Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Received... Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely FineBack in February, I wrote about working on Daryl Gregory's "sharp-edged" novella We Are All Completely Fine -- and even included a very brief excerpt from the story in order to make my point.

As I said, that was earlier (you can read that blog post here) -- and this is now: We Are All Completely Fine is available ahead of schedule direct from the publisher, Tachyon Publications, or your preferred retail bookseller.

In fact, I can think of no other active independent publisher that is consistently on schedule -- actually, ahead of schedule -- for every single book that they publish. That's Tachyon Publications. (And, Gawd bless them, they pay on time, too -- every single time! And have done so, since 2002, when I worked on that very first book for them. Writers, keep that in mind when you are considering your next novella, novel, or collection submission, and are looking for a quality publisher.)

If you are not familiar with Daryl Gregory's work, then We Are All Completely Fine is a good place to start; if you are a fan of his work, then I don't need to say anything further: you've most likely had this book on order since you first learned about it. In fact, I believe we'll be seeing this novella on many awards lists beginning in early 2015. Yes, he's that good.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tommy Ramone, January 29, 1949–July 11, 2014

Thomas Erdelyi -- better known by his stage name Tommy Ramone -- was a co-founder of the seminal punk band The Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group. The New York Times obituary.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Received...The Children of Old Leech Anthology

The Children of Old LeechWhen I first wrote about my involvement (here) in The Children of Old Leech anthology -- the newest title from publisher Word Horde -- I also recommended at the time that readers opt for the Deluxe Pack available direct from the publisher's web site. As only 100 numbered Deluxe Packs were made, they sold out fairly quickly. I'll post some of the items below, but keep this in mind in the future: When Word Horde offers a deluxe package for one of their books -- snag it!

The Children of Old Leech (TCoOL) isn't just another themed anthology. The book's subtitle is the reveal: "A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron." That previous blog post I mentioned above has some of my thoughts on Laird Barron and TCoOL as well as a list of the book's 17 stories. But a list of stories is just that: a list.

The truth, of course, is in the content: courtesy of publisher Ross E. Lockhart and the 19 TCoOL authors, the Word Horde web site will present a brief excerpt from each of the 17 stories, beginning with "The Harrow" by Gemma Files (on July 2) and continuing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday over the next few weeks. So if you are still fence-sitting and haven't purchased a copy of TCoOL as yet, please do check out these mini excerpts from all 17 stories. But, lest we forget, it's the mind -- and writing -- of Laird Barron that provided the inspiration for these stories.

Back to the TCoOL goodies: if you had ordered the Deluxe Pack, you would have received a numbered "chapbook" by Paul Tremblay entitled "Notes for 'The Barn in the Wild.'" The story is a "found notebook" story -- and the chapbook is comprised of the notebook pages themselves.

My copy is not numbered but is rather a "PC" copy -- a Presentation Copy that I received as one of the book's contributors. Now here's a behind-the-scenes peek at the publisher hand-assembling the chapbook:

The Deluxe Pack also came with a Word Horde bookplate signed by both TCoOL editors, Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele:

The hand holding the book is courtesy
of Ross E. Lockhart. Thanks, Ross!

Other goodies included bookmarks, stickers, and postcards....And, to top it off, the Deluxe Pack also included an ebook edition of the anthology, in the reader's format of choice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Charles Stross's The Rhesus Chart: "Pounce!"

The Rhesus ChartToday -- July 1 -- is the publication date for The Rhesus Chart, the fifth in the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross.

How the first two Laundry Files books came to be published by Golden Gryphon Press I have written about at length in my blog post of December 10, 2009. But suffice to say that when Charlie and I first met, albeit briefly, at the ConJosé WorldCon in 2002, I asked for an original novella, and Charlie offered me a novel that crossed so many genres that his agent, he said, didn't know what to do with it. Fortunately, I did, and the rest, as they say, is Laundry Files history. The Atrocity Archives turned out to be an ideal book for a small press publisher. The first print run of 3,000 hardcovers sold out in about three months, so the book had a second hardcover printing. Not too shabby for a small press that was then publishing six hardcovers per year.

I've been fortunate to have worked on all five Laundry Files novels, even when book 3, The Fuller Memorandum, was acquired and published by Ace Books. I've written about all three Ace Laundry Files novels within this blog, but you may find of special interest (especially if you are a writer) my blog post of exactly two years ago, on The Apocalypse Codex, entitled "Doing Charles Stross's Laundry with Style."

But back to The Rhesus Chart... How can you go wrong with a novel that opens with the following line:
"Don't be silly, Bob," said Mo, "everybody knows vampires don't exist."

The Rhesus Chart was recently graced with a starred Kirkus review. Let me repeat that: a starred Kirkus review. A review by Kirkus is difficult enough to come by, but a starred review? Now that's a treat. The review was posted online on June 5 and appeared in the June 15 issue of Kirkus Reivews. Here's a taste:
Fast-tracked into management after recent successes, Bob grows suspicious when a whiz-kid team of investment bankers which calls itself the Scrum discovers an algorithm that promises to make its members billions in profits but whose unfortunate side to turn them into vampires. (The supreme irony of this will be lost on few readers.) An added complication for Bob is that the Scrum's ringleader, Mhari Murphy, is an ex-girlfriend. More peculiar yet, why is everybody in the Laundry convinced that vampires don't exist? Bob's superiors take prompt action—and form a committee. Laundry regulars by now will be familiar with Stross' trademark sardonic, provocative, disturbing, allusion-filled narrative. And, here, with a structure strongly reminiscent of Len Deighton's early spy novels, the tone grows markedly grimmer, with several significant casualties and tragedies, perhaps in preparation for Angleton's [Bob's superior] feared CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.

Stross at the top of his game—which is to say, few do it better. Pounce!

Courtesy of the author Charles Stross and Ace Books, the entire first chapter of The Rhesus Chart has been posted online for your reading pleasure. If you are unfamiliar with the Laundry Files tales, The Rhesus Chart is actually a good place to start.