Hi, I moved in next door

Hello, little girl...

Hello there, little girl...

Locus Online has posted an excerpt of the interview from the most recent issue of Locus the print magazine. Until it went online, I hadn’t noticed that in the picture they used for me I look like I’m smiling for my Neighborhood Pedophile Registration photo.

If you read the excerpt, you may notice that I refer to my next book as Oh You Pretty Things. That’s a lie. After we did that interview, I got a call from my editor saying that the people at Random House didn’t much like that title, and could I think of anything else? After polling friends and neighbors — which is just the kind of thing that can get you on that registration list — we came up with The Devil’s Alphabet.

I still like the original title better. How could I not? It’s like trying to rename a dog after it’s been living in your house a couple years. So Pretty Things is still my secret name for it. And that’s the name it still responds to when I call it in from the back yard. Who’s a good book? Who’s a pretty thing? You are! Yes you are!

But I did get some great news about the next book–Greg Ruth is returning to do the cover, and I’ve already seen some sample sketches that are exceedingly cool. I love the way he thinks. Also, Deanna Hoak will be returning as copy editor. She’s stellar, and stopped me from looking stupid throughout Pandemonium. So, we’re getting the band back together. Very Blues Brothers.

In other news that I meant to share earlier:

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Just a reminder if any of you are hanging about the New Jersey area tomorrow, January 24, I’ll be at a group signing and Q&A at 2:00 until 4:00pm at the  Barnes & Noble in The Shops at Riverside in lovely Hackensack. (Click the link to see a Google map to the place.)

I’ll be there with S. C. (aka Sam)  Butler and Joshua Palmatier (see their duelling interview below), as well as Patricia Bray and Barbara Campbell.

We’re heading out to a restaurant afterward, so stay for food and drink!

I, Zombie

The Three Laws of Zombi-ism *

1. A zombie must not stop hunting and eating human beings, or through inaction, allow a human being to go uneaten.

2. A zombie must disobey all orders given to it by human beings, except when the order is to eat human beings.

3. Braiiins!


* Among other things I was thinking about in the car today.

The Crawford Award

So I’m sitting there at Starbucks this afternoon, trying to punch out a few more sentences on the laptop, when my cell phone rings, and it’s critic and Locus columnist Gary K. Wolfe calling to BLOW MY MIND.

Here’s the gist of what he had to say, as expressed in this press release which just went out:

The winner of the 2009 Crawford Award, for an outstanding new fantasy writer whose first book was published in 2008, is Daryl Gregory, for Pandemonium (Del Rey).  The other authors on this year’s shortlist were Doug Dorst, Alive in Necropolis (Riverhead); David Schwartz,  Superpowers (Three Rivers); Felix Gilman, Thunderer (Bantam Spectra); and J.M. McDermott, Last Dragon (Wizards of the Coast).  Although technically published in late December 2007, the Gilman novel was deemed eligible for consideration because it appeared too late for consideration in 2008.

Sponsored by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts and administered by Gary K. Wolfe, the Crawford Award is now in its 25th year.  Past winners include Charles de Lint (1985), Greer Gilman (1992), Susan Palwick (1993), Jonathan Lethem (1995), Candas Jane Dorsey (1997), Kij Johnson (2001), Alexander Irvine (2003), Joe Hill (2006), M. Rickert (2007), and Christopher Barzak (2008).  This year’s panel of nominators included Graham Sleight, Paul Witcover, Farah Mendlesohn, Niall Harrison, Cheryl Morgan, and Kelly Link.  The award will be presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, March 18-22, in Orlando, Florida.  Details of the conference are at www.iafa.org.

I’m incredibly honored to be among this year’s nominees. And to be in the same list as the  previous winners? Well, I don’t even know how to process that information yet. I’ll have to get back to you.

One thing’s for sure: I can’t wait to go to Florida in a few months. It’s FREEZING here.

B&N Book Club Pick for February

Things that I didn’t know existed but glad they do: The Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy book club.  The club picks 3 books a month, then discusses them in the forums online.

I only discovered the club because they picked Pandemonium as one of their books for February (God bless Google Alerts, the #1 ego surfing tool). I’m planning on hovering around the forum that month, ready to answer questions, in the same way that I nervously hover around someone reading my stories in front of me — are they laughing? At the right parts? Why are they frowning?

