Monday, September 24, 2007

Book Spotting: The Blade Itself & River of Gods

So, here's how the busy editor spends his weekends. There are two Barnes and Nobles within driving distance of me, and I check them frequently to see Pyr books on the shelf there (and see how they move). So I was very gratified to see two faced out copies on the new books shelf of the new trade paperback edition of Ian McDonald's River of Gods, as well as four copies of Joe Abercrombie's debut fantasy The Blade Itself. (Sometimes I can tell when my brother has been there before me, as he frequently faces out Pyr books when he spots them, but this time he verified that the B&N faced the RoGs out on their own initiative.)

However, at the 2nd B&N, the two copies of The Blade Itself they had weren't faced out. Now, the busy editor who loves his authors would have just turned the books faced out quickly if he could, but the shelf in question was packed so tightly that you couldn't slide a credit card between any two books. I looked, and there wasn't any space to be had anywhere on the whole bookcase. In fact, the only space at all was on the next bookcase to the left. So, with one eye on the lookout for store staff and the other on my two year old (who was busy with his own creative reshelving behind me in the westerns section), I restocked an entire bookcase and a half. Most books I've ever moved before and the fastest I've ever done it. Whew! Now, go forth and do likewise.

24 comments:

King Rat said...

Us B&N shelvers know what you look like and are now watching you. . .

Little known fact. Those theft prevention devices can actually detect your DNA. We'll get you!

Shara Saunsaucie said...

Your two-year old was "reshelving" the Westerns? That is AWESOME. :)

I haven't seen RIVER OF GODS in public yet, but I have seen BLADE ITSELF, and it looks great. :)

Lou Anders said...

King - read the book and tell me you don't want to see it faced out yourself! Seriously, though, all my good work was undone when I went back a few days later.

Shara - my son can now recognize Pyr books 9 times out of 10. He loves getting the rolling stepstool and climbing up. Then he'll point and say "daddy's books! daddy's books!" I have sold one to a bystander that way, in fact.

And, least anyone thing I'm letting a toddler damage stock, this is my son we're talking about - he knows how to handle objects as sacred as books.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow sufferer I am struck by just how sad and desperate the lives of editors are . . .

It helps to hear a public admission from another.

Hello my name's Simon and I'm a displayaholic.

Lou Anders said...

There are many of us. But I am assembling a small team, like the Shadow, who can carry out my bidding from afar.

Paolo Bacigalupi said...

I've been doing this for the last year or so. Ever since I started knowing some of the authors and editors personally. I think of myself as a sort of bookstore Ninja.

Lou Anders said...

Hey - I like The Bookstore Ninja.
At the very least, that's a good title for a blogger.

Joe Abercrombie said...

You said there were two books.

Why are not both books face out, side-by-side?

We need to go that extra mile, people.

In the Borders near where I'm working at the moment, there is simply one copy of the blade itself, on its own in the massive sf & f section, and a heap ankle deep of ruined genre fiction swept from the shelves.

Now that is re-shelving.

If I could just find me some petrol we could really reorganise...

Lou Anders said...

See, an easy fix for my above-mentioned problem would have been to un-face out Elizabeth Bear. But I wouldn't do that to her, and besides, her pirate hat is one of the few pieces of headware I look good in, so I had to do the two-case reorganization. Now, my two year old, he'd help with that heap I'm sure.

Paolo Bacigalupi said...

When I do the face out trick, I try to be a little responsible -- first, do no harm and all that -- and try not to screw any other writers even as I'm promoting my favorites. I'm a ninja, but I've got honor, you know?

Of course, when my own book comes out, all bets are off. ;-)

Lou Anders said...

I am big on the do no harm ninja.

Robert said...

I've been rearranging and facing out books by friends and favored others (like Pyr book) for several years. Like to think of myself as the Lone Rearranger...

Robert

Lou Anders said...

Come in from the cold, Lone Rearranger. Join the Shadow's Book Ninja Network.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mr. Anders. :)

My name is John-Mark Henry and I'm an aspiring writer. I've read your amazing blog for quite some time now, although this is the first time I have commented.

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the high caliber science fiction you put out through Pyr. Such consistent quality is truly commendable.

I'm hoping to pick up The Blade Itself soon, since I've been itching to get around to it. I've heard only great things so far.

On another note, I actually satirized you and Pyr recently (with the utmost respect, of course) over at my relatively new blog The Science Fiction Daily.

Anyway, keep up the amazing work; I'll pretty much read anything Pyr puts out, at this point. You guys are great.

Lou Anders said...

Hi John-Mark:
I stumbled on your blog this morning by accident and was pleased to be parodied. That's the sincerest form of flattery right? Oh wait. Seriously, though, thanks for the kind words. I have to ask - which Pyr books have you read?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear the parody went over well with you, Mr. Anders. I'll take that as permission to do more, in the future. ;)

Well, that is, if I can garner some contributors for The SF Daily...

As far as Pyr books are concerned, the one author who continually makes me feel like my own writing is absolute crap would have to be Ian McDonald.

River of Gods and Brasyl are true science fiction masterpieces. They have to be two of the greatest SF books I have encountered in my entire life.

Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky is another -- an interesting mix of science fiction and epic fantasy world-building.

I'm only just starting Mike Renick's Starship series and I'm planning on taking the plunge into David Louis Edleman's Jump 225 series. I still haven't gotten Infoquake yet, but maybe I can pick it up when I get MultiReal, when it comes out. ;)

That's all, I'm sorry to say, and looking back, I suppose it's not as much as I would like. But I'm steadily working through some of the works; I have to be a little more selective than I would like, not having a whole lot of money.

But from what I've sampled so far, Pyr seems to feed my SF appetite more than enough.

Robert said...

That's right neighborly of you, Lou -- thanks for the invite. Sign me up for the Shadow's Book Ninja Network!

Robert

Lou Anders said...

The SBNN, you mean?

Lou Anders said...

John-Mark:
Given that list, let me recommend Adam Roberts' Gradisil, which is literate, near-future hard SF in the vein of the McDonald.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I should have mentioned Adam Roberts as well. He's been on my reading list for some time, too; more specifically Gradisil and Splinter.

In fact, I'm getting ready to read his story "Me-topia" in Rich Horton's Best of the Year Anthology. :)

-- John-Mark

Lou Anders said...

I read Splinter when it was a 40,000 word novella and loved it, and Gradisil is utterly brilliantly. Please let me know what you think of both.

Justin said...

Who knows what shelf-space lurks in the heart of B&N? The Shadow Ninja knows.

His nemesis is the Remainderer.

His alternate identity is...the Editor. That's no fun. But sounds great if you say it with gravitas.

His sidekick is Endcap Boy.

We're ready for the radio drama, Lou!

Lou Anders said...

This got passed round my company. NOT BY ME. They now think Joe is scary and the rest of us are sad.

Robert said...

But sad in a *good* way, right? They just don't understand. Kinda like in SLAN...

And yes -- sign me up for the SBNN, please. Which reminds me, I was once a fanatic member of the MMMS...Merry Marvel Marching Society.

So face front, fellow SBNN-ers!!

Robert