Monday, November 22, 2010
Issue #231 of Interzone (Nov-Dec 2010) is OUT! The Shoe Factory is the first short story in the lineup.
You can purchase copies at places like Barnes and Noble - copies are hidden usually in with sci-fi/fantasy story mags like Realms of Fantasy, Analog and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (look on the bottom shelves if you don't see them). Don't be afraid to call ahead or ask the friendly counter workers for a copy if you can't find it. You can also order copies from the TTA/Interzone web site HERE.
Thanks so much to my amazing writer's group Columbus Writeshop, who provided first-draft critiques of the story, as well as to my friend Sherrian Gildemeister, who assisted me with some crucial details. Your comments and suggestions really helped! Thanks also to the editors over at Interzone, who read (and liked) the story enough to give me precious column space...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
As far as Jason's stuff goes, I've only read one of the three stories he has in the forthcoming issue of Interzone, "Millisent Ka Plays in Realtime" (full disclosure: Jason and I sometimes participate together in the Columbus Writeshop writer's critique group, and have been critiquing each other's work for a while now, mainly to MY benefit, I admit...). It's an odd and totally "Jason-esque" tale of hierarchies based on music, and the power of melody, one that I really enjoyed reading. Jason's stuff is usually somewhat skewed (in a delightful, thought-provoking way) and ALWAYS depressingly well written (sigh). I mean, come on... take a listen to this prose:
This isn’t the way the future should be. But still, here it is. And here’s Millisent Ka, born to a doting mother and father in a neo-feudal musical fiefdom, their cement-dusted house perfectly balanced between the cracked asphalt plains of L.A. la la land and the rich-fool castles on the Pacific Palisades. Never mind that those castles rise so far above everything else – hopes, dreams, reality – it’s hard to remember only dirt and rock exist beneath their gilded skies, same as anywhere else.
All of Jason's writing that I've seen shares this almost lyrical tone, carrying the reader along effortlessly. If you're anything like me, you'll find the last paragraph arrives all too soon. I can't wait to read the other two stories in the forthcoming issue!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Interzone Magazine posted a preview of my soon-to-be-released short story, "The Shoe Factory", over on their site. You can read all about the line-up (featuring several pieces written by the most-excellent Jason Sanford), as well as see the cool artwork they commissioned for the piece HERE.
Be on the lookout for the issue, which is #231 (Nov/Dec). It should be on store shelves soon, or you can order it right from the Interzone Web Site store.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I wasn't sure if this was "official" or not, but since Ellen Kushner's officially blogged it, it must be OK to release this. Here's the full lineup of stories, poems/song lyrics and graphic tales from the upcoming collection - look at those names!
Introduction - Terri Windling
Introduction - Holly Black
Bordertown Basics (Letter from the Diggers)
Welcome to Bordertown - Terri Windling & Ellen Kushner
Shannon's Law - Cory Doctorow
Cruel Sister (poem) - Patricia A. McKillip
Voice Like a Hole - Catherynne M. Valente
Stairs in Her Hair (song*) - Amal El-Mohtar
Incunabulum - Emma Bull
Run Back to the Border (song) - Steven Brust
Prince of Thirteen Days - Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Sages of Elsewhere - Will Shetterly
Soulja Grrrl: A Long Line Rap (song) - Jane Yolen
Crossings - Janni Lee Simner
Fair Trade (Comic) - Sara Ryan & Dylan Meconis
Lullabye: Night Song for a Halfie (song) - Jane Yolen
Our Stars, Our Selves - Tim Pratt
Elf Blood - Annette Curtis Klause
The Wall (poem) - Delia Sherman
Ours is the Prettiest - Nalo Hopkinson
We Do Not Come in Peace - Christopher Barzak
A Borderland Jump-Rope Rhyme (poem) - Jane Yolen
The Rowan Gentleman - Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
The Song of the Song (song) - Neil Gaiman
A Tangle of Green Men - Charles de Lint
For anyone who might not have seen it, my last post on Bordertown has already generated a comment from one of the new series writers, Annette Curtis Klause. She's blogged about the series and her participation in the new volume on her blog site HERE. Annette wrote the story "Elf Blood" in the upcoming collection.
