Tuesday, December 30, 2008

But enough about me...

... here's a shout-out for Hugh A.D. Spencer (and me!), whose story, "Sticky Wonder Tales," is up at On Spec's site as a dramatic reading, here. Why mention it in the yard? Couple reasons, thanks for asking.

First reason: it's a kickass story - funny and sad and just a little bit gross - and being as you came here, Yard-ape, you're probably core target audience.

Second reason: I kind of helped. Not with the writing - that's all Spencer. But with the reading. Some months back, Hugh asked me to come help him record a sort-of dramatic reading of the story for On Spec's website. We spent an afternoon at a little recording studio in the wilds of northern Etobicoke, yelling prose at each other until Hugh's money ran out.

And now it's on the Internet. So go, go. Once again, it's right here: Sticky Wonder Tales. Tell 'em I sent you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! Buy the Claus Effect!

Well, it's Christmas Eve. Just a few more shopping hours, and that's it.

So, Yard-apes, I admonish you once more: Go to the World's Biggest Bookstore. Bring $10. Buy my and Karl Schroeder's novel The Claus Effect.

What's that, you say? Don't want to?

May I suggest you check out this sample, and then read this chapter following, in which Emily meets the one thing in the world worse than Santa Claus.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1985 was a cruel, cruel year...

New Coke turned the world of sugary beverages on its ear. A joint French-American expedition located the wreck of the RMS Titanic, giving Terminator director James Cameron all the pretext he needed. Bill Gates and Microsoft released Windows 1.1.

And for one, glorious - ahem - shining Wednesday evening, Jonathan Coulton's Monkey Shines made television history.

Let's treasure the memory, all of us...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

There was this book launch, see...

Yesterday (Saturday November 29, '08) at Bakka-Phoenix is when it happened, just as I predicted here, for Tesseracts Twelve. As promised, there were cookies, and books, and readings, and after that signings. Jill and Michael did not do a Sonny-and-Cher style duet, but no one seriously expected it.


Here are some pictures, courtesy of Karen Fernandez...

... of editor Claude Lalumière, extoling the virtues of Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, the high quality of the slush pile, and the virtues of longer pieces of Canadian sf:

... of Brett Savory, who wrote the introduction to the book, extolling the virtues of Claude:

... of Michael Skeet and Jill Snider-Lum, reading from their story "Beneath the Skin":

... of E.L. Chen, reading from her story "The Story of the Woman and Her Dog":

... of Grace Seybold, in town for the weekend from Montreal, reading from her story, "Intersections":

... of me, hollering out the opening scene of my story "Wylde's Kingdom":

... and of Corwin Snider-Lum, reading somewhat more quietly from his own book, the title of which he didn't feel need to share:

Here's what the signings looked like:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If I'll go to these lengths to promote a 10-year-old book...

... imagine what I could do for a new one.

* * *

A few posts back, faithful yard-apes may recall a certain gleeful noting of the fact that 10 years after it was published, the World's Biggest Bookstore (shown above) in Toronto finally decided to stock a few copies of The Claus Effect, Karl Schroeder's and my novel about a nuclear-age Santa Claus and the children who must destroy him. Four copies they stocked, which I managed to sign and over successive lunch-hour loiterings, watch trickle out at a rate of ... well, of one.*

You might think that was the end of it. Well no, it's not. The good people at The World's Biggest Bookstore apparently took note of that one, righteous sale -- and, even granting the prospect of hard-scrabble times ahead in the book-mongering trade, they looked at the cover, looked at the calendar, and seized an opportunity that no one has seized since the old Bakka Science Fiction Books set up that first window display in the fall of 1997.

They ordered a bunch of copies for the holiday season, and put them in this section of the bookstore:

... near the bottom:

That, you might think, would be quite enough. But there's more. Over in the science fiction and fantasy section, they took another four copies and put them here:

And, in the juicy core of the science fiction/fantasy section proper, right before Douglas Niles, where a Nickle book should go, here:

So. Ahem. It's Christmas coming up. The World's Biggest Bookstore (on Edward Street, between Yonge Street and Bay Street, just north of the Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas) has gone out on a limb and actually ordered a significant stack of this creepy, violent, foul-mouthed, Bill-O'Reilly-baiting-War-Against-Christmas novel of cherubic mayhem from the 1990s. On Tuesday, there were (yes, I counted) eleven copies there -- a sizable percentage of the remainder of the print run, if I'm not mistaken.

