29 November, 2006

Actually, I quite like Ben Peek...

...even if he can't spell "Ukrainian".

Of course, if he's misspelling it intentionally, I dislike him intensely.

December Locus...

... is out, and I get two mentions in the table of contents, once in the 'People and Publishing' section (I would say you probably heard it here first) and again in a Nick Gevers review of Red Spikes.

*taps fingers and refrains from going to Galaxy for a week*

Citizens of Ashfield!

OK, there are two copies of Red Spikes in Angus & Robertson Bookworld in Ashfield Mall. Come now, it's the price of a dozen pork buns. OK, maybe fifteen. What are you all waiting for? Why on earth would you need that many pork buns? This book will be much more nourishing, and can be eaten over and over again.

Psst! It's in the adult section. They must have glanced through and lit on the monkey rape story. Oops.

Two-book deal with Knopf

OK, here is the official media alert re the shenanigans that have been going on for the past few weeks in the US. From Angela Namoi at Allen & Unwin:
I'm pleased to announce that we've just concluded a very good two-book auction for Margo Lanagan's new collection, RED SPIKES, combined with her as yet unwritten novel. The ultimate winner was the Knopf imprint of Random House ... Knopf plans to publish RED SPIKES in August 2007, and the novel in April 2008.
My US editor will be Nancy Siscoe, and Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management managed the auction—beautifully!

The Lost Shimmaron series

Here is Tansy Rayner Roberts' Seacastle, the first book in the ROR junior fiction series, The Lost Shimmaron, for which I've just finished the draft of the second book, The Singing Stones of Scintillon.

Readers of this blog will remember me making optimistic noises about finishing Scintillon during September. When I emailed off the draft on Sunday night, the release of tension was so great that almost as soon as I clicked 'Send' I started getting those little twinkly things in my eyes that warn me a migraine is on its way. I haven't had more than the warnings for ages, and I nipped this one in the bud with a Mersyndol and a night's sleep.

I can recommend the sleep treatment. It seems to fix most things. Excellent, healthy form of work avoidance, too. I would add that it's very hard to injure yourself while asleep if I didn't have recent memories of a woman being wheeled into the RPA Acute Ward having broken her arm falling out of bed. (Strangely, what really annoyed her were the rails on either side of the hospital bed, holding her in so it didn't happen again.) Sleep often, but sleep carefully, people.


OK, enough with the glums. A Nice Deal is in the offing for Red Spikes and The Novel in the US. It looks as if Red Spikes will come out around September 2007, The Novel maybe a year later. The Novel at this point is about 80 pages of rough-as-bags draft. Blogging about it will be limited to boring numbers, just in case it shoots itself down in flames (again).

It's three weeks since the bike accident and the collarbone's improving, but a cracked rib made itself felt after 5 days, and that's been more painful than the shoulder. Next check-up is 13 December, when I hope to see a nicely knitting clavicle on the X-ray. In the meantime, sneezing hurts! I can type OK and write OK with the right elbow supported, but the brain is taking a while to get back up to speed after being smacked down onto Edgeware Road. I don't have any trouble with insomnia, even if I nap during the day. I could sleep for Australia at the moment.

Now, people in Sydney, I don't know about elsewhere, but Galaxy Bookshop have a lovely pile of all three story collections right now, the new one and the new-covered White Time and Black Juice. Ideal Christmas gift, to self and others. If you're going to go hog-wild at Galaxy, make sure you swing by the L shelf.

21 November, 2006


You are the Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.

With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of
loss from a situation, rather than gain.

The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.

The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

17 November, 2006

I'm Finnish-ed

Uuskumma? Modernin fantasian antologia, edited by Jukka Halme, is about to hit the bookshops in Finland.

'Singing My Sister Down' is inside, titled 'Kun siskoni laulettiin pikeen', in the illustrious company of Jeff VanderMeer, Kelly Link, Stepan Chapman, Carol Emshwiller, Gene Wolfe, Liz Williams, China Mieville and Jeffrey Ford.

08 November, 2006

I am not dead,

only injured.

Sunday morning, on the way to the start of the Sydney-Wollongong bike ride, I came off my bicycle going down a hill in Enmore, knocked myself out for a minute or two and broke my right collarbone. I can now confirm that those nurses and doctors at the RPA are just as nice as they seem on their show on the telly.

May I also bring to your attention the achievement of my colleague Amanda Fong in being the first woman over the line in the 'Gong. Clearly my blood sacrifice worked - actually, there was very little blood involved. It was more a matter of bruises. And invisible (but not inaudible!) broken bone.

My helmet now has a spectacular flat patch on the right temple, which makes me very thoughtful, and grateful.

And my typing is sloooow, which means that large parts of my life have slipped into low gear. Which is probably a good thing. Except, of course, for all the pressing deadlines...

04 November, 2006

First review of Red Spikes

...in Viewpoint by Diana Hodge. She starts off (this made me laugh):
I was astonished by Margo Lanagan's latest collection of short stories...Having ripped two of Lanagan's earlier novels to shreds for my PhD theses (The Best Thing and Touching Earth Lightly) I had avoided reading her more recent work.
It's an interesting feeling to be stuck in someone's craw.

Anyway, she got over her resistance, started in on a proof copy of Red Spikes without knowing it was short stories, and then was horribly shocked when she found herself in the monkey troop in the second story, instead of in the novel that was promised by the first.

But she didn't throw me against the wall. In fact, she went back and found Black Juice and read that as well. She says:
In both collections Lanagan seems to have tapped into a bottomless reservoir of inspired creativity, each piece a unique gem...Because each of these stories is so different and the content and concepts so unfamiliar and unexpected, it was occasionally difficult to get my head around exactly what was happening. Nothing is truly familiar; expectations aren't met but are completely blown apart; there is no known context; and the stories are too short for words to be wasted on lengthy explanations. However, I didn't find this disconcerting - it was part of the thrill. The reader simply needs to open his or her mind and go along for the wild ride.
Hear, hear.

More exciting news

Ellen Datlow is taking not one but two stories from me for her (and Kelly and Gavin's) Year's Best Fantasy and Horror #20: 'A Pig's Whisper' from Agog! Ripping Reads (high-fives to Cat Sparks!) and 'Winkie' from Red Spikes.