Falling Sky

8/29/08

THE FORCE UNLEASHED unleashed at last

When I was offered The Force Unleashed at the end of 2006, the decision to take it on or not was a no-brainer. Who wouldn't grab with both hands at the chance to novelise the latest LucasArts computer game? Occasionally billed as Star Wars: Episode 3.5, in which Darth Vader's secret apprentice wreaks havoc on the GFFA and the rebellion is born, it offers a glimpse into the Dark Times--a period of fictional history I'd been wondering about ever since seeing "A New Hope" as a wide-eyed 10-year old in 1977. No schedule is too tight for something like this.

The only downside has been the cone of silence surrounding the story--but now it's out and people are reading it, the embargo has finally been lifted. I'm thinking of that wonderful Simpsons episode with the musical version of "Planet of the Apes."
"He can talk. He can talk. He can talk. He can talk."
"I can SING!"
Anyway, the fans seem to be excited too. The Force Unleashed will debut at #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list next week. That's just icing on the cake, folks. Thanks to everyone who's bought a copy. I hope you enjoyed it. (Don't forget to buy the game. It kicks ASS.)

Podcast: Yours Truly in Agony (Again)

The incredibly-well read and well-spoken Rick Kleffel and I discuss space opera today on the Agony Column podcast. Rick was enthused by reading Brian Greene's Icarus at the Edge of Timeand Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star,neither of which I've read, but both of which sound right up my alley. So we talked about these works, about John Meaney's Nulapeiron Sequence, about Kay Kenyon's The Entire and the Rose series, about the general qualities of space opera, and about the differences between Star Wars and Star Trek, and whether Trek is space opera or military SF. Here's the direct link to the mp3, and you can also subscribe via iTunes.

Which you should. Rick is an amazing interviewer, asking really insightful questions, and his podcast covers a wide range of book-related topics. He covers enough works of a science fiction nature that I can justify my time as keeping me informed about the rest of the field, and enough works outside it that I don't get myopic. For example: My favorite in recent weeks, his interview with Charles Bamforth, 30 year head of research for Bass and the author of Grape vs. Grain: A Historical, Technological, and Social Comparison of Wine and Beer.And here's the direct link for that.

8/28/08

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist Interviews David Louis Edelman

Patrick St-Denis has just posted an interview with me on his popular Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist blog. Subjects covered include Infoquake, MultiReal, Lou Anders and Pyr, my strengths as a storyteller, the John W. Campbell Award, cover art, websites and interactivity with readers, the trend of high-quality British SF, and whether SF will ever get proper literary recognition by snooty academics cowering up in their white towers.

I Want You to Read 'Infoquake' and 'MultiReal'But the best part of the whole thing is that Pat has seen fit, unprompted, to post this neat little Photoshopped poster that puts the full force and weight of Uncle Sam behind getting you to read Infoquake and MultiReal. And really, ain’t that how it should be?

Brief excerpt from the interview:

What do you feel is your strength as a writer/storyteller?
I feel like I’m very good at the worldbuilding aspect of things. Really, structure in general. The trilogy has layers and layers of metaphor in it, and I’m really quite proud of the way it all works together as an organic whole. My tendency is to wander off into history and background and structure, and sometimes I have to curb that impulse. If I had written The Lord of the Rings, it would have been three whole books of the Council of Elrond, and nobody would have read it.

Were there any perceived conventions of the science fiction genre which you wanted to twist or break when you set out to write Infoquake and its sequel?
Yes, I wanted to avoid the typical mindless action set-pieces that you find in a lot of bad SF, and bad novels in general. I really wanted to write an exciting novel about business. A lot of authors just use the business aspect as window dressing, and then quickly throw their characters into the same car chases and murder mysteries and gunfights. I wanted to write books that really are about the workplace, where the excitement revolves around product demos and marketing meetings and government hearings and that kind of thing. So that’s what I’ve tried to do.

Mind Meld: Is it Time for Star Wars to Go?

SF Signal is back with another Mind Meld, this one asking, "Is it time for Star Wars to go on hiatus for a long while, or is there hope the new, live-action TV series will breathe new life into the series?"

