First things first. You look fabulous. Happy Valentine's Day, you sexy thing, you!

Second—look, I don't know how many more ways to say this. It's time for you to help support our Kickstarter campaign for the Glitter & Madness anthology. There's less than two days left to hit our funding goal and get it done.

If you don't recall, Glitter & Madness is the new anthology edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas and John Klima, chock full of speculative stories about the secret history of 20th century nightlife and party culture. The book will be published by Apex Publications and will feature a standalone novella from New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire set in her InCryptid universe. There will also be stories by Alan DeNiro, Amal El-Mohtar, Daryl Gregory, Damien Walters Grintalis, Maria Dahvana Headley, Kat Howard, Jennifer Pelland, Tim Pratt, Cat Rambo, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Diana Rowland, Sofia Samatar, David J. Schwartz, Rachel Swirsky, and yours truly.

What's more, there are plenty of exciting recent developments. For instance, Amber Benson of Buffy fame, an accomplished writer and director in her own right, is going to write the introduction to the anthology. How cool is that?



Also, there are plenty of perks available to funders, including Tuckerizations from any of a dozen different contributors at the $250 contribution level. That's right! You could be a character in my story, or Diana Rowland's, or David J. Schwartz's, or Jennifer Pelland's, or on and on and on!

But all this glittery goodness can't happen without you! We still have over $4,000 to raise, and only 48 more hours in which to do it. So please, look into your glamorous heart and dig deep to support the party anthology of the year!




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
William Shunn gets glittery at Icebar Tokyo It feels like we Glitter & Madness participants are, like, in NPR Fund Drive mode. I've already told you all about this anthology project, and if you still want to know more about it, you can head on over to the project on Kickstarter. What I'm here for now is to answer a quick Q&A designed by the editors of the anthology:

  1. What about the theme drew you to the anthology?
  2. Who doesn't love rollerskating and nightclubs and drugs and sex and debauchery? Who didn't enjoy copious amounts of them all in those gloden days of youth? Well, um, I guess I didn't. I was a Mormon. Okay, I did rollerskate, but I felt guilty about it.

  3. We're often told to write what we know. Did you draw your G&M story from your own nightlife experiences?
  4. I love to write things that I don't actually know. My clubbing experience was pretty much limited to once seeing Gene Loves Jezebel play at Club DV8 in Salt Lake City, and I was terrified for my soul the whole time. My story is actually about slippery souls in Chicago clubs of the '80s, which is why I'm writing it with my wife Laura Chavoen. She's the one who knows exactly what that scene was like.

  5. What's your favorite way to make life more glittery?
  6. I go to a comfortable bar with my wife and friends and drink classic-style cocktails until a glittery haze drapes everyone and everything in sight. Templeton Rye is involved.

  7. If you had to create a cocktail that reflected your story, what would it be?
  8. It would be a little sweet, a little bitter, a lot sour, and orangey-pink through and through. It would consist of Laird's Applejack, Clément Créole Shrubb Liqueur d'Orange, pomegranate juice, Peychaud's bitters, and probably a twist of lemon. It would be, in fact, the same cocktail I created in the video footage we shot for the book trailers. I'd call it a "Glitter & Madness."

  9. If you knew you were up for a surreal evening, what and whom do you bring with you, and why?
  10. I bring Laura because I wouldn't want her to miss it, and because I know one of us will get the other one home safely. And so we can all talk about this evening for years to come, I bring John and Shai and Ashir and Gretchen and Andrew and Cinnamon and Colin and Barbara Lynn and Norm and Rachel and Kevin and Mare and...


Oh, and one more thing—kick in a few shekels now, please! And watch this new video, where Daryl Gregory and others get all swanky and glittery...




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Love rollerdisco? Love science fiction and fantasy? Then you need to support the Kickstarter campaign for the Glitter & Madness anthology!

What's this, you ask? It's a new anthology edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas and John Klima, chock full of speculative stories about the secret history of 20th century nightlife and party culture. Think glam rock! Think rollerdisco! Think glitter! Think madness!

