Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Four-for-Four on the Locus Poll

Jacob Weisman called me from Tachyon Publications yesterday. He was very excited because I made it onto the Locus recommended reading list four times. The Dog Said Bow-Wow was listed under collections, "The Skysailor's Tale" and "Urdumheim" under novelettes, and "A Small Room in Koboldtown" under short stories.

Jacob was excited because The Dog Said Bow-Wow is a Tachyon book and because "The Skysailor's Tale" and "Urdumheim" were both credited as being original to it. Technically, Locus was mistaken about "Urdumheim," which originally appeared in F&SF. But that's okay, because "Koboldtown," which originally appeared in Asimov's, is reprinted in my collection, so he's four-for-four this year.

You can read the list here.

Jacob would very much like everybody to vote for my collection in the Locus Poll and Survey here.  But he'd be just as happy if you voted for Susan Palwick's The Fate of Mice or Ellen Klages' Portable Childhoods. Because they're Tachyon books too.

If you'd like to vote for either of those books over mine, I certainly won't be offended. Susan Palwick is a very worthy writer. And Ellen Klages is like a sister to me.

A bratty kid sister.

Hoo-boy. If Ellen wins this thing, I'm going to hear about it from her. So I'll tell you what. If you vote for her, please make a point of it to look her next the next time you're both at the same convention, and tell you did so because I told you to. Okay? Thanks.

That'll really fry her shorts.



Emo said...

Greetings and Congratulations from Bulgaria! :)

I'm about halfway through "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" - it most certainly deserves the nominations.

Mr. Swanwick, you are an inspiration. As a struggling writer (struggling-at-every-sentence kind of writer, to be more precise), I find your stories a neverending source of information on how the thing's done. As I read, I was amazed by the ease with which the stories glide from beginning through middle to end.
I have always tried too hard (and rarely succeeded) to make my stories "believable" and "smooth" when it comes to motivation and coherence, (these two things, as the previous two, quite often seem to mean different things every time I sit down to work), and you have shown me how little is needed to make a story believable and smooth. It seems as easy as taking bottle of beer from the table beside you.
But then again the Moon seemed only a hundred miles away to the ancients. A hundred miles of walking on air...

Anyway, congratulations again on the nominations. I suppose one doesn't get tired of receiving recognition ;) Me and my colleagues at our online magazine have decided to make you Author of the Month this month. It was about time :)
Also, a friend of mine is returning from the States in a couple of days and I can't wait to get my hands on "Dragons of Babel" once I snatch it from him. God knows, you have done a good job piquing my interest on this blog :)

The comment was juvenile and overeager, I know. It's just that I don't often get very excited about stuff, and I don't quite know how to handle it :) Sorry.

Michael Swanwick said...

Emo, thank you for all your kind words.

I hope you'll find it encouraging (rather than the opposite) when I say that in your sense I'm still a struggling writer. Writing never really gets easier, but as you learn more and more craft, the results look increasingly effortless. As easy as, in your graceful phrase, taking a bottle of beer from the table beside you.

You have hold of one of those key observations that any serious writer must at some point learn, and for the sake of any new writers who might chance upon this, I'll spell it out: It takes very little to make a story believable and smooth. This is because the reader is on your side and wants your story to be good. So it's not necessary to trick him or her into believing you. It's only necessary to not betray their trust.

Which can be difficult. But that's another subject entirely.

Thank you and your colleagues for making me your AUthor of the Month. It is an honor I shall relish. As you suppose, one never gets tired of such things.

Roland said...

Well, I can honestly say Tachion got ridiculously lucky with "The Dog Said Bow-Wow". That was really an amazing collection.

Speaking of collections and new editions (well, we weren't technically, but we may as well start now), is there a chance of reprints of your other short story collections and novels?

Because I gotta tell you it's a bit hard to purchase out of print books from Bulgaria. I've so far managed to get my hands only on "The Dog...", "The Iron Dragon's Daughter", "The Dragons of Babel" and "Stations of the Tide" and from those only the last is truly out of print.