Yard-apes, you have your mission.


* Thank you, lone book-buying Yard-ape. Your reward is in Heaven.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wallace and the Webley

Let me bend your ears about something for a minute. Or more to the point, let some of the elder Nickle men do so.

Scroll down, and you'll see three video links, to a three-part home doc I put together about a month back. It's based on long conversation with my dad, Lawrence Nickle, and uncle, Graham Nickle, about the scandalous history of a branch of the Nickles I'd only learned about a month earlier. That's when I heard from Joe Nickle, a photographer shooting out of Louisiana, who'd been googling his name and found the Yard. Funny old world, he wrote. There aren't too many of us Nickles around.

Truer words were never spoken. Turns out that we were cousins, separated after the Second World War, when my cousin Wallace and great-uncle Oliver left Harriston, Ontario for points south in Texas, to sire a sprawling brood of Nickles there.

So we got to emailing back and forth, and putting together a family story as near as we could figure. It wasn't nearly enough - but it was enough to arm me with questions to throw at Lawrence and Graham when I got them in front of the camera over Thanksgiving.

And taken together, it was enough to fill me with a kind of horrified admiration for my preacher cousin Wallace Nickle - who, based on all the stories, was the closest thing to a bona fide literary character my family has ever coughed up. Hopefully, faithful readers will see what I mean when the story I'm working on right now sees publication.

In the meantime, watch these videos. They tell the story of Wallace, the Webley and the Fearsome Hound; Wallace and the Pram-Full of Furs; How the Nickles Got Their Name; and Fantastical Stories of the Nickles' Adventures In A First World War In Which Apparently No Actual Combat Occurred.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

There's this book launch, see...

The launch is for Tesseracts Twelve, of which you've heard so much for so long. It's happening on November 29, a Saturday, at three p.m., at Bakka-Phoenix Books. There will be cookies (Bakka Phoenix is well-known for their cookies). There will be me. There will be Claude Lalumière, Jill Snider Lum, Brett Alexander Savory, Grace Seybold, and Michael Skeet. We will all read our entire novellas and Jill and Michael will sing theirs in a Sonny-and-Cher-inspired duet, with banter.

Okay, that last bit was just to see if you were paying attention. If you're lucky, they won't let us read more than a paragraph of two of our very long stories. There will be lots of writers, though. And I'm pretty sure they'll let us sign copies.

Bakka-Phoenix Books, if you're still interested, is located at 697 Queen Street West, just west of Bathurst Street.

And my story, Wylde's Kingdom, can be sampled, as ever, here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You know decrepitude is upon you...

... when leading up to what can only be described as a fulcrum moment in the history of America - and, one hopes, a terminus in the somewhat shorter history of Amerika - you doze off. There's Obama, coasting along with something more than 200 electoral votes, Stephen Colbert on Indecision 08 desperately changing the subject... and the next thing you know, it's 4 a.m.

And you wake up, and you go and check, to see Goddamn if for once, your friends in the United States - the ones that aren't represented by Fox News , who don't fit the ugly stereotype of the small-minded, bigotted, superstitious and fearful Americans that have made themselves so unwelcome in the homes of so much of the world... see if they actually managed to get their shit together and climb back up that brink over which they so recklessly stepped in 2004.

And noodling around on the internet, you see this:

... and you realize, this isn't the first time that particular country has looked upon itself, seen the face of evil, and chosen redemption.

It is, however, the first time you slept through it.

Here's some more speech.

And more.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tesseracts Twelve Must Be Out...

... because the reviews of the all-novella-all-the-time anthology edited by Claude Lalumière and contributed to by me are lining up. So far, it's two-for-two. This one, from SFRevu reviewer Colleen Cahill, is just as kind as the last one (see below). Read it here.

