This is very much a personal thing, but for those who are interested, this was my favorite science fiction story of the year.
The downside to having connections and being lucky enough to get to see books and stuff early is that when you hit the end of the road, it’s the end of the road.
I finished reading The Clan Corporate a little while ago. It’s the third of Charles Stross’s ‘The Merchant Princes’ series, and I really like it. Smart, funny, engaging and occasionally disturbing, but mostly really entertaining. And it ends on a cliffhanger, a hell of a cliffhanger. Which is great, but when I finished The Family Trade (due from Tor any minute – go advance order it), I knew pretty well that Charlie had some of the rest of the series finished. Now I’m up to the point where writing the next book – A Hostile Takeover – is only on his ‘to do list’ and even if he does it pretty soon, there’s nothing on paper. This is the end of the road, for the moment. Shit. You guys have to go buy Book 1, because that way he’ll hopefully get a contract for Book 4, then he’ll write it and I’ll (er, we’ll) get to read it. Now.
Oh, and one other Stross-related thing. I’ve noticed a couple reviewers suggest that “Survivor”, the novelette published in the October/November Asimov’s is the penultimate story in the ‘Accelerando’ series. It ain’t. It’s the end of the road. If you check here you’ll find a listing on his website that makes it pretty clear.
Jeff VanderMeer is currently blogging about the books he’s reading, and he’s been posting some very interesting stuff about Al Sarrantonio’s anthology Flights. While he and I differ in opinion on Tim Powers’ novelette from the book, we are very much of a mind about Elizabeth A Lynn’s quite amazing novelette, “The Silver Dragon”. What is most striking about the story is that Lynn manages to cover a remarkable amount of storytelling ground – introducing characters, building a world etc – while never making the story feel compressed, or shortened. Instead, she’s managed to create a wonderful example of ‘traditional’ or ‘mainstream’ fantasy. I’m also intrigued by Jeff’s Evil Monkey question, where he asks “Do writers of experimental fiction need to prove they can tell a good story before they start experimenting?” I think the answer is an unequivocal ‘yes!’. Too many writers of ‘experimental fiction’ seem to simply be displaying their inability to write a story at all, rather than playing fascinating riffs on traditional themes. It seems to me you have to learn the rules before you break them.
Well, as you all know I’ve just hung up my reader’s hat for 2004 and am getting down to the job of finishing the two year’s bests, which is cool. But, no sooner had I announced that on this blog than I received in my inbox the first issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for 2005. Now don’t get me wrong, it looks like a peach of an issue (with some very cool looking stories), and all of the major magazines are very kind and generous letting me see stuff early, but it can’t be 2005 yet. It can’t! Can it?
Parents are boring folk. They have little else to do but boil cabbage, scrub floors and dote on their beloved charges. For that reason, if no other, we at Coode Street have allowed the original web pages for Jessica and Sophie to lapse into disuse. To correct this situation, and to perhaps help get some information to loving grandparents and others, a new site has been set up at The Ministry of Little People. It is the official new site and will eventually contain photos, information on comings and goings etc. At the very least, it will have a full report on Sophie’s upcoming third birthday party, and whatever else we can fit.