I spent a day or so last week on the very pleasant chore of looking at Lee Moyer's sketches for possible Best of Me covers for Subterranean Press, and getting to express my opinion as to which should be used. Bill Schafer (co-founder and head editor of Subterranean) and I both agreed that though all three suggestions were good, one in particular was best. We told Lee so and one day later he came back with the (beautiful, witty, and as the Subterranean blog put it, glorious) cover shown above.
Don't people with that much talent make you feel inferior? It hardly seems fair. He can probably dance like Fred Astaire, too.
And on the self-indulgent, self-promotion front . . .
Two more positive reviews today. Robert M. Tilendis reviews The Dog Said Bow-Wow in Green Man Review, saying, "The stories in the collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow are, indeed, polished works, marked by inventive settings and a bent toward the weird. They display a particular richness of invention that seems to be one of the hallmarks -- and blessings -- of post-genre fiction."
Tilendis takes the unusual approach of praising the stories he likes individually, then explaining that there were some he didn't like without examining them individually. His review concludes, "Overall, though, I found myself enjoying the ollection, in spite of the few bad apples. Swanwick's multitude of universes are strange, but fascinating."
And Greg Feeley reviews The Dragons of Babel, The Dog Said Bow-Wow, and What Can Be Saved From the Wreckage? in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He likes all three books quite a lot but, interestingly enough, the review is written in such a way that a blurb cannot be extracted from it.
A reviewer is under no obligation to provide a blurb, of course -- his job is to alert the reader as to whether or not a particular book will be worth reading. Still, I cannot help speculating that he's trained himself to write all his reviews in exactly this way because he's been burned in the past.
He told me once that he'd written a review saying something like, "If you like eating bugs, painful and unnecessary root canal surgery, and coming down with cholera, then you'll love this book," and later discovering "You'll love this book! -- Greg Feeley" plastered on the front of the offending volume. So it's entirely possible.