Here's what she said about my story, Wylde's Kingdom:

"David Nickle gives us a darkly satirical piece in "Wylde's Kingdom", where the end of the world is combined with an over-the-top and fatal Disney production. A former TV star who has tried to escape the nightmare of the show Wylde's Kingdom is kidnapped when his former boss decides this is the best way to make a comeback. A work of both humor and pathos, this story is one that will keep you turning every page."

She said nicer things still about the story my writing-workshop pals Michael Skeet and Jill Snider-Lum wrote:

My favorite novella is "Beneath the Skin" by Michael Skeet and Jill Snider Lum, an oriental fantasy with lots of atmosphere.

And so on. Go check out the full review. And buy the anthology. Colleen Cahill and SFRevu say so.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tesseracts Twelve is out-ish...

I say out-ish, rather than out, because the official launch is in a few days at the World Fantasy Convention in Alberta, and although you can purchase it here and here, I have yet to see it in a bookstore.

But I post now to note a very kind review, from noted author and critic Don D'Ammassa, which you can read here. It says kind things about the collection, and very kind things indeed about my story Wylde's Kingdom. Which you can read a bit of here. You have to buy the book to read the whole story, but you have to click on the link to learn about the AbSucker 2020.

* * *

Addendum Nov. 1: Okay, it's out. Picked me up a copy at The World's Biggest Bookstore (apologies to Bakka Phoenix, who yes, yes, I know would have given me a better discount and are my friends) yesterday. It is every bit as good looking as the thumbnail indicates.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Okay, the Yard didn't endorse in the Canadian elections...

And look where that got us. Well, fool us once...

We won't make the same mistake in the oh-so-close American election.

So, American yard-apes here goes.

Don't listen to these Russians.

They're obviously smitten.

Listen to Obama Girl.

She's thinking straight.

Alternatively, you can take a risk and go the classical route.

Caligula for President: It's Time for a Tyrant from Cintra Wilson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Peek into the Consensus...

That being the consensus mind of judges into this year's ChiZine short fiction contest (of which I was one).

A few posts back, I copied a list of our top three winners.

Well, now they're online, here, in the latest issue of ChiZine. Go look. They're good. And free.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rudy Rucker is a smart cookie...

I say this never having met the fellow. But he's got to have some smarts for pulling Tesseracts-Eleven, Cecil-Street-Irregulars pal-of-mine Madeline Ashby's story Fitting A New Suit out of the slush-pile and posting it on his E-Zine FLURB. This is Madeline's second fictional appearance (and the first one you get to read for free) and it's a goddamn fine story - all about agoraphobia and faux-environmentalism and a new suit. And free. So go look.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keep your Pants on...

This is just a quick update on Pants Are For Company, for those of you who might have been setting your 2009 entertainment budget around an April release date for the collector's edition of the collection. May as well keep that money in the term note for awhile longer, because Pants is being pushed back a bit. Not a lot. But a bit. Now, it looks as though we're dealing with a July, 2009 release date, so ChiZine Publications can put a couple of novels between their latest release, Robert Boyczuk's story collection Horror Stories and Other Horror Stories, and my story collection.

This is actually a good thing, because it will also push the trade paperback release of the book to September, 2009, which is and always has been the publishing sweet spot on the calendar. And by then, we're sure to have worked out a better web advertising banner than this one:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good Help Is Hard To Find...

There's probably something redundant in linking to video I've seen on boingboing, and I'm probably doing it more than's good for me. But I can't seem to stop myself...

And neither, it seems, can this student/YouTube mogul/claymation maniac/plastecine gorehound takena. Here's another one:

In Which I Sell Out

For no money, really. So not really. But it's appearances that count.

To see what I mean, scroll down to the very bottom of the yard. Even further. Further. Okay, there.