Anyway, they’re reading great books, so you might want to join the conversation. I’ve heard especially good things about Alchemy of Stone, and Ken Scholes’ book Lamentation.  Here’s the list for the next three months:

Feature #1: Bones of the Dragon by Weis and Hickman (9780765319739, $24.95)
Feature #2: Watermind by M.M. Buckner (9780765320247, $24.95)
Feature #3: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia (9780809572847, $12.95)

Feature #1: The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl (9780345470218, $27.00) 11/11
Feature #2: The Suicide Collectors by David Oppegaard (9780312381103, $23.95) – debut
Feature #3: Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory (9780345501165, $13.00) – debut fantasy

Feature #1: Lamentation by Ken Scholes (9780765321275, $25.95) – Ken is visiting all month!
Feature #2: Black Blood by John Meaney (9780553806717, $24.00)
Feature #3: Bone Song by John Meaney (9780553590951, $6.99)

Mage versus Assassin

S.C. Butler -- Sam in noirish black and white

Two of my pals have books coming out this month: Joshua Palmatier and Sam Butler, who writes under the name S. C. Butler. Sam’s new book is Queen Ferris, and Joshua’s is The Vacant Throne, and both of them are high fantasy adventures.

I thought it would be enlightening to interview them head-to-head style. Dueling Fantasy Writers, if you will (and oh, you will. You will.).

Both men are fleeing the world of numbers for the wide open spaces of words. Sam describes himself as “a former Wall Street bond trader who always preferred Middle-earth to the Chicago Board of Trade.” And Joshua has a PhD in mathematics and teaches at State University of New York–Oneonta. (Okay, maybe fleeing is too strong a word. But as an English major, I always like to claim a few wins for the other side of the brain).

Joshua Palmatier -- in color, and stripes

Both are New Yorkers: Sam lives in the city ( he’s in Brooklyn with his wife and a whippet) and Joshua lives upstate. I met both of them the same year, at conventions. Sam befriended me at Confluence in Pittsburgh, and a few months later at Readercon he introduced me to Joshua. I’ll be signing with both of them at the end of January in Hackensack — see the posts a couple down from here.

Enough of the intro. Cue banjo!

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Solid Snake Shadow Moses Screaming Mantis

I really haven’t been keeping up with this blog, have I? I blame it on Metal Gear Solid 4. See, my son got a PS3 for Christmas, and I’ve played a couple hours on it, but mostly I’ve been watching him as he shoots down  one villain after another, all of them named, evidently, by a Japanese-to-English random word generator. I’m sure they sounded really cool in Japanese, but come on. The main villain is named Liquid Ocelot.

Liquid. Ocelot.

So, even though the title of the game itself sounds like an auto repair manual for dyslexics, it’s a helluva game, and I’m not above using this for my own ends. The name of this post should generate thousands of hits. Welcome to my science fiction blog, MGS playas!

In other news, I have received from the universe my own bountiful Christmas gifts:

“Glass”, my story about psychopaths and mirror neurons  that appeared in MIT’s Technology Review Magazine, has been picked up to appear in Rich Horton’s The Best of the Year, 2009 Edition. Not sure when that will be published.

“The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm”—about superheroes attacking a 3rd world country,  which is out now in the anthology Eclipse 2—has been picked to appear in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction, 26th Annual Collection. This will be my third appearance in that anthology, which is two times more than my lifetime goal.

Word on the street is that Pandemonium is shipping much larger numbers than expected. And sometime next year it will also be appearing in Italy– I got word a couple weeks ago that Fanucci Editore has picked up the Italian rights. So, you gotta love their taste in science fiction, as well as pizza.

Oh! Almost forgot. The San Francisco Chronicle put the book on their Holiday Science Fiction list. That’s pretty cool.

And to start off the new year, my interview with Locus is out, in the December 2009 issue. On the cover it looks like Fred Pohl is going to lean over and bite my little head off.

Click to see larger image.

Ah! Spare me, Mr. Pohl! Click to see larger image.

Thanks, universe!

Meet me in Hackensack

Welcome to 2009, people—especially my peeps in the Jersey and the NYC metropolitan area (that’s right, I’m talking to both of you).  I’ll be at a group signing and Q&A on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 2:00pm at the  Barnes & Noble in The Shops at Riverside in lovely Hackensack, NJ. (Click the link to see a Google map to the place.)

I’ll be there with S. C. (aka Sam)  Butler, Patricia Bray, Barbara Campbell, and Joshua Palmatier, all fantasy writers with multiple books under their belt. Sam promises writerly banter and possibly fisticuffs — hey, it’s Joisey.