Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pyr Swag @ DragonCon

This year, at DragonCon, Pyr Books will be exhibiting in BOOTH 1601 of the Imperial Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis (265 Peachtree Cr Ave NE). We will be hosting signings in the booth, selling our books, and giving away a Pyr Sampler Book created especially for the convention (limited to 1000), as well as a very limited number of 5th Anniversary Lapel Pins. 
Pyr Sampler Book & Limited Edition 5th Anniversary Lapel Pin

Here is our signing schedule:

Fri 2pm: Jon Sprunk
Fri 3pm: Sam Sykes
Fri 4pm: James Enge
Sat 10:30 am: Clay and Susan Griffith
Sat 12 pm: James Enge Sat 1 pm: Sam Sykes
Sat 2 pm: Jon Sprunk
Sat 3:30 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith
Sat 3pm - 5pm: Mike Resnick

Friday, August 27, 2010

Comic Matters

I've got a short paragraph up at BSC right now called "Comic Matters," talking a little bit about the intent of my superhero prose anthology, Masked

"When I was sixteen, I dragged my parents all over Paris, France for a day. We weren’t going to see the Louvre, or the Eiffel Tower, or any of the usual sites. We were hunting for a particular comic book shop..."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pyr at DragonCon

We will be making a big splash this year at DragonCon.

For starters, Pyr Books will be exhibiting for the first time! Look for us in BOOTH 1601 of the Imperial Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis (265 Peachtree Cr Ave NE). We will be hosting signings in the booth, selling our books, and giving away a Pyr Sampler Book created especially for the convention.

Nine of our authors will also be in attendance and participating in programming: Mike Resnick (The Buntline Special), Jon Sprunk (Shadow's Son), Sam Sykes (Tome of the Undergates), Clay and Susan Griffith (The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book One), James Enge (The Wolf Age), Andrew Mayer (The Falling Machine: The Society of Steam Book One), Erin Hoffman (Sword of Fire & Sea) and Ari Marmell (The Goblin Corps, Household Gods).

I don't have everyone's programming schedules yet, so this is not a complete list but here are the Pyr-related panels and events thus far (room numbers provided when known, see DragonCon programming for final confirmation):


Fri 11:30 am: Clay and Susan Griffith
Title:  New Voices in Steampunk/Alternate History

Fri 1:00 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith
Title: Collaborations

Fri 2pm: Jon Sprunk
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Fri 2:30pm: Mike Resnick
Title: Age in the SF World
Description: So many protagonists these days are young and older
characters are relegated to minor roles. Why?
Location: Fairlie - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Fri 3pm: Sam Sykes
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Fri 4pm: James Enge
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Fri 4pm: Andrew Mayer
Title: Steampunk Superheroes
Location: The Westin Peachtree Ballroom
Description: A discussion of superheroes in the steampunk genre, featuring both fictional characters and costuming.

Fri 5:30 pm: James Enge
Title: Powerful Women/Powerful Men in Genre

Fri 5:30 pm: Mike Resnick
Description: Dragon*Autographs  
Location: M301 - M304 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)

Fri 7 pm: Lou Anders, James Enge, Clay & Susan Griffith, Erin Hoffman, Andrew Mayer, Ari Marmell, Mike Resnick, Jon Sprunk, Sam Sykes
Title: Pyr Books, a New Voice in Publishing
Description: Join editor Lou Anders as he presents Pyr. Presenting new authors and well established ones, Pyr has something for everyone in their catalogue.
Location: Fairlie - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Fri 10 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith
Title: What Makes a Book Sexy?

Fri 10pm: Erin Hoffman
Title: Facebook Games
Where: Hilton Room 201
Description: The joys of gaming on a leading social network. Do you really want to know how your friends are doing in Farmville? Elonka Dunin; Just added: Erin Hoffman, David Godwin, Chris Shonk, Jon Masters

Sat 10:30 am: Clay and Susan Griffith
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601
(There will be a limited number of Advanced Reader Copies of The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book One available!)