Answers are from such notables as Keith R.A. DeCandido, John C. Wright, Pete Tzinsky, John Hemry, Bruce Bethke, Jeff Patterson, Jeanne Cavalos, Andrew Wheeler, and Yours Truly. My favorite response comes from Andrew Wheeler, who says, "Actually, 'The Star Wars Franchise' is one of those wonderful fannish constructions, which has always existed more fully in the collective consciousness than in reality (and even more so in the rationalizations of a million fans talking at once). Consider Boba Fett -- the biggest badass in the galaxy, on the basis of about five lines of dialogue and some battered old armor. Fett's image was almost entirely constructed by the fans' desires and dreams, goaded on by the fact that his action figure was a rare giveaway when they were mostly young and impressionable."

8/25/08

WorldCon 2008 / Paul Cornell's Denvention3 Report

Paul Cornell's belated WorldCon Report is probably my favorite convention report ever and well worth reading. He begins, "Worldcon is always too big to blog about. It’s a culture, a civilisation. It lasts just long enough that you start to think of it as a career, and then it goes away. It always leaves me inspired, wanting to write, wanting to be one of these people always."

And look, right in the middle, this incredible review of David Louis Edelman's MultiReal:

"I was reading David’s sequel to Infoquake, that is Multireal, during the convention, and as always it spoke to me about my life like no other author does. As much as I loved Infoquake, Multireal is better. It’s The West Wing, in the world of big business, in the future, all last second deals and human emotion finding desperate chances and tense negotiations, but this time with added sex and violence. I was almost disappointed to find some, in that last time David had me on the edge of my seat with only one burst of gunfire and the glimpse of an ankle, and I was hoping to see that feat again, but this book soars mightily, and presents me with terms I find myself mentally using in everyday life (the fiefcorp of Pyr Books, the memecorp of the BBC), and situations redolent of it. The bar and the panels and the awards map onto the fingernail biting world of freelancing in the future. It’s not, as I thought after the first book, a work of Mundane SF, because the (albeit unreliable and hardly magic) teleportation just about rules it out. But I still believe that this world, almost uniquely in modern SF, isn’t just a commentary on the modern scene, but might also come to pass. David has thought about who empties the bins. And his singularity came and went and those bins still needed to be emptied. Most wonderfully, two big set piece speeches in the middle of the book, which sum up its themes of governmentalism vs. libertarian capital, dissolve into the most brilliant shit-flinging gunfight and escape, and one can hear David laughing, shouting ‘yeah, you can have both!’ The mass market paperback of Infoquake was in the bloody airport bookstore on the way out. I’m saying not just Campbell next year but come on, let’s say it out loud, Best Novel."

Podcast: Lou on Writing Excuses

At the recent World Science Fiction Convention, I was honored to be a guest on Writing Excuses, the podcast of writing advice hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells. The episode is available on iTunes and elsewhere, and here is the direct link. Their description:

So what exactly does an editor, do, anyway? We’ve already talked about the process of submitting to an editor; today we talk about the millions of vital things that happen after an editor says “I want to buy your book.” Not only that, but we get to hear it all straight from the mouth of Lou Anders, the Hugo-nominated editor from Pyr Books, who this year alone helped create a Hugo-nominated book and two Campbell-nominated authors. In other words: when this man talks about editing, you listen.

8/23/08

Does Nostalgia Do SF a Disservice?

Over on Futurismic, Paul Raven points to a post by Ian Sales saying, "Readers new to the genre are not served well by recommendations to read Isaac Asimov, EE ‘Doc’ Smith, Robert Heinlein, or the like. Such fiction is no longer relevant, is often written with sensibilities offensive to modern readers, usually has painfully bad prose, and is mostly hard to find because it’s out of print. A better recommendation would be a current author - such as Richard Morgan, Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Ken MacLeod, Stephen Baxter, and so on."

To which I say, "Amen."

I was in Barnes & Noble some months back and bumped into a friend of mine with his daughter. He told me she had been assigned Fahrenheit 451 at school, to which I replied, "You poor girl. You are going to hate it. It's about an old man whining that his wife watches too many soap operas, and nothing happens it it until the cities arbitrarily blow up at the end on cue. Please don't think that's the sort of thing I do for a living. Come with me." Then I walked her over to a display of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies books and said, "Here, this is much more representative of contemporary SF. Try this."

I bumped into them a month later and asked how it went. I found out that, as predicted, she hated the Bradbury, but they were there so she could pick up the third book in the Uglies series. She is now an avid Westerfeld fan.