The book will be published by Apex Publications and will feature a standalone novella from New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire set in her InCryptid universe. There will also be stories by Alan DeNiro, Amal El-Mohtar, Daryl Gregory, Damien Walters Grintalis, Maria Dahvana Headley, Kat Howard, Jennifer Pelland, Tim Pratt, Cat Rambo, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Diana Rowland, Sofia Samatar, David J. Schwartz, Rachel Swirsky, and yours truly!

In fact, I'm writing my story together with my fabulous wife Laura Chavoen, so you can be among those contributing to support her fiction debut! And the anthology itself will debut this August at the San Antonio Worldcon, with an otherworldly party at the world-famous Rollercade! Groovy!

Only three days remain to make nearly the half the funding requirement! Be glamorous! Contibute now!

What's more, there are plenty of exciting recent developments. First of all, having reached the 50% funding goal, the anthology is now open to general submissions! If you want to be part of this spectacular publishing event, check out the submission guidelines now!

Second, having reached the $8,000 level, the first of two book trailers has been released. Check out the "scary" version below. If contributions reach $9,000 today, the "swanky" version will go live. (Keep an eye out for me in both!)



Also, there are plenty of perks available to funders, including Tuckerizations from any of a dozen different contributors at the $250 contribution level. What's a Tuckerization, you ask? It means we'll put your name in our story. That's right! You could be a character in my story, or Diana Rowland's, or Cat Rambo's, or Tim Pratt's, or on and on and on!

So what are you waiting for? Change into your best day-glo fashions, strap on those chunky roller skates, and pony up for the party anthology of the year!

And if you want to submit a story of your own for consideration, here are your writing prompts:

Roller derby, nightclubs, glam aliens, (literal) party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, debauchery, etc.


Do it now!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
If you're in Milwaukee today, come out to Boswell's Books this afternoon for the book launch party for Bradley P. Beaulieu's debut novel The Winds of Khalakovo. It's going to be a great event, and the after-party at Cafe Hollander will include a rapid-fire reading featuring Brad, Kelly Swails, John Helfers, Matt Forbeck, and me.

Get all the details here. Hope to see you there!

Nice review

Mar. 5th, 2010 09:55 am
Via the PS Publishing newsroom, here are excerpts from Peter Tennant's recent Black Static review of my collaboration with Derryl Murphy, Cast a Cold Eye:

This short novella does many things right. For starters, its setting is immaculately captured on the page, with a real sense of rural Nebraska in 1921 coming over thanks to a wealth of tiny details, such as the ins and outs of photography or a look inside the house of a wealthy widow. There's a strong emotional grounding too, for both Luke and the society in which he is placed, an aching sense of despair undercut with a feeling that perhaps the worst is past, so people can look to the future with hope, an optimism confirmed in its denouement. Characterisation is spot on, with no-one who can be considered either evil or a criminal, just ordinary men and woman with all the flaws and virtues that implies....

The supernatural side of the story is suitably understated, so that we believe but also take on board the possibility that the ghosts could only exist inside the hearts and minds of the people who see them. With a subtext suggesting that the spectral world is just another aspect of life, wishing us neither good nor evil, but just there, a case could be made for Luke as the 'I see ghosts' boy from Sixth Sense picked up, rather like a reverse Dorothy, and put down in rural Nebraska, but that might be stretching things. In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it without reservation.
Order yourself a copy, without reservation, here.
I was going to catch up on more of the week at the workshop yesterday, but Michael Jackson died and took Farrah Fawcett and most of the internet with him. You live on earth. You know.

On Tuesday, Brad Beaulieu made us all eggs benedict with crabmeat for breakfast. This was somewhat suspicious, given that he was first on the critique schedule for the day, but I don't think any of us actually changed our comments because of the fantastic food. Most of us joked about it, though.

