Friday, July 3, 2009

Two More Reasons Why This is the Best of All Possible Worlds


Greer Gilman
has a new book out! This is reason enough for women to swoon and men to throw their hats in the air. Her first book, Moonwise, was an instant fantasy classic. Eighteen years later, she has a second. It consists of "Jack Daw's Pack," a story I found so intriguing that I did an interview with Greer about it which may have been longer than the story itself, "A Crowd of Bone," which was a World Fantasy Award Award winner in 2004, and "Unleaving," a new novel-length fantasy.

Let me caution you that Gilman's work is caviar for the cognoscenti. This is not a pun-filled, fast-paced romp through easily-digested lands of wish fulfillment fantasy. No. This is more like . . . like . . . did you ever wonder what Le Guin's dragons read when they're at home? Deep, cosmic, uncompromising and (let's be honest) difficult? Something like that.

That said, an intelligent teenager can read this book and be as blown away by it as I was. I honestly believe that Cloud & Ashes is going to profoundly change a few lives.

You can read what the publisher, Small Beer Press, has to say about it, and order the book as well here.

And Reason Two . . .

Click here. Just do it. Then click on the blank screen at the top so you can see the video. It'll be worth it. Honest.

You won't take my word on it? Gee whiz, I'm hurt. But, okay, I'm still your friend, so here's what the inimitable Greg Frost sent me about it. Not sure who wrote up the synopsis. But whoever did was absolutely right. Fabulous, fabulous stuff.

Lovin' an Elevator

Everyone's heard of a stairway to heaven, but how about an elevator? That's just what visitors to the Standard Hotel in New York will experience thanks to the incredibly cool art installation "Civilization" by artist Marco Brambilla-an amazing video mural that takes guests from fiery infernos to paradise as the elevator ascends.

Brambilla, who worked with Toronto-based production company Crush, integrated hundreds of original and movie clips (providing lots of "Hey, was that the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?" moments) that seamlessly glide from one landscape to the next. We're guessing the ride up might feel a little better (heaven) than going down to street level (hell), but in either direction, you'll want to linger before departing. The best part? You can see "Civilization" here without paying for a room.



Jason Van Hollander said...

What a beautiful cover!

Jason Van Hollander

David Stone said...

Wow, Small Beer Press is kicking ass. I seem to recall that a few years ago they were a tiny little operation with a few titles out, and now they've got a very impressive catalog and "lineup" of authors!

Michael Swanwick said...

The cover art, I should mention, is by Kathleen Jennings.

It used to be the small press couldn't get a book like this. But the big publishers are getting worse and worse at making money from eccentric works, and presses like Small Beer and Tachyon and the rest are getting nimbler and nimbler. For which, God bless 'em.