Subterranean’s Wild Thyme and Jack Vance

The post office is a tiny shore where, occasionally, wonders wash up.  This afternoon I went to collect the mail and found the advance uncorrected proof of Wild Thyme, Green Magic: Stories by Jack Vance. This is the third and almost certainly final volume of the work of the great Jack Vance that I have compiled with Terry Dowling.  Although I’m most proud of the tragically out of print The Jack Vance Treasury (a book I believe to be one of the field’s truly essential compilations), I have a soft spot for each of these three fine books.  I’m hoping Tom Kidd will do the cover for this one, though I don’t know if that’ll be the case.  Certainly, it stands happily alongside The Jack Vance Reader, the forthcoming Songs of the Dying Earth and This is Me! (Jack’s autobiography) as a wonderful shelf of Vance from Subterranean.

Given that it’s unlikely that I’ll do another Vance project, though I’d be delighted to, I’d like to thank the Vances, John Schwab,  Bill Schafer, Tom Kidd and Terry for letting me work with them on these books. It’s been a privilege.

Published author!

I just got news that Sophie Strahan has sold her first short story, “Pegasus Makes a Friend”, to children’s magazine Alphabet Soup.  As delighted as we are – and we *are* delighted – we caution the reader that this work should of course be read as juvenilia.  Sophie, who is now seven, was only six when she wrote the story.  Newer work is much more sophisticated.

I think this is the coolest thing I’ve heard all week.

The weekend

An uncertain day yesterday.  Marianne had to play trumpet with her band at local Australia Day citizenship ceremonies.  Such things are sufficiently dull that even she didn’t want us to go.   That said, a small part of me wonders when and if she’ll opt for citizenship herself.   She’s been here ten years nearly (this May, I think), and it’s been on her mind.  Speaking of ten years, we had a lovely time for our anniversary.  Thanks to my brother, we spent a very pleasant evening in a king suite at the local Hilton where he works.  Arrived in the afternoon after some shopping, then some time together, dinner down at the Hyatt restaurant, back to the hotel for a quiet night, then up for breakfast, then home.  Lovely, and a nice way for Marianne and I to reconnect with one another a little.  The last few years have been so hectic and stressful that we’ve kind of lost touch with one another a bit, so these moments are very precious.

I ended up taking the girls to the beach in the morning. Trigg was fun. Got there about 9.30am, spent some time in the water then building sandcastles.  The girls intermittently loved it, were bored, loved it, were taken aback at the surf, were bored, loved it, and so on.  A quiet afternoon at home, then over to Stephen’s to watch the Australia Day fireworks, which was nice.

I heard this morning about the Newbery/Printz results, which are amazing. Yay Neil! Yay Margo!   I also had some news about some stressful stuff. Not resolved yet, but hopefully soon.  I also finished reading my first book of 2009 today, Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.   A fascinating book that left me wondering why no-one seems able to write as well or as interestingly about science fiction.