This is not the swine flu!

Okay, I love World Fantasy, but I came back with a head cold, which today blossomed into fever, body aches, and massive sinusoidal activity. I went home from work and crashed hard. As I type this I’m riding a wave of ibuprofen and sudafed. Also, the ringing in my ears sounds like Jethro Tull. I’m hoping it will pass soon.

It was a great convention, though. I made new friends and kept the old, one is silver, the other is… hey aqualung…. Okay, I’m back.  While in San Jose I got to hang out with Team Pandemonium: my first editor, Fleetwood Robbins, my second editor, Chris Schluep, and my copyeditor, Deanna Hoak. Only cover artist Greg Ruth was absent (but I was on a panel where the moderator asked me to talk about the cover).

Speaking of covers, Chris brought along the first printed copy I’d seen of The Devil’s Alphabet. A very nice moment, getting to hold that first warm copy.

I also learned this weekend that Publisher’s Weekly named it one of the top 100 books of 2009 — one of only five in the science fiction/fantasy/horror category. They said:

This subtle, eerie present-day horror novel mercilessly dissects and reassembles the classic narrative of a man returning to his smalltown birthplace, where the familiar folks have become strange creatures.

So dissection and reassemblage — that’s pretty cool. And to be in such good company: China Mieville’s The City and the City (also edited by my man Chris Schluep),  The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (he’s a friend o’mine), Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, and Ellen Datlow’s anthology Lovecraft Unbound (which my Lovecraft-obsessed son will undoubtedly get). Buy them all for Christmas.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon Pandemonium lost the best novel award to Jeff Ford and Margo Lanagan, two stellar writers. I’m getting used to losing to Jeff, and if he wasn’t so good, and a nice guy to boot, it might start to bother me.  But as my daughter pointed out, Neil Gaiman also lost. So that makes Neil and me, like, equals, right? (Right….)

Okay, off to take more pills and lie down. Just as soon as this flute solo dies down.


13 thoughts on “This is not the swine flu!

  1. Daryl!
    Too bad about the award. I totally loved Pandemonium, and am super looking forward to TDA. Hope you’re feeling better soon! It was great to run into you (however briefly) at World Fantasy.

  2. Congrats on the PW listing, man. I love being in your company.

    BTW – Dude, it’s totally swine flu. I just got nailed with it, too. I blame JJA.

  3. So I’ll cut you some slack for a day or two for being out sick… Where’s all the cool blog entries about the upcoming new book. It is supposed to be out in less than 3 weeks.

    Is it a case of “this book release stuff is old hat now” or is that stuff just too mundane for an “award winning author?”

    Seriously get well and keep your adoring public informed!


  4. Everybody? Like Paul says, The Devil’s Alphabet will be out in 3 weeks. Soon I will be launching a massive publicity campaign, which will mostly consist of telling relatives that it’s out now.

  5. Great, JR. Now *that’s* in my head.

    (Actually, I love these bluegrass/rock cover songs. One of my favorites is the cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” by a band I’ve forgotten but that I’m confident you could track down — it sounds like the song was meant to be played that way.

  6. Hi, Moses! Thanks for stopping by here again. But thanks especially for the pre-order.

    12 Days until the Official Launch! I should really start planning a party or something.

  7. Hey Daryl, I hope this is a good spot to ask you this. If not, feel free to email me or send an owl.

    I’m looking around for some other whipper snapper novelists such as yourself that you’d recommend keeping up with, especially people who are relatively new to the scene. I’m hoping to break into this highly glamorous field at some point, and I’m wondering who else might be fun to read, watch, and cyber-hang with along the way.

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