See the two advertising banners? Those are new. They're meant to convince you to go buy a couple new books from ChiZine Publications - Brent Hayward's Filaria:

and Bob Boyczuk's Horror Story and Other Horror Stories:

Eventually, I too will have a banner on this blog and many others, urging you to go buy my collection, Pants Are For Company. It will in all likelihood not look like this:

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Return of Me

... and this time, not just from the regular kind of radio silence, either. Just spent a week at the Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts at Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands, reading and critiquing and writing with a band of very fine writers from the U.S. and Canada. Gibraltar Point is one of several artists' residences in Toronto, operated by the Toronto-based non-profit organization Artscape. It's the only one of their residences I've spent any time at, but man, it's worth going back to. It's housed in an old school building, now converted into a sprawling collection of studios, meeting rooms and residences operated with genial efficiency by veteran Artscapers Ray Stedman and Lisa Cristinzo. Filled up with painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians, writers -- and, for a week each year, us.

Using the boot-camp Clarion method (write, read, critique - repeat), it's intensive and productive and a lot of fun.

This year, it was also a great relief.

See, that story collection coming out next year, which you might recall was going to be called Monstrous Affections... well, after some talk, we decided on another title.

A title, according to Sandra Kasturi, that more properly screamed DAVID NICKLE.

A title that really needed a story underneath it to anchor the whole collection.

A title that now, thanks to Gibraltar Point (and a week before it, a cabin at Lake Herridge, near Temagami, Ontario), I can confidently say has that story.

And so, in 2009, I invite you all to go out and buy my story collection:

Pants Are For Company.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

If I have to wake up screaming from a Stepford-Wives nightmare tonight...

... then you all do too. From boingboing:

Now take a moment to uncurl from that foetal position, and join me in congratulating the winners and honourable mentions from the 2008 Chizine Short Story Contest - in which yours truly was a judge. From Brett Alexander Savory's blog:

Final results!
Here we go, folks. Thanks to everyone for entering the contest! The top three placers will be published at 7 cents per word in the October–December 2008 issue of ChiZine.
  • 1st place: “The Blog at the End of the World” by Paul Tremblay
  • 2nd place: “Grave's Edge” by Alex O'Neal
  • 3rd place: “Beyond” by Brenta Blevins
Honourable Mentions:
  • “Angelica's Elegy” by Chris Miller
  • “Fitness Freaks” by Matthew Farrer
  • “The Button Collector” by Stephanie Campisi
  • “Organ Nell” by Jennifer Pelland
  • “Low Tide” by Lisa A. Koosis
  • “El Dorado” by Horace James
  • “The TV” by Ben Loory
There were 231 entries.
My deepest thanks to the judges for taking the time to help us out this year:
  • Cherie Priest
  • Claude Lalumière
  • David Nickle
  • Derek McCormack
  • Nancy Baker
  • Peter Straub

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Karaoke Is Bad For Your Brain...

Saw this one on boingboing, and usually I'd leave it at that. But after checking out the above gateway-drug video, I noticed that the twisted puppeteer of terror Matt Ficner had posted a couple of other, less wholesome videos (do I have to say not for kids? I guess I have to say not for kids). This one:

And this one here:

The Yard is pleased to share.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First time lucky...

... not me, this time -- I'm way past first times for most things that you can safely blog about in these repressive times -- but my pal Madeline Ashby, whose first published story, descriptively titled "In Which Joe and Laurie Save Rock and Roll", made honorable mention in Gardner Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction. Madeline's younger than me by, erm, decades, and has now matched me point for point for honorable mentions in the Dozois series. And I am fine with that.



Seriously, though... not having ever had kids, or ever intending to, the opportunities for inter-generational pride are few and far between. And so in that spirit, I present to you: my pal, the doctor.

(Hopefully, this will be a credible enough hit that the web-cred-conscious Ms. Ashby will feel she can have something to link to on her own blog, when she starts in with the justifiable boasting).

Polaris Redux

Well, I'm back now, from my weekend at Polaris -- where we spoke of Balthar's nosebleed and Dexter's fake orgasms; Cronenberg's Dracula and Cordwainer Bird's The Starlost; novels that are too long to sell, and stories that are too short to bother about. All in all, a good, busy weekend out, spent talking to people who could get all of those references without batting an eye. Polaris ain't no literary convention, but it ain't illiterate neither. So there were the giant Klingons and tiny cosplayers that would've been shown the door at Readercon, along with all the talk about the politics of Battlestar Galactica and the dynamics of the short fiction market and other sf-nal things you could want. A feast for the eye and the mind.

