GUN MACHINE, Week One

January 7th, 2013 | Work

So the book finally launched last week.  We had a few hiccups, including physical copies not reaching Barnes & Noble bookstores (at best) in the launch week, and both Amazon and Amazon UK selling out twice, but it’s out there.  This link should tell you where to find it.  At one point, GUN MACHINE was the 112th best-selling book on Amazon.  This weekend has mostly been about people telling me they can’t find physical copies to buy, which is really not a warming thing for someone who would like to sell copies of their book.

Book Trailer 1 was exclusive at MTV Geek (thank you!) for a while, and now it’s on YouTube:

Jim Batt, Ben Templesmith and Wil Wheaton, folks.  They did me proud, and it’s not a thing I’ll ever be able to pay back.

The American reviews I’ve been shown have all been very kind.  The New York Times reviewed it twice, even.  Got one in the UK, yesterday, too, which was nice.  I was also on The Nerdist podcast – Chris and his team were just great.

Book Trailer 2 is coming, which will hopefully keep things rolling along.  I know it’s going to look amazing. 

Last week was mostly about watching screens and processing email (and blasting away my “holiday” time).  Today I go back to the actual job of writing things.  But if you’re one of the people who tweeted about the book, or blogged about it, over the last week: thank you.  Seriously.  You made the week a lot easier for me, and I’m grateful.


booklist 2013: ANGEL BABY, Richard Lange

January 4th, 2013 | stuff2013

This is an early copy (ARC) of ANGEL BABY, the very fun new novel by Richard Lange, out May 2013.  Tore through it over Xmas.  It’s nothing but muscle and bone, no fat on it at all, a pure strike of American Crime Novel:

Malone is sad looking at her, sad thinking about her life.  He should have bought a bottle along.  You’ve got to be ready for moments like these, ready to drown your ruined heart as soon as it starts beating again.

The blurb I sent over read

A bone-crushing nightmare parable: bad people doing the wrong things for love.


FAQ 3jan13: On Conservative Characters, Cyberpunk & Women Who Write SF

January 3rd, 2013 | FAQ

I’ve been enjoying Crooked Little Vein a lot, but I was wondering what motivated the narrative decision to make your protagonist be (and I hope I’m phrasing this properly) an essentially conservative character. By that I mean he tends to react with hostility to the oddballs his work brings him in contact with, and then defends people who, while seemingly being more socially typical, demonstrate close-mindedness.

alanmcmillian

The truth, I think, is that most people are essentially conservative characters, and I found it interesting to try and develop a character like that towards some kind of acceptance of the real face of the modern Western world without betraying his basic nature.  People can and/or should change during a story, but they shouldn’t transcend into completely new people, especially not in a short book.  My note to myself on McGill’s passage through the story was something like “Trix doesn’t magically fuck enlightenment into him.”

Aside from stuff Phillip K. Dick and Neal Stephenson, what’s on your must-read cyberpunk novels and comics list?

printedvelvet

Okay.  Deep breath.

Cyberpunk, also known as Radical Hard SF or The Movement, was born around 1980 and didn’t survive that decade.  (Some people map the end to 1992, with Neal Stephenson’s SNOW CRASH.)  Philip K Dick had no affiliation with the movement, and was dead by 1982, two years before William Gibson published NEUROMANCER.  People tend to associate Dick with cyberpunk because of BLADE RUNNER, particularly its visuals, which had nothing to do with the novel, but were so strikingly of the speculative zeitgeist that in 1982 William Gibson had to get out of his cinema seat and leave the screening because it looked too much like what was in his head.

Phil Dick was pre-cyberpunk.  He, JG Ballard and Alfred Bester were major touchstones for the movement.  Ballard’s CRASH and Bester’s STARS MY DESTINATION and THE DEMOLISHED MAN are essential.  Also John Brunner’s STAND ON ZANZIBAR, THE SHEEP LOOK UP, and, most importantly for cyberpunk’s ancestry, THE SHOCKWAVE RIDER.

(EDIT to note: yes, and about a hundred others, I’m sure.  These are the ones that occurred to me that day.)

Of the cyberpunk period itself, you will need William Gibson’s first trilogy, NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE.  Also, Bruce Sterling’s THE ARTIFICIAL KID and ISLANDS IN THE NET.  Richard Kadrey’s METROPHAGE.  Rudy Rucker’s SOFTWARE and WETWARE.  Pat Cadigan’s TEA FROM AN EMPTY CUP.  That should keep you going for a bit.

I couldn’t help but notice your recommendations of cyberpunk writers a couple days back were all men. Are there any female writers of cyberpunk (or sci-fi) in general you recommend? Are there any that have influenced your own work?

lizvseverything

Um, Pat Cadigan is in that list, and she’s female.

A partial, off-the-top-of-my-head list of female speculative fiction writers whose work I’ve liked would include:

Ursula LeGuin, obviously, who’s influenced everybody.  Seek out and start off with THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, if you haven’t already.

Pamela Zoline.  Carol Emshwiller.  Mary Soon Lee (one of the single best short stories in sf in the 00s was her “Pause Time”).  CJ Cherryh’s early book DOWNBELOW STATION is warmly remembered.

Doris Lessing’s SHIKASTA had a *huge* effect on me.  Very influential, I think.

Cherie Priest, Elizabeth Bear, Cat Valente… I’ve written book blurbs for two of these, and those two have also written on my website, which it suddenly occurs to me you don’t read…!

Kate Wilhelm.  Mary Shelley counts.  Probably so does Angela Carter, at least in my head.

Lauren Beukes, of course, who is also a friend.

Obviously incomplete and written in two minutes, but a start.


ARIADNE AND THE SCIENCE: 4/5 – by Molly Crabapple & Warren Ellis

January 2nd, 2013 | ariadne and the science

But what Ariadne discovered on her walks with the Meadow was that there were bigger places to see.  The multiverse hangs in the metaverse, a room where all the universes hang like sheets on a great hypermagnetic wave.  And the Xenoverse is the weather outside that room that causes the wave.  And the Hyperverse is the weather system that causes those winds.  And the Omniverse is the impossibly giant ecology that contains all things.  Ariadne, of course, knew as well as you and I that weeds get bloody everywhere. So it was not an impossibly long time before she, in a boat of Meadow, could look down on all of creation and know that everything everywhere was really nothing more than things growing.  And she, no less than a clever woman who never learned not to ask questions, did look down, and smiled.

Words by Warren Ellis, pictures by Molly Crabapple.

ARIADNE 4/5 is available as a limited-edition print.

© Warren Ellis & Molly Crabapple 2012

#ariadnescience

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