Dream job…

Back in the late ’70s Del Rey published a series of author “Best of” collections. There was The Best of Lester Del Rey, The Best of Leigh Brackett, The Best of L. Sprague de Camp, The Best of Fritz Leiber, The Best of Cordwainer Smith, and The Best of Jack Williamson. These books were about 350 pages long and came with an intelligent introduction written by someone close to the field, who was able to say something meaningful to put the writer in context. These were good books, single, concise arguments for why these writers were important.

I love these books, and this kind of book. If I could get a dream job, it would be to edit a series of similar books for the writers of the ’60s, ’70s. and even 80s.  I mean, we have a few awful collections for Larry Niven, but how about The Best of Larry Niven? Or The Best of Harlan Ellison, or The Best of Connie Willis or The Best of Stephen Baxter?  And there are others. The Best of Gene Wolfe! It would be very cool. Publish them as a set, matching design, numbered as a set – it’s definitely a dream job. sigh.

Conjure schedule

Well, Conjure is only two weeks away and I just got what I think is my full and final schedule.  Friday looks a little crazy, but it should be okay. If you’d like to see me, this is where I’ll be. Otherwise, come up and say hi. I bite, but probably not you…

2.00pm – For Your Review: The art of reviewing speculative fiction
3.00pm – Opening Ceremony
4.00pm – What’s hot in speculative fiction?
5.00pm – Troy Book Launch
7.00pm – Cocktail party

3.00pm – The Essence of Editing
7.30pm – Ditmar Awards ceremony

9.00am  – Crumbs From the Editing Table
11.00am – Small Press Forum – The Different Types of Small Press Publishing
12noon  – Kaffee Klatch

3.00pm – Closing ceremony


Well, it’s March 30, which means I’ll be headed up to Brisbane in two weeks for Conjure. I’m hoping everyone who can is buying their tickets and memberships and finalising plans to be there. I think it should be a great weekend. The cool people at HarperCollins just sent me a copy of this ad, which mentions some of the VoyagerFolk who’ll be attending the event. You should be there too!

Click here to see an ad. for Voyager authors at Conjure.

Note: Post edited to move ad from page to pop-up.

Bowes book

Life is strange. This morning I spent thirty minutes writing and researching a brief bio of Richard ‘Rick’ Bowes for a project I’m working on. Went about listing his books, his awards, and what I know about the stuff he’s working on, including mention of a new collection. And what do you know? Jeffrey Ford posts about the very book I’d been writing up, Streetcar Dreams and Other Midnight Fancies. The book can be ordered from the good folk at PS Publishing, who describe it like this:

Five of the six stories in this collection are Bowes’ ‘orphan tales’, the ones that didn’t end up as chapters in his novels Minions Of The Moon (1999) or From The Files Of The Time Rangers (2005).

The title novella, the World Fantasy Award winning Streetcar Dreams, is a ‘Kevin Grierson’ story and encapsulates the life and redemption of the gay, addicted, doppelganger-haunted protagonist. It shows up in Minions, but piecemeal as linking material, binding the other nine stories into a Lambda Award winning novel. In this volume we see Streetcar Dreams as it originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Three other stories, ‘Someday I Shall Rise and Go’, ‘Transfigured Night’, and ‘A Huntsman Passing By’, each as Publisher’s Weekly said, “showcase (Bowes) signature interest in the strange intersection of fantasy and the drug-fueled 1960s underground.”

The two stories, ‘Circle Dance’ and ‘My Life in Speculative Fiction’, which bookend the collection share a common first person narrator and structure.

‘Circle Dance’ recently appeared for the first time in Postscripts #3. Infinity Plus said, “…uses a trick… the telling of another story — or stories — within the main story, commenting on and counterpointing the framing story. Bowes pulls this trick off to near-perfection, setting the story of two brothers — their ups, their downs, their near-death experiences, their relationships — against a parallel worlds tale being written by one of the brothers, the whole thing approaching the deep, deep hole left in a person’s life when a loved one departs from two quite different perspectives. Moving and quite, quite beautiful.”

Locus Magazine’s Faren Miller wrote about ‘My Life in Speculative Fiction’, “Adventure takes on the emotional force and complexity of life, while life engages heart and soul as compellingly as the best adventure. Bowes shows just what it means to be a writer – caught in the act, using all the resources of his art.”

All of which is good enough for me. I’ve enjoyed the work of Rick’s that I’ve read, and am very interested to see a new book. Should be quite cool. I note, for the record, that numbers are limited, so it’s probably worth ordering early.