Some shout-outs, now, to cool people I met for the first time, like Nebraska sf teen dynamo Shelly Li and Ottawa sf author-entrepreneur Barry Alder, and to old pals like Doug Smith, Peter Bloch-Hansen, Tanya Huff, Peter Watts (who rode shotgun on the dawn and midnight drives to and from the airport hotel), Derwin Mak and Christian Sauvé; and to Sherry Moore, who wing-manned me on the hard-sell of the third copy of The Claus Effect to the even-tempered woman at my, erm, sparsely-attended shall-we-say signing Sunday afternoon. And to Erik Buchanan, author of the new fantasy novel Small Magics, who gamely snagged the first.

And of course a big ovation goes to the organizers of Polaris, particularly Alana Otis and Lance Sibley, who made it all run so smoothly.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Polaris and My Weekend Out

I'm going to Polaris in Toronto this weekend! As a guest! With television actors!

Some explanation may be in order. Polaris is a big old science fiction convention that until Star Trek effectively went away a few years back was Toronto Trek. Now it's a convention devoted to SF with a media slant, with a healthy respect for the writers of written word and lots of good-looking, well-groomed actors. And me, in such dire need of a haircut...

So I'll be there, and I'm on a good whack of programming, and if you want to hear me reminisce about my Starlost days back in the seventies, the subtle charms of Dexter, and why Battlestar Galactica is so fracking great, Polaris is the place to be, at 655 Dixon Road.

Not so far from Pearson Airport.

See, you take the 427 north from the Gardiner, execute a lightning lane change just south of Eglinton, and...

Ah, screw it. Here's a map.

And here's my schedule:

Friday, 7 p.m.
Minimum 400 Pages
Description: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is not a long book. A World of Ptavvs is not a long book. Today, it's not certain that a book under 400 pages can even get published. What has changed? Is it us, or the publishing industry?

Friday, 11 p.m.
Battlestar Galactica: The New Series

Description: What makes Battlestar Galactica so great? How do we feel about it coming to an end?

Saturday, 1 p.m.

Description: Dracula is one of the most-depicted characters in the history of film and literature, second only to Sherlock Holmes. Bram Stoker's 1897 novel has formed the basis for countless imitations. Why has this particular character endured for over a century? What are some of your favourite Dracula films?

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Whither The Short Story?

Description: Science Fiction and fantasy short stories used to be a viable business. There used to be competition for the best writers. What ever happened to the short story? Do people need more character development now, or are they just seen as bad value for the money for some reason? Is it a conspiracy of writers? Even if it isn't, should we start spreading that story?

Saturday, 3 p.m.
The Starlost: 35 Years Later

Description: It's been 35 years since the premiere of the first SF series made in Scarborough. Despite its reputation, one of its scripts won a Writers Guild of America Award, it inspired two novels, and now the British watch it on DVD. Why do people still remember this show?

Saturday 11 p.m.
Dear Disturbed Dexter

Description: Season 1 of Dexter was met with great approval by fans and critics alike. Did Season 2 live up to the promise of the first season? Was Lila as interesting a character as the Ice Truck Killer? Did you enjoy the character development for Doakes? Discuss whether you thought this was a killer season or a let down.

In addition to all of this, they've got me down for a reading (one full hour! Holy crap I can read all of Wylde's Kingdom! Or something else!) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. And I'm signing stuff in the dealer's room. So bring your Claus Effect, or prosthetic, or pet turtle; I'll be all with the signatures suitable for collectables and identity theft at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jonathan Coulton and Our Night Out

So yeah - Jonathan Coulton, Superstar of the American Internet, came up to see the Canadian Internet last night. And the Canadian Internet saw him back.

At least we did: we being me, my partner Karen Fernandez, and Peter Watts and Laurie Channer. Karen, who knows her way around a Canon Powershot like no other, shot some video. Which is right here.

