I was on a panel at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) in London on the topic of "Can Science Books be Literature" when the name Brockman rose up from row three with suggestions of the Third Culture. The audience wanted to know if the novel really was dead. (Did you really say that?) The novelist on the panel, Ian Mc Ewan, was gracious as always but then he has reason to be confident about the life of the novel. Mostly he held up his sympathies for science while in a little role reversal I defended the novel. Also had a great trip to the Hay-on-Wye festival. Drank way too much champagne and saw Bob Geldof play in a neighboring tent to an all too conscientious audience.
Other big news, for me at least, I eloped with the English old-timey country singer. About half way through my first book tour, we stopped in Chicago and between a colloquium in the Physics Department at the University of Chicago and a somewhat odd lecture in the Adler Planetarium we ran down to city hall, got a licencethe clerk in the wedding office shaking our hands with great enthusiasm (is he always that happy about nuptials we wondered)and got hitched in a kind of surprise wedding party thrown by my mom and her twin sister. On the morning of the wedding I was still trying to choose something to wear. Typical. It was great fun. Here's my favorite wedding picture from my six year old nephew Ari. There's Warren and I in the middle with my uncles holding the hoopa. We've had no honeymoon yet as the book tour marched on to DC, New York, then back to London.
As for summer in London, the other day someone remarked to me that the weather really wasn't too bad for winter.