Back in 1997 Mark Zeising published one of the most underrated story collections / story cycles I know of: Kim Newman and Eugene Byrne’s Back in the USSA. The book, now sadly long out of print and pretty much only available to collectors, is clever, moving, and a lot of fun. It deserved to be a lot more widely read than it was, and hopefully time will correct that.
Today’s mail, happily, brought a new short story collection from the indefatigable Mr Newman, The Man from the Diogenes Club. The book, which features an absolutely note-perfect cover from John Picacio is a thing of beauty, and I can’t wait to sit down and read it over the coming days. You’ll hear more about the adventures of Richard Jeperson and the Diogenes Club here soon enough, in the meantime go buy one. What’s it like? Hmmm. Imagine if Austin Powers was as cool as he thinks he is, and actually investigated something, then you might be in the area. The stories are, generally, smart, creepy and very well done. I can’t wait.
Kevin Kelly has an interesting article about books, copyright, scanning, google, and all that stuff at the New York Times site. Regardless of the correctness or incorrectness of any of his views, opinions or research, one thing is indisputably correct: technology will take the argument away from us all. Last week I was on a website that offered 1100 science fiction titles by authors with surnames beginning with “V”. Had I wanted them, searchable texts of fifteen or twenty Jack Vance books sat there for me to take. I didn’t, but I could have. It won’t be that long before we won’t be able to stop the digital tide, should we even want to.
A few more details on the upcoming Subterranean Press edition of The Jack Vance Treasury are emerging, as things progress in the background. It seems the cover will be done by award-winning artist Tom Kidd. I’ve loved his work for years, especially his Gnemo stuff, which I first saw back in 1993. Also, while things may change, George R.R. Martin has agreed to provide an introduction. Alongside a preface by Jack himself and a few other things, I think this should be a very cool book.