Friday, January 17, 2020

Valentine Moons -- SOLD OUT!


Look what my sweetie gave me! Marianne Porter has created a chapbook for Valentine's Day--Valentine Moons. And I was the very first person to receive one!

I think she's sweet on me.

Okay, yes, I was the one who wrote the ten lunar vignettes the chapbook contains. It makes no difference. There's something about receiving a valentine from someone you love that just takes your breath away. Knowing it's coming makes no difference. Like love itself, this is nothing we have any control over.

Here's the description from the website:

Dragonstairs celebrates Valentine's Day!  Ten romantic, moony vignettes.  5 ½ by 5 ½ inches.  Double wrapper, the outer made of Desert Rose handmade paper from Alexandra Soteriou at, with an eccentrically placed replica of a 19th century Queen of Hearts.  Brochure stitch with a red ribbon.  Issued in an edition of 40, of which 32 6 are available for sale.

Shipped domestically, $12. Internationally, $13.

You can find Dragonstairs Press (and place an order, if you'd like)  here.

But a word to the wise. The chapbooks went on sale late last night and already they're almost entirely gone. If you want one, you'd best move fast.

And in late-breaking news . . .

Truer words than the above were never writ. Marianne's really charming chapbooks are all sold. In less than one day, I might well and proudly add.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Chatting With Chip at the Rosenbach


Last Thursday, at the Rosenbach Museum & Library, your go-to place for when you need to check the original manuscript of James Joyce's Ulysses, I took part in a conversation about 1960s science fiction.

The occasion was the publication of the Library of America's American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s which includes Samuel R. Delany's Nova and the big draw was of course not me but Chip Delany himself. 

(To answer your unspoken questions: No, the event was not recorded nor is it somehow available on the Web. The Rosenbach hopes to change that situation sometime in the future. but for now itour conversation as one with thee snows of yesterday.)

It was a good event. The room was filled and the audience was intelligent and attentive. Delany was his usual charming self. And I was, apparently, very very sincere.

A lot of interesting things were said. I'll share one of them here:

When Nova was first published it sold, to Delany's expressed amazement, for $10,000. This was a record for a science fiction novel at that time. Six months later (iirc), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick went for five hundred dollars more. So when a Hollywood director decided he wanted to make a science fiction movie and told his people to buy the most valuable SF novel out there, they picked up PKD's.

Which is why, many years later, Blade Runner hit the silver screen instead of Chip's novel.

Now you know. Next time you're jaunting from parallel world to parallel world, be sure to check out the Ridley Scott version of Nova. It's a stunner.

Not sure I agree with what he did with the ending, though.


Monday, January 13, 2020

The Postutopian Adventures of Darger and Surplus


It's official! Subterranean Press has announced the April publication of The Postutopian Adventures of Darger and Surplus. The book collects all the short fiction I've written to date about my favorite con men at the dawning of a new age, sometime in the future.

This is an elegant and slim book. It contains four previously published stories, a quartet of linked flash fictions, and a story new to this collection titled, "There Was an Old Woman," which chronicles how Darger came to be eaten by a dragon and what happened next.

The book costs $40, which is not cheap--but is quite reasonable for a signed and numbered hardcover offered in an edition of one thousand.

It's  available for preorder now. You can go to the link below or just begin at SP's home page here and wander around yearningly. There are some very desirable books there.

Here's what the website has to say:

Scoundrels and wit. It's hard to know which should come first in describing Michael Swanwick's stylish new collection, The Postutopian Adventures of Darger and Surplus.the first volume to center solely on his adventurers with, shall we say, a flexible moral position. 

About the Book:

The world is grown strange.

Gloriana, the six-brained Queen of England, squats in her throne room at the center of Buckingham Labyrinth. In Paris, the glowing Seine may, or may not, conceal the disassembled remnants of the Eiffel Tower. A dragon haunts the high passes of the Germanic states, swallowing travelers whole for purposes impossible to understand. All these signs and portents together mean but one thing to the forgettable-faced Aubrey Darger and his humanoid canine partner Surplus. 

There is money to be made.

Here are five novelettes and four never-before-collected vignettes that describe episodes from the careers of those most charming of con artists, Darger and Surplus, spiritual heirs to Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and unwitting agents of change in a world where ancient artificial intelligences scheme to destroy the descendants of their makers. The comrades’ adventures across a wildly detailed world by turns astonish and delight.

The Hugo Award-winning “The Dog Says Bow-Wow” tells the tale of the redoubtable pair’s first confidence game, played out at the dizzying heights of English society. In “The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport,” Surplus works to overcome his prejudice against Darger’s new lover, a member of that most contemptible and capricious of races, cats. Gods walk a future Arcadia in “Girls and Boys Come Out to Play,” tables are turned by the formidable woman who lends her name as title to “Tawny Petticoats,” and Darger and Surplus are separated as each attempts to thwart the machinations of a most unique AI “There Was an Old Woman,” which debuts herein.

The collection closes with “Smoke and Mirrors,” four brief episodes that lend nuance to all that has come before, expanding our understanding and appreciation of this world and of these unforgettable roguish characters.

Michael Swanwick is one of the most celebrated and decorated writers of the past forty years. His novels and short stories have won the Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy, the Locus, and the Theodore Sturgeon Awards, among others. His inimitable imagination and consummate skill are on full display in this collection, so revel in the postutopian world with its finest guides. Just check your pockets afterward.

