Friday, September 5, 2008

The Extremely Accomplished Lee Moyer

The above image is by Lee Moyer from his Literary Pin-Up Calendar work-in-progress. Lee, you'll remember, created the witty and visually stunning cover for my forthcoming Subterranean Press collection, The Best of Michael Swanwick. Which I refrain from posting above only with great effort and only because I've already posted it at least twice in recent memory.

There's an interview with Lee Moyer here. What he has to say is interesting but, oh man, the illos! It makes me wish I had visual talent. Wouldn't it be great to be able to create stuff like that?

A day in the life . . .

I spent most of yesterday signing book plates for The Best of Michael Swanwick, my forthcoming Subterranean Press collection, all day, and it put me in mind of the Easton Press edition of The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. Easton Press specializes in leather-bound first editions with gilt-edged pages and a little ribbon, like the one you find in missals, to help you keep your place. I forget exactly how large an edition it was, but it came to thousands of books, and they paid me one dollar for each page signed.

So I was sitting on the couch in the evening, watching TV and signing plates – each autograph another dollar, as if my pen were some kind of magical money-printing device – and earning hundreds of dollars per hour, when it suddenly occurred to me: This is simultaneously, the best paying and most boring job I’ve ever had in my life.

And I do not exclude from the "most boring" part of the reckoning the time I worked in a MacDonald’s.

Yes, I
am wonderful, aren’t I?

Years ago, after her divorce from a noted musician, a friend of mine said that the best thing she got out of it was that she would never again have to sit at a folk festival, nodding and saying, “Yes, he is good, isn’t he?”

So I have complete sympathy for you, having to put up with my repeated recitation of absolutely glowing reviews. Such as the review of The Dragons of Babel that just went up on SF Site. Or Gary K. Wolfe’s review of The Best of Michael Swanwick in the September, 2008 issue of Locus, which calls me “a key figure … in the ongoing movement to liberate genre materials from genre formulas” and concludes, “It’s almost a cliché to claim there’s not a weak story in this book, but the only complaint Swanwick’s readers are likely to voice is that too much got left out.” Or the Booklist review which says, “One of the best things about Swanwick’s storytelling is that it is always worth another read. This volume is the perfect package for assuring that his most rereadable fiction is always at hand.”

But I do this for all the gonnabe writers out there. No, by the time you start getting the good reviews you are not going to be blase about them.

And as always . . .

I've updated the Poem du Jour. This time, it's Jorge Luis Borges's "History of the Night."


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