first couple of words he spoke. The opening sentence of the novel is, "This is the day the world changes." I mean, it's an awesome opening line, and you should know what it is. Also, I'm afraid there's a very brief gap between, I think, the second and third reading clip. Sorry, quick battery change.
The Submission. Just a thought.) I got to ask the final question of the evening, "What are you working on next?" And Matt was unusually forthcoming about an idea he's been thinking about. I'm so glad I have this on tape, because one day I'm going to hold a book in my hands, and go back and listen to this germ of an idea.
S. G. (Scott) Browne. I run into Scott often enough that we chat whenever we see each other. I love that he comes out to support other authors on tour. As it happens, Scott will soon be on tour himself for the forthcoming Lucky Bastard, which is getting amazing advance reviews. So, hopefully we'll have video of him on the blog in the not too distant future.
The Booksmith. Their customer service can not be beat, and--say it with me--we love to support our local independent booksellers!
And, if you're not familiar with Matt's work, maybe start by exploring his website, which has a lot of interesting content. Or just dive into the novel that intrigues you the most. I recommend them all.