Back

Tue 31 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Dancing in the trees

We’re back in the office after 2+ weeks away. Yay! Yesterday we flew back from Seattle: today I feel like the sludge left at the bottom of a cup of cowboy coffee. Did we miss anything? (Yes.)

There is a stack of mail, a box of packages, tons of orders (thank you!), many emails, a few phone messages, a sad lack of telegraphs, one beeping box (a toy!), and a number of deadlines looooming.

Before leaving, we were at Readercon for a couple of days and we owe many thanks to Jedediah Berry and the et al awesome people who ran our table when we left. We were offline the last few days so missed Readercon’s craptacular response to the craptacular behaviour spotlighed by Genevieve Valentine so we just signed Veronica’s petition. (I am not sure if the BoD should stand down, but only because I want to make sure the convention survives. If the Board stands down and new directors are elected [is that how it works?], then that’s great.) But over all, blech. And kudos to Genevieve for posting about her experience. Thank you for helping everyone by doing that.

Also, Elizabeth Hand (“Near Zennor”), Kelly (“The Summer People”), and Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse) won Shirley Jackson Awards. (And, I have the nominee rock to send to Joan Aiken’s estate’s agent!). Wish we had been there.

At Clarion, with cup of tea

After Readercon, we went to Seattle to teach week 5 at Clarion West. This is a heads-up to editors and publishers everywhere*:  the 2012 Clarion West class are coming for you! They are in a white hot heat of creation, revision, and submission, and you will be hearing from them soon. Wow, that was a week. The worst part about it was leaving on Saturday. We wanted to stay!

We owe huge thanks to the Clarion West organization for all their work and accommodations. We traveled as a party of four, Kelly, me, our daughter Ursula and Kelly’s mom, Annie (without whom it would not have been possible, so thanks to Annie, too) and the CW people didn’t blink. They put us up, they put up with us, they ferried us around (even acquiring car seats when needed!) to parties and more. Every time I’ve seen Clarion West in operation I’m impressed. (The 2013 instructors have been announced.) Also thanks to Nicole Kimberling (publisher of Blind Eye Books and LCRW food columnist) who visited the Clarion class and Eileen Gunn & John Berry and Greg Bear for wonderful parties. (I grew up reading Greg Bear but was able to speak 2-3 coherent sentences to him without my head exploding. Phew.)

Then we went to Portland (hello Powell’s and Reading Frenzy) and Vancouver (hello Naam!), both of which were lovely (and occasionally terrifying—eek!). While post-Clarion braindead in Vancouver we almost watched a movie in the hotel . . . but it was $15.99. Um. Internet was expensive and so avoided. Do people really pay prices like that?

Travel back was ok except that we would like to unthank the bridge that got stuck in the upright position meaning we had to drive from Vancouver to Seattle instead of take the lovely train. Bad bridge, bad! (Loved the train otherwise.) And: United Airlines has the smallest seats in the world. Boo! Also: on the way out they lost our stroller and we did not get it back for a whole week. Ever really missed something? We missed that stroller! I even tried tweeting United but I got no response. Oh well!

And now we are back in body if not in spirit. Emails will be returned soon-ish.

* I think every Clarion instructor always wants to send out this heads up but since this is the first time I have officially been one of the instructors I am adding my voice to the masses of other instructors.



April: A Stranger in Olondria

Thu 26 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I know we announced A Stranger in Olondria for 2012 but we decided to add a simultaneous hardcover edition to the trade paperback and ebook editions as the behind-the-scenes excitement is building tremendously as more readers discover A Stranger in Olondria is a book to be treasured.

So now it is an April 2013 book. Ta da! We’ll be making a new round of galleys to reflect the changes which should be going out by the end of the month. Electronic review copies are going out, too. Leave a comment or ping us (ok, so we’re traveling this week, but still) if you’d like a copy.



Things Mean a Lot

Thu 12 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Gosh, this is nice.



