Dueling Releases

Two friends of mine (Daryl Gregory and Alan DeNiro) have novels being released tomorrow, and I’m going to post short interviews with both of them. So stay tuned.

Publisher’s Weekly on The Devil’s Alphabet:

A wide variety of believable characters, a well-developed sense of place and some fascinating scientific speculation will earn this understated novel an appreciative audience among fans of literary SF.

and on Total Oblivion, More or Less:

As this peculiar but entertaining first novel begins, geography and cosmology have shifted. Natural laws work unpredictably. The U.S. government has disappeared and plundering bands of Goths and Scythians roam the Midwest. Sea serpents close the shipping lanes, and oil companies convert their tankers into slave ships that cruise the Mississippi…an impressive debut from a promising writer.

New York, day 2 on day 3

Day two, written some in the morning of day three, some the evening. That’s how it goes sometimes. I can’t blog when I’m not at a computer then, can I?

Day two was all about the reading (being which it was the reason for the trip). I didn’t feel like doing a lot during the day, and the heat made doing difficult. Walking, quick trip to Pearl River to look for children’s chopsticks (the kind with the little finger clip on one side). Merida is still too small for said clip, but apparently they keep growing. Children, not clips.

Then on to Pearl Paint (no relation) to get cartridges for my Parker fountain pen, and was astonished and disappointed to see how the pen department there has been decimated. And the man working there didn’t even know if they had cartridges and sent me down an aisle that didn’t have any. There were cartridges at the counter that may have fit, but I didn’t have my pen on me and didn’t feel like risking it. This is for my replacement-Parker, that I bought on Ebay for $25 after losing my other one in Austin, after World Fantasy, I think at the Flight Path Cafe but when I called the person didn’t know what a fountain pen was…a pen I had bought at Pearl Paint as a $10 close-out from the Pen Guy, who must still be taking care of pens somewhere if not at Pearl Paint. The Pen Guy would have known what cartridges to use. However, my replacement Parker came with an ink converter, but when I bought the first Parker, the Pen Guy told me that the barrel of the pen was too small for a converter. Could Pen Guy have been wrong?

Continue reading “New York, day 2 on day 3”

New York, Day 1

Arrived after a blissfully uneventful flight, train from Newark to Penn Station, and crappy taxi drive through unpleasant clogs of traffic.  It’s fucking hot. Which I knew it would be, but it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced New York pavement-heat.

The room wasn’t ready so I walked around in the heat, had Malaysian lunch at Nyonya, an old favorite, then off to the Angelika Film Center to see what’s playing, pick up a Village Voice, and, most important, sit in a comfy chair in the nice air conditioned lobby.

But best of all, I found Grand Sausages in its new location on Elizabeth.  The name is now Deluxe Food Market (because it’s no longer on Grand Street), but it has the same array of prepared foods waiting for me.  I’d forgotten about their curry chicken, and then, there it was.  I’ll get something there for dinner and bring it back to the room, although in their nice shiny new space they have tables.

Readings, French City

Friday nights reading at Brother Bear’s Cafe went well, nice-sized audience, some book sales.  My wife, Rebecca Kuder read first, a section of her novel-in-progress, The Eight Mile Suspended Carnival, and I read the prologue to my novella-in-progress, called (for now) New Springdale (for new thing set in Springdale), and then I read from The Painting and the City.

And, when I got home and checked my email I had a nice little surprise. An offer from a French publisher for The Painting and the City.  More details after contracts etc. For now, I’ll just say, Yay!  and Wow! and I owe Sébastien Doubinsky.

On Tuesday I’m off to New York for my KGB reading. Which is Wednesday August 19th, 7pm at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.), NY, NY.

Nick Gevers

Nick Gevers is an editor for PS Publishing and various anthologies, and a former reviewer of short fiction for Locus Magazine. I’m passing along an announcement of his new venture, which I’m looking forward to reading:

Locus Online has just launched my new interview series, focusing on short fiction and titled “SF Quintessential”. In this slot, I’ll be talking regularly with influential figures in the field–authors and editors–tying in with the publication of new collections and anthologies, and looking at the state of the magazines. First up is Jonathan Strahan, discussing his superb anthology Eclipse Two. Soon: Lou Anders, on the dynamic Fast Forward 2.

“I intend that the series will help promote valuable short fiction publications and provide a forum for discussion of trends in the short form: creative movements and the rather troubled state of the market. There’s a huge amount to talk about; I hope “SF Quintessential” can supplement and augment existing debate, at a vital time in the history of genre literature.”

The New Offbeat

Here’s a snippet of a brief review by Rich Horton from the February Locus of Psychological Methods To Sell Should Be Destroyed.

“Other delvings into the small press turn up such treasures as Robert Freeman Wexler’s brief collection…half a dozen offbeat stories, notably the book’s one original, “The Sidewalk Factory: A Municipal Romance.”

Horton’s column also included the latest Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, which he says is “as ever, packed with original and offbeat stories.  My story, “Suspension,” appeared in a past issue of Lady Churchill‘s, and is in the collection, making it no doubt doubly offbeat.

My handy electronic dictionary defines offbeat as:

offbeat |ˈôfˌbēt; ˈäf-|

adjective

1 Music not coinciding with the beat.

2 unconventional; unusual : she’s a little offbeat but she’s a wonderful actress.noun Musicany of the normally unaccented beats in a bar.

There are a lot of labels and movements out there: magical realism, slipstream, interstitial, new weird, steampunk, etc., but  I don’t know if I’m part of any of them. My stories have not appeared in their definitive anthologies. So I must be something else. I’m relieved to see a new one that I can claim.  But am I Offbeat?  Or New Offbeat?  Has there been an Offbeat?  Or an Onbeat? There were Beats, of course.

The next step is an Offbeat Manifesto, and a roster of fellow Offbeats, along with Proto-Offbeats (without which any movement is derailed before it starts).