Okay, I was going to hold off on this until closer to the pub date, but I see the new collection has already landed on SF Signal and it seems to be getting some tweets and links, so: yes. I’ve got a collection coming out in the fall, from Tachyon Press. It’s basically a greatest hits package, a baker’s dozen chosen by editor Jacob Weisman. I’ve written a 4,500 word essay for the back end: not quite sure what the final title’s going to be, but “Are We There Yet? En Route to Dystopia with the Angry Optimist” is what I put on top of the page when I was writing it. It’s a rumination on dystopias in fact and fiction, and how I don’t really do dystopias myself no matter what you people say, and how getting arrested and maced at the border has so greatly improved my outlook. I think it hangs together as a coherent whole; I’ll post an excerpt or two closer to the release date.
I like the cover. I like the layout. I like the way the teaser text down there in the corner kinda leads one to think that Blindsight won the Hugo even though it didn’t. I’m a little surprised by the pull from the NY Times — it’s lifted out of context and not, I think, really descriptive of my work overall — but I get the sense I’m in a teensy minority when it comes to characterizing my own work anyway, so okay. “Seriously paranoid” is a punchy little eye-catcher at the very least.
I gotta say I’m a bit taken aback by the synopsis, though.
Not the story thumbnails, mind you: those rock. Whoever wrote that text did a bang-up job. No, what raises my eyebrows is the description of me: “a highly controversial author”.
Highly controversial? Seriously?
Grumpy, misanthropic, nihilistic, cuddly — I’ve been called all of these things before. I don’t necessarily agree with any of them (except maybe that last one), but at least I’m used to them. I don’t think anyone’s described me as controversial before, though (much less highly so). As far as I know, the closest I ever came to real controversy was getting charged with imaginary crimes in Port Huron, and even the jury that convicted me seemed to agree that it was the border guards who wore the asshole hats that time around.
Still. So long as it sells copies, I guess.
|While we’re on the subject of collections with pretty covers, I was surfing around MAG‘s site the other day to see if my upcoming Polish collection had surfaced in their catalog (the title for that one translates as An Antidote for Optimism). It had not; but I see they’ve released a third edition of Blindsight. For some reason, each new edition gets spiffy new cover art— and man, I defy anyone to tell me that this new cover doesn’t kick all kinds of ass. I didn’t think it was possible to put a vampire front and center without descending into cliché almost by definition. But wow. (And just between you and me, if the vampire had been female this would have made an even better cover for Echopraxia.) I’ve liked every cover these guys have put out (and come to think of it, ArsMACHINA have also served up relentlessly awesome covers for the Rifters trilogy. Must be something in the water over there.)|
Can’t wait to see what cover Fata Libelli slaps on the Spanish e-minicollection.
This is actually turning out to be a pretty good year, collections-wise.
Finally: some of you may remember that writer’s workshop thingy I participated in last year, the one presented by Starship Sofa. Well, Tony’s doing it again; a Video Writers Workshop, this time with Mike Resnick and Paul Di Filippo. June 16th, live online, the usual £20 but if you’re one of the five who springs for £99 you also get one of those guys to personally critique your work in realtime. (I’d assume this last perk would be a private affair following the main event — at least, if there were the option of bringing in onlookers to watch the blood spill, I can’t imagine that Tony wouldn’t be advertising the fact. And charging extra.) (Not that it wouldn’t be worth it, mind you.)
If you’re at all interested in doing what I do for a living (such as it is), you should probably look into this.