My first-fifty was the fourth and last to go under the scalpel that day. I got a ton of very helpful feedback. There were elements of the book that I was very happy to hear that people were responding to, I got confirmation that the bits I suspected were big problems really were big problems, and then I heard just oodles of impressions and misimpressions On the Zane Grey Ballroom balcony that helped me see where I was setting the wrong expectations, where I was being unclear or vague, or where I was just being silly. Leaving the critique session, my mind was already whirring, working on how best to integrate the feedback I received into the next draft. I was very happy with the way it all went.

From this remove, some of the days begin to blur together, but I think I'm pretty safe in saying that we returned to the balcony at the Zane Grey Ballroom to enjoy beer in the open air at an even greater altitude than that of street-level Flagstaff. That happened almost every night.

On Wednesday, we began convening in smaller groups to do dissections of full novel manuscripts—or, at least, of whatever portion of those manuscripts does exist. That's been going on in groups of three or four ever since. Each of us was assigned two full manuscripts to read, and in turn had two participants read our Meet the authors own full manuscript. My session took place this morning at Macy's Coffee. Eugene Myers and Rob Ziegler gave me an incredible thorough, helpful, and encouraging critique of my 70,000 words so far. When this book sells, I will owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

To hop back a couple of nights, now, on Wednesday evening we had a group viewing of Cloverfield. The movie was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. I found it well-made and effective for what it was, and of course it's always fun to see a city you know well get destroyed by a giant monster. It shared a lot of plot elements with one of my favorite little movies, the 1988 Anthony Edwards thriller Miracle Mile, but of course was a very different film. I jumped when the first explosion hit.

For Thursday evening, which would be last night, Sarah Kelly set up a Meet the Authors event at the Wine Loft in downtown Flagstaff. [livejournal.com profile] gregvaneekhout was featured prominently in an Arizona Daily Sun article promoting the event, in fact. Six of us sat on a panel of sorts and answered questions about our writing that we had come up with ourselves and given to Sarah. Eatin' pancakes The audience actually outnumbered the panel, and they had good, solid questions for us when we had run out of our own questions. From there we shifted our base of operations to the Beaver Street Brewery.

This morning before my critique session, Greg and I rounded up what equipment and food supplies we had in our apartment and hosted a banana pancake breakfast for the women staying in this same building with us. (Most of the men are staying in another place across town.) This was greatly aided, and in fact suggested, by the two boxes of pancake mix we found in our cupboards, and by the bottle of imitation maple syrup in the fridge. I think the pancakes were a hit!

Around noon (actually a bit later because on my way back from my critique session at Macy's I realized I had left my leather coat on my chair and ran back only to find that the coat was gone and hadn't been turned in but thank goodness Rob Ziegler had grabbed it for me before he left), we convened as a group briefly so that Mike Kelly could photograph us for the obligatory Locus workshop pic. There is melancholy in the realization that things are winding down, but I'm starting to miss home a lot, and I can't wait to see my wife and dog tomorrow night. I'll be internalizing the stuff I learned this week for a while, and I'm really glad I was able to come.

P.S. Greg van Eekhout is best roommate! And his novel Norse Code rocks. Buy it.
The process of critiquing partial novels this week and of having a partial novel critiqued this week has made me think a lot about what a workshop is and what it isn't. I've particularly wanted to share those thoughts with the writers who are attending a Blue Heaven–style workshop for the first time, because talking about novel fragments the way we do is a very different thing from what happens in workshops more oriented toward short stories. It's not my style to take anyone aside and put an avuncular arm around their shoulder, and I don't know that that's necessary anyway, but I do want to say my piece.

Your workshop (any workshop, really) is a tool. Your workshop is not a pronouncement from God. Especially when we're doing fragments, you're going to hear suggestions for improving your manuscript that sound absolutely plausible, that are uttered with complete conviction and even vehemence, and that would serve to make the first fifty pages of your novel more involving and exciting and enticing to an editor. But those comments may still be absolutely wrong for the novel you're trying to write.

