Wednesday, March 22, 2023

One Day E-Book Sale! Friday!



I have gotten the usual notification from Open Road Media, which publishes several of my e-books that there will be a one-day sale tomorrow, Friday, March 24th. This time it's for Tales of Old Earth, a collection of my short fiction that includes (pulls book down from shelf and squints) two Hugo Award winners, the train to Hell, a sexual encounter with a sphinx, Lenin, and a planet-sized grasshopper Among other things.

Available only in Canada and the US. One day only.

 Here's what they sent me:

Dear Michael Swanwick,

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
9781504036511 Tales of Old Earth Swanwick, Michael Amazon - KDD CA 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 $1.99
9781504036511 Tales of Old Earth Swanwick, Michael Amazon - KDD US 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 $1.99

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.

Newsletter Link
  Early Bird Books     Subscribe Now  
The Lineup Subscribe Now
The Portalist Subscribe Now
Murder & Mayhem Subscribe Now
A Love So True Subscribe Now
The Archive Subscribe Now
The Reader Subscribe Now

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are thrilled to be part of this promotion; hope you are too!

The Open Road Editorial Team 



Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Once Again, The Best of Michael Swanwick



For the second time in my life, Subterranean Press is issuing a The Best of Michael Swanwick, this time collecting all the best of my fiction written after the first collection. This is, of course, a very big deal for me and I'm extremely happy about it.

The book will be issued in July of this year in a signed limited edition of one thousand. It costs fifty dollars which is a pretty good price if you're a collector, and judging by the first book, it should be a beautifully-made object.

Here are the contents:

  • Introduction: The Apple Tree, the Vacuum Tubes, and All the World Besides
  • The Mongolian Wizard
  • The Man in Grey
  • Ancient Engines
  • Starlight Express
  • Urdumheim
  • Tin Marsh
  • Dragon Slayer
  • Steadfast Castle
  • Nirvana or Bust
  • The Last Geek
  • Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown
  • Eighteen Songs by Debussy
  • The She-Wolf’s Hidden Grin
  • Moon Dogs
  • Huginn and Muninn—and What Came After
  • The Dala Horse
  • Libertarian Russia
  • Dreadnought
  • An Episode of Stardust
  • The Skysailor’s Tale
  • Ghost Ships
  • An Empty House with Many Doors
  • Annie Without Crow
  • Passage of Earth
  • The New Prometheus
  • For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone
  • of Loneliness and I’ll Not Be Back Again
  • The Beast of Tara
  • Pushkin the American
  • “Hello,” Said the Stick”
  • There Was an Old Woman
  • The Bordello in Faerie
  • Cloud
  • The Woman Who Shook the World Tree
  • Goblin Lake
  • The Last Days of Old Night
  • The Scarecrow’s Boy
  • Universe Box

Among the above are the first Mongolian Wizard story and the most recent tale of Darger and Surplus; my homage to Gene Wolfe; the closest thing (and not very close at that) I'll ever write to an autobiography; a story containing not one word of fiction, though I did change the names; an Icelandic origin story I felt needed to exist; and two stories inspired by my visits to Russia in far happier times. Some of these stories are my absolute favorites among all that I've written. And, though it is immodest to say so out loud, I think they show that my writing has gotten better since the first Best of Me was published.

If you're interested in pre-ordering a copy, you can find the order page here.  Or you can just go to the Subterranean Press website and wander about, marveling at how many books there are that you'd love to own there.

And since I know you're curious . . .

Here's how the introduction begins:

Once upon a time, there was a girl who on a summer’s day would climb the apple tree in her back yard to read books. She knew already that she would grow up to be a biologist. Five hundred miles away lived a boy with vacuum tubes in his pockets. He was going to be an inventor. Once he built a rocket ship from a broken ladder, a battered trash can lid, and scrap lumber, though it never actually flew. He too read books.

 And it goes on from there.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

E-Books on Sale! Details a Little Murky


Open Road Media, my e-book publisher, sent me the following email. 
It doesn't specify which books are on sale and when I wrote to ask, I 
received no reply. But it looks like a good bargain. So if you're in the 
market for three science fiction thrillers... well, there they are. On
  Friday, March 17th.  Which is Saint Patrick's Day. Though I don't
 think there's any connection there.

Dear Michael Swanwick,

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

ISBN 13: 9781504047524

Title: Three Science Fiction Thrillers

Author: Swanwick, Michael

Promo Type: ORM - 1k Sale Weekly

Country: US

Start Date: 2023-03-17

End Date2023-03-17

Promo Price: $3.99

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.

