26 May 2011

Live Romance

Well, A Romance in Twelve Parts arrived with me on Thursday, and (as we expect by now from Obverse Books) it's a gorgeous-looking volume. As well as the other contributors' copies, I gather the first batch of orders has been sent out too (although the official publication date's this coming Tuesday, 31 May).

I've only read the first two stories, partly because -- having finished Embassytown, on which more soon -- I've also been rereading The City and the City, but partly because I'm wanting to savour it slowly, picking at the stories piece by piece, rather like the large vegetarian mezze B., R. and I shared at The Windmill this afternoon.

Those first two stories are brilliant, though. (You, er, don't need a declaration of interest at this point, do you[1]?) The excellent Matt Kimpton's opening story in particular -- about the Faction's dealings with an Anglo-Saxon storyteller and wannabe hero, born from a deep immersion in the culture and poetry of the era -- is so extremely good I feel quite embarrassed to be sharing a volume with it. (At least my story's up the other end of the book.)

I'm looking forward to sampling the others with... well, eager restraint. I bet they're good too, though.
[1] If you've somehow avoided gathering this from your prior reading of this blog, or if you've arrived here for the first time since about August, the collection contains my official, 10,000-word sequel to Of the City of the Saved..., "A Hundred Words from a Civil War". There's 1,100 words of bonus material available on my website, as well as a story I wrote a while ago (2,897 words, in case you're wondering), which acts as a kind of three-way bridge between "A Hundred Words", OtCotS... and my novella in The Vampire Curse. You can buy the book from Obverse Books, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com, so please do.

11 May 2011

I Heart Surgery

That plan of reviewing the books I was reading hasn't gone well, has it? I accidentally keep reading more. I now have Moon over Soho to review when I get time, among other things.

Meanwhile... erm, sorry. I'll stop plugging A Romance in Twelve Parts, which incidentally you can buy here or here, once it's been out for a short while, I promise. I'm probably overemphasising it a bit because it's been a couple of years now (yes, I know) since the last thing I wrote was published.

Meanwhile, Stuart's released the blurb, and it's splendid. Here, see:

     ‘What’s that? Did I hear you ask what romance has to do with anything, little Cousin? You do surprise me. Why Romance is Story itself, nothing less than that. Romance is the tale with which a cunning man winkles out a widow’s secrets and an honest one breaks his beloved’s heart. Romance locks us away and sets us free, brings us great pleasure and also great pain, is the thread which binds all other stories together. Dear me, little Cousin, I expected better of you...’

     – Godfather Valentine, Dresden, 1928
I love the callback to Lawrence Miles' sort-of prequel to Faction Paradox, Dead Romance, and the way that context makes this title sound like a dismemberment or a dissection.