She's also (if I may be so bold as to rip directly from her Wikipedia entry), published four novels for young adults: The Silver Kiss (1990, Delacorte), Alien Secrets (1993, Delacorte), Blood and Chocolate (1997, Delacorte), and Freaks: Alive on the Inside (2006, Margaret K. McElderry). From 1982 through 1994, she contributed book reviews to the School Library Journal.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The best news of World Fantasy, hands-down, was the announcement by Holly Black and Ellen Kusher of a brand new Bordertown anthology, titled Welcome to Bordertown.
For those who may be reading this who haven't heard of them: Bordertown was a shared-world series created in 1985 by Terri Windling and Mark Arnold. This was the true precursor of the "Urban Fantasy" movement, a literary sub-genre where the familiar tropes of the fantasy story - elves, magic, glamours, and the power of love and music - intersected with a tough, gritty urban setting and fully developed, three-dimensional characters. They were also, interestingly, consciously targeted at both adult readers as well as what we'd now call "Young Adult" readers, all in a time well before the emergence of Harry Potter and the like, making the series doubly ground-breaking. As Holly Black eloquently said in a panel (and which I'm paraphrasing here): "...everyone writing Urban Fantasy owes a word of thanks to the Bordertown series".
I wholeheartedly agree.
My own history with Bordertown is very personal (buy me a few drinks at a conference sometime and I'm sure you can pry the whole, sordid story out of me), but suffice to say that I'm excited almost beyond the capacity for words that Ellen and Holly have somehow managed to rejuvenate the Bordertown franchise. I was lucky enough to get my grubby mitts on an advance reader copy of the collection (thank you, Holly!), and was thrilled to see stories from such B'town alum as Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Jane Yolen and Terri Windling herself mixed with the work of amazing new writers who came after the series went dormant almost 13 years ago: Corey Doctorow; Catherynne M. Valente; Janni Lee Simner; Christopher Barzak; and others.
I’m reading the book now and will put up a review soon – check back here in a week or so. In the meantime, mark your calendars to remind yourself to look for Welcome to Bordertown in May of 2011 from Random House!
I spent the weekend attending the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus. This annual event is held for publishing professionals from all over the globe, and is where deals in Fantasy and Horror publishing are made for the upcoming year. Oh, and for fans (who can afford the hefty membership price, that is...) and fellow writers, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet legendary contributors in the field and to hear them talk about all the basic fundamentals of writing.
As an event, it’s quite frankly wonderful: this year, I was able to meet and talk with authors Walter Jon Williams, Mike Stackpole, Delia Sherman, L.E. Modessitt, Gene Wolfe, Steve Donaldson, Holly Black and a host of others. I also got to meet (or to meet again) editor and publisher luminaries like Ellen Kushner, Gordon Van Gelder, Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow, and Tom Doherty. There were also plenty of new and fresh faces, all belonging to writers and editors I’ve never met before, who I won’t list in details here (suffice to say, thanks to you all for your witty conversation and your many, many tips on the craft and business of writing). Truly, there isn’t a better place for any serious author of Horror or Fantasy literature than this gathering.
That said, just as in previous years I’ve attended WFC, I did get somewhat overwhelmed halfway through the event. There’s just something… intimidating… something humbling in the primal sense of the word by the act of walking through rooms populated by such talent. It can (and does) take the breath away.
Bottom line: World Fantasy ain't a place for the faint-of-heart.. YES everyone's wonderful and YES they're encouraging, but... damn. It's just difficult to talk to an author with 25+ novels under their belt, books I've literally grown up reading and not ask yourself tough questions like "What the hell am I doing, thinking I can write this shit?" I did finally get my head together in time to attend some great panels on Sunday, but apologies to anyone I may have been speaking with on Saturday afternoon, particularly, if I looked distracted or scatterbrained – it wasn’t you; it was just my brain melting, and I really did enjoy meeting you all.