Monstrous Affections.

Monstrous AffectionsThe last story I read by David Nickle left me impotent for a week.

That was a compliment. I have never actually read a bad story by David Nickle. I read an opaque story by him once: it was called “Pants Are For Company”, and it was (roughly) about personification of the abyss. I didn’t get it, but that was because Dave’s metaphors were too subtle for my nuts-and-bolts hard-sf brain; once he explained what he was doing, I thought it was fucking brilliant.

That’s a phrase that can applied to most of his stories, come to think of it. His novels are jammed with wonderful, crazy-ass ideas— KGB operatives spirit-walking giant squid, pheromone-emitting parasites that generate human religious impulses as a reproductive strategy— and you’ll probably get to see those in time. But right now his first collection of short fiction is about to claw its way from the womb, and if you’re into lyrical prose or kick-ass narrative voice or just that crawling brainstem anxiety you get when everything kind of looks okay but you know somehow it isn’t— well, suffice to say you don’t want to miss this ride.

The man has built a web page to pimp his collection. Check it out. Read, oh, “The mayor will make a short statement and then take questions”, which at an airtight 458 words will take you about two minutes, tops, to get through. If that story doesn’t send a chill up your spine, you are already dead. Dave may write a story about you next.

Plus the packaging is pretty damn classy. It’s not often a publisher will put a picture of the author right on the cover like that.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Tuesday June 23 2009at 11:06 am , filed under fellow liars . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

11 Responses to “Monstrous Affections.”

  1. He reminds me of Harlan Ellison.

  2. I don’t have anything fancy or insightful to say, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this guy. I would never have found him normally (its friggin hard to find a bookstore in the desert). Theres been a dearth of “make you think” writers out there right now, what with “State of Grace” not due for a bit, and all that. So thank you.

  3. He looks more handsome than I recall.

    D

  4. Eh, I thought it was all right. Liked the twist, enjoyed the reread as well.

    Not great but what does my opinion count.

  5. Yea, David!

  6. But right now his first collection of short fiction is about to claw its way from the womb…

    I see what you did there.

    Everybody buy the book!

  7. I make it a habit to buy the books authors I like tell me to. This has only gone awry in the case of the recommendation of Kafka. I am not one with Kafka. Though reading it did allow me to later enjoy that Onion video on the Kafka airport. Hilarity!

  8. Yes, I too make a habit of buying the books authors I like tell me to. Sometimes, I buy several at a time, just to demonstrate my fealty to said auth —

    Oh. Hello.

    Ahem.

    Thanks, Peter, for that fantastic shout-out. I believe you managed to send the equivalent of an armoured division over to check out my modest book-pimpage page over the past week.

    And I’m sorry to hear about the impotence. At least something good came out of it.

  9. I’d probably purchase this collection of short fiction if it weren’t for the insane price tag that the horror mall site lists…I’ve never actually paid more than half that amount for a hardcover release, limited or otherwise…I was narrowly able to avoid choking on it when I spent close to $20 for the 88 page limited/numbered edition of Alastair Reynolds’ The Six Directions of Space.

    I’ve loved the pieces that I’ve read via the links on Nickle’s site…and so I would definitely purchase the collection, but it’s just well beyond the price range that I can consider a legitimately justified purchase…

    I trust your judgment when it comes to other authors though…especially when it came to picking up David Williams’ The Mirrored Heavens…and now the sequel The Burning Skies…both of the two were amazing novels…and I can’t wait for the third installment…

    But this recommendation…just not something that I can follow…regardless of how much it pains me.

  10. Actually, the hugely overpriced hardcover is merely the first edition (and I gotta say I’m not a big fan of the publishers per se, only the author); there will be a more reasonably-priced paperback edition coming down the pike in due course.

  11. To Nikolas:

    Thanks (for finding my stuff scary) and apologies (for showing you a price too scary for you). Peter’s right; the first edition comes at high cost, because it’s a collector’s edition. Each copy will be signed by me, the cover artist, and Michael Rowe, who wrote the introduction. It will be bound in human skin only in jurisdictions where they allow that sort of thing. Otherwise, it will be a nice cloth-bound book suitable for frightening your aunt.

    But it will be followed, very shortly, by a trade paperback that is priced more modestly. In fact, ChiZine will be shipping a bunch of early-run trade paperbacks exclusively to Worldcon in Montreal for a big group launch. If you’re in town and at the con, here’s the detailed info about how to find it: http://www.chizine.com/chizinepub/announcements/worldcon-launch-party.php

    This is the business model for ChiZine and a lot of small presses, particularly in horror fiction – put out a pricier limited edition collector’s edition followed quickly by a more affordable but still pretty fancy mass market trade paperback. This is what’s happening with Monstrous Affections. So please don’t be shy about waiting for the edition with the price you want. It too will come to pass.

    Dave Nickle