More Book-y Bits

  • Did you get a chance to experience the cognitive dissonance that comes from VanderMeerian words read in a high-toned children’s literature type voice?
  • Speaking of VanderMeerian weirdness, there was a nice little slice of it over at
  • Sometime soon (yes, Real Soon Now) I will write another golden book post, and this one will focus on a Pat Cadigan novel. In the meantime, here’s an interview with her, wherein we learn the sad news that there is no new novel forthcoming in the short term.
  • Niall engages with Peter Barry, reacting to Barry’s lists of things that critics tend to assume implicitly. The propositions are interesting both in themselves, and in the reactions they provoke (both Niall’s and mine), but even more interesting is the underlying project of trying to make concrete one’s implicit assumptions. The unexamined life being not worth living is not exactly news in philosophy, but I think the world would be a very different place if people actually made explicit some of their assumptions, and then had a chance to reflect on them, and react to them.
  • Only distance is protecting Paul Di Filippo… if he were closer, I might have to actually mug him for that new Crowley.
  • You might think I had spent enough money on Eddie Campbell this quarter, but you’d be wrong. I just bought one of my favourite pages of the original art from Monsieur Leotard. To make this more than just a bragging item, let’s link to a new review of that book.
  • While I’m on comics material, I should mention that I ran into scans of a couple of Alan Moore stories online that I hadn’t seen before–it seems kind of odd that there’s still uncollected material out there, but the Internet brings it all to our virtual doors, I guess.
  • Back to the books, Peter Watts is teasing us with a post that includes proposed jacket copy for his next book. It’s enough to get my preorder, but that was pretty well already established in my case. (The post also includes the obligatory Watts swipe at Tor–at this point I’m guessing that bridge is well and truly burnt, so I guess there’s no issue there.)
  • Let’s pop back to comics for a second, with an interview with Scott Morse, one of my favourite comics artists.
  • And back to books, for the Balticon podcast bringing us Walter Jon Williams reading from Implied Spaces. Walter Jon is an automatic buy author for me, and I mention him a fair bit here, so you know I’m very pro-WJW. That being said, he is not one of those authors who makes a compelling reader. YMMV.
  • I see from Emma’s LJ that Tor’s Orb imprint is bringing Bone Dance back into print. While most Bull fans in my experience tend to rave most about War For The Oaks, this one is my favourite (and it’s not just me.) It’ll be nice to have it reaching a whole new audience via this reprint. And maybe more people will get my “Hoodoo Engineer” references.
  • Graham Joyce’s early January post includes, along with a James Bond-esque action story, information on some of the things he’s up to this year. Most interesting to me is the new YA book, but I am also fascinated to hear that he’s writing lyrics and working on Doom 4.
  • Every time Jeff Ford posts about a book, it costs me money. This time it’s about David Herter’s forthcoming book, which I’ll pretty much have to pick up.
  • And now, a blast from the past: The Time Traveler Show brings us a podcast of Robert Silverberg making his Worldcon speech in 1970. Have I mentioned before how much it’s fascinating me that the digital world doesn’t just bring me everything from now, but that it’s reaching more and more into the past as well? I wasn’t even born when this speech was made.
  • We’ve all heard about all the long tail stuff–and doesn’t it seem like lately the story is always about how the long tail isn’t?–but have you heard about the lizard tail? If you’re interested in the street level economics of selling books, maybe you should.
  • “I will steal my mother’s clown pants. That is not code for anything with a deeper meaning. No one likes a clown.” I can’t possibly explain.
  • As a general rule I avoid what is currently referred to as “urban fantasy”1, and which I would very much prefer to call “post-Buffy tough chick romance fantasy”, almost religiously. The only thing that’s more likely to reinforce my aversion would be a cover featuring a woman with a tramp stamp, which seems to be almost de rigeur in that subgenre. And yet, I’ll apparently be buying Unclean Spirits, since it’s actually written by Daniel Abraham, whose Long Price Quartet I have been enjoying. And having him claim inspiration from Hellblazer also helps. So I guess I’ll give it a shot. PW saying “Abrahams smooth prose and zippy action sequences sag under the weight of clichés” does not help, however.
  • Charlie Stross meditates on Strangecraftian fiction, his notion of a previously unnamed type of interstitial fiction–which he’s previously written a couple of novels of. It also touches on how the Singularity could arguably be traced well back past Vinge to Lovecraft, and how the rapture of the nerds might not be a positive thing. As usual the post is interesting, but the comments really make it.
  1. I hate that we lost that term, by the way–it’s supposed to mean, I don’t know, runaway elves listening to Boiled In Lead at an underground warehouse club or something…(back)

  1 comment for “More Book-y Bits

  1. January 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I’m with you on Bone Dance. I read WftO first, and I still love it, but Bone Dance is the one I keep coming back to.

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This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.