Working in science fiction

There are some days when working in the science fiction field, however peripherally, is a joy, a challenge and a privilege. There are other days when, however much of a privilege it is, I ask myself what the heck I’m doing. I could simply poke my eye out with a stick for fun, which would at least have the advantage of taking less time.

Books when you’re not watching #1 – Susanna Clarke

Well, I try to keep up with what’s being published in the world, but this one almost slipt past me. Susanna Clarke, author of the amazing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel, has her first short story collection, The Ladies of Grace Adieu, due from Bloomsbury in October this year. There’s not much information about the book around, but I’ve read a number of her short stories (several published in Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s fine Starlight anthology series), and I’m confident it should be a lovely book.

Everything in its right place

The winner of the 2006 Arthur C Clarke Award has been announced. Out of a field of terrific books, the judges have chosen to present the award to Geoff Ryman for his novel Air. While I like almost everything on the shortlist, I’m particularly pleased Ryman has won for his astoundingly wonderful book. You haven’t read it? Go, now, buy a copy. It comes from the quietest part of the bleeding edge, but is essential science fiction nonetheless.

Oh, and before I forget, can we also give it up for Gordon Van Gelder, who I believe was the original commissioning editor for the novel. He did some great work for St Martins.