It's okay, though; no need to call Jim Prentice.

Coulton does the Creative Commons thing, just like me here, which means doing things like video-recording live concerts and posting them to YouTube does not, even theoretically, subject anyone to a maximum $20,000 settlement.

Putting up the absolutely show-stopping encore cover that he and henchmen Paul and Storm did of Sweet Caroline, immediately flowing from their encore rendition of First of May - that's something else entirely. So you won't get to see Sweet Caroline on this blog. Not until you write to Canadian Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice, and tell him in no uncertain terms to scrap Bill C-61, you won't.

But enough about politics. Coulton and henchmen Paul and Storm put on one hell of a show at the Lula Lounge July 9. They should come back every Wednesday.

Check out the video. It's Re Your Brains, and it comes right before First of May and that other song you'll never get to hear.

* * *

Update, July 11: But you will get to hear this song, "I Crush Everything," about giant squid and despair -- which goes well with my upcoming deep-sea action novella "Wylde's Kingdom" in Tesseracts Twelve (a project I haven't plugged for a couple entries, I notice):

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stopped in on the Tom Waits Glitter and Doom press conference...

... but I didn't get to ask my question.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Horror In The Lodge

Okay - it's not a novel, it's not a collection, and it's not a poem either. The Horror In The Lodge is a hard-to-find short story about fishing, beavers and Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods With A Thousand Young. By me, obviously. If you were an attendee at the World Fantasy Convention in Montreal in 2001, you might already have a copy, on the CD ROM that attendees got with their program books. If not, don't despair: it's available now from Kelp Queen Press as a part of the Looney Dreadful line of chapbooks. The cover, by Gord Zajak, is here:

If you're in Toronto tomorrow and want to go buy a copy for yourself, it's debuting at the Small Press Book Fair, Saturday June 7 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Miles Nadal Community Centre, at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Pseudopod podcast is live...

... or to keep in the spirit of things, undead.

Couple posts back, I alerted all Yard-apes to a deal cut with Pseudopod, the excellent horror podcast, to do a reading of my story "The Sloan Men." Well it's out today, and you can listen to it here. I gave it a listen before heading out to see the Sex in the City movie, and I can recommend it. Not the movie - that is a victim for another blog posting - but the podcast.

Particularly given the very fine interpretation brought to it by reader Cunning Minx, who deserves (and gets) a full-on Yard shout-out for bringing the old story to such exquisite life. Or undeath.

(And as an addendum: a Yard shout-out to Cory Doctorow and Boingboing, for this link.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Okay, deep breath...

This. Is. Big.

At least it is in the limited universe that is the retail potential of The Claus Effect, Karl Schroeder's and my 11-year-old novel about Cottage Country, the Cold War, and Santa Claus.

I'll start from the beginning...

Stopping in at The World's Biggest Bookstore today at lunch, as sometimes I do, I noticed something peculiar in the horror section: four copies of The Claus Effect, which is not a horror novel, and for the past decade, has not been a novel you could buy in The World's Biggest Bookstore or its affiliated stores.

This second characteristic has, to my mind, been a huge contributing factor to the book's failure to take off in terms of sales when it appeared in 1997. Aside from the book's obvious literary pedigree (or, possibly, in spite of), it got as fine a coming-out party as a first novel could expect. The launch, I'm told, is in the top three of best-attended launches in the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy's history. A TV crew was there, to film a segment for Space TV's science fiction news report (and that segment aired repeatedly during the pre-Christmas rush). The bookstore then known as Bakka (now reborn as Bakka-Phoenix) did a full-bore window display in their Queen Street West location for a couple of weeks, again leading up to Christmas. Reviews were generally glowing.

There was only one fly in this otherwise generally smooth and fragrant ointment: Chapters and the World's Biggest Bookstore - at the time, and still today now that they've been taken over by Indigo, the friendly giant of the Canadian book retail marketplace - elected not to order any copies.

That meant that outside of Toronto, it was very difficult if not impossible for any readers to get hold of our book. The Internet was not then what it is today, and Tesseract Books was a small press of limited means when it came to promotion. The Claus Effect was effectively stopped in its tracks.

