Monday, October 25, 2010

Orthopedic (Believe It Or Not) Horseshoes

I'm on the virtual air again!  Herb Kauderer and Alan Katerinsky interviewed me when I was at Confluence, and they've apparently assembled it into two separate shows for their online radio program called (implausible though that sounds) Orthopedic Horseshoes, which you can find online at Think Twice Radio.  Here's how they describe the shows:

Al & Herb have an extended conversation with Hugo, Nebula, WFA, and Sturgeon award-winning author Michael Swanwick. As the party evolves, they talk about "Foresight," reversed consciousness, 'Jack Faust,' the shortest chapter ever, Fritz Leiber, flash fiction, abecedaries, The Sleep of Reason, Goya's donkey, Clarion West, Tuckerization, Elena the Man-Hearted, winning his first Hugo, Jack Dann, Joe Haldeman, Samuel R. Delany, first moments with the big boys, telling Neil Gaiman stories, Terry Pratchett, signing autographs in China, the thatched hut of Du Fu, a tourist attraction for over a thousand years, it would be worth being fat if you could live in Chengdu, visiting the world, eventually getting some seniority, and a menagerie of pet peeves.  (29 minutes)

Hugo, Nebula, WFA, and Sturgeon award-winning author Michael Swanwick talks with Herb & Al about his travels through Russia, and the resultant stories. Michael tells stories about Darter & Surplus, Russian fans, flavors of Russian police, the aftermaths of WWII, Yekaterinburg, 'Dancing with Bears', post-utopian fiction, Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, "Coming Attractions", Libertarian Russia, the train across Siberia, and "Pushkin the American".  After the closing credits, hear an excerpt from Michael Swanwick's reading of "The Pearls of Byzantium" at the Confluence SF Convention. (52 minutes)

I haven't listened to the shows yet, so I am taking it on trust that Al and Herb haven't made me sound bad.  They seemed like nice guys, though.  And their descriptions make the shows sound interesting.

"The Pearls of Byzantium," incidentally, is a stand-alone story that I crafted from the forthcoming Dancing With Bears by condensing the early chapters, adding an ending totally at odds with what happens in the novel, and then recrafting the whole into a shapely and satisfying story.  This is a trick I learned from my old pal Jack Dann.

There are absolutely no plans to ever publish "The Pearls of Byzantium."  But I'll be reading it a couple of times before the novel is published.  I'll let you know when I do.

You can find Orthopedic Horseshoes here.



David Stone said...

It's funny they mentioned Fritz Leiber, because the Darger and Surplus stories have always reminded me somewhat of A Spectre is Haunting Texas in terms of both tone and setting. But of course they're referring to the "buddy" dynamic of the Fafhrd and Mouser stories which isn't really present in that book.

Michael Swanwick said...

Just for fun, take a look at the ending of A Specter is Haunting Paris and then at the end of Vacuum Flowers.

I had that ending in mind from the moment I first started writing the novel seriously. But I had no idea whether the coffin was full or emptyl

Matthew Brandi said...

A Specter is Haunting Paris?

Where'm I going to find that?

I'm drawing a blank, and so is Google. ("Google schmoogle," you say, and likely rightly so.)

Michael Swanwick said...

Oh, Gack. My apologies. It's A Specter is Haunting Texas. By Fritz Leiber.

I believe it was Guy Davenport who said, "We are never so sure of ourselves as when we are wrong." It never occurred to me to fact-check that. I just wrote it down and sailed blithely off the edge of the world.

David Stone said...

Now I'm either going to have to unearth a copy of ASIHT in a nearby second-hand bookstore, or travel 3000 miles across the country and dig it out of my parents' basement in order to see what Mr. Swanwick is referring to.