Monday, December 29, 2008

Fast Forward 2: Best Book of 2008!!!

Ryun Patterson, at Bookgasm, publishes his 5 Best Sci-Fi Books of 2008, and Fast Forward 2is the pick for the # 1 book of the year!
"Up until last year, I would never have believed that an anthology of new science fiction could be the best sci-fi book put out in a given year. First of all, is there even a demand for such a beast? It seems that a budding anthologist could make a far more successful book by picking a theme, say 'green aliens with tentacles who are really children in search of their parents but are thought of as evil because of a cultural misunderstanding,' and find awesome tales from the genre’s creaky grandmasters that would guarantee an endcap placement at Borders. (This is by no means a knock against some of the great anthologists out there, like John Joseph Adams, whose Wastelands collection had a big impact on me this year.)

But Anders, who has paid his dues many times over in the science-fiction trenches, doesn’t seem to do the predictable thing, and his risk-taking has paid off. Fast Forward 2 is even more electric than last year’s first: Anders has assembled some of the best and brightest current stars of the genre, and they turned in stories that, as a whole, really do represent the cutting edge of fiction. From a fashion designer who grows living gowns to a raid on the doomsday seed bank to a young man getting Cyrano-with-a-twist dating advice in the India of the future, Fast Forward 2 is the book to read this year. It’s the surest of sure things, and a bargain, to boot."
Deeply honored.

I Won't Argue With this

From Pat's Fantasy Hotlist's The Hotties: 2008 Year-End Awards:
"The market is no level playing field, and yet year in and year out Pyr titles manage to stand out from the competition. Kudos to Lou Anders and his team. The guy deserves a Hugo Award and a raise!;-)"
You'll get no argument from me, Pat.

In other, non-Lou news, Pat gives Pyr his "Publisher of the Year Award," and he gives shout outs to what seems like an impressively statistically-high number of Pyr books & authors in the rest of his list:

From his SFF TOP 10 OF 2008:

4- MultiRealby David Louis Edelman
5- Last Argument of Kingsby Joe Abercrombie

And, coming in just below the fold in the runner-up category:
11- A World Too Nearby Kay Kenyon


David Louis Edelman

Pat writes, "Infoquakewas a smashing scifi debut, but Edelman came up with a tighter novel with its sequel, MultiReal. Can't wait to read the final volume of this trilogy!"


- Joe Abercrombie


- A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon


- Joe Abercrombie

Pat writes "For demonstrating that in this age of doorstopper fantasy series that seem endless, you can still tell a compelling story without a back story which goes back 300,000 years into the past, without hundreds of characters, without dozens of convoluted storylines. Abercrombie showed that, if you play your cards right, you can still do it with an honest-to-god trilogy. "

Thanks, Pat, for really making my Monday morning!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best of 2008

With the year drawing to a close, the usual Best of 2008 lists are starting to appear, and it's nice to see some Pyr titles on them (some for their UK editions):

SFX: Joe Abercrombie's Last Argument of Kingsat # 8

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist: David Louis Edelman's MultiReal at # 4, Last Argument of Kings at # 5

The Wertzone: Last Argument of Kings at # 2

RIP - Eartha Kitt

You were absolutely prrrr-fect. You'll be missed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

From Tom Purdom, on the “Women in Science” panel at the recent Philadelphia Science Fiction Conference:
"Nobody ever became a wizard because they read fantasy. But plenty of people have become physicists and biologists because they read science fiction."

Now, the reason this tickles me is the plug for SF, not the (very funny) dig at F (which I also love). But, as I already have very clear ideas on the purpose of SF, and I happen to love F too, I've been contemplating recently what it is that fantasy does - beyond the entertainment/intellectual value that all literature bequeaths - that is unique to its form. Opinions welcome!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Batman: Mark Hamill's Joker

As brilliant and lauded as Heath Ledger's performance is, I'm glad to see this on YouTube, reminding us that Mark Hamill is likewise a genius when it comes to portraying the Clown Prince of Crime:

Around the time that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm came out, HBO did a "First Look" featurette on it that actually showed Hamill in the sound booth recording the voice, and it was amazing to see. Sadly, it wasn't on the DVD. I'd love to find that on YouTube!

Update 12/22: Thanks to John D, HBO First Look - Mask Of The Phantasm: Part 1 and Part 2.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Overdue Roundup

Because yes, I've been away, and while we're on it - they friggin' ruined the Enchanted Tiki House. Ruined. I am really, sincerely devastated.


The incomparable Shaun Farrel, of the indispensable Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast, has an interview with Yours Truly up now, which you can listen to directly here, or via iTunes. We talk about my latest anthology, Fast Forward 2, sort of, as I found it hard to stay on topic. (Or, admittedly, to let him get a word in.)

Then, Fantasy Book Critic runs my picks in their 2008 Review/2009 Preview.

And here's an interesting review of Fast Forward 2, by blogger Steven Mollman, who admittedly never buys non-media tie-in science fiction, and what an interesting animal that is! Like a being from a parallel universe to my own! But it seems Mollman picked up FF2 for Paul Cornell (and hence the Doctor Who connection). His verdict? He seems lukewarm on a lot of it, but calls it a "fine anthology" and says he will seek out more stories by at least one of the contributors (Ian McDonald), which is the desired effect of an anthology, isn't it? So I am pleased. Interestingly, he notes, "for an ostensibly unthemed anthology, there sure were a lot of stories about a future Earth with its ecology either on the verge of collapse or already collapsed. Maybe that happened because it's what's actually going to happen, but it got a little tiring after a while."

I didn't think there were a lot. But hopefully we won't have to get tired of actually living that future, rather than just reading about it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Love This Batmobile!

When I custom-build my own, this - from the Cartoon Network's new Brave and the Bold series - is the one:

This is one of the coolest Batmobiles ever. I love the way it combines elements of the 1960s TV series with both modern and classic comic book interpretations. Awesome. The show itself... well, I'm not sure how much longer it's gonna hold my attention.

Update 12/12/08: I do give the series a fairly positive review here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Way to Go Paul! "Catherine Drewe" in Best of the Year!

Via SF Signal, I see that Rich Horton has posted the (almost-final) contents of Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2009 Edition, and that Paul Cornell's brilliant short story, "Catherine Drewe," from my own recently-released Fast Forward 2is among them!

Congrats Paul! I told you so.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Author-Editor Relationship

I'm back at Colleen Lindsay's The Swivet with a post about the Author-Editor relationship.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lou the Economist

SFSignal's latest Mind Meld is up, this one asking, "What can the SF industry do to weather a prolonged economic downturn? Will new authors have an even harder time breaking into the field?" I'm not sure what the very small pool of respondents indicates - are the rest of us too glum to comment? But some very good answers from Diana Gill, Mark Newton, and Justina Robson. I'm in there too, pontificating away...
Mark Newton: "...this is SFF fandom - this is people's passion, and fans will invest as much time and energy into it as always. I'm confident that this is nothing to worry about."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pyr on Facebook

Pyr has a Facebook page now. For those of you who are on the social networking site/time sink, please become a "fan" and help us spread the love.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Podcast: Tom Lloyd on Adventures in SciFi Publishing

Episode 69 of Adventures in SciFi Publishing is out, and it's an interview with The Stormcallerauthor Tom Lloyd. They discuss fantasy influences, the virtues of ramping things up quick, being 18 and in charge of the fate of nations, Steve Erikson, Scott Lynch, and the wonderful art of Todd Lockwood. (They don't talk about me enough, though, of course.) You can listen to the podcast at the link above, download it, or subscribe via iTunes.