Sat 11:30 am: Lou Anders
Title: What Editors Want
Description: In an ever-changing market, don't puzzle about what editors want. Let these editing pros tell you.
Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Sat 12 pm: James Enge
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Sat 1 pm: Sam Sykes
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Sat 2 pm: Jon Sprunk
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601

Sat 3:30 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601
(There will be a limited number of Advanced Reader Copies of The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book One available!)
Sat 3pm - 5pm: Mike Resnick
Autographing in Pyr Books Booth 1601
Sat 7pm: Mike Resnick
Title: Dragon*Con Awards Banquet
Description: We honor our 2010 Guests of Honor and present the Julie Award
and Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award.
Location: Regency VI - VII - Hyatt (Length: 2.5 Hours)
Sat 10:00 pm: James Enge
Title:  Larry Niven Panel  (this may not be exact title)

Sat 10 pm: Mike Resnick
Title: 101 Fascinating Ways to Kill Off a Character
Description: Fascinating (and often humorous) ways to dispose of characters.
Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)


Sun 6:00 – 9 am: Lou Anders*
Live Hugo Awards Results breakfast at the Kafe Köbenhavn at the Hyatt Regency

Sun 9:00 –9:45 am: Lou Anders, James Enge, Clay & Susan Griffith, Erin Hoffman, Andrew Mayer, Ari Marmell, Jon Sprunk, Sam Sykes*
Stu Segal’s “Pyr Books honor The Hugos Stroll" (starts/ends nr Hyatt Regency)

Sun 11:30 am: Lou Anders, Mike Resnick
Title: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Description: A roundtable discussion about science fiction and fantasy book covers by industry pros, discussing what's good, bad and could be better.
Location: Hanover C - E - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Sunday 5:30 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith
Title:  Out of the Coffin: Open vs. Closed Supernatural Systems

Sun 5:30pm: Mike Resnick
Title: Ingredients for great fiction
Description: A little sugar, a little spice? A surprising plot, a great
cast of characters, intriguing settings blend into great fiction.
Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Sun 7pm: Lou Anders
Title: Breaking into the Art Field
Description: As an artist, breaking into the field can be an arduous task. Join us for a few suggestions and lively discussion.
Location: Hanover G - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Sun 10pm: Mike Resnick
Title: Beyond Binaries 201
Description: Why do so many aliens(monsters,etc.)behave like traditional
m/f pairings? Has this been transcended anywhere in fiction?Location: Fairlie - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)


Mon 11:30am: Mike Resnick (note flight may not allow him to attend this one)
Title: Joining a Writer's Group
Description: Whether it's a national organization like SFWA, RWA,or HWA or
a local group...What's in it for you?
Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

*not official programming items. Organized by Stu Sega.

Live Hugo Awards Results Breakfast

A number of this years' Hugo Award nominees will be at Dragon*Con.

Join them at the Kafe Köbenhavn to listen to the results come in live! Direct from the Hugo Ceremony in Melbourne, Australia!

Join LOU ANDERS (4 time Hugo Nominated editor), KATE BAKER (podcast director for the twice nominated Clarkesworld), EUGIE FOSTER (Nebula Award Winner), MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL (Campbell Award winner), FARAH MENDLESOHN (Hugo winner, and current nominee), JOHN PICACIO (Winner of the World Fantasy, Chesley and Int'l Horror Guild Awards and 6-time Hugo nominee) and STEPHEN H. SEGAL (Hugo winner, and current nominee) as this years' winners are announced.

The Kafe Köbenhavn has both a buffet and an a la carte menu (you are responsible for your own breakfast).

We'll be there from 6AM (which is when the 8PM ceremony begins in Australia) until 9AM. Pull up a table next to us as we root for Lou, Kate, Farah, John and Steve!

EVERYONE IS INVITED.  RSVP over at our Facebook Page.

ps: 5-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick may join us - depending on the Saturday night situation.

Stroll With The Stars - at Dragon*Con

Come out for a gentle morning stroll and meet great authors, artists and editors.  Some of your favorite Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award and John W. Campbell winners and nominees.  EVERYONE IS INVITED!

This way you can go to the Con, do all the stuff you normally do, but also get out in the fresh air for a healthy stroll and some good conversation. (And let me stress, we mean "stroll" - def: a leisurely walk. This will not be a heart-pounding aerobic activity, it ...will be a stroll). A leisurely mile - which will take a little more than a half hour but less than an hour.

Some very interesting Authors, Artists and Editors have agreed to lead the Strolls, and will be strolling along at the right pace to have a good conversation.


So far, hosting the Strolls will be:

  • LOU ANDERS - 4-time Hugo Award nominated editorial director of Pyr Books
  • KATE BAKER - Podcast Director for multiple Hugo nominated Clarkesworld Magazine
  • JAMES ENGE - Author of "Morlock the Maker" series
  • CLAY & SUSAN GRIFFITH - Authors of "Vampire Empire - The Greyfriar"
  • ERIN HOFFMAN - Author of the upcoming "Sword of Fire and Sea"
  • MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL - John W. Campbell Award winning author
  • ANDREW P. MAYER - Game designer, and author of the upcoming "Society of Steam"
  • FARAH MENDLESOHN - Hugo Award winning co-author of "The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction"
  • JAMES PALMER - writer, editor and author who has written for Strange Horizons, RevolutionSF, and the Internet Review of Science Fiction
  • JOHN PICACIO - World Fantasy Award winning illustrator
  • STEPHEN H. SEGAL - Hugo Award winning editor of "Weird Tales"
  • JON SPRUNK - Author of "Shadow's Son"
  • SAM SYKES - Author of "Tome of the Undergates"
We are going to meet each morning, Sat-Mon, on the sidewalk in front of the main (Peachtree Street) entrance of the Hyatt Regency at 9AM; returning each morning before before 10AM.

