I should give you guys a real update on Eclipse (aka the book that almost fell apart). We’re running a little late for reasons beyond our control, but should still be on sale at World Fantasy with just a little luck (which make me wonder if I need ‘Eclipse has a posse’ t-shirts?).
Things are still not quite final, but so far the book includes great new stories by Peter S. Beagle, Lucius Shepard, Maureen F. McHugh, Gwyneth Jones, Terry Dowling, Jack Dann & Paul Brandon, Jeffrey Ford, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Margo Lanagan, and others. There’s also a possibility of one story coming in late that I’m very excited about. All in all, the book should include about fourteen stories totalling about 80,000 words, and will make a great start to the Eclipse series. Any book that includes non-themed stories is going to surprise you, and this one twisted and turned and ended up being something delightfully unexpected. I can’t wait to see what everyone will think of it. More news soon!
Yesterday happily brought some new galleys from PS Publishing in the UK. Most welcome was the copy of Lucius Shepard’s new collection, Dagger Key and Other Stories. Its 470 pages cover nine novellas and novelettes published over the past five years, including revised versions of “Limbo” and “Abimagique”, as well as the stories “Stars Seen Through Stone”, “Emerald Street Expansions”, “Liar’s House”, “Dead Money”, “Dinner at Baldassaro’s”, “The Lepidopterist”, and new pirate story “Dagger Key”. The great thing about this book is that it’s the simplest way to get the latest Shepard stories all in one place. He’s been incredibly prolific over the past three or four years (see also 2004’s collection Trujillo as evidence), and he’s without question one of the best short story writers working in the field. I might quietly yearn for a different cover artist to grace a Shepard collection (I could be wrong, but Potter has done the covers for every collection except Barnacle Bill and Eternity and Other Stories), but this is both a welcome and an essential book. The only quibble is that, after all of the PS copies are sold, I hope that there might be a trade edition of the book. It’s long for a trade collection, I know, but I’d like to think that a book like this could come out in an edition of more than seven hundred copies. Of course, with that in mind, if you love great genre fiction you should get your order in for Dagger Key and Other Stories. They’ll be gone before you know it.
I’m not focussing on reading the way I should right now, which worries me a bit. Need to re-focus. In the meantime, I watched “Blink”, the latest episode of Dr Who last night. It was easily the most rivetting episode of Dr Who in a long time. The actress who played Sally Sparrow was terrific, the plot was intelligent (though not without possibly minor flaws), and I was completely engrossed. I was interested to notice that this episode had probably the least amount of screen time for David Tennant and Freema Whassername for the whole season, and was still probably the best ep. so far. Given the lack of chemistry between those two, I wondered if that was telling.