In May this year, I had the great pleasure of launching Michael Pryor’s middle grade science fiction novel Machine Wars. The launch took place at Merri Creek Primary School in front of a room full of upper primary kids and their teachers. Here’s what I said (without all the ums and ahs and unplanned pauses as I lost my spot in the notes)…
When Michael Pryor asked me to launch his new book, I was very excited, for a number of reasons…
- I’ve known Michael for a number of years, and I think he’s a nice bloke.
- He launched a book for me about 3 years ago, so this was my chance to return the favour.
- It provided me with the excuse to ask him to launch my new set of books in a couple of weeks (see previous post).
But most importantly…
- I got a free copy of Machine Wars… before it was released! Cool!
Actually no — there is another more important reason…
- I’m excited to launch this book because I’m a fan of Michael’s writing.
I loved following Aubrey Fitzwilliam’s adventures in The Laws of Magic books. I was amazed by Tara and Sam’s century-spanning friendship in 10 Futures. And now I had the chance to go along with Bram and friends as they faced a potential machine war.
Yes, I was very excited indeed!
Of course, now that I had agreed to launch the book, I was faced with a bit of problem. How do you launch a book like this? How can I convey its awesomeness?
After several weeks of head-scratching, I finally figured out what it was that I had to do.
I would get you, the audience, to use your imaginations. After all, imagination is an important part of both reading and writing.
So… you all ready? Okay?
Imagine the utter terror. Imagine the heart-pounding, adrenaline inducing fear. Imagine being attacked by a toaster! Or a laptop computer! Or maybe even a vacuum cleaner!
Got that? You imagining it? Are you feeling the fear? No?
Okay, that probably doesn’t sound all that frightening, does it? I mean really — what’s a laptop gonna do to you? Snap its lid closed on your fingers? Oh yes… that would inspire utter terror!
What if that laptop got together with the toaster and the vacuum cleaner and a few other ordinary household appliances? And what if they merged? Amalgamated — to form something new. Something dangerous! Something deadly.
A robot was standing in the ruins of my home. It wasn’t some super-futuristic metal humanoid, though. This was a robot mashed up out of household appliances. It had two arms and two legs, but instead of a head, Mum’s old laptop was perched on a neck that was a bunch of springs. Its limbs were basically Dad’s golf clubs bound by electrical cords. What got me most was that its body was mostly out vacuum cleaner. That purple tornado-packed vacuum cleaner as a robot? What was it going to do? Clean me to death? I fumbled for my bike while keeping one eye on this robo-thing — this junkbot.
So, let’s imagine some more, okay? What if your home was destroyed by junkbots? What if you were being chased by junkbots, and killbots and a super-smart artificial intelligence that controlled the whole Internet? And then imagine that the safety of the entire world depended on you not getting caught.
Well, you don’t actually have to imagine it. Michael’s already done that. All you’ve got to do it read it.
And you should read it. You should all read it. I’m talking to the grown-ups as well. Because it is a seriously awesome book, with frightening robots, thrilling chases, big explosions and some really cool ideas. And at its very core… is friendship. Because if you’re going to make a stand against a machine army, it helps to have friends by your side.
And so with that, it is my great pleasure to, to, to… declare Machine Wars launched, launched, launched, launched, launched, launched, launc…
Okay, that last bit really doesn’t work so well in print. The launch finished up with a little bit of theatrics from Michael and I, as I pretended to be a malfunctioning robot which he had to switched off. Ah… you had to be there. Trust me… it was all good on the day. 🙂
Oh yes… and Michael brought along his own personal robot to help with the book signing (see photo).
Tune next time to read about the launch of LynC’s Nil By Mouth.
Catch ya later, George
Check out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.