Friday, July 29, 2005

Girl in the Glass delayed

According to a Barnes & Noble e-mail I received today, Jeffrey Ford's new novel "Girl in the Glass" has been delayed and a new release date hasn't been set. (However, the link at the site still shows it will be published Aug. 16.) At the same time, Ford has suspended his message board at Night Shade Books. Originally, there was a note on the boards saying he needed time to work on a novel. That note has since been removed.
I don't think this is that unusual in publishing (I have little to no inside information on the publishing industry, so this is all speculation), but I find it interesting. Will the novel now be significantly different than the one reviewed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and Emerald City? Either way, I just can't wait to have this book in my hands. I'm also patiently awaiting "Cosmology of the Wider World," (review here). Ford had mentioned that won't be coming out before September.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Can I have too many books?

I have thousands of books. I've got eight bookcases overflowing with books and I have books lined up across the top of all eight. I fill paperback shelves two books deep and top to bottom. And I'm still buying books.
This isn't really a problem. I love having books around, I love having many choices when I want to read something. But lately, a fear has gripped me. Can I possibly read all the books in my collection, let alone all the new books and old classics I don't own that I want to read?
The fear hit me recently when I started reading "The Sunlight Dialogues," a nearly 800-page book by John Gardner. As much as I like a book like this, there is a dread I have when I first pick up these large tomes. How long is this going to take me? How many short novels, never mind short stories, could I have read in the time it takes me to read this book? Eventually I get over it, but it's got me thinking about all these novels around me.
The other reason for this anxiety, as I get older I find myself wanting to re-read books. For many years, I just read through one book after another, never turning back. Now I read and enjoy books more slowly and I appreciate the good ones more. I want to spend time with books I consider classics. But it's hard to do that when there's five books my girlfriend gave me for my birthday to read. And five more books I didn't read from my Christmas presents. Plus there's a new Jeffrey Ford novel on the way. And I just got "Spin."
And sometime in the near future, I'll be moving. Do I want to lug all these books around with me?
Sooner or later, I'll recover from this fear and realize it doesn't matter if I read all these books. And if I want to re-read something, go ahead. Everything will happen in its own good time.
In the meantime, I look longingly at all the books I want to read...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Robert Charles Wilson

One of the things I want to do more of is post about fiction, authors and writing. A publicist contacted me a week or two ago and asked if I'd like to have a copy of Robert Charles Wilson's new book "Spin." I jumped at the chance.
I had read "The Chronoliths" and thought it was fantastic. I'm not sure why I picked up the book, maybe it was a review I had read or it was just a whim at the bookstore, but whatever the reason, it was worth it. The book was great, more focused on character than the fascinating ideas that make up the plot. I still feel for characters in that book and the things the appearance of massive statues from the future cause to happen to them.
Since reading that book, I've wanted to read more Wilson novels. I hear "Darwinia" is very good. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to it. That will be changed soon. I plan to read "Spin" in the next few weeks and I'll post a few thoughts about it.
In the meantime, here are some related links:
Reviews of "Spin" by: the Agony Column; SF Signal; The Slush God; Science Fiction Weekly; and Bookslut
Interviews at Science Fiction Weekly; Locus and Challenging Destiny.
A Wikipedia entry on Wilson.

A return?

Well, things have been more than a little quiet here over the past year. All those of you still checking in, keeping me on your blogrolls or just occasionally thinking of me -- thank you! All those of you who have totally forgotten about me and my blog, well, I can't blame you.
My absence is the fault of my life going really well. I have a wonderful girlfriend who lives with me, I got promoted at my job and I've been doing more and more fiction writing. (The fiction writing is still not where I want it to be, but I continue to hack away at it and hopefully continue to improve.)
(I haven't been totally away, however. For those who are interested in that sort of thing, I have written a couple of posts on my Giant Monster Blog.)
But now I plan to make a return. I don't think I'll post as often as I once did, maybe once a day if I'm feeling productive. But I hope I can make this more interesting this time around. We'll see. I would suggest using the XML link to the right if you have a newsreader, or My Yahoo!, that way you'll know when I have a new post up without wasting time checking my site.
And for old time's sake, here's a set of photos of store front display of giant squid stuffed dolls.