NOTE: You don't need to "sign up" for this event, just show up.  You may want to check out and RSVP over at out Facebook Page.

Blood of Ambrose is a WFC Award Best Novel Nominee!!

Art by Dominic Harman
The 2009 World Fantasy Award nominees have just been posted. Words cannot express how it brightened my morning to wake up and discover that James Enge's debut book, Blood of Ambrose, is a nominee in the Best Novel category.

The full Best Novel shortlist:

Blood of Ambrose, James Enge (Pyr)
The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan UK/ Del Rey)
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland)
In Great Waters, Kit Whitfield (Jonathan Cape UK/Del Rey)

The awards will be presented on Sunday, October 31st at the World Fantasy Convention, (held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, October 28-31). The Award Ceremony is open to all members and begins at approximately 2:30 PM. Congratulations to James and to all the nominees!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Masked Makes All the Difference

Rod Lott, editor in chief at Bookgasm, on Masked:
"Several anthologies of superhero fiction have existed of late, but none have flown as high as hoped. Now I know why: Because its authors don’t also write comics. In assembling Masked, editor Lou Anders has corrected this, and it makes all the difference."

A Capricious Goddess - Today's Words of Wisdom

A goddess capricious is Fame.
You may strive to make noted your name,
But she either neglects you
Or coolly selects you
For laurels distinct from your aim!

- Edward Lear

Monday, August 16, 2010

Swords & Dark Magic: The Single Best Original Fantasy Anthology

Martin Lewis, writing for SF Site, has posted a review of Swords & Dark Magic, my sword & sorcery anhtology co-edited with Jonathan Strahan. The verdict? He calls it "an anthology with a remarkably high hit rate. In fact, Swords & Dark Magic is probably the single best original fantasy anthology I've read."

He also points to the short story as an ideal length for the subgenre and says that the book is "an excellent showcase for both its contributors and the subgenre itself," which is what Jonathan and I were hoping it would be! 

Son of Two Cubes

The interestingly named blog Son of Two Cubes calls my anthology, Swords & Dark Magic (co-edited with Jonathan Strahan), "one of the best short fiction anthologies I've read in years." They go on to say, "As I wrote this summary, I struggled to list the favorite stories, but, honestly, there were too many."

Can't argue with that!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Anthology Love

Art by Benjamin Carre
Andrew Wheeler, on his wonderfully named blog, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent, has posted a review of Swords & Dark Magic.

"As usual with s&s, none of these stories strain for deep meaning, and many have the gallows humor that has been an integral part of the subgenre since Leiber and Robert E. Howard -- so these stories may come across as frivolous and lacking in depth to readers weaned on a pure diet of portentous epic fantasy twaddle. That, though, is purely a defect in the reader rather than the material, and we can only hope that they grow out of it. For those of us who don't require that our heroes have a pearlescent glow, carry Weapons Of Destiny (and silly names), and anguish their way through eight long books of saving every last square inch of the map, Swords & Dark Magic is a fantastic breath of fresh air, and we can only hope that s&s will continue its miraculous comeback."

I also LOVE his definition of S&S: "Sword & sorcery is fantasy set in a secondary world -- except when it isn't -- focusing on tough, outcast sword-slingers -- except when they aren't -- in which the world is never in need of saving -- except when it is. Whizzer White would know it when he saw it, and Damon Knight would point at it and call it by its real name. And so can we."
Art by Trevor Hairsine

Meanwhile, My Favorite Books, describes Masked as "a geeky wet dream," and then provides a review of Mike Carey's story only. "I liked the 'The Non-Event' as Carey brings home the difficulty of being a superhuman with powers ....How one thing managed to escalate the action into a truly unpleasant event with a very unpleasant outcome. Sad, poignant and thoughtful, 'The Non Event' is summed up by this excellent phrase on page 81 of the anthology: 'Funny, huh? How you can be dead and buried and still keep right on walking, not knowing you took the hit.'"