This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy Bradbury, or that it is not of historical importance, or that *working professionals* in the SF field and wanna-be-writers don't have a responsibility to know their history so they don't struggle to reinvent the wheel, but half-a-century old fiction is NOT the starting point for newbies who have never encountered the genre before. People coming in cold, particularly people coming in from positive encounters with media SF&F, ought to start with contemporary writers. When I set about to recommend books to new SF&F readers, I typically ask them what kind of films they like and then pair them on that basis. The Matrix? Try Charles Stross, Karl Schroeder, Ian McDonald, Cory Doctorow, etc... Buffy the Vampire Slayer? How about Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Justina Robson. Star Wars? How about Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan's The New Space Opera, or the works of Karen Traviss? Firefly/Serenity? - Mike Resnick's Santiago books, and his current Starship series. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind/Being John Malkovich? Something by Jonathan Lethem, maybe As She Crawled Across the Table.

I have met so many people, who when they learn what I do, tell me "Oh, I tried science fiction once. I didn't like it." When I asked them what they read, they invariably say they went into the SF&F section, started at the A's, and grabbed the first thing they recognized - Isaac Asimov. Tried it, and found it cold and dated.

Again, this is NOT to say that the enthusiast, the purest, the aficionado, the die-hard, the wanna be, the professional, the completist shouldn't read the A,B,C's of the Golden Age, or that those texts no longer have anything to say to us, only that if someone came to me having just seen The Bourne Ultimatum and wanted to know what contemporary spy novels he or she should read for more of the same, I wouldn't start him or her off with Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent. (If they *end* up there, fine, but I wouldn't *start* them there).

I think matching them with the analogous movie works best (produces better results than asking people what sort of "mainstream" they read), though 9 times out of 10, you'd do just as well to just hand them John Scalzi's Old Man's War.

8/22/08

Matthew Sturges on Major Spoilers

In early 2009, we'll be bringing out Matthew Sturges' Midwinter, about which much more when we get closer. But the Eisner-award nominated Sturges is already well-known to comic book fans, as he's the author of such DC/Vertigo titles as Blue Beetle, Jack of Fables (with Bill Willingham), House of Mystery, and others. Today, the podcast Major Spoilers conducts and interview with him. Here's the direct link.

8/21/08

World War: A Short Animated Film

Via SF Signal, a short CGI film of two robots fighting in Hiroshima, Japan, 100 years after the end of World War II. More evidence that the future of SF film isn't limited to Hollywood, California:


World War - 3D Animation @ University Of Hertfordshire 2008 from Digital Animation Herts Uni UK on Vimeo.

8/20/08

Writers' League of Texas panel on comics, manga and graphic novels

If you're in Austin, and things like comics, manga and graphic novels interest you, drop by Spider House this Thursday, August 21 for a panel devoted to just those topics. I'm one of the panelists; by day I am a novelist, but by night I don my nerd costume and write comic books.

Here's the blurb:

One of the hottest areas in publishing is comics, graphic novels, and manga. Paul Benjamin heads up a panel of writers in the field to offer an insider's look at the popular art form and the creative process. Panelists include Scott Kolins, Alan Porter, Tony Salvaggio, and Matt Sturges.


Link.

Bright Music

Wowed this morning to discover a song inspired by Bright of the Sky. John Anealio is a composer and singer-songwriter who has a fantastic website called Sci-Fi Songs. He's trying to merge his love of music with his equal devotion to sf and fantasy and art, and by my tour of his site, he's succeeding and then some. In his piece, "The Return of Titus Quinn," I think he captured the mood and the gestalt of the book wonderfully.

There is something riveting about seeing or hearing a story as interpretated in art or music; I've had that experience with Stephan Martiniere's artistic representations of my series. Hearing this piece of music reminds me how cross-inspirational the arts are. The terrain is strange and moving, almost as though something magical has occurred. I just love this!

8/19/08

John Picacio Art Tour

Cheryl Morgan has posted a video tour she did with John Picacio of his corner of the Denvention WorldCon art show. If you weren't able to attend WorldCon (or if like me you didn't make it to the art show before it broke down), here's a little taste for you.

8/18/08

Ronald Chevalier: SF Author

Via Chris Roberson:



And there's a website: ronaldchevalier.com. I cracked up at the first line in the bio, "A Cluster Award-winning, published author since the age of 13..."

8/17/08

I’ve been reflecting on Denvention and feeling weird about the Hugos, as I seem to every year. This competition and the general race to success in our field reminds me how much stress is a part of jumping into this fray. Margaret Hoelzer, the Beijing Olympics silver-medalist for the 200 meter backstoke, seemed to have similar things on her mind on Friday. She’s had ups and downs in her career, the Seattle Times reported, but she’s found a balancing ground in her attitude.

