Monday, early…

With Joni Mitchell quietly singing about free men in Paris on the stereo, copies of Teeth and Deep State on the couch beside me, a daughter in the other room reasonably quietly watching Brady Bunch, the rest of the family still abed,  and an unfinished cup of coffee to hand, it seems a good time to catch up with you here.

This has been an odd weekend for me.  Gary’s been in Florida and we’ve not recorded a podcast for the first time in more than a year. It’s become part of the rhythm of my weekends, and everything seems a bit different without it. I’d meant to use the time getting caught up on work, but I haven’t really. I tinkered with this and that and spent time with the family.

Alisa dropped the pretty Aurealis Award round (and it is pretty), we took my mother out for her birthday, and we spent some time driving in the hills. Other than that, not so much. So, there’s still an ocean to do (won’t bore you with the details). I do have to find the name for the secret project which I’m tinkering with at the moment. Just as soon as an agreement is reached and there are details I’ll make it non-secret, but there’s still a chance it could become a non-project so I shall wait.

I did read my favorite anthology of the year this week, though. In October Candlewick will publish Gavin Grant and Kelly Link’s Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (you can see the ToC here).  It features fourteen pieces (12 stories/2 comics) by some terrific writers. I’m still going back and forth over my favorites but I adored Libba Bray’s “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls”, a Western about an all-girl gang of temporally-enhanced trainrobbers, Dylan Horrock’s novelette “Steamgirl” about (sort of) a steampunk girl hero on Mars, and M.T Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine”. Those three alone are strong enough to make this a wonderful anthology, but new stories from Kelly Link, Holly Black and others really do make it a book I’d recommend.  The only thing I found, when I reluctantly reached the end, was that I don’t know if I understand steampunk any better than I had at the start. I’m hoping someone like Jeff VanderMeer (who edited Steampunk and The Steampunk Bible) who has a really strong grasp of the subject might review it. In the meantime, there’s a lot here to read and edit and be distracted by so back to that,