Friday, March 28, 2008

A Small Room in Koboldtown

Tachyon Publications, the publisher of my newest collection, The Dog Said Bow-Wow, has posted a pdf of "A Small Room in Koboldtown."  The link can be found at their blog.  Just scroll down the page to the Friday, March 21 entry, "Hugo nominations announced."

In the description of my story, Jill muses, "I wonder where he puts those funny statuettes."  For which reason  I added the above photo of the trophy chimney in my office.
If you go down further, to the March 6, "Why you should be careful about asking your authors for help..." entry, wherein Jill opines:

Like any savvy publisher Jacob got on the horn to make sure that his authors actually knew they were nominated . . . and asked them to do what they could to get authors to do what they could to get out the vote for themselves.  Well, authors are funny.  So far there have been posts from Michael Swanwick and Susan Palwick asking for your votes.  They have also had a bit of fun with Jacob for asking them to do so.  Ah, authors, you self-effacing creatures, will you never learn to promote yourselves sans irony?

To which the only possible answer is:  No, of course not.  But Jill also wrote:

Has anyone ever, EVER, described Michael Swanwick as self-effacing?  Okay, it was a stretch.

Which was such an extraordinary statement that I of course had to respond.  You can find out what I said by clicking "1 Comments" immediately under the post.


HANNAH'S DAD said...

(This actually belongs on the 'up for a friggin' Hugo' post, but that's started drifting into the past...)

> Steve, I sincerely apologize for this and I know your question was made for all the very best reasons, but I try very hard not to defend my fiction in public. It always looks bad and it never has any positive effects.

But of course - I hadn't considered it from that angle. Back when usenet newsgroups were still minimally readable, I used to admire the way Lois McMaster Bujold would frequent the SF groups and never make more than short factual statements about her books, and never ever respond to anyone's statements about them - I could see this was the path of wisdom. And doesn't Anne Rice make an interesting counterexample?

(That's not to say that I don't remain curious of course)

> Oh, and Lafferty could walk on water and I can't.

I was thinking about that - Lafferty could undeniably walk on water, but only, in my opinion, sometimes. Along with the best and strangest fiction ever written there are plenty of Lafferty stories which just plain don't hit the mark, and some - well, most - of his doggerel makes my brain itch. Then it struck me how much that resembles Snuffles, from the story of the same name. My half baked thought for the day...


Michael Swanwick said...

Lafferty's an interesting case all around. I've read very close to everything he ever published (DOTTY, anyone?) and I'm convinced that part of the problem was that not all of his stuff was sf/fantasy -- a lot of it was in a self-invented genre, a kind of religious allegory that nobody else but he ever wrote. Those works are almost impenetrable because we don't have what Delany calls the "reading protocols" for that genre, and so we bounce right off those works in baffled confusion.

Of course, among his shorter works, many are simply (as you say) nowhere near as good as his best. But then, even Nabokov nods. I am thinking of course of TRANSPARENT THINGS.