28 June, 2007

One's carapace

From this review (of Twenty Grand, by Rebecca Curtis):
It's a mixed bag, as most collections tend to be, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to observe a younger author taking risks before her talent hardens into the smooth, overpolished carapace that too often accompanies mainstream literary respectability.
I'm wondering, is that as much a given as Liz Hand seems to be implying? Also (I like this part better):
Yet this is what the best writers do—stumble through unknown territory, walk blindfolded, sit beside strangers and listen to them mumble and rave.
Oh, and now that I'm outlining, the demo version of Scrivener is crashing every 30 seconds. Sux. I mean, effing sux. :) (Maybe it's the overuse of smiley faces that's given me that G rating...)

A new toy

As a kind of work-avoidance-without-work-avoiding, I've put my novel, Tender Morsels Bwa-Ha-Ha (with apologies to Roddy Doyle) into Scrivener, which means that I can set it up to find things in it easily, like all the scenes where that bloody dwarf is (trying to push myself out of the G rating here), and I can admire each chapter's apparent sortedness like this, instead of in scrawled over lists with ticks next to everything:

This is the tenth chapter; purty, no? Each coloured pin represents a different point of view. Head-hopping? Never!

Waah, I'm not edgy!


22 June, 2007

'Talented, articulate measles'

...as Lili Wilkinson calls the outbreak of healthy YA- and children's-book chatter happening mostly in the States but a little bit here too. If this is the first you've heard of it, you're not reading enough blogs. Go on, move along—nothing to see here.

Jonathan's Eclipse anthology

Look at us all over here, in Jonathan Strahan's upcoming anthology for Night Shade. He says:
The idea behind the series is simple: each year produce a showcase volume of great new science fiction and fantasy stories. That’s it. No agenda, no theme: just great stories.
And these are the great stories he's got so far:
'The Last and Only, or Mr Moscowitz Becomes French' by Peter S Beagle
'Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse' by Andy Duncan
'The Lost Boy: A Reporter At Large' by Maureen McHugh
'The Transformation of Targ' by Jack Dann and Paul Brandon
'The Drowned Life' by Jeffrey Ford
'Mr’s Zeno’s Paradox' by Ellen Klages
'In The Forest Of The Queen' by Gwyneth Jones
'Toother' by Terry Dowling
'Electric Rains' by Kathleen Ann Goonan
'She-Creatures' by Margo Lanagan
'Quartermaster Returns' by Ysabeau Wilce
'Larissa Miusov' by Lucius Shepard
Quite a box of chocolates, eh. And here is a snippet from 'She-Creatures':
First, just as in the Holy Book—although God knows there was nothing else holy about it—first, there was light. It grew unnatural, very weak at first, grey and cold and seemingly sourceless among the trees up ahead. Dass and Bertoldo moved against it, and then they stilled like shapes cut out of black paper, all frozen elbows and knees, and then they skittered off to one side and crouched, just cut-out heads poking out of a cut-out tree.

And then—it was as if someone put a tap to a hole in the top of my head, and ran some kind of cold syrup through me—four figures stepped from four different directions into that part of the road. And I suppose it came from their throats, but the music—the four different notes of it, holding on and on without taking any new breaths, and making, if a harmony, so foreign a notion of harmony to my ears that my teeth clenched and creaked on one another to hear it and my mouth watered—the music seemed as sourceless as the light.
Everything is dark forests and witches with me at the moment.

20 June, 2007

A novel snippet

No news, just novel. Here's a pretty bit, from the very first scene, where the dwarf and the orphan girl have just had it off in a haystack (I told you it was YA):
It was warm, perfect for nudding down, the air like warm satin sliding all over me. The last blue of evening was close around us shielding us from eyes, and yet the stars were there, winking and festive also and who could mind them?—and the moths, soft and silver. The stars lit them, I guess, and the last light from the sky, and the slight light from Shakestick’s lamps as he hurried the last of the haystackers, other end of the field. Anyway, they were low like a mist, the moths, like a dancing mist, large and small like snow wafting on a breeze, as if the very air were too alive not to burst into these creatures, to take wing and flutter in all these different directions.

Everything was making sense, this girl and me wrapping each other, and what had gone before. A great Aha! had happened to me and I saw, now, why the whole world was paired up man to woman like it was, buck to doe, bull to cow, cock to hen: for both their releases, to keep them present on the earth, instead of away suffering inside their own bodies and heads. Moth to moth, too, eh? Moth to moth, look at them, floating and flirting, giving off their moth-signals, curling their feather antlers at each other’s nearness.
It's turning into a monster, I tell you. Word says it is 94,300 words, and I'm not done yet.

Yours happily,


12 June, 2007

Seacastle/Lost Shimmaron launch

Cat Sparks took this great picture of Tansy Rayner Roberts at the launch of Seacastle, the first in the Lost Shimmaron series from ROR and ABC Books, on Sunday. Yay, Tansy! Yay, ROR!

07 June, 2007

'She's bloody good, Margo Lanagan. She really is.' :)

There's a seriously glow-making review of Red Spikes by Colin Greenland, over at Strange Horizons. Here is one of my favourite bits:
She earths her violent and uncompromising imaginings in tactile and particular detail: in worlds built from the bottom up, from the rock and mud. They are felt and smelt by characters who are closest to the ground: children, servants, peasants, and animals. As negligible viewpoints go, a dead budgie takes a lot of beating.
(via Niall at Torque Control)

06 June, 2007

Ooh, look. I'm in here (or will be, around February, probably) , with a story about—if I remember correctly—people flensing very large aliens on an Indian beach. And alongside Garth Nix, Ian McDonald, Neil Gaiman, Walter Jon Williams, Ann Halam and Alastair Reynolds. Goody-goody.

(via Jonathan)

03 June, 2007

Articulate and faster than light!

You can hear an interview of me by Grant Stone of Faster Than Light, here and here.

(via Chris McLaren via Perry Middlemiss!)