Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alien Contact Anthology -- Bits 'n' Pieces

My Alien Contact anthology can now be preordered from and, as well as other fine bookstores (physical and online). You may notice that the pub date is listed as January 2012; according to the publisher, Night Shade Books, this is incorrect and the book is on schedule for its November publication.

As you can see from the Facebook widget in the right column -- "Find us on Facebook: Alien Contact Anthology" -- I have just set up a "fan page" for the book. If you are an FB user, and you are so inclined, I would appreciate your click on the "Like" button. More stories from the anthology will be forthcoming, as will a giveaway or two, along with news and reviews.

On Sunday, September 11, I attended the Tachyon Publications "Sweet 16" birthday party at Borderlands Books in San Francisco. The party marked not only Tachyon's sixteen years of publishing but also the tenth anniversary of their first birthday party. On hand to celebrate the birthday, in addition to Tachyon's own Jacob and Rina Weisman, Jill Roberts, and Elizabeth Story, were Peter S. Beagle, Kathleen Bartholomew, Nancy Kress, and Jack Skillingstead. Nancy and Jack were in town for the previous evening's SF in SF event, so they hung around an extra day for the birthday festivities. Also on hand were Charlie Jane Anders, Terry Bisson, Grania Davis, Jeremy Lassen, Nick Mamatas, and Pat Murphy, to name just a few.

During the Tachyon birthday party each year, the Norton Awards are also presented. The awards are given for "extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason," in memory of Joshua Norton I, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico. Norton Awards judge Jacob Weisman presented the book award to Steven R. Boyett for his novel Mortality Bridge (Subterranean Press); and Norton Awards judge Richard A. Lupoff presented the creativity award to Rudy Rucker for his autobiography Nested Scrolls (PS Publishing). Both Boyett and Rucker were on hand to accept their award. Rudy has a lengthy blog post, including photos, on the award. Rudy and I go way back, to the '80s when he was teaching at San Jose State; I wrote in a previous blog post of my interviewing Rudy Rucker regarding the Philip K. Dick Award, and our friendship over the years.

Anyhow, you may be wondering why I'm including the Tachyon Pubs birthday party and related events in this blog post on my Alien Contact anthology. And to answer that, I will share the following photograph with you:

Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead, and the ARC of Alien Contact

I had planned to attend the Tachyon Pubs birthday party since I had received the first announcement, but my circumstances changed a few weeks ago (see Status blog post). In fact, as of Saturday evening, due to work deadlines as well as the cost of public transit to San Francisco ($47.40 round trip for the two of us, using both Caltrain and BART), I had decided to stay home that day and work, in between loads of laundry. Mid-morning on Sunday I turned on the PC to send an email to Rina to let her know I would not be attending, when, to my surprise, I found an email in my inbox from Cliff Winnig letting me know that I could hitch a ride with him to San Francisco for the b-day party. It was a sign....

As both Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead were making a rare Bay Area appearance (they hail from Seattle), this gave me a chance to chat with them (and to meet Jack for the first time) about their contributions to the Alien Contact anthology. I revealed Nancy's story last week -- "Laws of Survival" (Story #19) -- and Jack's story just happens to be Story #20, which will be revealed shortly.

I'm not much of an autograph collector these days, but I did have both Nancy and Jack sign my copy of the ARC, as well as Pat Murphy, too, who contributed the story "Recycling Strategies for the Inner City" (Story #7) to the anthology. [Sorry I didn't get you in the photograph as well, Pat; hopefully next time.]

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