Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Weird Spy Novel


I was once asked by an anthologist putting together a book of ghost stories if I'd ever written one.  Why, yes, I said, it's called "Radio Waves." And it got bounced by return mail because it wasn't really a ghost story.

But it was. All the characters were dead, to begin with, and eking out a meager unseen existence in the quiet spaces of homes and abandoned buildings. What turned the anthologist off was how weird a ghost story it was. (When you die, you see, the world turns upside-down and you fall off. But if there's metal between yourself and the sky and you keep your wits about you, you can manage to stay, living upside-down and subject to dangers you don't understand.)

So it was a  particular pleasure to see my novel Stations of the Tide included in Max Gladstone's list of Five Books Featuring Weird Spies on Tor.com. For a spy novel, my book was an awfully strange one. But there's no denying that that's what the Bureaucrat (the protagonist has no other name) is -- an agent, an operative, a spy. Or as James Bond once called himself, a "troubleshooter."

You can find out what Gladstone had to say about Stations of the Tide -- and what his other quite interesting choices were -- by reading the article here.

And I should mention...

Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence novels (undead gods and skeletal law wizards) one one of the authors of the collaborative fantasy spy series The Witch Who Came in from the Cold. (I guest-authored an episode for the first season and did a decent job of it, I thought.)  You can find the second season of the serial here.

Above: James Bond is the Elvis of spies. Did I ever mention the connection between James Bond and Hope Mirrlees, author of Lud-in-the-Mist? If not, I'll have to do so someday.



Lars said...

I believe that your first sentence is incomplete. Also, this sentence - "For a spy novel, my book an awfully strange one." - is missing its verb.

Pedantically yours...

Michael Swanwick said...

Corrections made. Thanks!