“I never really race for a medal. I usually just race for my personal best. This sport can be grinding. The competition, the expectations can chew you up . . . . All the joy that got you into the pool in the beginning can be replaced by a sense of dread, a gnawing doubt about where all of this is taking you.”

She went on to talk about the difficult times in her career-- “Everyone goes through them if they’re in the sport long enough.” --and the stress of high-tech diets and early morning trainings.

This reminds me of the writing life, where getting words on the page (an ugly definition, yes?) can shut out so much else that you might be doing for physical health, family, and just fun. Then she says the thing that really struck me: Just before the Olympics, she made a conscious decision to dump the stress and enjoy the ride. “You realize there is more to life than just swimming.” She jokes that she’s going backward, turning into an eight-year-old, choosing to enjoy the swim.

She got out of a mental rut and went back to the joy of swimming. As long as I’ve been in this business, I loved hearing a superb competitor put this into words.

8/15/08

John Meaney Kicks Butt

Paradox,Context,Resolution,& To Hold Infinityauthor John Meaney, on martial arts, Zen and the Olympics.

"And didn't the Bird's Nest stadium look like a Jim Burns painting brought to life? For anyone who saw the whole of the opening ceremony, the future is here, and it is so sfnal. And with 2008 wu shu performers demonstrating their own kind of harmony."

Podcast: Lou Anders

The wonderful Rick Kleffel, whose Agony Column podcast is required listening on this editor's iPod, has interviewed me today. We take about Denvention, the Hugos, and what's forthcoming from Pyr. Here's the direct link to the mp3.

8/14/08

Tor.com Analyses Brasyl Covers

In his series on the Hugo Novel nominees, Pablo Defendini of Tor.com is taking a look at both the US and UK covers for Ian McDonald's Brasyl.Our cover was designed by Jacqueline Cooke, illustration by Stephan Martiniere. The U.K. Edition Illustration & Design is by Dominic Harman, (another fine artist that we have engaged for our upcoming James Enge title, btw.)

Full analysis and subsequent discussion well-worth checking out, but I'm particularly gratified that Pablo got what the overlays of the title were meant to represent:

"The neon/florescent color scheme for both the painting and the type certainly communicates a sense of electric vibration, which ties in nicely with the concept of quantum computing (and certainly reminds us of Terry Gilliam’s film by the same name). Perhaps florescent or otherwise special inks were used in printing—the final effect is blindingly intense. Overlaying three instances of the title, off-register with each other and in three different neon colors adds to this vibration. It also complements the bustle depicted in the street scene nicely. Additionally, the three instances of the title relate conceptually to the three-story structure of the novel. While the choice of typefaces is somewhat orthodox, and could be perceived as boring under other circumstances, I think it works in this case: anything more complicated or ornate for the title would have rendered it much harder to read, when coupled with the three-instance treatment; and the simplicity and directness of the sans-serif typeface used for the author’s name serves as a nice contrast to the busy, hectic feel of the title proper. It also adds a solid, light-valued area to the top of the composition, which helps balance out the lightest areas of the illustration towards the bottom, and tie the composition together a little better."

Pyr's FF2 Cover Art on Denver TV

Denver's NBC TV affiliate 9News covered last week's World Science Fiction Convention. You'll be able to glimpse the cover art for the much-anticipated Pyr anthology FAST FORWARD 2, edited by Lou Anders; the mysterious "Man from Shanghai" that edits SCI FI MAGAZINE; as well as yours truly. Check it out, if you haven't already.

George Zebrowski's Macrolife

8/13/08

The Pyr Party: What was that we were drinking?

So, having seen "mojito" online a few times, I'm here to tell you that, no, while it's similar, what you were drinking last Friday was a caipirinha, made with lime and Pitu Cachaca.

Take 1 lime.
Slice and quarter it.
Put it in a glass.
Add two teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Muddle it (mush it up good).
Add 2 ounces of cachaca.
Add ice.

This guy here does a good job of demonstrating:

Ian McDonald + Brazilian Beats

Great report below from Lou. Found this in my camera tonight: one last shot from Pyr's epic bash in honor of Ian's Hugo nomination for BRASYL -- editorial director Lou Anders, left, with the great Ian McDonald. Here's to many more good times, great books, and (hopefully) awards victories to come for both these guys. Ian may look a little sloshy here, but fear not -- it would take a lot of caipirinhas to put this man down. The Brazilian Beats Boxset was playing in the background throughout the evening and it sounded awesome. Ian personally recommends it, and it's hard to pass up a nod from Mr. Brasyl himself.