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies: $40


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Mike Resnick: The Man With A Thousand Little Rockets


Terrible news. Mike Resnick died today. He was a born storyteller, prolific author, tireless editor and anthologist, and a man who loved science fiction. Uncharacteristically for a genre writer, he had great business savvy. Virginia Kidd, agent and feminist icon, once told me she would never have Mike as a client because, "He understands the negotiating process too well. He'd be forever on the phone, checking at each stage to see if I was doing it right."

Mostly, he was one sweet guy.

Mike had something like a thousand of those rocket pins they give you when you're nominated for a Hugo. (I exaggerate the number, but only in the service of emotional honesty.) Sometimes, for a Worldcon, he would haul them out and frame his con badge with a batch of them and then fill the Nebula Nominee with more: row upon row of little rockets. It looked like he was assembling a coat of mail. And making good time on the project, too.

Somewhere along the line, we both became aware that we were often competing for the same Hugo. So, during the scrim before one award ceremony, I went up to him and said, "Mike, since it will have no effect whatsoever on the outcome--I hope you win."

Mike lit up. "And on exactly those same terms," he said, "I hope you win!"

Of course, as these things usually worked out, we both lost. But we had an instant tradition. Year after year after year we exchanged gracious and only slightly insincere wishes for the other's success.

And now the man who wrote so much and so well is gone. Losing a Hugo will never again be as much fun as it used to be.

And if you want to do his memory a favor . . .

Mike's good friend Janis Ian suggests you go to the library, get out one of his books, and read it. That's the way writers want to be remembered. I cannot improve upon her idea.

If you're flush, you can also contribute to the crowdfunding campaign to pay off his medical bills. It's scandalous that the simple act of dying can visit financial pain a writer as successful as Mike Resnick but this is the world we live in. There's an article on Boingboing about the effort and a link to the site. You can find it here.

Above: I swiped the picture of Mike from Boingboing. But it's in a good cause, so I don't think they'll mind.


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Flash Sale on Bones of the Earth Ebook--Today Only!!!


I don't know why but Open Road Media is promoting the heck out of my work lately. TODAY ONLY, the e-book of my dinosaur-and-time-travel novel, Bones of the Earth, is on sale for $1.99.

So if you like dinosaurs and ebooks and don't have a copy yet... well, here's your chance.

Down below are all the details as they were sent me from Open Road:

We are pleased to let you know that the following ebook(s) will be featured in price promotions soon.

ISBN13 Title Author Promo Type Country Start Date End Date Promo Price
9781504036467 Bones of the Earth Swanwick, Michael ORM - Portalist NL US 2020-01-08 2020-01-08 $1.99

You can subscribe to the newsletters at the links below so that you will get the direct link to the deal on the day that it appears.

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Friday, January 3, 2020

Jack Faust E-Book Sale! Sunday Only!


Periodically, Open Road Media put one of my e-books on sale. Jack Faust, my historical fantasia, cramming five hundred years of Western history into a single lifetime The information, as cut from their letter to me is below. In brief, on Sunday, January 5, 2020, the novel will be available for only $2.99.

So if you're an e-book reader and are curious about my novel, that's a pretty good deal. But only on Sunday.

There. I think that's a pretty soft sell.

ISBN13 Title Author Promo Type Country Start Date End Date Promo Price
9781504036481 Jack Faust Swanwick, Michael ORM - Portalist NL US 2020-01-05 2020-01-05 $2.99

Open Road will promote the feature via social media. We hope you can share the deal with your network as well. You can subscribe to the newsletters at the links below so that you will get the direct link to the deal on the day that it appears.

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  Early Bird Books     Subscribe Now  
The Lineup Subscribe Now
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Murder & Mayhem Subscribe Now
A Love So True Subscribe Now
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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Fantasy and Science Fiction on Broad Street


I'm a big fan of the Mummers Parade. In fact, my first novel, In the Drift, was inspired in part by the parade. But it starts early in the morning and is held in January, so usually I only get to see a few hours of it. So this year, Marianne and I rented a hotel room on Broad Street, so we could periodically go indoors to rest and warm up. It worked beautifully.

Over on Facebook, I posted a lot of photos and if I began talking about only a few of them, we'd be here all day. So I will only mention that the Jacks New Years Brigade, a comic club, put on a homage to Game of Thrones titled Queen of the North which I loved, loved, loved.

You can find their performance by going here and scrolling down to Jacks NYB. See how many of the characters you can spot. Then watch them all be upstaged by five children in yellow parkas and mustaches. Worth watching for that alone.

And the only sad part of the day was . . .

Marianne and I used to go watch the Mummers until we were too cold to continue and then go to Gardner Dozois' and Susan Casper's  apartment to watch the reset on Tv. People came and went. Food was served. Everybody pontificated about our favorite groups and complained about the cluelessness of the judges. Gardner shouted rude things at the TV. It was enormous fun.

I really regret that Susan and Gardner aren't around anymore because I would have loved to hear what they'd say about the Mummers celebrating the work of their old friend George R. R. Martin. Something funny that George would have enjoyed hearing.

And also . . .

What if Darth Vader was the captain of the Fralinger String Band?. You can bet he'd put on a tight show. Fans of media science fiction can find the whole glorious mosh-up here.


Above: Top: Dragon resting on Parasol Throne, awaiting his cue. Bottom: Typical Mummer humor.