Friday, August 15, 2008

Flogging The Best of Michael Swanwick

It's not even published yet, but the Subterranean Press collection, The Best of Michael Swanwick has just received its first rave review. From Publishers Weekly. And it's a starred review, too -- that means everything to publishers.

Here's the review:

The Best of Michael Swanwick Michael Swanwick. Subterranean (, $38 (464p) ISBN 978-1-59606-178-1

More than a quarter century’s worth of short fiction is gathered in this comprehensive collection of stories from Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award–winner Swanwick. The tales run the gamut from strict space adventures like “The Very Pulse of the Machine” to deceptively complex ghost stories like “Radio Waves.” In “The Feast of Saint Janis,” Janis Joplin is worshiped as an ancient goddess made flesh, with all the power and pitfalls that accompany the role. The more surreal pieces — such as “Mother Grasshopper,” wherein wizards chase one another across an insect the size of a planet —nonetheless have a method to their madness, and though it would be easy for alien monster shorts like “A Midwinter’s Tale” to dissolve into self-conscious silliness, even the weaker setups conclude with a bang. Swanwick’s blend of savvy science fiction, Freudian fantasy and top-notch storytelling both chills and charms. (Oct.)

Here's the Table of Contents:

The Feast of St. Janis
Trojan Horse
A Midwinter's Tale
The Edge of the World
Griffin's Egg
The Changeling's Tale
North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy
Radio Waves
The Dead
Mother Grasshopper
Radiant Doors
The Very Pulse of the Machine
Wild Minds
Scherzo with Tyrannosaur
The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O
The Dog Said Bow-Wow
Slow Life
Legions in Time
Triceratops Summer
From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled...

Plus it's got a terrific cover by Lee Moyer. But you already knew that.

And as always . . .

I've updated the Poem du Jour. This one's a smutty Auden poem. But since it speaks for itself and I won't knowingly violate copyright, you're best off just googling "As the Poets Have Mournfully Sung." Then you can memorize it -- it's brief! And, as I said, smutty.

And in Pastor Marcia's Journal, Marcia attends a Karen wedding. At 7 a.m. Enjoy!



HANNAH'S DAD said...

Between that and Babel, you've been damned lucky with your covers lately - both are knockouts.

Glad to see Radiant Doors in there too - it's one of those stories that won't leave me alone.

HANNAH'S DAD said...

Ha! You've gone back to running strange URL based intelligence tests on me. I don't mind though, as I think I'm passing them so far.

Your trick today was in transposing the letters 'p' and 's' in to take me to '', a typosquatter site which contains poorly formatted information about biblical subjects, and seems to indicate that salvation and decent graphic design are incompatible.

I await your next trick.

Michael Swanwick said...

Again, my apologies for the (now-corrected) link.

"Radiant Doors" was a terrifying story to write. After it was published, my friend's wife the rabbi took Marianne aside and asked her, "How can you sleep beside him, knowing he's got thoughts like those inside his head?"

Marianne smiled sweetly. "Oh, they're not inside his head anymore," she said. "They're inside yours."