8/12/08

The Pyr Party @ WorldCon

Last Friday night, August 8th, we threw a party at the 66th World Science Fiction Convention in honor of Ian McDonald's nomination for Best Novel for Brasyl.The party was Brazilian themed, complete with capirinas, the official drink of Brazil, a Brazilian flag, multiple bowls of delicious futbol shaped chocalote balls in the distinctive black and white foil wrappers, various bits and bobs. And scores of plastic frogs all over the tables. (In fact, the frogs were a big hit - and were scooped up by the handfuls by parents taking them home to the kids.)

Enough about the frogs, you say. So how did it go?

We were PACKED – with a great mix of fans and pros. In fact, at one point, we had 3 of the 5 Best Novel Hugo Nominees sprawled out in the back room at the same time. Alas, Rob Sawyer was elsewhere with a cold, and Michael Chabon - the actual winner of the Hugo- unable to attend the convention. But it was a wonderful mix of people, and while the room waxed and wanned from "crowded" to "even more crowded," it was never less than full.

Pictured above left is Paolo Bacigalupi, Yanni Kuznia and John Scalzi, reclining on the bed in the back room and up to no good (trust me). Pictured right is Pyr author Kay Kenyon and our guest of honor, Ian McDonald, who in addition to giving the stamp of approval to the Pitu Cachaca used in the making of the capirinas also supplied a selection of the Brazilian music that "soundtracks" his novel.

Also in attendance was Eisner-award winning writer Bill Willingham (left), of the incredibly-successful DC/Vertigo title Fables, who when I joked in an email the week previous - "What are you doing next Friday? Do you want to come to Denver for a party?" - was coincidentally planning on driving through Denver at the exact same time (to my delight and the delight of one very surprised fan!)

John W. Campbell Best New Writer nominee David Louis Edelman was in attendance as well, pictured here with his evil twin Scott. (The two are often mistaken, and, in fact, each have stories in separate volumes of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction. My suggestion - they should collaborate for the next volume!)

I don't think Night Shade Books's uber talented publisher Jeremy Lassen was actually with these three woman, but somehow they complement the zoot suit, so maybe he should engage them for entourage purposes. I get shades of a notion about a gang boss and his faery family....

Oh! The swag! The first 100 guests received Pyr Pint Glasses - less the three that broke in transit, alas. The remaining 97 glasses were a HUGE success - real glass, with the Pyr logo, "Ignite Your Imagination", "World Con 2008" and our url on the side in black lettering. We served the first of the capirinas in them, and when they ran out, folks were really disappointed. Fortunately, some glassware had been discarded by drinkers who either didn’t realize they could keep ‘em or didn’t want to, and so we had a steady trade in rounding them up, washing them out, and repurposing them all night, so anytime a glass was found a cry of “who wants it?” brought lots of eager shouts. (Four were left over that evening and went immediately on the panels I had left. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see these things show up on eBay...)

Enormous thanks to Jill Maxick, our publicist who procured all the decorations and the chocolates and was unfortunately unable to attend at the last minute, and to Amy Greenan and Lynn Pasquale for all the posters, invites, book covers etc... Enormous thanks also due to Alexis Glynn Latner, who drove me all over downtown Denver day-of to procure food and drinks.

Thanks also to Kristina Eccles (left), the bartender Jill engaged to make our Brazilian drink, and to Jetsie de Vries (Interzone co-editor) and Paolo Bacigalupi (award winning short story author) who volunteered their muscle and help setting up. And we REALLY owe Jetsie de Vries (below, left) for above the call of duty help. Kristina was top notch. Really good to work with, and stayed an extra hour on from what we planned when we hit 11pm and still had a full house and plenty of cachaca, but she was SLAMMED, never able to stop for a single moment. Jetsie volunteered to be her bar back, and washed 110 limes, hand washed and dried all the cups in the case with the broken one to free it of glass-dust, kept her in ice (even heading out to beg ice off other parties when we ran out), bagged trash, and washed the discarded glasses so we could keep the party favors coming. He was incredible, stuck mostly in the bathroom over the sink off where we set up the bar, covered in sweat he was working it so hard. We are totally indebted, and he is a golden god.