Here we go to Readercon & Clarion West

Tue 10 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

ReaderconThis coming weekend we (me, Kelly, and our daughter, Ursula) will be at Readercon. I am on a panel on Oblique Strategies. Help! Kelly is on some panels, too, see below. Since we are leaving on Saturday morning for Clarion West (Writer Boot Camp ahoy! We do a reading on Tuesday night in Seattle!) even though the program sched says Kelly will be at the Shirley Jackson Awards, she won’t. And, Jedediah Berry has stepped up to man the Small Beer table. Phew! And Vincent McCaffrey (author of the Hound series) is on a panel about political fiction, Delia Sherman can be found on “When Non-Fantastic Genres Interrogate Themselves,” Greer Gilman is on “Mapping the Parallels,” and so on and on!

The bad news is that the con dropped us from two tables down to one, which means we can’t take as many titles from other publishers to sell: boo! That’s how we got our start with LCRW—people such as Mike Walsh (Old Earth Books) and Greg Ketter (DreamHaven, a real bookstore, how exciting that was!) sold the zine and then our chapbooks off their table, encouraging us to keep going back to the conventions and eventually it all snowballed into BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! (It is a slippery slide!)

See you in Boston or Seattle!

Thursday

8:00 PM   G   Genrecare. Elizabeth Bear (leader), Kathleen Ann Goonan, Kelly Link, Shira Lipkin. In a 2011 review of Harmony by Project Itoh, Adam Roberts suggests that “the concept of ‘healthcare’ in its broadest sense is one of the keys to the modern psyche.” Yet Roberts notes “how poorly genre has tuned in to that particular aspect of contemporary life.” Similarly, in the essay “No Cure for the Future,” Kirk Hampton and Carol MacKay write that “SF is a world almost never concerned with the issues of physical frailty and malfunction.” As writers such as Nalo Hopkinson, Tricia Sullivan, and Kim Stanley Robinson explore the future of the body, how is SF dealing with the concepts of health, medicine, and what it means to be well?

Friday

4:00 PM   ME   Oblique Strategies for Authors. Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, Gavin J. Grant, Glenn Grant (leader), Katherine MacLean, Eric M. Van, Jo Walton. In 1975 Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt published a deck of cards called “Oblique Strategies.” Each card provides a cryptic directive—such as “Use an old idea” or “Honour thy error as a hidden intention”—intended to help an artist deal with a creative block or dilemma. While many of the original strategies are useful for writers of fiction, others (such as “The tape is now the music”) are perhaps only appropriate for musicians and visual artists. Let’s brainstorm a deck of Oblique Strategies specifically designed to provide unexpected creative kicks for authors who are in a jam.
Proposed by Glenn Grant.



Reselling the spider

Fri 6 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I must be too old. Hmm, deafening silence in response. Anyway, there’s yet another Spiderman movie coming and I swear there was a new one just last week, or was it last year? What? It was more than 3 or 4 years ago? Oh well then, it must be time to remake it . . .

You know what they should remake? The Avengers. That was fun and it came out ages ago now, so why not remake it and then we can enjoy it all over again.



Couple of nice reviews

Tue 3 Jul 2012 - Filed under: Not a Journal. | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Just love to see our books finding readers. There was a very thoughtful (and fully linked) review of After the Apocalypse by L.S. Bassen on SF Signal. This intro paragraph signals (sorry) that it won’t read like the average review:

“Maureen F. McHugh’s collection of stories is an outstanding solo in the zeitgeist fiction chorus including Gods Without Men (Hari Kunzru) and The Truth and All Its Ugly (Kyle Minor) that at long last begins building the bridge between The Two Cultures invoked by C.P. Snow decades ago. In these stories, despite the title, destruction and despair are not the key motif: survival, even transcendence, is.”
SF Signal

And then on Strange Horizons, T.S. Miller looks at Geoff Ryman’s collection Paradise Tales through the lens of the title:

“The stories gathered here from across Ryman’s career narrate paradise and its stories in ways that are far from conventionally utopian. Rather, Ryman’s paradises are not only largely intangible but often built on and out of loss. Reading his quasi-fairytales and other flights of passionate fantasy, we will always be reminded that these paradises, like all paradises, are places that can never be—except in fiction. For Ryman, however, this is an essential exception, as the power of story to heal and repair across time and across cultures becomes a recurrent theme in the collection…. By the end of Paradise Tales, however, the reader will understand that Ryman has already invented such a device: whether it is fantasy, science fiction, or some fiction in-between, the utopian, revelatory tool for Ryman is simply fiction itself.”
Strange Horizons