Unpossible is a PW Book of the Year

I’m sorry, I can’t come up with a clever headline. But I’m pleased as all get out that Unpossible and Other Stories, the collection we just launched, made  Publishers Weekly Top 5 science fiction and fantasy books of the year.

Click to enlarge. I had a great time at World Fantasy. The Unlaunch Party went well, with a lot of people hanging out on the patio in the bright San Diego sunshine. Patrick Swenson, my publisher, sold books in the kitchen, Tim Akers played bartender, and pals like Mark Teppo and Sean E. Williams helped me set up and tear down. My thanks to everyone who stopped by.

I was especially glad that my great friend of 20-something years, Andrew Tisbert, was there (and working hard, hauling ice). The book is dedicated to him and Gary Delafield, because Andy and Gary have read and critiqued just about every story in the book. I owe them a ton.

On Saturday of the con I held a reading and read “Persistence”, one of the new stories in the book, and finished with a story that will never see print, “The Aristocrats by Isaac Asimov.” Maybe some day I’ll read it aloud again. It’s dirty.

But mostly World Fantasy was about having a good time with friends. Mission frickin’ accomplished.


Unlaunching Unpossible

The cover, from Antonello SilveriniTomorrow I leave for my favorite con, the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego. I’ve got a couple cool things planned, most of them involving eating and drinking with good friends. SO looking forward to this.

At the con we’ll be launching Unpossible and Other Stories, my first collection of short stories, including two never-before-published shorts. I am SO proud to have an introduction from Nancy Kress, a cover by Antonello Silverini, and everything else from Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press. The book is the usual eclectic mix of science, superheroes, and general weirdness, including the world’s only graphical sinus story.

A couple activities:

Happy Hour: On Friday, from 4-6pm, I’ll be hosting a little party to celebrate the launch of the book. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. I mean, come on, it’s free beer.

On Saturday at 4, I’ll be reading one of the new stories from the book, as well as reading the great underground classic from 1947, banned for years: “The Aristocrats by Isaac Asimov.”

And all through the weekend, Patrick Swenson will be at the Fairwood Press booth, selling the hell out of the book. I’ll be there to sign books, skin, affidavits…

And if you can’t make it to San Diego, you can always order online:

Direct from Fairwood Press
Barnes & Noble

How to get someone to blurb your book

I’m about to leave for Renovation, the 2011 World SF Convention, but I received a wonderful bon voyage gift from Patrick at Fairwood Press: the advance copies of  Unpossible and Other Stories, my collection that’s coming out this Fall, and now available for pre-order.

One thing I need to do at Worldcon is find people to blurb the book.  I hate asking for blurbs.  There’s nothing like shoving your prized possession into someone’s hands and saying, “Would you please take a moment to look this over?” to make you feel like a Mormon missionary, or that homeless guy who keeps finding dead squirrels.

But that book won’t blurb itself *, so I spent the last few days practicing at home, developing a sure-fire, 3-step process for getting that blurb! And I have named it…

Daryl’s Sure-Fire 3-Step Blurb-Getting Process

Step One: Make the product attractive.

Nothing beats a full-color ARC on real paper, with beautiful art. (This cover’s by Antonello Silverini, all-around cool guy.)  How can you say no to this book? You can’t, that’s how. It’s the slutty girl you had the hots for in high school, or the hot guy you had the sluts for, and they  just invited you over to their house while their parents are away on a couples retreat at Warren Dunes, but the important thing is, the house is empty–and they have Cinemax.

And look, it's already been pre-blurbed! This tells your target what kind of top-notch quoting you expect, and that if they don't like your book, there's something wrong with them.

Step Two: Include a bonus.

One thing I’ve learned from practicing at home — keep a bunch of dog treats in your pants. Reviewers GO CRAZY for ’em. If you don’t have dog treats, substitute with a hot Panini, or beer.

Allow your target to smell the product. And, if necessary, your butt.

Step Three: Don’t take no for an answer!

If your target insists that they are too busy to read the book, simply smack them with a rolled up newspaper.

Try to find blurbers who have all their teeth.

Thank me now, fellow writers! You’re guaranteed to have as much success as me!

Calm, Cool, and Collected

Patrick Swenson, the man behind Fairwood Press, has just released the cover for Unpossible and Other Stories, my collection of short stories that he’ll be publishing this fall. The cover is very cool, which makes me happy, and therefore calm.

Unpossible cover, by Antonello Silverini

Cover by Antonello Silverini. Click to enlarge.

We recruited Antonello after seeing the beautiful job he’d done on the cover for the Italian version of Pandemonium. Love this man’s work! Check out his portfolio at  antonellosilverini.com.

I’ll have more news on the collection as we get closer, but I can tell you this: We’ll be launching the book at the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego this fall.