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.