Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hugo Award and Locus Award Finalist: Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Slow BulletsI was fortunate to have worked on Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds -- I acquired and edited the novella for Tachyon Publications -- so I am quite pleased to be able to announce that Slow Bullets is now a finalist for both the Hugo Award and the Locus Award.

The winners of the Locus Awards will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, June 24-26, 2016; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Here is the complete list of the Locus Award finalists, including details on the awards weekend.

The 2016 Hugo Awards will be presented on the evening of Saturday, August 20, during a ceremony at MidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City, MO. Here is the complete list of the Hugo Award finalists, including voting numbers.

I'd like to quote a paragraph from my June 8, 2015, blog post:
If you are unfamiliar with the various works of author Alastair Reynolds, then Slow Bullets would be the perfect starting point. If you read Alastair Reynolds already, preferring his longer novels and series work -- still, don't deny yourself the pleasure of reading this story, as Slow Bullets has more ideas than some novels that are twice its length.
And to further that aim (and to help promote the novella), here are my previous blog posts, in order of publication, on Slow Bullets:
February 9, 2015: Editing in Process...Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

May 29, 2015: Now Shipping: Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds [includes quotes from Michael Bishop and Michael Swanwick]

June 1, 2015: Alastair Reynolds on the Genesis of his story Slow Bullets

June 8, 2015: "The pace of the novella is never less than breakneck": a review of Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds [from Green Man Review]

July 21, 2015: "Some readers may find themselves thrown off balance by the juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness—" [from the Los Angeles Review of Books]

October 21, 2015: Book Received: Slow Bullets Limited Edition by Alastair Reynolds [includes the Strange Horizons review]

And if you haven't gotten the hint yet, you should consider purchasing a copy of Slow Bullets, which is available from Amazon, or from any other fave bookseller.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Received: Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

New Central Station
Cover art by Sarah Anne Langton
I worked on Lavie Tidhar's Central Station the latter part of last year, which you can read about in my November 30, 2015, blog post.

Since then, the final cover art has been revealed, as shown on the left.

I included a couple excerpts from the book itself in that November 30 blog post; and you can access the publisher's website -- Tachyon Publications -- to read the starred Publishers Weekly review and the starred Library Journal review.

What I want to include here this time around is some thoughts on the book from the author himself, from Lavie Tidhar's own blog post on July 2, 2015, announcing the sale of Central Station to Tachyon Publications:
....In a way, [Central Station] both represents everything I have to say about the shape of science fiction – and a large part of it is a sort of dialogue with older (mostly, admittedly, quite obscure) SF – and a way of talking about the present. It is set in the old central bus station area in south Tel Aviv, currently home to a quarter of a million poor economic migrants from Asia, and African refugees, and I wanted to explore that area through the lens of science fiction (one of the weird things I found recently is that the fictional sort of "federal" political vision of Israel/Palestine I have in the book is now being touted as a real solution by a group of political activists). My other ambition was to write a book which was mostly about character interaction: about extended families, about relationships, in which the "shiny" science fiction future serves as a sort of background rather than taking centre stage. My other inspiration was that I always wanted to write a novel in short stories. Science fiction has a long tradition of doing this – from The Martian Chronicles to Lord of Light – but my inspiration was also partly V. S. Naipaul's Miguel Street.
You can read the full blog post, including the Comments section, on the author's website. Central Station is now available from Amazon or your favorite bookseller.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Redux: Old Records Never Die By Eric Spitznagel

Old Records Never Die: One Man's Quest for His Vinyl and His PastIn my April 20, 2016, blog post I wrote that I had received a copy of Eric Spitznagel's memoir Old Records Never Die -- and I included an excerpt from the book, and a link to the YouTube trailer (which features singer, songwriter, and producer Jeff Tweedy, the book's introducer).

Because I read books and manuscripts for a living, I often find opportunities for personal reading few and far between; I'm not an individual who can read multiple books concurrently, and I am envious of those who can. So I typically find time for personal reading in the late evening, before turning out the light for bed. Thus reading a personal book to completion (which doesn't always happen) can often take days, if not weeks, depending on the size of the book. But, I am nearing the final chapters of Spitznagel's Old Records Never Die, and I came upon another brief excerpt that I would like to share with you.

I assume most readers come to this blog because of the work I do with writers, publishers, and their books. However, if you also read the music posts -- or you now access this blog strictly for the music-related content -- please do let me know in the Comments section below. I really would like to know.

And even though this excerpt is strictly about the music-listening experience, it would also pertain to some degree to the discovery of new books, or new stories, particularly those by writers with whom we are not as yet familiar. Here's Eric Spitznagel:
Despite my initial misgivings, I listened to [the record] again. I listened to it at every opportunity. Because that's what you do when you're in your twenties. You give new music a fighting chance. Because you know something might not click until the fourth or fifteenth or even fifty-second listen. That's how long it takes sometimes. You have to let music live with you for a while. You have to listen to it when you're not really listening to it. It has to sneak up on you when you're doing something else, or it finally starts to trust you. Because music is alive, and it's as wary of you as you are of it.

The author, of course, is speaking of his past, and his discovery of music; but I have to hope that we all continue to discover new music -- and new books and new authors -- in our thirties, and forties, and to infinity and beyond.

Old Records Never Die: One Man's Quest for His Vinyl and His Past by Eric Spitznagel is available from Amazon at the link, or from any other bookseller you may prefer.