Monday, May 28, 2007

A Hell of a Ride

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has posted a short but insightful interview with Brasyl author Ian McDonald.

Here, he talks about what what potential readers can expect from his latest novel:

" the country, Brasyl sidles up to you, shakes its ass, gets you to buy it a drink and in the morning you wake up with an STD, your wallet gone and a kidney missing but the memory of a hell of a ride. A hell of a ride.

Book Expo America

Pyr will be at Book Expo America next weekend, from May 31st to June 3rd, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. We'll be in parent company Prometheus Books' booth, # 4532, and, FYI, its possible we'll only be listed in the program as "Prometheus Books." I'll only be there Friday and Saturday myself, but attendees will want to stop by and pick up the exclusive Part One galley we've made for Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself. Oh, and while we're on the subject, check out the subtly different US cover.

Other Prometheus freebies include t-shirts, books and buttons, and in addition to The Blade Itself, they'll be featuring their titles Nothing: Something to Believe in by Nica Lalli, Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley, and something tantalizingly titled The Humble Little Condom: A History by Aine Collier.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Deanna Hoak World Fantasy Awards Campaign

Author and television scriptwriter Paul Cornell is launching the Deanna Hoak World Fantasy Awards Campaign, to "persuade those of you who’ve bought memberships this year, or to either of the last two World Fantasy Conventions, to use your nominations and, later, votes in the World Fantasy Awards to honour one particular person. "

I heartily endorse his efforts. Deanna copyedits most of the original manuscripts at Pyr. She's marvelous, and while her efforts largely go unnoticed by readers, she is the only copyeditor I have ever met whose praises are routinely sung by authors. This is a rare and fabulous thing.

Update: GalleyCat picks up the story.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Theodore Sturgeon Awards

Really pleased to see Robert Charles Wilson's "The Cartesian Theater" as a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Awards, especially gratifying since it originally debuted in my own anthology, FutureShocks. Also good to see Ian McDonald's "The Djinn's Wife," Paolo Bacigalupi's excellent, "Yellow Card Man, and Benjamin Rosenbaum's "The House Beyond Your Sky." Congrats to everyone, of course, those are just the stories I've read. And good stories they were. I certainly couldn't pick between them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Book Spotting: Pyr End Cap Display

Many thanks to John Klima (whose Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories was just released), who very kindly sent me this picture of a Pyr end cap display in a Borders in Davenport, IA. The books displayed are - from top to bottom: Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky, Joel Shepherd's Breakawayand Crossover, my own Fast Forward 1, and Justina Robson's Keeping It Real.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Adventures in SciFi LouCasting

I'm back again on the fabulous Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast. Shaun Farrell is introducing a new feature called From the Editor's Desk, so after the Vicki Petterssen interview, Shaun runs my opinion of free online content and related. Shaun asked me several questions, which he plans to space across several Editor's Desk segments, so expect more of these in the coming weeks!

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's a Small World After All & the Future of Short Fiction

The wonderful Small World Podcast, which features "interviews with people from all walks of life from all over the planet," has just uploaded an interview with yours truly. We cover a host of subjects, including:
  • how Pyr began and how Pyr is different from other science fiction/fantasy imprints;
  • Pyr books like Keeping It Real, Crossover, Brasil, and Fast Forward 1
  • publishers that have a following;
  • where the name Pyr came from;
  • the artwork that appears on the covers of Pyr books;
  • the emerging themes in science fiction in the 21st century;
  • how the SciFi channel almost missed the boat with Doctor Who;
  • the escapsim/literature debate;
  • and the subversive nature of science fiction, including how Star Trek addressed racism
You can follow the link above or download an mp3 directly here. I promise I tried to keep this one work safe, but apparently I failed once again.

Also recommended, their previous podcast with the band The Good Listeners, which turned me on to a new band.

Meanwhile, Ryun Patterson has just posted his thoughts on my own Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge over on Bookgasm:

“…so good that I suggest Pyr wait a year and republish it with the title BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF 2007. This is an important book that can move science fiction one step closer to the “literature” shelf, if it so desires…Anders has coaxed such incredible goodness out of these writers that if you only read one or two stories a month, it’s better than a year’s subscription to most of the genre magazines out there...With a deep bench of talent and a perfectly paced setlist, Lou Anders has made made a book that truly represents its own theme. Fast Forward has the potential to be the future of short-form science fiction.”

The Music of Pyr

Jeff Vandermeer takes an unusual tack for a literary blog in his first Amazon Bookstore Book Blog about Pyr's books: music!

Jeff talks about the suggested soundtrack Ian McDonald supplies for his latest novel, Brasyl, as well as the elf rock song that Icelandic-based band Cynic Guru supplied as the official music track for Justina Robson's Keeping It Real.

To round it off, Jeff asked me who would score a soundtrack for the entire Pyr line if such a thing were possible. My answer got truncated, so with Jeff's kind permission and tongue firmly in cheek, I'll run the whole thing here:

From the get go, I've wanted Pyr to have both a respect for speculative fiction's illustrious history and an eye on the future.

I've maintained that you can have mild blowing concepts and good characters in the same book, action/adventure with sensawunder, literary sensibilities with mass appeal - that commercially-viable action set pieces did not preclude asking the big questions or aiming for the stars. One can have their cake and eat it too.

I've mixed old masters like Moorcock, Resnick and Silverberg with new voices like Edelman, Robson and Williams.

And we've published everything from epic fantasy to space opera to literary soft-science SF to urban fantasy to new weird to wacky sci-fantasy with elves on motorbikes.

I've tried to publish a diverse line where the only thru line is quality.

Obviously, the Pyr soundtrack can only be scored by one musician.

A man who can be as deep and mysterious as 2001 and as relevant and dangerous as 1984, or as surface and pop as fashion and dance, sound and music.

He writes about sex and drugs and gender issues, and spacemen and aliens and technological innovation slash alienation.

He has been there first in glam, soul, new age, fusion and a dozen other muscial genres.

He never does the same thing twice and he never runs out of imagination and he never gets tired.

He puts out fire with gasoline.

He is the Man Who Fell to Earth, the Man Who Sold the World, the Laughing Gnome, the Goblin King.

Obviously, only David Bowie could possibly score Pyr.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Now This is Damn Ironic

You Are Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
And pretty cute too. No wonder you're the most popular superhero ever!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Boing Boing Says, "Brasyl is McDonald's Finest!"

Science fiction author and web celebrity Cory Doctorow today posted his thoughts on Ian McDonald's Brasyl over on

"Ian McDonald's Brasyl is his finest novel to date, and that's really, really saying something. There are McDonald novels -- Hearts, Hands and Voices, Desolation Road, Out on Blue Six that I must have read dozens of times, as you might watch Gene Kelly dance over and over, seeing it but never quite understanding how he does it.

Cory goes on to describe the trifold structure of the narrative, then comes up with my favorite literary metaphor to date:

"McDonald's prose is like chili-spiced chocolate and rum -- it reels drunken and mad through the book, filling your head to the sinuses, with rich complex tastes, until it seems that they'll run out of your ears and eyeballs, until it feels like you're sweating poetry."

Finally, he concludes:

"Brasyl masterfully braids its three timelines together into a master story that is both exciting and enlightening. I don't think I've had as many a-ha! moments about the metaphysics of computation since reading Cryptonomicon. There isn't a McDonald novel written that I haven't loved, but this one, this one is special."

Cory concludes by mentioning that we've posted the first 48 pages of the book, and issuing this challenge, which we heartily second:

Try reading that intro and not getting hooked!"