Your job as a writer is to keep your vision for your novel first and foremost in your mind. Yes, your first fifty pages may not be as involving and exciting as they can be, and they may be setting the wrong expectations for the story that follows. Your job, though, is to measure all those comments against your vision for your novel, and to use them as a guide to telling your story in the best way you possibly can. What the comments tell you are where your novel is failing to create the sort of understanding and response in your readers that you are trying to achieve. They are a calibration tool for letting you know how far you've strayed from the mark you're trying to hit. They amount to a differential guide, not to a bible.

You very well may end up using some or even a lot of the suggestions you get in the workshop. That's okay. But use them only if they bring you closer to achieving your vision. Remember that only you know what that vision is. Use the workshop to help you craft an opening for your book that clearly and immediately sets the stage for the unfolding of that vision.

Remember also that it is a very rare book that appeals to every reader. When people that you respect and admire don't really get or respond to what you're trying to accomplish, it may be that it's because they simply aren't the right audience for your book. Some of their comments may still be useful, but you will probably want to give more weight to the critical comments from people who are the right audience.

And when someone doesn't get what you're doing, it may also be that it was just the wrong day for them to be reading your book. I don't know how many times I've picked up a book and utterly failed to connect with the material, but then picked it up a few weeks or months or even years later and found myself sucked right into the story. No reader is static. We all change, and we all have moods that affect the filters we bring to what we read. In many cases—and this is something [livejournal.com profile] bobhowe and I used to talk about a lot—it may that a critique is simply an attempt by a reader to find an intellectual justification for something that is really more of an emotional response to the material.

This goes for all workshops, of course, but I think these things are even more important to keep in mind when the critiquers are reading only a partial manuscript. We as readers don't know the story's destination. All we can do is offer our impressions of how willing we would to keep walking with you based on what you've given us. You're the one with the map. We've handed you some measurements to help you assess how far astray you've led us.

It's your vision, not ours.
Our second day of workshopping was much like the first. Four first-fifties were done over the course of the day, with a delicious catered lunch of quesadillas in between. Everyone seems to be settling in and getting more comfortable, though as a result the critiques went longer yesterday than they did on day one.

Afterward a handful of us went shopping for a few things that were lacking in the rooms here, including half-and-half, real coffee beans, toilet paper, and sufficient beer. Then most of us converged once more on the balcony at the Zane Grey Ballroom, where the beer, as I may have mentioned, is ridiculously cheap, at least by the standards I'm used to.

In the late evening, we convened back here for pizza (I'm not sure how, but I exercised unprecedented willpower in making a salad for myself instead), beer (did not abstain at all), and an informal discussion about certain aspects of the publishing industry. I would say more, but what happens at Starry Heaven stays at Starry Heaven. If we decide it should stay at Starry Heaven.

This morning we're all heading over to the house where most of the men are staying, where Brad Beaulieu is making us breakfast. Then we'll stay there for our critique sessions. Today will be the last day of first-fifties, and my book is last. I haven't been very nervous until now, but I'm started to feel it a bit. I probably won't be able to eat a lot of lunch.

Tomorrow we begin breaking up into various groups of three for in-depth critiques of full novel manuscripts. That's when things really start to get intense! Can't wait.
The first official day of Starry Heaven went very well, I thought. We critiqued the first four of our twelve first-fifties. (For those curious, we spend the first three days looking at the first fifty pages of everyone's novel, on the theory that those pages have to be strong when they go to an editor or agent as a proposal.) Many helpful comments were offered and received, and there was a satisfying and comfortable lack of drama. Everyone here knew at least one other person prior to the workshop convening, and some of us knew a lot of the other participants. It looks to me like everyone is managing to fit in, which is good. (And we were all glad that E.C. Myers, who had the worst travel luck of any of us, finally managed to make it here late Saturday night. It was too bad that he missed dinner, though.)