Well, I said to myself as I stared, gobsmacked, at the four, only-slightly-yellowing copies of the trade paperback edition of Karl's and my book, better late than never. But egads - this is no horror novel. Anyone who buys this expecting vampires and serial killers or frankly, something typical of the sort of thing I usually write, is going to be mighty steamed.

So I found me a staffer and explained to her about how this was my book, and how happy I was to see it on the shelves, but how I didn't think it belonged in the horror section. And to my delight, I didn't even have to show ID before she had me sign the copies then restocked them in the science fiction and fantasy section where they belonged. Then we got to chatting.

Apparently the deal is this: The World's Biggest Bookstore, which has always been, frankly, book-ier than the other Chapters-Indigo stores, has decided to stock up with small press books that might be harder to find. And checking the computer network, we confirmed it: So far, the only place to get The Claus Effect, is WBB. It's not in other Toronto area Chapters-Indigo stores, and presumably it's not in any of their other stores across the country either.

And now, Yard-apes, we come to my modest proposal (or abuse of my internet privileges in the name of filthy lucre, if you want to look at it that way). If you haven't, for some reason, ordered yourself a Claus Effect here or here yet, are thinking of doing so, and have a Chapters-Indigo store within a walk, bike ride or short drive, there are worse things that you could do than go inside, ask a staffer of they have a copy in stock, and if not, ask if they might order one.

It's not like they don't have it in the system. And it might give them some ideas.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Yard Gets a New Inmate...

... in the form of a tiny slice of "Wylde's Kingdom," available here. The sample is the same one that's included here, at Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing's website. But this one comes with a soothing soundtrack (see above). And some wikis...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why am I not in this anthology?

Obviously, because "Wylde's Kingdom," which is in a fundamental way, all about squid, just like the Squidpunk manifesto says it should be, has not yet appeared.

Not that I'm bitter...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Dinner with Claude...

...Lalumière, that being, the editor of Tesseracts Twelve and my story "Wylde's Kingdom," of which you've all heard plenty on this blog over the past month. Claude also noted my tendency to drone on and on and on about T12 and my great big story, and so assumed that I'd seen the cover for the book, which is all done now and looks like this -

- only less blurry. I had not. So I checked it out here, at EDGE's online catalogue. (There's a .PDF of a T12 promotional booklet containing samples of all the stories, as well as foreword and afterword, here) For the less blur-tolerant among you Yard-apes, allow me to describe: it's a depiction of an attractive, short-haired young woman, carving herself out from a block of stone. Think of a Stone Angel cover - approved in an alternate timeline, where a far more literal-minded Margaret Laurence was pitching to the Canadian SF crowd, and Angelina Jolie'd been cast to play Hagar Shipley in the movie.

I think this cover kicks ass. It should sell lots of books, and perhaps also inspire a few intriguing websites that are nevertheless not safe for work.

* * *
Added April 22:


Edge put up a better image file, so I pass it along to you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Sloan Men goes Theatre of the Mind...

You know, that tag-line dates me more than I'm actually dated.

What I mean to say is, "The Sloan Men," available for free to read here, will be available to listen to here, at Pseudopod, sometime in the near future. Just got word that the well-known horror podcast wants to do an audio adaptation of the story - so soon as I can get the contract signed and sent, and they can fit it into their schedule...

And in other news - Tesseracts Twelve, in which my novella "Wylde's Kingdom" plays a prominent role, is now available ... for pre-order, from Amazon.ca, here. You still have to wait until September to get it, though...

Some day, I may subtitle a collection 'Nice Stories for Kids'...

... but not the story collection coming out from ChiZine next year, now that we've decided on the title Monstrous Affections. The table of contents isn't finalized yet (I'm writing a couple new stories exclusively for the collection) but so far there's nothing in it that violates the Criminal Code of Canada, and calling it Monstrous Affections: Nice Stories for Kids would be false advertising.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 'Yard' goes analog

Contracts are yet to be signed, a title yet to be settled-upon, and two new stories yet to be written -- but the news is still good, Yard-apes. This weekend, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi of the ChiZine machine let me know they're going to publish a story collection of mine.

