Friday, April 30, 2010

Small Milestone

As part of my publishing schedule for Book 3 of Acacia I'm supposed to turn in different things at different times. (In return for which my publisher writes me little checks.) In April I was supposed to turn in "half" of the book for my editor to peruse. ("Half" is a loose term, not a readily quantifiable unit of measurement.)

Well, on this last day of April, did I do that?

In a word: Yes.

The next thing I have to do is deliver the finished book this fall. Will I do that?

Of course, but only if enough people send me crazy energy and creative positivity. Can you do that?

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Once More About The iPad, Kindle, and Publishing

The New Yorker has a long piece on the subject by Ken Auletta. It's thorough. Like I said - long. But it's a great overview of the whole situation. It's got some startleling bits of info, like this, for example:

"A close associate of Bezos puts it more starkly: "What Amazon really wanted to do was make the price of e-books so low that people would no longer buy hardcover books. Then the next shoe to drop would be to cut publishers out and go right to authors."

Yikes. These guys really do think big. The league could learn a thing or two.

Anyway, if you're interested, HERE's the link.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Finished Mass Market US Cover...

...of The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) looks like this:

Works for me.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Proofreading Isn't Easy, But It's Important...

Here's a case in point.

What do you want with your spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto?


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Man With Grass

For no reason other than fatherly pride, I offer a glimpse of a new Maya Calypso Durham drawing:Remember, she's still ten...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Die Fernen Lande

Yeah, another cover! This one is from my wonderful German publisher, Blanvalet. It's for The Other Lands - Die Fernen Lande. Do you like?

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

What Does Virginia Love?

Ah, the joy of seeing one’s student make good. It’s not something I’ve experienced so often that I’m immune to a certain amount of fatherly pride. Case in point, a former student of mine at Fresno State, Elizabeth Schulte, just sent me a new volume of Witness: The Magazine of the Black Mountain Institute that features a story she workshopped in my class a couple years ago.

Now, Elizabeth was always a terrific writer, with a combination of raw talent and a strange, surreal vision that produced quirky, memorable stories. She also has a great range in her fiction, writing credibly about people and characters far removed from her own upbringing. I can’t take credit for any of that, of course, except to say that I was smart enough to spot and encourage it.

The story in Witness is called “The Only Thing Virginia Loves” and it starts like this:

“Someone was trying to east her valise. She awoke in her tent to the sound of licking and gnawing, and in her dreamy state, she thought it was Gimli, the English bulldog she’d had as a teenager, making love to a rawhide at the foot of her bed, leaving white stains of rehydrated meat juice and saliva on her comforter. As she awoke, she found that she was an adult, and that a man was trying to separate a piece of leather from her travel bag using his teeth and a box cutter…”

Tell me you don’t want to read the next line!

Congrats, Elizabeth, I know there are many more successes coming for you.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

True Knowledge?

My Google alert brought me this yesterday: an answer to a terribly important question at True


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hugo Nominees 2010

The Finalists have been announced! If you haven't already, take a look at the whole list HERE.

In the best novel category specifically (the one that always interests me the most), here's the lineup:

  • Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)
  • The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
  • Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra)
  • Wake, Robert J. Sawyer (Ace; Penguin; Gollancz; Analog)
  • The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

  • Congrats to you all! I don't reckon I'll be in Australia for the ceremony, but I'll follow it with interest on line. Of course, the winner isn't announced until Worldcon in August, so you've plenty of time to do the reading and come up with your own opinions!

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    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Locus, Baby!

    A few years back, when I was about to embark on a large epic fantasy project called Acacia: The War with the Mein, I decided I needed to educate myself on the current state of the SF genre. One of the ways I did this was to access my local library's (Hurrah for the Western MA system!) back issues of Locus magazine. For months I'd go in and grab ten at a time, taking them home and reading, month by month, reviews and articles and publishing announcements and advertisements and, most notably, author interviews.

    I recall once sitting in the parking lot at a local nursery while my wife went in to pick plants, reading an interview with a guy named George RR Martin, thinking, "I dig what this guy says. I gotta read him sometime..."

    Fast forward a few years, friends, and I'm very, very pleased to find myself interviewed in Locus! HERE's info on the issue.

    I'm thrilled. Thank you, Locus!

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    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    Back From Atlanta

    I’m back from my Atlanta trip, and already so swimming in other commitments that I don’t have time to do the whole thing justice. I will say that Kennesaw State treated me very well. I was welcomed, chatted to and dined by a great many people. I appreciated their generosity very much.

    They also worked me like a dog. In addition to two readings I had several lunch/dinner gatherings, a visit to a Marietta high school, meetings with several comp classes, several writing classes, and even an auditorium of a couple hundred students of world literature! I got to talk about my work, about the writing process, about literary and genre fiction, and a host of other topics. Frankly, I talked until I lost my voice…

    I also got a couple of sushi lunches out of it, spent a little time at the bar, and I had an enjoyable evening with a book club that had a great deal to say - and ask - about Gabriel’s Story. Fortunately, the wine flowed and the food was fine that evening. Not least, I got to see Martin Luther King's birth home and gravesite. All good stuff. I came back exhausted, but that’s as it should be too.

    The lion’s share of the thanks goes to novelist and professor Anthony Grooms, author of Bombingham and Trouble No More. He’s a wonderful writer, obviously a great teacher, and a generous host and guide.

    It was well worth the effort, and I'd happily do it again.

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