And Pitu Cachaca? That sugarcane rum is pretty strong stuff!

SF Makes You Crazy

There's something slightly awry in the minds of people who celebrate the vast, sprawling landscape of the imagination. It's not just our extremely low threshold for the appreciation of very poor SF TV and movies, though the screenwriter side of me does give that a lot of thought. (My own benchmark is The Invaders, the sixties Quinn-Martin Production, for which I hold an inexplicable love. Hugo voters appear to have a similar attachment to the execrable movie adaptation of The Golden Compass - quite how it didn't get one hundred per cent 'No Award' votes is beyond me...)

I realised that odd dissonance when I was browsing the site of PS Publishing which produces very fine limited editions of SF/F/H novellas and longer works (including one of my own novellas, for clarity in reporting). There, in the online catalogue, was a slip-cased, two volume edition of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine priced at £375 (double the figure for dollars) and I realised with a faint queasy feeling that I was seriously considering if I could afford it. Yes, it did have a unique introduction by Stephen King, and the second volume contained all the stories from Bradbury's fictional town where the novel is set, published and unpublished.

But I have read Dandelion Wine many times. The ancient, dog-eared paperback is still on my shelves, and there's a hardback floating around somewhere. How could I possibly consider spending that kind of money on something I'd already consumed? Normal people don't do that kind of thing.

But, you see, I love Bradbury. His work is one of the foundation stones of me, and I seriously wonder if I would have become a writer without reading The Martian Chronicles, The October Country, The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes as a kid.

What those works engender in me - what comparable works engender in you - is immeasurable, transformative, almost, without getting too precious, spiritual. Once you've tasted it, your brain is screwed and you're hooked for life. Then you spend the rest of your days trying to hang on to the feeling, recapture it, buy it and bottle it - even if it means spending a small fortune on a limited edition book, or going to see movies that everyone tells you are bad, bad, bad...you know, just in case.

There's a long-standing belief in publishing that if you don't experience speculative fiction by the age of thirteen, you will never "get" it. Clearly, something does happen to the mind when you have that first experience at the right age, and I wonder exactly what. It's a life-shaping moment, like walking smack into a shiny, black monolith, and I don't know anyone in this field who has every forgotten that transformative experience. Does it make us crazy? Does it make us better? Naturally, when we're all in our huddles where we consider ourselves the monarchs of taste and sophistication, we think it's the latter.

We've all been saved and ruined by our first encounter with speculative fiction (or film, or comics), and, look, Pyr is now doing it to another generation... Damn them!

Which is a long-winded way of announcing the foundation of the International Aid Fund (to Purchase Dandelion Wine (slipcased-edition)). I take Paypal.

Mark Chadbourn

8/6/08

Worldcon and Bittercon

Hey!

This is Pyr author James Enge, sneaking in to break a few windows while Lou is away at Worldcon.

Here's hoping Lou and everyone else headed to (or already in) Denver has a good time at Denvention 3.

For the rest of us, fantasist Sherwood Smith (a.k.a. sartorias) is setting up a Bittercon through LiveJournal. Some of the (virtual) panel topics look like fun. (If you could see me at this moment you'd know that I'm pointing modestly at the "Theory and Practice of Monsters" topic, which I suggested.) You won't have to be registered with LiveJournal to comment (at least not on my topic).

Don't get bitter--get Bitterconned! (That slogan needs some work, maybe.)

JE

8/4/08

What a great word "Endeavour" is.

Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky: Book One of The Entire and The Roseis among the nominees for this year's 2008 Endeavour Award, given "for a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year."

The award is announced annually at OryCon, held in Portland, Oregon. The next award will be presented at OryCon 30 (November 2008) for a book published during 2007. The award is accompanied by a grant of $1,000.

The finalists for 2008 are:

The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari
Bright of the Sky: Book One of the Entire and the Rose by Kay Kenyon
Not Flesh Nor Feathers by Cherie Priest
Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Silver Ship and the Sea by Brenda Cooper

Congratulations to Kay, and to all the nominees!

8/1/08

Podcast: Stephan Martiniere

Artist Stephan Martiniere is interviewed on Sidebar today, in a podcast available here. They cover his days in art school, his work on Mr Gadget in Japan, his concept illustration for Hollywood films (such as I, Robot), his work for Midway games, much more. Sadly, not enough about his incredible book cover illustration. But a very informative, very worthwhile, very interesting podcast nonetheless.