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cakes in space, the london invasion

Yesterday morning we had our Cakes in Space launch! And there were cake hats! Cakes with eyes! Cakes that were ALIVE....


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

The previous day, my co-author Philip Reeve and I had signed stock for indie bookshops and prepared for the next day's event, but we had no idea what sorts of life forms we'd encounter.



In the morning, my trusty companion, Stuart, and I travelled light years to Marylebone High Street to the space station that is Daunt Books.



And we were met by cakes! Cakes with eyes!


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com


These fearsome creatures were carefully herded by cake wranglers from Oxford University Press, including Cecily, Camille Davis and Hattie Bayly.



Sweet wheat-based morsels clamped on to people's heads and wouldn't get off!



But somehow, these people took it in their stride...



...They couldn't seem to understand their peril.



In fact - shock horror - some of the visitors even ENCOURAGED the cakes in their ferocious tendencies.



I sensed these cakes had undue influence on their hosts.


Photo by Deadly Knitshade - whodunnknit.com

Fearless scientists that we are, Reeve and I took to the podium to investigate these strange happenings.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Philip demonstrated the wonder of SCIENCE, how in the future in Cakes in Space, people can insert protein sachets into the marvellous NOM-O_TRON and produce the most excellent food you can imagine. In Philip's case, it was a chocolate biscuit.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Of course, I had to jump in and try out this science of the future.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

I could envision MUCH more awesome treats than Philip, so I'd be sure to get something at least a hundred times better.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

But what was this? A carrot?!! ...Science is not all it's cracked up to be.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

This little girl was seriously skeptical. I expect she'll grow up and become the sort of scientist who relies on things like DATA and EVIDENCE, which is rather an odd concept.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

But those cakes were still lurking, so we delved into our carefully researched report and read out useful passages to the audience, warning them about their impending doom.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

Now, I ought not to give away all the secrets of our research, but I can allude to a strange occurrence during the event, brought on by Visitors from Elsewhere, which left Philip struck to the heart with tragic loss. ...A moment of silence, please.


Photo by Rebecca Portsmouth - rebeccalouise.com

To deal with these dangers in the future, we need TECHNOLOGY, mostly in the form of robots who look rather friendly. I drew a diagram of a Cakes in Space-featured robot named Pilbeam. And so that the schematics of this fine robot would not be forgotten by future generations, I had everyone draw Pilbeam along with me, implanting the robot's makeup directly into their brains.



And the implantation was successful, each diagram slightly altered so that the memory could not be wiped out by a single virus. (Clever, yes?)


Pictures by @LAWsomeTweets and Katie on Martin Hand's Flickr page

To lighten this dark, prophetic mood, Philip and I sang a ballad from the future, dating to just the time before everyone gets artsy-fartsy and starts singing only in binary.



What wonderous things these humans have wrought!



We practised our Battle Cry of the Future, in case our defensive technology is not enough to ward off the killer cakes.



And still the cakes lurked, preferring the cranial regions.



Don't be deluded by their enticing appearance, these cakes have issues.



Despite the gloom and doom of the presentation, the front window display at Daunt Books Marylebone looked quite jolly. We suspect they may be in collusion with the killer cakes.



After our signing, Philip and I traveled with Norwegian starship captain Karoline Bakken to another satellite of Daunt.



Despite its rather old-fashioned facade, Daunt Books Hampstead IS the future and houses a time machine in its basement.



The staff let us inscribe coded warnings for future generations in their Cakes in Space books but pretended not to know what we were talking about when we asked them about the time machine. So we left them, vowing to return when their secret could be revealed.



As we traveled, Captain Bakken lavished unwarranted affection on our captured cake. Being nice to cakes doesn't help anything, you ought to know. Eat the cake before it eats you, that's our motto.



Next stop: Daunt Books Holland Park.



But what is this? My co-pilot decided to go undercover, to wear CIVVIES, while I remained still properly clad in my fighting uniform. Obviously this is a sign of some overarching PLAN we have, but I can't tell you about it or I'll have to kill you.



Be aware. Be vigilant. Run to your nearest bookshop and snatch up a copy of Cakes in Space so that you, too, can be prepared for alien cake attack. You NEVER KNOW when they might strike. I will leave you with our public service broadcast:



Huge thanks to Daunt staff for hosting us in a bookshop that's regularly listed as one of the world's most beautiful, our OUP team, Stuart (who ran around getting bits and pieces we'd forgotten), sculptor Eddie Smith for helping make the Killer Cake hat, Wendy Benstead and team for costumes, Rebecca Portsmouth, Deadly Knitshade, Charlotte Hacking and other people who took and tweeted fab photos, everyone who made those awesome hats, Liz Scott and Philippa Perry for all your planning work! And to everyone who came along, and bought every single Cakes in Space book at the shop! The Daunt staff were Very Happy! :D

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
jabberworks
Sep. 14th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
Check out Deadly Knitshade's Vine videos for some hilarious stop-motion animtions from the day! (On Vine and on Twitter)

And news just in: with her dad's help, little Katie went away and coloured her drawing of Pilbeam the robot!

UndercoverOwl
Sep. 14th, 2014 09:06 am (UTC)
So much CAKE
Such a fun morning - my evil children are still mocking poor Philip's pain. Under the influence of their cakes, obviously.
Thanks so much for letting us join in your cake based jollity and congratulations on the launching of your sentient cake fighting instruction manual.
jabberworks
Sep. 14th, 2014 09:31 am (UTC)
Re: So much CAKE
Ha ha, your Twitter exchange with Philip has me howling! Those BRUTES. :D

Thanks so much for coming, and to the girls for all their fab hat-making work! Best wishes on your big new adventure. xx
UndercoverOwl
Sep. 15th, 2014 08:30 am (UTC)
Re: So much CAKE
They ARE brutes :P
We wouldn't have missed it for the world - the kids adore you and Philip and they would never have forgiven me if we hadn't come.
And who knows, maybe we'll see you in Sydney!
girfan
Sep. 14th, 2014 12:14 pm (UTC)
Amazing! Looks like a fun day!
Wish I could have been there.
jabberworks
Sep. 14th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was fun, and I wish you could've been there, too! :)
kruku
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC)
Very nice post. It looks like everyone had fun at the launch :)
mybookcorner
Sep. 14th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
Your launch, as always Sarah & Philip, looks totally fabulous!!

I love all the smiles - it seems everyone had a blast!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 18th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
This looks such fun! thank heavens you and Philip are on the case!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )