Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eutopia is an April release...


Eutopia is my upcoming novel, acquired some time back by ChiZine Publications. It's a novel about the early American eugenics movement, utopianism, and a terrible monster - taking place for the most part in May 1911.
Well it turns out Eutopia will be hitting shelves just one month shy of the story's centennial. ChiZine's announced its spring 2011 line-up, and Eutopia's coming out April 15.
There will be lots of goodies coming in the months leading up to that date: viral videos, provocative blog postings, perhaps a website ... a jar of guts. To keep you going in the mean time, here is a tiny scene, presented without context or explanation:
Jason brought the candle down the steps. The space in here had been dug out of the ground and lined with fieldstone and timber. the ceiling was a low, whitewashed arch. Air circulation was bad in here, and the few times Andrew had been down before he'd always had the uneasy sense that he was about to suffocate.
"Sure are a lot of jars here," said Jason.
"This is where the hospital keeps its specimens," said Andrew. "Someone's foot gets amputated -- we pull out some kidney stones -- even if we cut out an appendix. It all goes here in a jar."
"Every time?"
"Not every time." Andrew squinted at a line of jars filled with stones of various sizes. Thin sheets of effluvia drifted in the yellowish liquid. "But when there's something remarkable about it. Something worth writing down. Then yes, we keep it."
Jason looked hard at the jars. "Should be a lot of jars like that around here. They're labeled and everything. What're we looking for?"
"Not kidney stones from M. Cunningham," said Andrew.
"Nor a testicle from L. Wharton," said Jason. "A testicle! He can't be too happy with how his life's carrying on."
Andrew chuckled. "I remember that one. I think he's happy enough these days. See how big it is?"
Jason looked closer. "I thought that was just the magnifyin' effect of the glass."
"Oh no. In fact, it looks like it has contracted since the surgery."
Jason whistled. "How'd a fellow walk, dragging something like that between his legs?"
"I wondered that too. And so I removed it."

It goes on like that for pages.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

My pal, the author...

This post should, I hope, prove once and for all that this blog is not just about me, me, me. It is also about my friends: this morning, convicted felon and now Hugo-winning sf author Peter Watts. I got this news from various sources in Australia and beyond, where Peter lost a bet and actually won the Hugo for Best Novelette, for "The Island" last night. It was originally published last year in New Space Opera 2 (ed. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan). I had the misfortune of critiquing the story before it came out, and finding the only lack in it was that it didn't have a Hugo award.

I'm glad to see that Peter has finally corrected my one significant quibble. My opinion's obviously worth something.

You can read the story, at rifters.com, Peter's website, right here. You'll see what I mean.

Thanks to Allan Weiss, for sending along this photo from Australia, taken after the ceremonies. I'm assuming he took it, so let's say he did.