Monday, March 16, 2015

Four! Philadelphia! Authors! Four! (Plus One New York Editor)


Here's a cool signing event coming up in less than two weeks.  It's...

But first a little backstory.

One of the first pieces of publishing advice Gardner Dozois ever gave me, back in the 1970's, was to "sell lots of stories to one magazine."  That way, you get noticed, people start following your work and looking for more, and your reputation builds faster than if you spread your stories hither and yon.  Later, when he became editor of Asimov's, he amended this advice to "sell lots of stories to one magazine -- and make that magazine Asimov's."  But the principle remained the same.

I followed Gardner's advice and it worked well for me.  Tom Purdom, when he returned to writing short fiction in the 1990s, did much the same thing.  He offered everything he wrote to Asimov's first and since none of them were ever rejected, that's where they all appeared.  Inevitably, then, we would periodically have stories in the same issue and I began referring to these as "Philadelphia issues."

Recently, Gregory Frost and I wrote a  story called "Lock Up Your Chickens and Daughters -- H'ard and Andy Are Come to Town!"  Which, at the risk of sounding immodest, is a hoot and a half.   It was accepted in Asimov's, and slated for the April/May 2015 issue.  In that same issue, almost inevitably, is Tom Purdom's latest story, "Day Job."  And, probably not coincidentally, there is also a story by another fellow Philadelphia, Fran Wilde, titled "How to Walk Through Historic Graveyards in the Post-Digital Age."

That's four Philadelphia writers, for those who are counting.

(Okay, okay, Greg lives just outside of town in Lower Merion.  But before that he spent enough years in the city to pay his dues.  At a minimum, he's a Greater Philadelphian.  Anyway, L. Sprague de Camp also lived outside of town, but we always counted him as one of our own.)

Four writers apparently achieves some kind of critical mass, because this time editor Sheila Williams noticed this alignment of stars and declared the April/May Asimov's the first Official Philadelphia Issue.

To celebrate which, there will be a bookstore appearance and signing on:

Saturday March 28, 2015 1:00 PM
Barnes & NobleRittenhouse Square, 1805 Walnut Street, 

Four Philadelphia authors and one major science fiction editor -- which means you can get five autographs for the cost of a single magazine.  That's a good deal.

Plus, these are clever and witty and interesting people.  I should know -- I'm one of them.

I recommend the event.  It'll be great fun.  I promise.


1 comment:

Eugenie MulberryWhisper said...

I would love to come if I lived at the same continent. Too bad I am so far away. I will ask my US friends - maybe someone will agree to drive several hundred miles and get that signed issue for me. I am only interested in your signature, really. And I want to use this opportunity to tell you how much I love your books. I keep re-reading The Iron Dragon's Daughter, The Dragons's of Babel and Stations of the Tide. When I first read The Iron Dragon's Daughter I was so shocked and overwhelmed, I immediately started re-reading it. And then again. Then, I guess, I got used to it a little bit. I know it almost by heart so it does not startle me like the first time, but I still love re-reading it. To me, that book is really magical. I do not know what this book means to you, and whether you were charmed and entranced while writing it or maybe all that is very casual to you, like making a sandwich - you know the steps and ingredients, it is easy - and someone's astonishment at the results might feel a bit funny... I have no idea. I just cannot imagine how a book like that can be written. I must admit I am a bit surprised by the fact that you are real, human and exist. ...I am sorry about writing this bunch of ridiculous stuff; I could try making excused about English being my second language, but in fact I would not be able to express my admiration and gratitude even in Russian. My speaking abilities are not good enough. Maybe I should paint a "thank you I love you" picture, or bake something nice (pity you are so far away), or have a "thank you run" in your honor early in the morning, across wet woods and meadows, with my dragon-like dog accompanying me. Thank you, thank you, and please take a good care of yourself, live long and write.