I was in Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, yesterday, trying not to bankrupt myself in their Giant Book Basement (They have a rather excellent sale section too, which was where I ended up doing most of my shopping). The book section in FP in London takes up almost the entire lower floor, and I can happily spend hours wandering in the racks and looking for the names of my friends – and sometimes moving their books to the front of the shelf, don’t tell anyone 😉
The whole experience however, was rendered a bit more poignant when I came across two signed copies of Colin Harvey’s “Winter Song”, nestled on the bottom shelf next to Peter F Hamilton. Because my copy of “Winter Song” isn’t signed, and now it never will be. There were plenty of chances for me and Colin and the book to get together in the same place, but by that time the beer was usually flowing and the chat had veered off into the Realms of Silly, and somehow neither of us got around to it. I thought there would be plenty of time. I was wrong.
I wanted to buy one of the copies and bring it home, but I felt it wouldn’t be the same, so I left them where they were, after I turned them face out so everybody could see them better.
So if you run up to me at a con and I’m waving a copy of your book and a biro, even if you see me all the time, don’t let me say “we’ll do it next time.” Because sometimes there isn’t a next time.