I have returned from my trip to Scandinavia, and it went most well. It was a flying visit – a day in Stockholm, a day in Gothenberg, and a day in Oslo, with four hours in airports, five hours on planes, and ten or eleven on trains in between – and hence slightly knackering. I spent the whole time in a slightly disoriented state of mild bafflement. Even more so than usual. But I got to meet my Swedish publisher, who are releasing The Blade Itself in Swedish in August (split in two books, but released together). They are actually keeping something close to the original title as well, unusually. Their translation comes close to ‘the tempting steel’ apparently. Ooooh. Tempting.
I also got to do some events at some great specialist bookstores, and meet a lot of very keen Swedish and Norwegian readers. Particular respect has to go to the guy who turned up at Oslo having only just been discharged from hospital with tongue cancer, had half his tongue removed and was sporting scars that would’ve made Black Dow proud to know him. Now that’s dedication.
Some things that I learned about Sweden and Norway from my brief encounter:
Scandinavia is very clean compared to London.
Scandinavians speak ludicrously good English.
And hence read a lot of books in English.
Scandinavians like fantasy and sci-fi a lot.
And hence have excellent, very well stocked and informed specialist fantasy and sci-fi bookshops with real senses of community and involvement about them.
This is a good thing.
Scandinavian trains are great.
Scandinavia is not necessarily cold. In fact it was boiling hot, brilliant sunshine pretty much the whole time I was there. I really needn’t have packed my ice-pick.
So thanks again to all the publishers and booksellers that put me up, fed me and looked after me, and also to all the good folks who came out to get books signed or listen to me talk rubbish. Maybe I’ll see you again some time…