  Early Bird Books    Subscribe Now  
The LineupSubscribe Now
The PortalistSubscribe Now
Murder & MayhemSubscribe Now
A Love So TrueSubscribe Now
The ArchiveSubscribe Now
The ReaderSubscribe Now

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are thrilled to be part of this promotion; 
hope you are too!

The Open Road Editorial Team

Above: A picture of Copernicus with his current reading. None of them mine, and none of them on sale But it's a picture of a cat. With books! Surely that makes you happy.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Remembering 2001


I saw the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey when it first came out and was knocked flat by it. The other day, I rewatched it on television and it still held up. It also brought back a memory.

In the year 2001, Robert Walters and Tess Kissinger curated a major show of space art for the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. I suspect it was as good a show on the topic as has ever been assembled. Marianne and I drove up to Greenwich for the opening. We were wowed.

Afterward, we attended a party at the house of one of the museum employees. Somewhere around midnight, I went into the kitchen, looking for a bottle of beer. Keir Dullea was there, talking on his cell phone to Sri Lanka.

"Hello, Art?" he said. "Guess where I am."

And for a second, I was standing in the exact center of the world. Which, thanks to modern communications and (in part)  Arthur C. Clarke, was potentially anywhere and everywhere.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Emily Dean's Annie Award



Last weekend, Emily Dean won an Annie Award from the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation Hollywood (ASIFA) for Best Storyboarding. The animated film that won her this achievement was The Very Pulse of the Machine, featured in Season Three (I think) of Love, Death + Robots.

This film, you'll recall, was an adaptation of my own story of the same title and I have been very explicit about my admiration of the work Ms. Dean did. So it's a pleasure to see that others agree with me. An inferior director could have made quite a bad film of it.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Joanna Russ's Mainstream Masterwork


The latest book I have been knocked flat and wowed by (they come less frequently with age, so read fast, young people) is On Strike Against God by Joanna Russ. She being one of the crown gems of science fiction, you'd expect it to be genre. But it's not. It's mainstream. It's subtitled A Lesbian Love Story. And if you had to fit it into a subgenre, it would be Feminist Fiction.

Strike three, you'd think, for a guy who's rapidly heading toward the category of Dead White Male. But no, Joanna managed the near-miraculous feat of writing prose that was simultaneously white-hot with anger and laugh-out-loud funny. Here, from a description of the protagonist's conversation with a male academic whose attentions she does not want:

[...] He said, leaning forward:

"You're strange animals, you women intellectuals. Tell me: What's it like to be a woman?"

I took my rifle from behind my chair and shot him dead. "It's like that," I said." No, of course I didn't.

I inadvertently sold two copies of the book at Boskone by quoting that passage. Women, it seems, still have reason to be angry, and find it hilarious.

The anger-humor is the best part of the book, followed closely by the descriptions of first almost-sex and first actual sex with someone you love with all your heart. These scenes are so specifically and particularly described that you'd be tempted to think them autobiographical. However, Esther (that's the protagonist's name, though you have to read deep into the text to find it) at one point reflects on the meaning of her mother's name. It is Joan and that is proof positive to this former English major that Joanna is signaling that Esther is her daughter, which is to say her creation, and therefore not to be mistaken for her.

I am not wrong on this.

There is a great more to be said about the virtues of this slim (107 pages) book. Including its strange and whimsical ending. But I will content myself by mentioning that Samuel R. Delany, who conducted what he called "a correspondence of Victorian dimensions" with her, told me that he considers it her best book.

As for me, I would have to reread everything Joanna wrote several times before making so definite a claim. But it's possible. It's definitely possible.

This book, as I said, knocked me flat. Wow.


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

My Boskone Schedule



Boskone is this weekend and as you can see, Lady Hypatia of Alexandria has already packed herself in the bag, thinking that this time it will surely work. Hypatia is an optimist.

As am I! I think that even though the weather threatens to not deliver the traditional Boskone Sunday Blizzard, Marianne and I will have a great time.

 Here's my schedule:


Start Time      Duration            Room Name          Session ID                      Title
Fri 7:00 PM    1 Hr          Marina 3                  191        The Long and the Short of it: A Debate
Sat 11:30 AM  1 Hr          Marina 2                  62          Fantasy's One-Volume Wonders     
Sat 2:30 PM    1 Hr          Marina 3                  98          The Romantics and their Influence on SFFH  
Sun 11:30 AM  1 Hr          Galleria - Kaffeeklatsch  295        Kaffeeklatsch 1: Michael Swanwick               
Sun 1:00 PM    1 Hr          Harbor 1 - Hybrid          138        HYBRID: The Magic of Magical Realism      

If you attend, be sure to say hi. I'd like that.