Saturday, April 30, 2005



I've just received the May issue of Locus Magazine in the mail, and found an embarrassing error in my interview. Mea culpa, entirely, as Locus was good enough to let me look over and edit the text of the interview before it ran. Suffice it to say that when I mumbled the title to Hans Moravec's Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, it came out sounding something like Mirror Machine of the Transcendent Mind. My apologies to the Locus folks for not catching the mistake when I reviewed the transcript.

Friday, April 29, 2005


Join the Party Party

Sweet baby jesus. Go here, listen to any of the tracks (but "Imagine" and "Dick is a Killer" are personal favorites), and then give this rx cat some money. I've got a big check coming my way next week, and my wife has instructed me that as soon as it clears the bank we must make a donation to this guy. I'm at the tail end of an extra shitty day, and this just made my life a whole light brighter.


Thirty-Two Statements About Writing

Catherynne M. Valente, whose work I've not yet had a chance to check out, has posted an insightful list of Thirty-Two Statements About Writing on her journal. Some very valuable statements that I probably would have been fortunate to have seen fifteen years ago, but like Charlie Stross' similar list of writing advice from a few months ago, most of this is the kind of thing that all writers have to learn on their own. Valente's thoughts on a lot of these topics, though, closely mirror my own, and I'm tempted now to check out her fiction, which certainly comes highly recommended.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Locus magazine

Locus has just posted the cover to the May 2005 issue, with a strangely familiar dude in the "small photo" spot. The issue mails out to subscribers tomorrow, and should be on newsstands in a few weeks.


SFSignal review

A new, extremely positive review of Here, There & Everywhere at SFSignal.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Serenity Now!

The trailer for Joss Whedon's forthcoming Serenity. Nuff said.


Chris Ware, Self-Publisher

Very interesting article (or retooled press release, as the case may be) at PULSE all about the announcement that beginning with the 16th issue of the long running comic serial, Acme Novelty Library, Chris Ware will be self-publishing. He'll be covering all printing costs himself, the article states, and will be completely responsible for liaising with the printer, with Fantagraphics acting as distributor. From the perspective of the consumer and the retailer, the change will likely be invisible, since Ware's stuff will still be solicited by Fantagraphics, and still available from their warehouses, but the change is a significant one. For a player at Ware's level (I've lost track of the awards for which he's been nominated and which he's won, but they are legion) to take control of his own destiny like that is really remarkable.

There was a time when I thought that self-publication was the only way to go, as evidenced by the books that I did through the Clockwork Storybook writers' collective. The harsh lesson of that experiment, though, was that the publishing world (as distinct from the comics publishing world, which is a very different story) took a very dim view of writers who published themselves. In the world of book publishing, there is a very real danger that someone who is publishing themselves is skipping over an often much needed editorial filter; one need only look at some of the "novels" to come out of print-on-demand factories like Xlibris and Publish America to see the potential pitfalls. There is good stuff that is self-published (I'm not too humble to point at the two year output of Clockwork Storybook, of which I'm still quite proud), but without some sort of critical apparatus to help readers navigate the huge piles of dog shit in search of the rare gem, those gems will remain buried under stinking piles forever. And even if critics wade through the mire and point the way, a few good reviews isn't enough to overcome the often insurmountable distribution issues (my own novel Any Time At All was reviewed in Asimov's, as well as a few respected online outlets, and still only sold about four copies through Amazon).

But with an established "brand," with a core audience that will seek out one's work regardless of whose imprint is listed on the cover, and with distribution sufficient to compete with established publishers, though, I think someone just might be able to make a go of it. Not that I've got any plans in that direction, mind you. I'm quite happy to have other people pay me advances and do all the hard work, at this point. But I'm also not ruling out the possibility, for sometime in the hazy, distant future (say, when apes are our masters...)

For the moment, I'm eager to see how this pans out for Chris Ware, and to take careful notes. The two industries, book and comic, are different enough that it's not a fair test, or least not a conclusive one, but there may be some interesting lessons here to learn, either way.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


New Reviews

The Pyr publicity machine marches on, with new reviews of Here, There & Everywhere by Steven Silver and in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle.


Friday, April 22, 2005


Look, up in the sky...!

