Friday, May 29, 2009

Michael Moorcock, Master of the Multiverse

Today on Boing Boing, Michael Moorcock answers your questions (well, it has to be a really good question). *And* three copies of The Best of Michael Moorcock will go out to lucky Boing Boing readers. Ask, ask!

And, a great review on Sci Fi Wire aptly dubs (Sir? Lord? His Most Esteemed Authorness?) Moorcock as Master (Master! Of course!) of the Multiverse: "Moorcock is the wielder of the wandlike pen that has magicked up a list of characters who are, paradoxically, altogether memorable and almost too many to remember."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dear Reader:
Andrew Fox is*probably* not radioactive.

There's still time to participate in Andrew Fox's inquisitive (and humorous) survey on author etiquette at book signings. Andy's been on tour for The Good Humor Man since April, and he is quite amazing at making connections with fans and new readers alike. Now he'll be even better! Excerpted from the survey:

Which of the following approaches taken by the author would be most likely to result in your pausing to talk with him or her or examine the books for sale?

A) The author makes eye contact, greets me with a smile, and says, "How are you doing today?"

B) The author makes eye contact and gives me a really quick pitch for the book, such as, "Would-you-like-to-read-about-how-Elvis-saves-the-world-sixty-four-years-after-h e's-died?"

C) The author makes eye contact, greets me with a smile, but doesn't say anything.

D) The author is busy signing copies of his/her books and doesn't appear to notice me, which gives me the freedom to pick up a copy of the book and read the back cover description without being immediately harrangued; if the author happens to look up after I've read the description and starts talking to me, I'll at least say hello.

E) The author is busy talking with other people, which both reassures me that he/she is not radioactive and gives me the freedom to pick up a copy of the book and read the back cover description without being immediately harrangued; if the author happens to look up after I've read the description and starts talking to me, I'll at least say hello.

F) Nothing the author says or does will convince me to pay him/her any mind; I hate being solicited and having my personal space invaded when all I want to do is spend some quiet time minding my own business in a bookstore. I MIGHT wander over to the display and check out the books, but only after the author has left.


Happy long weekend, people - hope it's full of good books and ample time to settle in with at least one...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paul Di Fi on the future of the future

In his "On Books" column over at Asimov's SF, Paul Di Filippo has reviewed "Cory Doctorow’s stimulating first non-fiction volume, Content," saying that Doctorow's nonfiction is:

"...all unified by two things: a concern with the shape and tenor and prospects of the digital landscape we are all inhabiting more and more intimately; and the engaged, funny, optimistic Doctorow sensibility. Having them all together in a single volume is like being slipped an intelligent passport to the future."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peter S. Beagle continues to shine...

More good news for Peter S. Beagle and his latest collection:

Amazon's book blog, Omnivoracious, selected Beagle's We Never Talk about My Brother as one four "Must-Have" story collections, describing Beagle as, "the kind of iconic American storyteller whose writing reflect[s] a kind of nuanced gentleness and nostalgia without being sentimental."

"The Tale of Junko and Sayuri" (go ahead, read it) was first collected in We Never Talk About My Brother (and first appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show). Now it is on the ballot for the 2009 Million Writers Award. If you enjoyed the story (of course you did), please go vote for it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"One of the most able writers of the fantasy short story working today."

Yes, that's Peter S. Beagle. Reading the Leaves has posted a rave review of We Never Talk about My Brother, saying:

"[Beagle has] a mature intellect and imagination, as well as a perspective on his youth, that flavors his fiction with nostalgia, regret and a deep appreciation for life.... This is one of those collections that I read nearly straight through, barely pausing to set the book down."

Friday, May 15, 2009

WisCon and GOHs

WisCon is the world's leading feminist science fiction convention. Held from 5/22-25 this year, Wiscon will feature two fantastic Guests of Honor Ellen Klages and Geoff Ryman. From Wiscon's website:

WisCon encourages discussion and debate of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon welcomes writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes as well as their many fans. We have panel discussions, academic presentations, and readings as well as many other uncategorizable events. WisCon is primarily a book-oriented convention... with an irrepressible sense of humor.