Starry Heaven convenes Lunch yesterday was catered. We had delicious little baked burritos, spicy tomato soup, and chips and salsa. After the afternoon session, a few of us hauled our stacks of stuff still to read down to Macy's and sat around chatting as much as reading for a couple of hours. Then the whole gang convened the Zane Grey Ballroom at the Hotel Weatherford and milled about on the balcony listening to reggae from the festival down the street, and later watching police, fire, and ambulance converge on the crowd. I hope whoever had the emergency down there was okay. Also, we saw a few trucks equipped with snorkels pass by in the street below. (I wish I had one of those for my car in Chicago on Friday. The water in the depression under the Metra tracks at Foster and Ravenswood was well over my axles.)

A highlight for me at the Zane Grey was getting to meet Mike Kelly, our organizer Sarah K. Castle's husband. Mike is James Patrick Kelly's brother, and since I also (entirely coincidentally and unconnected to the science fiction world) know Dan Kelly from Brooklyn, I have now met three of the Kelly brothers. My new goal in life is to collect all four! But quite apart from his Kelly family connections, Mike is a charming and fascinating fellow in his own right, a textbook-writing geologist who also designs interactive museum installations.

Oh, and the Zane Grey also had Lagunitas IPA on draft! $2.75 a pint!

After Zane Grey, we schooled over to the Black Bean Burrito Bar & Salsa Co. for a late dinner. Then it was home, where I crashed disappointingly early. Maybe they stay up later and drink more beer over in the other house. Going to have to find that out tonight.

Okay, now I'm going to put on the 2006 FourPlay String Quartet album Now to the Future (which [livejournal.com profile] frogworth kindly sent me) and get another critique written.
shunn: (Tattoo)
In other news, I arrived today in Flagstaff, Arizona, to attend the Starry Heaven novel workshop! I'm here with my poor half-finished novel Technomancers, which I hope my fellow workshoppers give a swift kick in the ass. I was hoping that at 70,000 words I'd be close to finished, but as it turns out I'm only about halfway through the first draft.

But anyway, Brad Beaulieu and I ended up on the same flight from Chicago and rode together in the 90 mph shuttle van from Phoenix. Sarah Kelly picked us up with Gary Shockley and whisked us off to lunch at the Beaver Street Brewpub where we met up with Sarah Prineas, Sandra McDonald, and Greg van Eekhout and Lisa Will. A pitcher of Lumberjack Lager couldn't get to our table soon enough!

Then we checked in at our B&B, where the room Greg and I are sharing pretty much boggled our minds with its palatial dimensions. Blue Heaven will henceforth have a lot to live up to! A trip to the supermarket and our fridge is stocked, although it was pre-stocked with bagels and cream cheese and milk and OJ and coffee and syrup and the cupboard with cereal and pancake mix and stuff when we arrived.

Okay, I'm starting to gush. We hear via Twitter that Eugene Myers is having extreme travel complications, but with luck he'll be with us late this evening. I'm now drinking a Four Peaks 8th Street Ale and signing off. The week begins!
What do the Spanish flu and spirit photography have in common? The answer is Luke Bryant—a teenage boy in 1921 rural Nebraska, whose life is changed by both.

Cast a Cold Eye is a novella Derryl Murphy kindly invited me to work on with him several years ago. It took us nearly four years to write, batting it back and forth between other projects, and it's now been close to two years since we sold it to PS Publishing. And while it won't be out for several more months, it's finally, finally available to be pre-ordered.

There'll be two editions of Cast a Cold Eye that I know of—a signed and jacketed hardcover and an unsigned, unjacketed hardcover.

I'll let Derryl himself (via SFScope.com) tell you a little more about the book:

Murphy says, "When we started this story a few years ago, Bill was living in New York and I was in Prince George. We're much closer together now, though, since I'm Saskatoon and he's in Chicago. Cast a Cold Eye is my second collaboration, after the Aurora-nominated short story 'Mayfly,' written with Peter Watts. Bill helped bring a terrific and unique voice to this story, and he also tempered some of my more loopy ideas. Which in this case was a very good thing.

