The future approaches ...

Most people are probably feeling the holidays bearing down on them. I've got some of that but mostly what I feel bearing down on me is the 2012 Key West Literary Seminar -- which will be quite early in the year (starting Jan. 5!) -- and which, this year, features an even-more-astounding-than-usual lineup of writers. Atwood. Gibson. Letham. Egan. Shteyngart. Whitehead. Coupland. I could go on. The title is Yet Another World, the subject is dystopia (sort of). Or at least visions of the near future. Unfortunately for anyone who would like to shell out $600 and attend this year's Seminar it is beyond sold out. The waiting list has a couple hundred people on it. So if you don't have a ticket, there's no hope. Except ...

There are multiple ways to participate in the Literary Seminar even if you can't get a ticket. For example:

* Read the books. This is the most important way to participate -- and at the Key West Library we have a helpful display of the books by Seminar authors, right when you walk in the door. Books by Literary Seminar authors, by the way, are the focus of our Book Bites Book Club in January. Meeting is Jan. 12 at 4:30 p.m. So read along, then come and talk about the books!

* Attend the free Sunday session. That's right -- free and open to the public. Every year, the Seminar offers up this opportunity to the community. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Seminar schedule, you'll see the lineup for that session and it's impressive: Billy Collins! Margaret Atwood! George Saunders! Gary Shteyngart!

* If you're of the tweeting persuasion, follow along on Twitter, by following @keywestliterary and their list of Seminar authors who tweet. Once we get closer and into the Seminar, start looking for the hashtag #yetanotherworld. I'll be using it (I'm @keywestnan) and no doubt others will too, hopefully including super-tweeters William Gibson (@greatdismal) and Margaret Atwood (@margaretatwood). Program chair -- and esteemed writer in his own right -- James Gleick -- is at @jamesgleick.

* Keep an eye on Littoral, the Seminar's excellent blog, as well as the Audio Archives, where some of the Seminar sessions should eventually make it online and be preserved forever in what William Gibson called cyberspace, back in 1984. That's right, I'm finally reading Neuromancer. Which is great though I am starting to suspect I am not really smart enough to read William Gibson.