Monday, June 09, 2008

The Times - You Mean the London Times?

I know I just posted some UK review news about SFX, but apparently last weekend was a doubleheader... I got an email from my British publicist this morning alerting me to "a rather good review" of Acacia in the Times. It was immediately like, "You mean, THE Times?" The answer, I believe, is "Yes, The Times."

I'm the second half of a review that begins with the latest Arthur C. Clarke novel, Firstborn. Rather heady company. The reviewer says some very nice things, including...

"David Anthony Durham has won acclaim for his historical novels, and brings his knowledge of the past and other cultures to create a rich and compelling world on his first foray into fantasy. His skilful storytelling, depth of characterisation, and an ability to unsettle reader expectations is reminiscent of George R.R. Martin, but his is a distinctive new voice."

Wow. I'm all goose pimply... Here's the whole thing.

Addendum: June 14th. I just realized something that makes me even more chuffed about this review. I was so focused on the London Times side of things that I forgot to pay attention to who the reviewer was. It's Lisa Tuttle, sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer of lots of books! That's cool to me for several reasons. One is that she's an American writer that lives in Scotland. I was once an American writer that lived in Scotland - and I hope to be again eventually. I'd noted that we had that in common a few weeks ago and actually looked her up, making a note to seek her out if we were ever at a convention together. I'd also noted that she was a Campbell Award Winner - something which I don't yet have in common with her but, you know... I think about the pending award thing every now and then. And the third thing - I'd knew that she'd written a book with George RR Martin! The book is Windhaven. It's cool to know that the person comparing me to GRRM actually knows him so well that they've authored a book together.

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Blogger Mary Robinette Kowal said...

Wow! That's a gorgeous review. Well done.

2:34 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Thanks, Mary! Yeah, I'm pleased.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

Nice review - sounds like the UK release is going to be a really big deal, congratulations!

I think it's awesome to see a couple of sci/fi-fantasy books in a newspaper for review. You never get that here. Now often anyway.

Let's see what in the Seattle Times... Seattle, one of the most "literary cities" in the US, or some I'm told... let's see... Jessica Alba? No... R.Kelly and Pamela Anderson? No... Amy Winehouse is still a raging alcoholic? Close but... Oh, nice, there's a picture of Micheal Jackson. I didn't know this was the comics.

So no book reviews in the Times. That's great, cause, we're like one of the most literate cities in the US...

Anyway, congrats!

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats David!

Now can we please have book #2???



5:02 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Ah, Book 2! I'd forgotten about that. It's around here somewhere, I think...

No, honestly, I'm working on it harder than ever, especially not that I'm not teaching and I've got some breathing room. It's coming!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

Nice. It seems there is much more respect for scifi and fantasy over the pond - but that could just be a "grass is greener" thing.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously they've got very good taste in literature.

4:43 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Grass greener... I do know that people in Britain would say there's plenty of literary snootiness and compartmentalizing, and that the industry is tough. But from personal experience I have felt that smart readers on the British Isle aren't as embarrassed about mixing some genre writing in with their Ian McEwan and John Banville.

That was certainly the case with my wife's family. When I first perused my in-laws wall-length bookshelves I was amazed to find the Booker Prize Winners mixed in Jim Crais and George Pelecanos, with Ian Banks along side Nadine Gordimer, with mass market books displayed as well. It almost seemed that the placement of books on the shelves had more to do with where they fit best in terms of physical size... I learned a lot studying that bookshelf, and I'm a better reader and writer for it.

I can't, however, claim that this is representative of British readership in general. I think there's a touch of it in the culture, but maybe not as completely as my wife's family demonstrates.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Wow. That is IMPRESSIVE (and certainly deserved)! Congrats!

8:20 PM  

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