Sunday, October 27, 2013
Posted by Marty Halpern at 5:44 PM
The long-awaited tenth and final volume, The Last Dark (G. P. Putnam's Sons), in Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, has finally been published.
I remember when I first started reading the first volume, Lord Foul's Bane, shortly after the book was published in 1977. I was expecting a fantasy -- you know, some medieval land, or faery land, or bewitched land -- and here was some guy walking down the street on his way to pay his electric bill! So the community started paying his bills for him, and sending him food so that he didn't have to come into town for any reason. But one of those thoughtful meals, a sandwich, contained ground glass. And all of this was being done for, and to, the man because he had leprosy! WTF?
I was so taken aback by the setting -- it was so NOT what I had been expecting -- that I couldn't get into it, and I put the book back on the shelf.
For whatever reason I no longer recall, more than ten years later I picked the book back up and started to read it once again. Now that I knew what to expect, I got sucked in to the story and couldn't put the book(s) down. And by now, of course, there were six volumes to consume! I was working as a technical instructor at the time for a high-tech company. (The hapless company shall remain nameless to protect their innocence.) I would make my way to the classroom as early as possible to prepare for class, and as soon as all the setup was complete, I'd pull out whatever Thomas Covenant volume I was on at the time and continue my reading; and it always seemed to take longer to clean up after class, too.
It's now been more than twenty years since I've read the first six books in this series. Gawd, twenty-plus years.... I've now purchased all four books in The Last Chronicles, but I haven't started reading them yet. First, I don't like to read a series until I have all the volumes in the series in hand; and second, I'm seriously considering starting with book one, Lord Foul's Bane, and reading all ten volumes.
The second book I purchased was another long-awaited title: K. W. Jeter's Fiendish Schemes (Tor Books), sequel to his Steampunk novel Infernal Devices, originally published by St. Martin's Press in 1987. Jeter, by the way, is credited with coining the term "Steampunk" in a letter to Locus magazine, printed in the April 1987 issue.
In October 1988 I was on my way to ArmadilloCon 10, at which K. W. Jeter was the Author Guest of Honor, and the other author guests included James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers. I flew American Airlines from San Jose to Dallas/Fort Worth, and from there to Austin, Texas. Upon boarding the plane to Austin, as I was walking down the aisle to my seat, I spied someone reading a copy of Infernal Devices. I stopped, and made some type of comment like, If you're reading Jeter's novel, then you must be going to ArmadilloCon, too -- to which she responded in the affirmative. That individual was Spike Parsons, well known among Bay Area fandom, whom I met for the first time on that plane. [Hi, Spike!]
You can read a bit more about my attendance at Armadillocon 10 in my blog post entitled "Philip K. Dick & Rudy Rucker's Warez," posted on August 30, 2010.
Posted by Marty Halpern at 5:26 PM
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I promised myself -- and readers of this blog -- that I would post updates of my current editing work in process, so....
I'm currently line editing and copy editing the fifth Charles Stross Laundry Files novel (and my fifth volume as well), The Rhesus Chart, to be published next year by Ace Books.
I have seen the preliminary cover art, but since it's not the final cover art, and I'm not permitted to post it here, you'll have to make do with the SOE Department Q coat of arms -- the World War II precursor to the Laundry.
If you're not familiar with Stross's Laundry Files stories, I have written previously on this blog about the events surrounding the acquisition and publication of the first two Laundry Files books, originally published in hardcover by Golden Gryphon Press, and currently available in trade paperback from Ace Books: The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue. That blog post, entitled "Charles Stross: On Her Majesty's Occult Service," was posted on December 10, 2009, and can be found here. I also wrote extensively about my work on the previous Laundry Files novel, The Apocalypse Codex, as Ace had imposed a new requirement on me: providing a style sheet (which I must provide this time around as well). Posted on January 27, 2012, "Doing Charles Stross's Laundry with Style" can be found here.
And you can read Stross's latest Laundry Files story, "Equoid," available for your reading pleasure courtesy of Tor.com.
Now, where did I put my warrant card....
Follow-up blog post:
Posted by Marty Halpern at 7:43 PM
Sunday, October 6, 2013
For the past couple years, I've been posting my current editing work on Facebook, on Google+, and on Twitter -- but not on More Red Ink.
Consequently, two (or more) weeks may pass before I post a new update here, which may lead dedicated readers to believe that I've not been working, that I've been out enjoying this beautiful Northern California weather, that I've been spending all my time on my Nexus 7 tab (only partly true).
So, beginning with this post, I will be updating the blog with a brief entry on each of my new projects, when I receive new books, and essentially anything that may be relevant to my work, that I have previously been posting on social media.
My current project, pictured to the left, is copy editing the forthcoming novel Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. Hollow World will be published by Tachyon Publications in April 2014.
Posted by Marty Halpern at 9:50 PM