And Superhero Novels calls Masked "outstanding" and says, "Without a doubt there have been great superhero novels in the past. Books by Robert Rodi, Austin Grossman, and Tom De Haven come to mind immediately. Rarely, however, does a book come out that defines a genre so thoroughly, setting it on an upward trajectory into the future. Congratulations to the men and women of Masked. Mission Accomplished."

Meanwhile, Stargate executive producer, Masked contributor, and all-around great guy Joseph Mallozzi continues his series of Masked-contributor guest posts on his blog. So far he's had Paul CornellMatthew Sturges, Yours Truly, Daryl Gregory, and Mark Chadbourn.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Two New Masked Reviews

Cover by Trevor Hairsine

First up, Elitist Book Reviews. This one is particularly gratifying as they start of saying they don't really like comics (gasp!) and then they end up concluding: "This is the greatest strength of Masked. All the authors brought their A-game to tell us stories that, in the end, strike home so forcefully in their theme and presentation it is impossible not to be impressed by their work, entertained by the stories, or enthusiastic about the genre. The 'Redemption Arc' is one of the most typical superhero/supervillain story arcs in the business. For us, Masked itself was a redemption for the entire genre."

And the, the oddly named "Knitting and Sundries: Never Judge a Book by its Movie...": "A fresh and new take on tales of superheroes, this anthology is filled with stories that will capture your interest and pull you along for the ride. ...every story in this book will appeal to a particular reader, certainly some more than others, but altogether, a wonderful collection of stories of just the right length to read in short gaps of time."

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Joe Mallozzi on Writing "Downfall"

Stargate executive producer/writer and Masked contributor Joseph Mallozzi talks about his story, "Downfall," on his blog this morning. Here's a taste:

"On average, it takes me about a month to write a script, from pitch to finished draft.  This short story took me about ten times as long as I wrote and endlessly rewrote what I had (and at approximately forty pages, I had a lot!).  Yes, only ten months to write a short story.  I say “only” because, if Lou hadn’t needed it for publication purposes, I’d no doubt still be rewriting it."

Joe will be hosting mini-discussions with several more Masked contributors leading up to a big week of September 12th discussion of the title.

Meanwhile, I'm currently pondering this quote I read yesterday from Alan Moore on his current attitude to spandex:

"I’m interested in the superhero in real life, but not the comic book version. I’ve had some distancing thoughts about them recently. I’ve come to the conclusion that what superheroes might be — in their current incarnation, at least — is a symbol of American reluctance to involve themselves in any kind of conflict without massive tactical superiority. I think this is the same whether you have the advantage of carpet bombing from altitude or if you come from the planet Krypton as a baby and have increased powers in Earth’s lower gravity. That’s not what superheroes meant to me when I was a kid. To me, they represented a wellspring of the imagination. Superman had a dog in a cape! He had a city in a bottle! It was wonderful stuff for a seven-year-old boy to think about. But I suspect that a lot of superheroes now are basically about the unfair fight. You know: people wouldn’t bully me if I could turn into the Hulk."
I can think of several stories in Masked that address this possibility head on.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Masked: Absolutely the Best

Jason Henninger has just reviewed Masked for

"Because of the importance of story in comics, you’d think that superhero fiction would be a natural subgenre of fantasy and science fiction, but it’s never been a particularly large portion of the short stories and novels published.... I suspect, however, that Masked may change that. It’s not the first superhero short story compilation, but it’s absolutely the best I’ve read, and I will be surprised if it doesn’t usher in a surge of superhero fiction. At least, I hope it will."

Me too.

Locus Magazine on Masked

Cover by Trevor Hairsine
The August 2010 issue of Locus magazine has a short review of Masked. They call out the stories by Mark Chadbourn and Ian McDonald, and, given that it was his first published short fiction, I'm especially pleased to see this:

"...the best story comes from Joseph Mallozzi. "Downfall" opens with the tragic death of a superhero. The it shifts to Marshall, a former villain who is paroled with one condition - he must cooperate with the authorities to investigate crimes involving superheroes... It's a nicely twisty story, involving throughout, with some worthwhile surprises."

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 001): Interview with Lou Anders

Nice Logo!
SF Signal has launched a podcast. In this inaugural outing, The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 001): Interview with Lou Anders, Patrick Hester, John DeNardo, JP Frantz, John Anealio and Karen Burnham discuss the new exclusivity deal between Kindle and a host of authors represented by Literary Agent Andrew Wylie and how this could affect eBook sales and purchases of genre titles if similar deals become the norm. Later, John DeNardo and JP Frantz, sit down with Yours Truly, editorial Director of Pyr books, to chat about my recent projects and anthologies.