Fiction News & Reviews

Well, while I was busy whittling away at a couple of stories in the past few days and weeks, a lot of stuff went on, including some reading and reviews of my own stories that have appeared here and there. I’ll group the links as logically as I can, and I hope I haven’t missed anything.

Award Eligibility and Stuff: Robert J. Sawyer was kind and generous enough to mention on his blog that I am one of three Canadian authors eligible for a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer this year. (That is, for 2009’s WorldCon.) The other two authors are Stephen Kotowych and Tony Pi. The total list is even bigger, and I figure my chances are only slightly better than a snowball in hell, but if you’ve liked my stuff, nomination is open for anyone attending WorldCon. And even if you don’t like my stuff, nominate the folks you do like.

The Egan Thief was recently positively reviewed at, and as a result ended up being among the stories that a number of people read as part of the Out of This World Mini-Challenge, a weekend-long SF-reading challenge organized by SF-fan Carl Vincent at Stainless Steel Droppings. (Hell of a great blog name, by the way.)

The response ranged from positive to lukewarm or unimpressed, but hey, people got a chance to read it. (And it was weird to see my name mixed up among Niven, Godwin, and Crazy Uncle Phil (ie. Philip K. Dick). Let’s hear it for free and easy access: I’m thinking online publishing is a good thing for a newbie like me.

Tesseracts Twelve has gotten some good reviews of late, the most recent of which was by Jason Sanford for The Fix. (See the review here.) Sanford writes:

This is a great story, and one which breaks out of its formulaic [superhero] mold to become something very different. Highly recommended.

And he has good things to say about the whole book. Others have liked the book too: bloginhood recommends the anthology (and called my story therein “a fun ride”), and Rich Horton also very flatteringly singled out “Wonjjang and the Madman of Pyongyang” and E.L. Chen’s “The Story of the Woman and Her Dog” in his Locus review in November 2008. Plus Karl Schroeder was one of the first to sing the anthology’s praises, and SF Revu used words like “enthralling” and “worth looking out for,” which ain’t too shabby. Oh, and not to leave out another early review, Don D’Ammassa reviewed the book positively too.

Blue Tyson of Not Free SF Reader reviewed “The Country of the Young” along with the rest of Interzone 219, and he gave my story a 3.5/5, which is a pretty good grade considering the source! (Which is not a criticism: Blue Tyson is just like me when it comes to grading: demanding, but not unfair.)

I found it very interesting how some people on this io9 thread discussing Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best TOC (which includes my story “Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues”) were complaining how hard it is for newbies to get into anthologies. I’m amused because, basically, in terms of the publishing scene in SF, I’m a newbie, and one of my stories is included in that TOC list, and in the past few months I’ve been invited to submit to a couple of anthologies and an invites-only magazine in 2009. Newbies can bust through into the houseparty, they really can. But then, I’ve been writing seriously, on and off, since around 1995 or 1996, and I’ve been writing more generally since I was a kid, so, well… it takes time.

Finally, Hector Corte seems to have found my writings about Carl Sagan’s novel Contact of some interest, as he linked me in the sources for this essay on the novel in… er, I can’t tell if it’s Portuguese or Spanish, I must admit shamefully.

3 thoughts on “Fiction News & Reviews

  1. Thanks for the mention and for the compliment about the blog name. Not sure if you checked out the ‘about the site’ tab at the top of the blog that gives a brief explanation of where I originally derived the name from when I decided to start a blog.

    The Sci Fi short story weekend was a real success, especially considering how many people who did not consider themselves fans of sci fi and/or fans of short stories participated and enjoyed what they read. Any little thing I can do to promote both the genre and the medium is a plus in my opinion.

    I haven’t had a chance to read your short story yet but I certainly will be. I’m spending regular time over at Best Science Fiction Stories. It has become my lunch date during the work week.

  2. Carl,

    Hey, I guessed the Harry Harrison link, but not the sense of posts being droppings, so I think your sense of your blog’s quality is right insofar as you’ve come to see it as more than that.

    As a writer, I want to thank you for promoting the genre and fiction reading alike. Creating a buzz about the fun and pleasure of reading is something so many of us don’t do, and I think maybe we should be doing more (as you are) to do so.

    I hope you get a kick out of my story, even if there are a bunch of in-jokes in it. :)

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