Paragaea: A Planetary Romance

Buy Paragaea: A Romance now!There are a lot of energetic bloggers out there. I, on the other hand, am an at best occasionally energetic blogger, and mostly just a slack as hell blogger. The reason I mention this is that I have on a number of occasions considered adding a Book of the Week feature to Coode Street. Something where I highlight a book I like, talk it up, and maybe interview the author. All that kind of promotery goodness. But, I’ve been reluctant to do it because I’m running late on other things, feel I should actually read the books, and because other energetic people like Jeff VanderMeer have been doing it for ages. It seemed like stealing someone else’s idea.

Anyhow, the latest person to stick his hand up and get involved with this stuff is sometime Coode Street reader John Scalzi who, in addition to writing some nifty novels of his own, has started a series of short author interviews/profiles on his AOL blog. This is a cool thing to be doing, and should be interesting to watch evolve over time. The first author to walk the ScalziPlank is Monkeybrain Books proprietor, editor, author and all-round good guy, Chris Roberson, who talks enthusiastically about his new novel Paragaea: A Planetary Romance. I’ve not read the book, but he describes it like this: “It’s the story of a Soviet-era female cosmonaut who falls through a hole in space and finds herself in a strange new world, one filled with jaguar men, ancient androids, pterosaur-riding pirates, and talking metal trees—in other words, the same old, same old.” And if that’s not too cool for school, I don’t know what is.

If it sounds cool to you too, you can:

And Chris? Well, I’ve met him a couple times at WorldCons hither and yon and we’ve had dinner a few times: if his writing is half as much fun as hanging out with him is, then this is the kind of book that I want to be reading.

Wintersmith again…

Just in case Coode Streeters think I have any kind of impulse-control at all, I mentioned in a post on Monday that I’d just received a copy of Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. This was around 4pm on Monday, I think. I finished reading it at around 1pm on Tuesday. The only reason it took that long is my superhuman powers of self-control, which allowed me to put it down at around 12.30am and go to sleep. Were it not for that I would have consumed the entire book in a single sitting.

What did I think of it? It was terrific: smart, moving, and occasionally funny. I think whether you’ll enjoy the book depends on whether you like Pratchett’s writing voice (I do) and whether you like Tiffany Aching (I do).  Many thanks to Jack and everyone at Harper who arranged the copy. I’ll try to run a proper review here, and maybe even in Locus (the sound you just heard was either CHARLES falling over or laughing his ass off, one or the other). In the meantime, pre-order!

Clarion tutors

I don’t pay much attention to the announcements from the good folk at Clarion South. Not because I don’t respect what they do, but because I am unlikely to ever attend any writers workshop, never mind Clarion itself. That’s how I explain missing the announcement that Gardner Dozois and Kelly Link will be coming down to Australia to be tutors at the 2007 Clarion South in January/February 2007.  If you’re interested in writing, this could be the place to be.