It'll come out in 2009, from ChiZine Publications. That being ChiZine's new paper-and-ink imprint, just launched last month with Brent Hayward's novel Filaria. Yeah, you could say I'm pretty stoked. Filaria's goddamn gorgeous, and Brett and Sandra reassured me that the collection will be goddamn gorgeous-er -- although we cannot, as I'd suggested, call it Nice Stories for Kids. More than likely, the book you'll all be ordering in limited-edition hardcover this time next year (right?) and again somewhat later in an affordably-priced trade paperback (um, right?) will bear the name of this blog and website:

The Devil's Exercise Yard
Nice Stories for Kids

But there's plenty of time to decide. In the meantime, let me just say it'll be a pleasure to be working with Brett and Sandra and publishing a story collection and having you all buy it when the time comes.


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Update - April 1

Okay, after a quick email exchange with Brett and Sandra, both of whom have a far better idea on how to sell a collection than I, it probably won't bear the title

The Devil's Exercise Yard
Nice Stories for Kids

but rest assured we'll call it something. And probably not

The Devil's Mud Room
Nice Stories for Kids

either. Although so far Sandra likes that one best...

Friday, March 28, 2008

To the Stars!

That being one translation for Ad Astra, although not, in this case, the pertinent one, which reads more like: To the early spring science fiction/fantasy (and horror, a bit) convention taking place in Toronto this weekend! It's at the Crown Plaza Toronto Don Valley Hotel (1250 Eglinton Avenue East) from March 28-30. For more details, there's a website, here.

I'm going to be there, and doing some panels. For those of you who want to see me (or help build my self-esteem by packing my reading, about which there is more below), here's my schedule:

David Nickle Sat 10:00 AM Ballr. East Harry Potter: A Look Back

David Nickle Sat 3:00 PM Ballr. West Collaborating

David Nickle Sat 8:00 PM Salon 443 Horror: How Far is Too Far?

David Nickle Sun 12:30 PM Salon 443 Reading

Now, on to the reading. In honor of the overall science fiction/fantasy theme of the convention, this year I'm not going to read a slimy, be-tentacled horror story. I'm going to be reading just a bit of a slimy, be-tentacled science fiction story, the aforementioned "Wylde's Kingdom" novelette that will be appearing in Tesseracts Twelve this fall. Somewhat sooner than that, I'm going to post a bit of it online, and when that happens, I'll probably illustrate it with many cheesy photoshopped teasers, like this one here.

So. Sunday, 12:30, Salon 443. To the stars.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Speaking of cats...

... in the service of keeping the Yard current, and cat-friendly - here's another slice-of-life animation from the fellow who brought you the last cat cartoon on this blog.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Well, I guess it's out of the bag...

... the cat, I mean, now that facebook pal and horror writer/editor Brett Savory has made public, complete with flattering facebook photo, my participation in ChiZine/Leisure's 14th Short Story contest. So here it is: This week, I graciously accepted Brett's invitation to join a panel of judges to look over short stories submitted to ChiZine and Leisure's competition.

Unwittingly, I also apparently accepted a challenge from Mr. Savory to a blogging duel at dawn, at 20 paces with trolled facebook photos.

Never let it be said that I am one to shrink from a challenge.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Look out for Jim

Well that's a cryptic old title line, isn't it? In October it will be a tiny bit less cryptic, when Tesseracts Twelve comes out, with my novella "Wylde's Kingdom" taking up large amounts of real estate between its covers. Claude Lalumière, the editor of this edition of the long-lived Canadian speculative fiction anthology, let me know the story was in just last night. To say that I'm mighty pleased would be an understatement: one of the things you learn in the fiction-writing gig is finding respectable homes for your 17,000-word-plus novellas is a long game that rarely ends well. In that sense, Claude and Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing are doing the work of angels, because this next edition of the book is all novelettes/novellas all the time.

When the time comes, I'll post an excerpt over at the Devil's Exercise Yard website.