"The story itself takes place in Nebraska just after the Spanish flu pandemic, and involves a teenage boy who lost both his parents to that illness. There's also a spirit photographer, ghosts, spooky graveyards, and a friendly, knowing dog. It didn't occur to me until after we'd finished it, but the story is YA friendly, so if you know of any teens or youngsters who might be interested in this sort of story, keep them in mind."  [full article]
The book will also feature an introduction by Mr. Charles de Lint. Order early and order often!
I'm delighted to see that my short story "Colin and Ishmael in the Dark" will run on PodCastle on October 24th, just a week before Halloween. The story is mostly dialog and takes place in pitch darkness, and I've always thought it would play best as an audio work, so I couldn't be more excited to hear it. I haven't heard who the reader is, but I know M.K. Hobson is doing the introduction, which should be a hoot.

The story was originally published by [livejournal.com profile] scottedelman in Science Fiction Age in 1993—Jesus Christ, Scott, that's fifteen years ago!—and it was only my second professional sale. The icon for this entry is a miniature of the full-page illustration that appeared with it.
I am not long back from my trek to Andersonville to see Alaya Dawn Johnson read from her new novel Racing the Dark at the Women and Children First bookstore. The trip was an hour and a half each way on the sad excuse for public transit we have here in Chicago (which is otherwise a terrific, loveable town), but it was worth it to hear a great reading in a great bookstore, and to support a friend and colleague.

But don't take my word for it. Let Time Out Chicago fill you in on why you should check out this novel. (Let me tell you, it was rather strange to arrive home from my epic journey and find Alaya in the issue of Time Out I had brought inside from the mailbox as I was leaving for her reading.)

I keep meaning to post a World Fantasy report, by the way, but I want to note here that I'm glad I wasn't so drunk at the Johncon 3 party that I forgot Alaya telling me about her Chicago reading.

(Speaking of drunkenness, as I write this I am sipping from a bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. I can't say I'm truly enjoying it, but since I was unable to finish the last bottle of it I opened, I am bound and determined to conquer this one. It is like drinking a syrup distilled from the walls and ceiling of an old cigar bar. Though the web site says BCBS is 11% alcohol by volume, the label on the bottle says 13%. I am choosing to believe the bottle.)
I've sold a book! Well, half a book, anyway. A dark fantasy novella, to be precise.

According to my records, it was over four years ago that Derryl Murphy dropped me a note that said:

I've had this idea rattling around in the back of my head for few months now, but the starts have been all false, and a little voice has been telling me for a while now that I should contact you. You interested in doing a short story together? It involves photography and spirituality, sorta, which might make for a nice blend between us.
I had never collaborated, except for one quite short story almost a decade before, so I had some reservations but decided to give it a try anyway.

We hammered out a basic plot, based on Derryl's initial idea and some moody photographs of graveyard statuary, and then started tossing the manuscript back and forth—veeeerrrrry slowly, since we both had a lot of other big projects going. But earlier this year we finally had a final final draft, novella length, and it was time to send the damn thing out.

I told Ellen Datlow about the novella at a birthday bocce party for Craig Engler, and she asked to see it just for the hell of it. She was very enthusiastic about the story but had no current project it would work for. Still, this gave us hope. A couple of other markets didn't pan out, but then Derryl queried PS Publishing. Pete Crowther said to send the manuscript on over.

The response came pretty swiftly, and the upshot is that our little novella, Cast a Cold Eye, is scheduled to be published by PS as a self-contained book in Spring/Summer 2009. We are beside ourselves.

If you're not familiar with PS Publishing, you should be. These are the folks who put out Joe Hill's collection before Joe Hill's secret identity was widely known, and also the Robert Charles Wilson novella that is currently one of my competitors on the Hugo ballot. And their books, as objects, are just beautiful.

