07 December 2011

Tales of the City

The "side-project" I've occasionally mentioned here as running alongside my current attempts to write a novel, do a paid job, look after a two-year-old and find the time to eat and sleep occasionally, has now been announced.

We present Tales of the City, the first short-story anthology dedicated to my creation, the galaxy-sized secular afterlife known as the City of the Saved, as seen in The Book of the War, Of the City of the Saved... and A Romance in Twelve Parts[*].

Tales of the City will be volume 2 in next year's Obverse Quarterly, a periodical fiction miscellany from the same publishers as A Romance in Twelve Parts. It's my first editing assignment, and I'm hoping it will be a bit of a contrast with the previous City stories, with their CLASHING CIVILISATIONS AND EXPLODING GODS, and concentrate on the smaller-scale stories of some of the Citizens themselves.

Although I'll be providing some fictional linking material, Tales mostly consists of six stories by other authors, all set in the City. I'm very pleased with the lineup I've arranged -- I was lucky to be able to commission six splendid story pitches from six excellent authors which show every sign of blossoming into six brilliant pieces of City-based fiction.

(In fact, I was even luckier than that: the pitches I had to reject were also of an excellent standard -- these six are just the ones I think will fit together into the anthology with the most satisfying shape.)

I'll be posting more information here as it's announced: although I've been referring to this as a side-project (and I'm still pushing ahead with the novel as best I can), I really am very excited at how this is taking shape.
[*] Also, if you're counting, the Preview to Of the City of the Saved..., Lance Parkin's Preview to Warlords of Utopia (printed in Of the City of the Saved...) and my online short story "Unification Theory".
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I've now had the five-CD audiobook of Peculiar Lives through the post, and listened to the first 45 minutes or so.

I never wrote the story to be read aloud: it's a literary pastiche. Nevertheless, I'm incredibly impressed by the deftness with which John Leeson tackles the difficult language, and the conviction he brings the sometimes creepy character of my narrator, Erik Clevedon. Even if you're already sickeningly familiar with Peculiar Lives (which, let's face it, I am), it's well worth hearing. It's a fantastic performance, and he keeps surprising me. It's available here, among other places.

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On a more mundane note, you may be vaguely interested to know I've done a major structural revamp on my website. The content (and indeed the increasingly old-school look) are virtually unchanged, but there are now separate indexing pages for, for instance, my Christmas stories, or the individual themes and series of my microfiction. Presumably Tales of the City is going to need its own page pretty soon, but I'll hold off on that one for the moment.

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