Memberships are still available at the door. If you're anywhere near Madison or interested in feminist sf, get thee hence. Gotta say, these folks know how to party...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's review in Bookgasm of The Best of Michael Moorcock asks an intriguing question: "Could there be a more daunting challenge than to explore more than 40 years' worth of work by one of the most inventive, diverse and at times baffling authors in science fiction and fantasy, and then come up with a selection entitled THE BEST?" and then compliments this collection as "a superb introduction to the boundless imagination of this unique and fascinating author, while reminding the rest of us why he is so honored and revered."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Le Guin, Ellison, and Doctorow on e-book piracy

A little digital jousting in today's issue of the New York Times. Wouldn't it be something to see these three (or Cory and Harlan!) square off? WFC, anyone?


Neither Ms. Le Guin nor her publisher had authorized the electronic editions. To Ms. Le Guin, it was a rude introduction to the quietly proliferating problem of digital piracy in the literary world. “I thought, who do these people think they are?” Ms. Le Guin said. “Why do they think they can violate my copyright and get away with it?”

Harlan Ellison, who has sued over the issue, said he continues to pursue people who post his work illegally. "If you put your hand in my pocket," he said, "you'll drag back six inches of bloody stump."

At the other, less gruesome end of the spectrum, Cory Doctorow offers free e-versions of his books when they're published, believing that "free versions, even unauthorized ones, entice new readers." He explained: "I really feel like my problem isn't piracy. It's obscurity."

Monday, May 11, 2009

World Fantasy Convention 2009 GOHs

The 2009 World Fantasy Convention has announced their esteemed Guests of Honor:

Michael Swanwick, author of The Dog Said Bow-Wow and Tales of Old Earth

Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, editors of Steampunk and The New Weird

Lisa Snellings-Clark
, editor and illustrator of Strange Attractions.

Garth Nix
, author of Sabriel and Shade's Children

And, Toastmaster Jay Lake (what fun!)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sprechen sie mutant iguana?

Little help here? Tausendzeichen, "the blog for incredibly strange books, film, and music," has reviewed James Morrow's new novel, Shambling Towards Hiroshima. We think. Did they like it? Well, at Tachyon, the only German we know is strictly liturgical (yes, that's odd). So we resorted to Google translator:

"If there is something there, then Shambling Towards Hiroshima a satire, with the resources of the tribute works: Loving admiration for trashy film classics Vernichtungswahn dismantled military. Absurd constructed situations and punchlines are plenty of excellent lubricant for the once angeworfenen text like a well oiled unreel film for you. And this picture is now at least just as wrong as this magnificent monument is also built from rubber monsters, dummies and secret projects."

Well, that explains *everything.*

Anyone else want to take a crack at it? Bitte? A free copy of the book to the best "translation" of the above. Knowledge of German not necessary (or even encouraged). Here's the original version. Email us with yours. Danke!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Zombie bobsled team???

Stephen Notley is a genius. Check out his newest PopCap creation, Plants vs. Zombies. Create your own Zombatar (and isn't mine, um, adorable?). And then check out his Bob the Angry Flower collection, Dog Killer. It's not as scary as it sounds...or is it?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ellen Klages wins...again!

Congratulations to Ellen Klages, author of Portable Childhoods, for picking up a California Book Award for White Sands, Red Menace, her sequel to the Scott O'Dell Award-winning novel, The Green Glass Sea. Jeez, save some awards for someone else...

The UK Guardian on The Best of Michael Moorcock

Here's more proof that there's quality genre criticism (as well as genre fiction) over the pond:

"As Ann and Jeff VanderMeer say in their afterword, because of the author's diversity, there's something for every reader to hate. But there's something for everyone to love, too, and this collection illustrates the breadth of Moorcock's talent.... A long-overdue retrospective."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Review roundup, week of 4-27 through 5/1

The critics have spoken, and it is *good.*

SF Site, featured review: "Beagle is a treasure, that's all there is to it, and each new story is a wonder, and this book is thoroughly worth reading."

Booklist, starred review: "Fox unveils more all-too-plausible bits of the future and has us laughing to keep from crying."

Green Man Review: "In Shambling Towards Hiroshima satirist James Morrow deftly combines humor, pathos, rubber-suited monsters and the absurdity and horrors of war."