22 June 2012

I'll Be Bound

Paper copies of Tales of the City [NB: note new link to dedicated ordering page] are now available, and some of them are in my possession. The wonderful cover looks even better wrapped around a crisply-printed, well-laid-out book full of narrative goodness, without (as far as I can see so far, anyway) any of the accidental printing glitches I feared. (B. has however found a space missing after a full stop, which will be entirely my fault and for which I can only apologise.)

I'm delighted, obviously -- although the ebook's been out for a while, and has even garnered one highly positive review, my understanding of publishing was formed long enough ago that a book never feels published to me until its contents can be pinned down and contained between covers. It's never felt more appropriate to refer to paper books as "bound".

To celebrate, I've updated my website with the extras for the book, including the author biogs (previously posted here), a City of the Saved chronology and... what I'm nervous about calling, but has to be considered in purely chronological terms to be, the Last Ever City of the Saved story. It's called "God Encompasses", and it follows on directly from the events of "A Hundred Words from a Civil War" and "Apocalypse Day". (Both "God Encompasses" and the City chronology contain SPOILERS for Tales of the City, so caveat lector.)

It's not anyone's intention that this should be the last City of the Saved story published, however. I've massively enjoyed the editing process for Tales, and I hope it will be the first of, if not many then at least several, collaborations of the kind with Obverse Books. News of further City volumes should hopefully be posted here in due course.

01 June 2012

Trailers of the City #6

Since the ebook of Tales of the City is due out today, with the physical codices to follow in a week or two, it's time for the last in my occasional series of trailers for the anthology.The sixth and final full-length story is by Mr Dave Hoskin:
Dave Hoskin is a writer living in Melbourne. His fiction has appeared in Doctor Who – Short Trips: Transmissions, Bernice Summerfield: Something Changed, Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts, Midnight Echo and World's Collider. His non-fiction has appeared in The Big Issue, Metro, Australian Book Review and Overland. His favourite colour is jam, his favourite band is world peace, and his favourite pastime is closed for renovations. Currently he has no bruises, but several scars. Some of them are visible to passersby.
I first encountered Dave's work in Something Changed, to which I thought his contribution was outstanding. His name didn't stick with me, though, until 'iNtRUsioNs', his splendidly disturbing piece in Transmissions -- again, one of the best stories in a far stronger collection. His Faction Paradox story 'Tonton Macoute' (the story of the Faction's cook, a pragmatic gourmet who takes on the qualities of the entities he eats, up to and including things like gods) -- and in particular the follow-up drabble Dave contributed to 'A Hundred Words from a Civil War', in which the resurrected Macoute finishes his preparations for eating the City itself -- convinced me that he was an author I wanted to write a full-length City of the Saved story.

Dave's story in Tales of the City is a quieter, more personal affair: 'Bruises' is a police noir with a strange theological twist -- not an unfamiliar genre in City terms, but one which Dave accomplishes particularly effectively. It takes the City's cheerily utopian and pluralist ethos to some very dark places... which is just what's needed as the book approaches the epilogue, 'Apocalypse Day'.

It starts like this:
     She started by licking the bruise off my face.
To read the story, buy the Tales of the City ebook, or order the physical volume, from Obverse Books.