So, a Canadian-American collaboration to be published in England. Pretty darn cool, if I do say so. And I think Derryl would agree.
I finally made it back home yesterday to my lovely wife and fuzzy dog after eight days away at the Blue Heaven workshop. I'm delighted to be home but nostalgic for the workshop. It was an extraordinarily helpful, intense, and fun week, maybe even moreso than last year. I don't want to be a namedropper, so I'm not going list all the terrific skiffy writers who attended. Suffice it to say that the week was professionally and personally rewarding, filled with learning, insight, humor, collegiality, friendship, food, beer, free Stormclouds, animal heads, turkey vultures, TNT explosions, Totally Outrageous Behavior, quips that can never be repeated without someone choking almost to death, and Old Gregg. My novel Silvertide was critiqued by two sharp readers who restored my confidence in it, and I hope I served as useful a function to the three embarrassingly talented scribes whose novels I critiqued in full (or nearly so).

Too many good times to recount them all, or even to pick a handful. I leave you with my entry in the Blue Heaven 2007 Raunchy Limerick Challenge, posed by a fellow workshopper who shall remain nameless, for reasons that will remain unstated. The challenge was to compose a limerick employing the words pump, rump, and Cockney.

Down at the Village Pump )
I've just sold my early, early story "Colin and Ishmael in the Dark" (Science Fiction Age, September 1993) to Stephen Ely at Escape Pod. (It is possible that the story will run either there or in their new fantasy podcast that will probably launch sometime in July, but this has not yet been decided.)

This story grew out of a writing exercise in one of my college writing classes. We were supposed to write a page in class of only dialog. I wrote three pages, then set the result aside for a couple of years. When I took it out and read it again, I knew how the story should end and wrote the rest very quickly.

I'm excited to hear "Colin and Ishmael" read aloud. I'm very fond of it. I think it will be best to listen to it in total darkness.

(My icon for this entry is the original illustration from this story's appearance in Science Fiction Age.)


UPDATE:  I have edited this entry to clear up any confusion about who at the Escape Pod family purchased the story and about in which podcast it will run, which has apparently not yet been decided.
I have cast a new novella, "Cast a Cold Eye," written in collaboration with and at the instigation of Derryl Murphy, out upon the postal waters. Sail, little ghost story! Sail swiftly to your destination, and on those leeward shores find fertile soil in which to put down your pulpy roots and bring forth blossoms. Sail, and thrive!

Man, I really need to get out of the office today.
It's always a lovely thing to find someone saying something nice about one of your stories, but when it's a story that was published thirteen and a half years ago it's even nicer. Part of [livejournal.com profile] jamietr's very interesting project of reading through the full run of the late, lamented Science Fiction Age from the beginning.
Scott Edelman just sent me some photos he took at World Fantasy, one of which fairly screamed to be posted here.

Not particularly inflammatory but might offend my mother )
Laura and I didn't take many photos at World Fantasy, but luckily the irrepressible John Klima did.

William Shunn & Paul Witcover

William Shunn in the Austin Renaissance atrium

Klima and his Spilt Milk Press are bringing out my chapbook in May, but in the meantime you would be well served to snap up a copy of their first chapbook, The Sense of Falling by Ezra Pines. That link is to an old pre-order page, but rest assured that this slim volume is out and available and well worth your five measly bucks.

Had a great time in Austin. Laura and I caught up with several New York friends who have decamped to Texas in the last couple of years, saw Idiocracy (at last) at a movie theater that serves beer, drank more Shiner Bock than we ever hoped to in our wildest dreams, attended a plethora of great readings, managed to get lost more than once on the Capital of Texas Highway, ate ourselves silly, and at least met great folks like Evan McClanahan and Trent Hergenrader in person. I was very sorry to have arrived at the bar too late Sunday evening to meet up with ShunnCast listener Andrew Langston—my deepest apologies!—but I did arrive in time to meet by chance an editor who spoke enthusiastically about the novel proposal for Inclination that is on her desk.

So all in all, a splendid weekend, and I thank Laura for, as usual, keeping me out of the hotel room and on track.

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