Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Red-Hot KGB Raffle

Pictured above is the eleventh and latest of my bottled stories -- which, as you know, I never sell but only give away.

Several of you guys have expressed a wish to own one of these. Well, now's your chance. And how much do you have to pay to get this extremely fetishistic object?

How about a dollar?

The hosts of the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series (held in the KGB Bar, New York CIty's single most famous literary Commie drinking establishment; is this a great country or what?) are having a fund-raiser, for which they solicited prizes from a variety of writers and editors. Here's the letter of provenance explaining mine:

Dear Ellen:

This is the letter of provenance for the story in a bottle titled “Moon over Lubyanka,” which I am donating to the KGB Fantastic Fiction fund raiser. The story begins:

We met in a smoky piano bar called Dissidents, high up in a building directly across from Lubyanka Prison. It was a gorgeous night. A full moon hung low over the yellow-walled building that had once housed the Cheka and then, later, the KGB. Moscow never looked better.

“Moon Over Lubyanka” was written on May 28, 2008. I placed it inside an old Perrier Jouet bottle which I titled, signed, and dated with a diamond-tipped pen. I then corked the bottle. Finally, my wife sealed it with sealing wax. After which I destroyed all other copies and files of the story.
The story within the sealed bottle is unique. The bottle can be kept as an artifact, or the story can be read, whichever its owner may choose. It is not possible to do both.

This is the eleventh piece of bottled fiction I have created, all of which (save one, which I kept) have been given away to worthy causes, institutions, or individuals. Ownership of the bottle entails possession of the physical story only. Copyright is specifically withheld.

Michael Swanwick

To which I will add only that the story was inspired by a perfectly lovely evening in spent in Dissidents with representatives of EKSMO, my Russian publishers, and that yes, the moon over Lubyanka was that beautiful and more.

The raffle begins on July 14 (next Monday) and lasts only two weeks. You can get the whole story here.

There are some great prizes. Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow, Shawna McCarthy, Richard Bowes, and Nancy Kress are each offering a story critique. Lucius Shepard, Elizabeth Hand, and Jeffrey Ford will Tuckerize (the verb comes from Wilson Tucker, who was famous for putting his friends into his novels) the winner in a story. Gahan Wilson will draw the animal (real or imaginary) of your choice. And there are books and manuscripts and jewelry. . . Plus, Neil Gaiman autographed an old keyboard of his, and you can't tell me there aren't young writers superstitious enough to believe that will help.

I'm tempted to put a dollar on the Lucius Shepard. I can imagine what he'd write:

"Whatcha got there?"
"Some crap by a guy named Swanwick." He tossed the book back in the Dumpster. "I mean, who reads this shit?"
Or maybe he'd just have me gut-shot by Tom Clancy.

Coolest of all, you buy tickets for the prize you want, which means that if yours is a minority taste (for bottled stories, say), your chances go up. The list is here and you can keep up on the new prizes coming in here.

And As Always . . .

There are new postings for Pastor Marcia's Journal ("Mostly a Rant") and the Poem du Jour ("A Poet, a Loon, and a Likable Gent").



lucky2000 said...

Hey, Mike,,,

You wanna find out, come get me, big boy! But it'll take more than a buck! :)


Michael Swanwick said...

I am a pessimist, old friend. I am absolutely convinced that someday I'll find myself in a Lucius Shepard story. Either that or underneath a truck.


lucky2000 said...

Better a LS story than a truck...

Think next novel... ;)