From various sources, the first publicity shot of the new Superman. My prejudices being what they are (I'm such a Superman fanatic that I got excited about Krypto the Superdog, after all), I'm at least jaded enough to reserve judgement, but I've great faith in Bryan Singer, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming flick. And hey, it looks like Superman.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Whatever happened to the future?

Over on his blog Charlie Stross has some interesting thoughts about why, in his view, American SF seems to be dominated by futures that are--to say the least--a bit grim, while British writers are capable of producing progressive, thoughtful, and perhaps even optimistic futures. He prefaces his remarks with a note that dismisses it as a bit of armchair philosophizing, but I think he touches on some really interesting and valid points.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Another Review

I keep meaning to post about my recent (and late!) discovery of the novels of Alfred Bester, which have left me slapping my forehead and wishing I'd gotten on the Bester train years ago, but life keeps getting in the way. Between finishing Paragaea for Pyr, putting together a couple of novel pitches for franchise work, and entertaining my fourteen-month-old daughter, I've little time left over for other things. So this journal has really just become a running list of new reviews that have seemed to pop up like summer weeds the last few weeks. But who am I to complain?! So, in an attempt not to break a streak, I tonight stumbled upon an incredibly glowing review of Here, There & Everywhere on a European SF website called Concatenation. This is the first I've heard of the group or the site, so far as I know, but they're my new favorite European SF outfit from this point forward! The review namechecks a lot of authors in the course of the review, and I'm flattered just to see my name in their company, to say nothing of the other nice things he's got to say about the book.



Entertainment Weekly!

The following review of Here, There & Everywhere appears in the April 22 issue of Entertainment Weekly, of all places! Man, the publicity folks at Pyr/Prometheus really earn their salaries, don't they?


Here, There & Everywhere
Chris Roberson
(Prometheus, $15)

Young Roxanne Bonaventure receives a powerful bracelet that opens bridges to branching and often divergent time lines--her actions in the past don't change the future.

Story's Little Helper: She names the bracelet Sofia, Greek for wisdom, since "these early Christian guys called the Gnostics worshipped Sofia almost like a goddess...."

Upshot: Roberson's irreverent alternate histories of the Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, and H.G. Wells are a welcome stitch in the age-old time-travel tradition.

Grade: B


Thursday, April 14, 2005


Library Journal review

Back in town after a long-ish weekend in Manhattan, only to discover that the Library Journal is running a crazy-positive review of Here, There & Everywhere in their April 15th issue. Very much appreciated.

"ROBERSON, CHRIS. Here, There & Everywhere. PYR: Prometheus. Apr. 2005. c.285p. ISBN 1-59102-310-6. $25. SF Roxanne, the precocious only child of widower Professor Bonaventure, receives a mysterious silver bracelet, the Sofia, that allows her to travel to different times and alternate worlds. In the course of her journeys to the Middle Ages, Elizabethan England, ancient Egypt, and future Oxford, she searches for answers to the questions that have always plagued her life-how can she keep her dying father alive? Will she ever find someone to spend her life with? What is the origin of the Sofia, and why was she chosen to wear it for life? Roberson's deceptively lighthearted take on the phenomena of time travel and alternate universes features a likable heroine whose quick mind and caring heart should appeal to adult and YA fans of sf adventure with a conscience. For most libraries. (from the Science Fiction/Fantasy column by Jackie Cassada)"


Wednesday, April 06, 2005


"The Universe Traveling Wife"

A very positive review of Here, There & Everywhere (by Rick Kleffel, if I'm not mistaken) has been posted to The Agony Column. Has all sorts of nice things to say about the book, which is always a plus, but also mentions the Pyr lineup in general. All praise for Pyr should land squarely on the shoulders of Lou Anders, and he deserves every bit of it.


Friday, April 01, 2005


"What's Black and White and Red All Over?"

Wow, Lucius really didn't like Sin City.


The Believer Interview With China Miéville

The inestimable Lou Anders has interviewed China Miéville for the April issue of The Believer, who have helpfully put the entire text of the interview online. Between them, Anders and Miéville are two of the nicest, most insightful people I know, and the conversation between the pair is well worth the time. (I also appreciate the namecheck of Aqua Blue, one of my favorite San Diego eateries.)

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