Friday, April 16, 2010

The Tower of Books


Pictured above are the books I used to research the Darger & Surplus novel.  Not all of them, obviously.  The downstairs books, the ones I was keeping in front of one of the living room windows. But they're a big chunk of the whole, somewhere between a half and a third.

Most of 'em I'm keeping.  The Pelevin, the Lukyanchenko, and the Kurkov books, obviously.  Maybe even the Tolstoy.  But I've already boxed up a good half of 'em to go back to Book Haven (Rolf and Rikki don't appear to have a website, but you can read the bookgeek raves here) for store credit for research on the next novel.

I have reached an age where I am getting rid of good books.  Which is to say that I'm perilously close to being old.

But fighting it every step of the way.

And, you ask, does that mean . . . ?

Yes, the novel is done.  And sent in to my agent.  So now the fun begins.

And the title?  Do I have a title?

Yes, I do.  Provisionally.  For which reason I can say nothing until my editor, whoever he or she turns out to be, casts the final and deciding vote.  But IF it turns out to be one of those suggested, rest assured that the Big  Box O' Schwag (remember that word? late 90s slang?) will go to the nominator.



Eugene Duranin said...

Hi, Michael. What are titles of Pelevin (picture is quite pixelized) there? Latest Pelevin's book (probably wasn't translated yet) "t" is brilliant. Kurkov is also great, but Sergey Lukyanenko (I think) is scribbler, who can't represent Russian sci-fi.
And what's Tolstoy - Alexey or Lev? Just curious.

Eponymous said...

Looks like the floor of my office. I didn't see "Last Watch" among the Lukyanenkos, though.

Michael Swanwick said...

Count Lev -- I haven't yet made it through War and Peace because I start enjoying it and slow down and then somewhere halfway through I get interrupted by the need to research a novel and by the time I get back to it I have to start over from the beginning. I'll get that done, though, eventually. The same thing happened to me with any number of books I loved.

I have a copy of Aelita around here somewhere, though.

The Pelevins are The Blue Lantern, The Clay Machine-Gun, and A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia. I also have Babylon around here somewhere. It gets a shout-out in my novel under its real title of Generation P.

For that matter, the protagonist of "Libertarian Russia" (a title and concept my Russian friends find incomprehensible) has renamed himself Victor Pelevin. As you can probably guess, I like the guy's work a lot.

There's a "Last Watch"? Is it a fourth book to the series? And a new Pelevin book? I'm really falling behind on my reading.

Eponymous said...

Yes, "Last Watch" is the fourth tale of Anton, Sveta, and their daughter. It's as good as the rest, I would say (I like the series quite a bit). It reads like a final statement on the world he created, but is left open for future expansion by the last line.

David Stone said...

I think it's great that you use fiction as a research tool. Contemporary fiction is an excellent way to learn about a place during a certain time, and the nice thing about writing fiction is that you can incorporate this kind of knowledge (which is absorbed gradually rather than committed directly to memory as fact) without the sort of obsessive referencing that goes on with academic writing or the like.

Eugene Duranin said...

War and Peace is brilliant! I'd recommended of Alexey Tolstoy. I'm sure you'll find it very interesting.
BTW Hero of latest Pelevin's book is Count Tolstoy :)

Nathan said...

Congrats on finishing the novel. Now, to eagerly await its release.