This morning, I got news that the first printing of Beowulf is, well, gigantic. I'm pretty sure my heart momentarily stopped beating when I'd counted all those zeros. Then I remembered this was a "work for hire" contract, and the world righted itself again. But at the very least, this is going to give me a great burst of exposure, and I can only hope it will carry over to the other novels.
Speaking of the other novels, yesterday the post brought me two cover flats of the new (4th) edition of Silk (slated for a December 4th release), which looks like this (behind the cut if you're on LJ):
I think I may actually like this cover more than the original Roc cover (1st and 3rd editions, 1998 and 2001). Also, I've seen the cover for the mass-market paperback of Murder of Angels (due out next spring), and Penguin seems to have used the same model for Niki on both, so that's good.
Yesterday I did not get back into The Dinosaurs of Mars, as there were disruptions and wailing and much dithering, but I did read through "Anamorphosis" for the first time since at least 1999 (as I'm beginning to edit the "typescript" of Tales of Pain and Wonder), and that was a very strange experience, indeed. I sort of had to read it as though I was reading a story written by someone else. I must have said something to this effect when I was reading back over Silk recently, something about the Me of Now reading the thoughts of the Me of Then. I wrote that story in May 1994, and now it seems I wrote it in a world that was immeasurably different from the world of 2007. And certainly the woman who wrote it was immeasurably different (and distant) from the person I have become. I'd just moved to Athens, GA (from Birmingham) in April. I was writing Silk. I'd not yet done a convention, and though I'd sold a few sf stories to small-press magazines, nothing had yet been published. In those days, I wrote for no reason but to write, which was my odd sort of therapy. I spent my days in the Carriage House, hunched over the keyboard, and my nights in coffee houses, bars, and hanging out with friends' bands and other ne'er-do-wells. I was extraordinarily single. And I had no inkling that I would spend so many years in the company of Mr. Deacon Silvey or what terrible travails lay ahead for both of us. All in all, I think we've probably fared about equally well, though my demons have, generally, been less corporeal than have his.
What else about yesterday? Well, I finished Chapter Three of Chris Beard's book on early primates, the chapter that dealt mostly with Eocene omomyids from North America. Spooky and I finished Lemony Snicket's The Ersatz Elevator, which I think is probably my favourite book of his since the first three. I really did not care much for the The Miserable Mill, and was only a little happier with The Austere Academy, but I genuinely liked The Ersatz Elevator. He seems to have found the story again, which felt like it was drifting. And, if I'm not mistaken, there were some wonderful nods to Danielewski's House of Leaves, right down to the two blacked-out pages. In Second Life, we finished construction of the Palaeozoic Museum, just as the sun was rising over New Babbage (as a Rule of Thumb, there are four SL days to every one RL day), about 11:45 p.m. I'll post some photos later. I'm surprised that no one commented on the photos I linked to yesterday. It could be you all think I'm mad as a hatter, becoming so wrapped up in this thing. If you haven't spent enough time in SL to get past the strip-mall hideousness of the "mainland," I can hardly blame you. But it's going to be a marvelous place, this Museum, and Spooky and I are very proud of it. Now, I only have to build the exhibits. Admission will be free to all, and there will never be anything for sale anywhere on the premises, so screw you, All-Mighty Linden.
Remarkable thunder outside.
Though I have been perplexed and annoyed at the mean-spiritedness of the people leaking spoilers online for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I am equally perplexed and annoyed at Rowling's anger at today's review of the novel in The New York Times. The book is being released on Saturday. With most novels, there would have been reviews weeks ago. I mean, yeah, sure, I enjoy the books, and I'm doing all I can to avoid spoilers, and sure she's the Best-Selling Author of All Time, but I don't see how that changes the rules. But that's probably just the Socialist in me talking. Anyway...
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. I have a growing platypus to feed.