A quick follow on about Shaun Tan, who has a website here. In October Hachette Livre Australia will published Shaun’s next book, The Arrival. It’s literally like nothing he’s done before. I’ve seen some pieces from it – and he’s said he’s going to bring the rest over to the house in the next few weeks – and it’s basically a 128 page graphic novel with no text. He’s been working on it for nearly four years, at one point throwing out a large chunk because the style didn’t quite fit, and redoing it. If it’s as good as I think it’s likely to be, it’s going to be astounding. I’ll post more on it when I have more from Shaun. In the meantime, I don’t think there’s an edition currently slated for outside Australia (though that’ll probably happen). Were I coming to World Fantasy I’d bring a box of copies and sell them myself. As I’m not, you might want to try pre-ordering it here or here.
At last! A calendar I’d really love to have! I don’t know whether it’s being released in Australia, but you can get an official 2007 Shaun Tan Calendar from amazon.co.uk, if nowhere else. I’ll be ordering one.
What exactly is The New Space Opera? Following a comment from RobB, I realised that I may not have updated you all on what this project is, and when it’s headed your way. The short version is that it is an original science fiction anthology co-edited with Gardner Dozois that will be published by HarperEos in the United States and HarperCollinsVoyager in Australia. We don’t have a definite publication date yet, but it should be Fall 2007 (so probably August or September of that year).
Where are we at with it? Gardner and I have been reading submissions for the past few months, and are pushing towards having 200,000 words of really topnotch new science fiction stories for the book. So far we’ve got some terrific stuff by Dan Simmons, Peter F. Hamilton, Robert Silverberg, Stephen Baxter, Paul McAuley, Alstair Reynolds, Gwyneth Jones, Mary Rosenblum, Nancy Kress, Greg Egan, Tony Daniel, Robert Reed, Ken Macleod, and a handful of others. If all goes to plan, we’ll be handing the book in soon-ish, so I’ll have a final list of contributors soon-ish. And, if Gardner and I have our way, we hope to be able to work together on a New Space Opera 2 at some point.
Grant Stone and Wolfe Bylsma have started to podcast the ever terrific local SF radio program, The Faster Than Light Radio Show. As they say, it’s ‘a popular culture analysis & review talks-based radio show offering the latest news, reviews and interviews, drawing on 25+ years experience in broadcasting AND the Speculative Culture fan community.’ I’ve been listening to it for years, and I think it’ll make a great weekly podcast. If it sounds like your thing, then check out the website, blog, and podcast. They even have a bookstore!
The idea of writing something meaningful in a coffee shop strikes me as pretty unlikely. We were chased out of the office by paint fumes this afternoon, and now I’m sitting across the road from the office doing some stuff until my ride gets here. Even though I wrote the introduction to The Starry Rift in a coffee shop, it took longer than it probably would have otherwise, and I’m not sure what I’m going to write at the moment.
The main things going one here at the moment are finally getting started on my 2004/2005 taxes. I manage to let these things get sufficiently out of hand every year that this ends up being a major trauma, but it should be done by the middle of next week. Once it’s in the hands of my accountant, the ever reliable Tony, then I can forget about it and get back to worrying about other stuff, like family and books and stuff. On that front, I think the two Locus Press year’s bests will go to press next week, and copies of Best Short Novels should exist shortly. I’ve not heard back about The Starry Rift from Sharyn yet, but I’m hopeful she’ll like it. Latest news is that Eidolon should also finally be making its way to press in the next week (I know, I’ve said that before, but….), and some of the stories from it will be podcast. What else? Gardner and I have been buying stories industriously for The New Space Opera, including just yesterday a major new short novel from Dan Simmons. It’s shaping up as a good book, and I can’t wait to see it come out next year.
And, other than that, it’s all pretty much full speed ahead. Jessica has another party this Saturday, then I think we have a clear run up till our departure for the US on or around the 18th of August. Of course, we have to get that finalised with the travel agent too. Busy times, as always.