There are, alas, an infinite number of ways for a writer to destroy himself. James Branch Cabell chose one of the more interesting. Standing at the helm of the single most successful literary career of any fantasist of the twentieth century, he drove the great ship of his career straight and unerringly onto the rocks.
I love the cover, Storisende : collage for Michael Swanwick. Which apparently is “part of the Catalogue of Unique Works in the Library and Private Collections of Michael Swanwick (forthcoming).”
Curious what else is in Swanwick’s collection? Here’s some appropriately cryptic info from Swanwick:
And is the Catalogue of Unique Works in the Library and Private Collections of Michael Swanwick real or a joke? Yes, to both. It’s a real bookman’s joke, something that Henry plans to do at some unspecified point in the future. As it happens, I have a number of unique – which is to say, one-of-a-kind – works in existence. A story in the form of a mask. Another written on the surface of a crescent moon shaped lamp. Stories without any other copy, paper or electronic, sealed inside bottles and dated and signed with a diamond pen. And so on. As a writer of and afficionado of catalogs, this tickles Henry’s fancy.
The intent is clear and the inclusion of Gibson and Sterling, alongside Burroughs and Ballard, made it plain: for the editors, cyberpunk was the New Wave updated for a new era, its relevance as enduring as ever. And for Wilson, as it was for Sterling, Ballard remained the key, a writer able to straddle eras with deep insight into the increasingly science-fictional nature of day to day life.
Also of interest: Rudy Rucker on his introduction to Bruce Sterling and the early days of the cyberpunk movement.
Above image by Mike Saenz from Semiotext(e) SF.
But then again I am somewhat the opposite of Alan Moore, in that I regard screen adaptations of my work with little more than simple childlike curiosity.
—William Gibson on the Neuromancer film
Gene Wolfe’s newest novel, An Evil Guest is now available for preorder, and set to be released on September 16th.
I linked Neil Gaiman’s review of a draft a while back, but the Amazon page has some more information.
It seems Wolfe indulges himself in a bit of a genre stew– mixing noir’s private detectives, Broadway glitter, sorcerers, iPods, cold war intrigue, and Cthulhu, itself.
From Caitlín R. Kiernan’s blurb:
The distinctions we draw between past, present, and future are discriminations among illusions. This paraphrase of Einstein stands as a sort of thesis statement for this deliriously anachronistic novel, which, though seemingly set near or at the end of the 21st century, feels more like a wild confabulation of the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, with a bit of the ’80s sprinkled here and there, and just a dash of the first decade of our new millennium.
Even as Wolfe warps time and space, he also warps and dismisses the too often indulged expectations of genre readers. There is no slavish devotion to dull futurism, but a swaggering, romantic, unabashedly unlikely tomorrowland.
Our flagship product, Lexicon Urthus, which has been out of print since 2002, is available again in a new, expanded edition.
- The new edition has 1200 entries (up from 950 in first edition).
- The new edition is 440 pages (up from 304).
- All the corrections (and most of the additions) of the AE& series and NS-1 are included.
- All the named characters are added.
- The new edition is available for the first time in paperback.
Time to upgrade, Finn. You can pick it up in person next time you are in Berkeley, at one of the fine safe-havens for Gene Wolfe fans: Dark Carnival or (and how did I not know this place existed?) Other Change of Hobbit.
Some topics for inquiry:
That Dainty Fey Hero: Who Was That Guy? Whatever Happened to Him?
Lysette Anthony, The Cleavage, The Inexplicable Enduring Love For said Dainty Fey Hero. That thing she was running around in—what was that?
Is Tim Curry In This Movie, or That Other Fantasy Movie With the Same Plot?