Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again


I'm in print again!  It's a funny thing about the writing biz that because books come into print a good year after you write them, the times when you're busiest the public bookshelves are emptiest.  Conversely, when the racks are filled with new work, you're probably at your least productive.  So however it looks like you're doing is usually exactly wrong.

Thank God, then, for reprints.  They help keep the world aware of your existence when you're working the hardest.  As I am, on two novels and God only know many short stories.

Two paperbacks came in the mail today.  One, shown above, is Other Worlds Than These, edited by the exemplary John Joseph Adams.  It's a whacking big fat trade paperback (technically known in the industry as a "bug-crusher") collection of parallel world and portal fantasy stories.  Which contains my own "An Empty House With Many Doors," one of a select sub-set of my stories which can be read as love letters to Marianne.

Also in the mail is David G. Harwell's and Kathryn Cramer's annual Year's Best SF 17.  This has my own "For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Loneliness and I'll Not Be Back Again."  It's a far more intensely personal story than you'd guess from reading it.  I saw Gerry Adams just as the story describes, found the holy well in the Burren, and hoisted a pint in the Fiddler's Elbow.  That was my grandfather Michael O'Brien, after whom I was named, who dies on the first page. 

Literally and figuratively both, I have lain down on the Stone of Loneliness.

When a writer unpacks one of his stories to high school students, as I've done in my time, they find it hard to believe that so many things can have gone into what they see as a simple diversion.  So  much emotion, so many facts, so much autobiography.  To their doubting but honest young faces, I reply, "You don't know the half of it."


1 comment:

Henry Farrell said...

One possible tiny error in the story. An actual contemporary Irish person wouldn't say "the Bord Failte." Either you'd say it without the definite article, or you'd say, if you wanted to be persnickety about your Gaeilge "An Bord Failte." Of course, the American grandson of an Irishman post-alien occupation might adhere to a different linguistic standard ...