I’m going to be in Hamilton (the city, not the play), reading with a bunch of great writers (mostly poets), including Jacob Mooney and Joanne Arnott, as part of the ongoing Lit Live reading series, for their 2016/17 season kick-off on September 4th. It should be a great night (and at a new venue). Hope to see you there!
I’m on my second attempt reading Lee Smolin’s 2006 book The Trouble With Physics. I am reminded of a similar situation with another book, Joyce’s Ulysses. And, similarly, my second attempt with The Trouble With Physics is not a reappraisal but a confirmation: this is hard to read.
Smolin’s book is making a case for the fact that string theory is a failure; a spectacular failure that its adherents defend with a most byzantine theoretical web; that, because string theory is de rigueur in so many of the top schools, with so many reputations at stake, no one wants to recognize the fact that string theory — an attempt to harmonize the ideas of quantum theory and relativity so that we might understand the foundation of the universe more clearly — is a dead end.
The problem I’m (still) having with the book is that Smolin is writing to an audience that is willing to take a steep (try 90 degrees upward) climb in order to understand the various concepts and theories which not only formed the foundation of string theory, but the issues that weren’t resolved through the original work of Newton, Einstein, etc. Smolin lays out in the beginning various fundamental aspects of how things work that we simply don’t know — instilling early that scientific inquiry is, if anything, about the need for curiosity. However, given Smolin’s densely described approach to get us ready to understand his arguments, and while I don’t doubt the necessity, I think he would need to double the length of his book to do so effectively for interested readers who are not physicists.
What is more successful, and the reason I continue to read it, is how Continue reading
This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a book club in Brantford, Ontario. It was my first experience and I truly enjoyed it. I valued the perspective of the readers and was able to hear questions I often wouldn’t get a chance to hear in professional Q&As, which end up being rather tightly formatted. The questions I received were often challenging and thought-provoking. It was also fun talking about my history there (I spent a chunk of my early years in Onondaga), which was referenced in the Brantford Expositor last year.
I wanted to share this because if anyone reading this has a book club and would consider having myself (and my book, The Society of Experience) make an appearance, please feel free to get in touch. My contact info is on my author page: http://mattcahill.ca. I can’t always guarantee my availability, but wherever I can make it work, I will. I’m happy to make a visit in-person, as well as field a Q&A via email, or take part in a Skype session.
June is going so fast. I suppose it’s to be expected when you have a full-time job and write books on top of it. On this note, and as mentioned earlier, I’m setting my sights on Winnipeg, Manitoba as the next stop on my (very gradual) book tour.
McNally Robinson Booksellers is, I understand, a gorgeous location for a both a book retailer and a public reading. I will be joining David Lee, author of the YA book The Midnight Games, for a reading and a follow-up conversation with Chadwick Ginther and S.M. Beiko. This is happening on the 6th of July – mark your calendars.
I look forward to visiting Winnipeg and meeting new people. I hope you are able to make it out!
My debut novel, THE SOCIETY OF EXPERIENCE, has made the longlist for the 2016 Sunburst Awards! It’s with such esteemed company as Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last, Andrew Pyper’s The Damned, and Giller-winner André Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs. The shortlist will be announced in early July. I’m very happy to have SOE receive this sort of attention, and grateful. I’ll keep you posted on whether it makes the cut!
I have two new gigs lined up over the next few months. I have to say that my visit to Ottawa was wonderful — everyone involved, organizers and audience alike were very friendly and great people to chat with (in case you were curious, or thought these were terribly serious affairs). If you’ve been thinking of making it out, it would be great to see you at either of the next two events.
June 10th @ The Belljar (2072 Dundas St W, Toronto)
I will be reading from The Society of Experience as part of a launch for indie musician Kyp Harness’ debut novel, Wigford Rememberies. We will be joined by poet Mark Sampson, reading from his new collection, Weathervane. Details of the event can be found here. Authors’ books will be sold via Another Story Bookstore.
July 6th @ McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, MB)
I will be joining the ChiSeries once more, this time for my first reading outside of Ontario! Also reading that night will be David Neil Lee — we will be joined in conversation by Chadwick Ginther and S.M. Beiko. Details can be found here. I haven’t been in Winnipeg before so I’m really looking forward to it.
Speaking of Ottawa, the people at Silver Stag Entertainment managed to tape my reading. I normally can’t stand the sight of myself reading (or hearing my voice), but it ain’t bad. The audio quality is a little rough, as you can overhear bar patrons in the room next door, but I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!
Lastly, I’m hoping to announce a brief Alberta tour that will be happening in September. It’s in the planning stages, so fingers are crossed!
Late April/early May is going to be busy with appearances! First up, I will be participating in the 35th annual Ad Astra Convention (happening April 29-May 1 in Toronto). UPDATE: I’m appearing on Sunday the 1st of May at 2pm on the panel The Trials and Tribulations of Writing About Time Travel (along with fellow authors Kari Maaren and Kelly Robson).
Then, on Saturday April 30 I will be taking part in Authors For Indies Day, working the floor at Type Books during their 10th Anniversary (Queen West location) from 12pm to 1pm. Come by and I will help you find books!
Lastly, I will be reading in Ottawa on Tuesday May 3rd at Patty Boland’s (101 Clarence Street). UPDATE: I’m appearing at 7pm, alongside authors Chadwick Ginther and Mark Shainblum. Event listing here.
Like I said: it’s busy!
I’m going to be interviewed on CIUT’s literary program, HOWL, hosted by Nancy Bullis, this Tuesday (March 15). I’ll be speaking about The Society of Experience, writing, and whatever else comes up. We’ve got an hour, so I’m curious to see how this goes. I’ve never done radio before, so I look forward to the experience! The first thing I’ve learned is that THEY DON’T ALLOW COFFEE INTO THE STUDIO, which is…well, something I’m going to have to deal with, considering the show starts at 10pm.
If you’re interested in listening-in, the show is located on the local Toronto FM dial at 89.5, and is streamed live via various sources. Wish me luck!
It’s hard to keep everything together in one cohesive piece, and I realize that the only way anyone would know I’m on Goodreads is by being on Goodreads and searching for me by name, which is not exactly intuitive. So, yeah, I’m on that thing now. If you like Goodreads as a portal for books and readers, feel free to leave a review of either The Society of Experience or my two standalone “singles”, Snowshoe, and Second World. Thanks!
So, it appears The Society of Experience is becoming popular with book clubs in Canada and parts of the United States – this is wonderful news. As a token of my appreciation for this interest, I’m offering the following to anyone part of or organizing a book club: if you decide to add The Society of Experience to your book club’s reading list I will gladly make myself personally available to answer any questions you may have about the book, or writing in general. If you are in the Toronto area, I’m willing to make a personal appearance (time limited of course – please book early), otherwise I’m happy to connect with your group via Skype/Facetime or just plain ol’ email.
Get creative – throw me an idea! And remember, The Society of Experience is available in paperback and now eBook.