June 2nd, 2010


Power and Majesty

I'm doing the bit that I don't ever get to do in this whole publishing biz - I am currently playing the role of "friend" in my friend's writing journey. Yesterday Tansy Rayner Robert's first volume in her Creature Court trilogy was released - Power and Majesty. And my job as friend is to be utterly excited, squee, support, promote and adore. I get to read the book and love it!

Turns out it's awesome to be the proud friend and stand next to her and watch her success. We followed along all day on Twitter to discover that the instore date is June 8th. Last week I went into a store and requested the book and then preordered my copy. The woman looked at me and said, "Never heard of her" to which I just stood there and blinked, blank faced. What the hell was that to me if she'd never heard of her? How do I know how to calibrate that? Once I went into a big chain store and asked for Salman Rushdie and got the same blank stare. After a beat or two, she went to like mock look at the New Releases section before offering to look it up on the computer - "oh, we have 12 on order," she said (I thought, "you bet your arse you do"). And I put one aside. Apparently they will text me as soon as my copy is in. I gotta admit, parts of living in the future are fucking awesome.

So you know, I don't much go for the Big Fat Fantasy trilogy product. But Tansy has assisted me in this fact by opening her story with Chapter 1 including hot naked young men falling from the sky. And ... she has beautifully read aloud this chapter on her new Creature Court podcast here

And that IS a mighty fine hook - writers take notice, it's all in the opening. That's all I'm sayin'!

Tansy will be reading the first four chapters on her podcast and she includes some chatting about the book and the process as well. It's well worth sampling if, like me, BFF is not your usual staple diet. Cause ... you WANT TO read this book!

And I'll say it, cause I'm the friend, the most important time to buy a new book is in the first 6 weeks of its release. Because publishing is a hard business and decisions are made on how well a book sells in just that short a time. 6 weeks can be all the time it's even available in a big chain bookstore before its pulled from lack of sales. So go in and buy it or ask for it if they don't have it!

Tansy is one of the freshest Aussie writers on the specfic scene - she is funny and engrossing and a guaranteed good read.


The conversation again, again

Earlier this week cassiphone and I (and then some others via twitter) listened to a podcast that attempted to commentate on the Before They Were Giants Table of Contents discussion of the week before. In that podcast I was specifically singled out as being somehow responsible for what occurred and as such I sat through the discussion.

We debated dissecting their discussion on Galactic Suburbia because it was so fascinating to listen to two men utterly fail to grasp the issue. At all. But in the end, we have decided not to do so (nor to link to it) because really, that would involve a discussion on Feminism 101 which, as you know, we're not covering in this year's course options.

strangedave covers it in part here but I feel a need to sort of at least say, in public, that in going over the two places where I publicly discussed the issue - here on this blog and over at Michael Swanwick's blog, I never actually was anything other than calm and polite. I merely stated that for this science fiction fan, a book without all but one female author, did not appear to be a "must have" and that I would not be buying it. I also said that I wasn't really interested in following the work of the kind of editor for whom gender is not an issue. Which is true - cause it's of no interest to me. And thus I won't be spending money on things that I am not interested in. Sure I did use the word "shout" and also "loud" in my blog post but I was never angry, rude, unkind, or unfair.

And what therefore remains utterly fascinating to me is the repainting of what I said into "angry" and thus "angry feminist" and therefore should and can be ignored. Because that is a more palatable reading of the text for those two men on the podcast. I was not any of those things. And yet, I was still to get in trouble for voicing my own opinion. Which last time I checked, was a) the right of the individual in a free country and b) the role of a critic.

That, and the way some people really think that the only experience of life is theirs.

My summary of their podcast was this tweet:
So in summary we were right, the dude was wrong, he understands why we were angry but his problem is we shouldn't have VOICED it

And you know, that's why we still have to have the conversation, whether those two dudes are tired and over it or not. Because what they said was that *I* didn't have a right to speak out and say something.


on productivity

So, cassiphone said I should blog also my lists of less productive days and today was probably less productive than yesterday, and perhaps it is the lack of Dawson's Creek to watch or because I have genuinely exhausted myself with my stressing and panicking, but I am going to go to bed early and not work more, even though I should. I'm sneakily reading an ASif review copy before I post it out.

What I did today on Twelfth Planet Press:

- published 2 reviews on ASif
- finished The Phantom Queen Awakes and started reading Realms of Fantasy Feb
- sorted some invoicing and sales paperwork
- answered some emails addressing promotional opportunities
- returned edits to author for final Glitter Rose story
- worked on a submission for a 2011 project
- paid some bills
- contributed to Galactic Suburbia Ep 8 (and got some coaching, phew!)

Less editing I guess than yesterday but importantly we nailed down basically all the internal content for Glitter Rose - it's essentially done. And as editor I can almost walk away now and as publisher step in. So it feels like I accomplished enough today because it involved a bit of milestone in that I know now what an entire book looks like, even if it is not quite done.

I need more Dawson's Creek though. I hate the post TV show comedown. I don't feel able to jump into a new series cause I don't want to step away from the one I was watching but ... I don't have anything to watch right now. Harumph.