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Saturday, August 30, 2008

MIND MELD

Interesting piece over at SF Signal. As part of their Mind Meld Series they asked a selection of authors, editors and publishing professionals...

If You Could Change Any Aspect of The Science Fiction Field, What Would it Be?

The answers are quite interesting and varied. Participants include Kathleen Ann Goonan, Colleen Lindsay, James Van Pelt, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, and Ken MacLeod. Go take a look.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pat Rothfuss Fans Should Thank Me

Yesterday Patrick Rothfuss, author of the hugely successful The Name of the Wind (and I do mean HUGELY successful), was kind enough to blog about me. Seems he had some misconceptions about ole' Dave at the start, but was pleasantly surprised by the real thing...

If you want to know why his fans owe me a debt of gratitude, take a look. Here's the post. He's a funny guy. Be ready to chuckle.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day After Launch Day...

... feels a lot like launch day, which felt a lot like the day before...

Anyway, I'm about to head off to "teach". Before I do, I can't help mentioning that the excellent John Scalzi was kind enough to mention Acacia over at Whatever, in his Book Haul post. I'm sure we all know that Mr. Scalzi is a highly intelligent man, with refined tastes. See here, for example, his comments on Acacia:

"Durham's very excellent fantasy debut, now in convenient paperback form. I'm a big fan of this book, so check it out if you haven't done so already."

Oh, he mentions some other books also... ;)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Launch Day

So, this is it. August 26th. Acacia, the paperback, will pop up like a fungus on bookshelves across the nation. At least, I'm hoping it will. (And anchor is hoping it will, since they printed enough copies of the thing to cause considerable contamination.)

So, you may be wondering, what changes for David on this momentous day? Well, I may answer, not much. Naw. Pretty much a regular day. I taught my first session of one class last night. I'll be getting ready for the first of my other class meetings on Wednesday. Also writing a bit of The Other Lands, spending a little time online. I've got a doctor's appointment in there somewhere. Need to take some dvds back to Blockbuster and a few books back to the library. I'll have to throw something together for dinner for the family, probably watch a bit of the Democratic Convention later. Read before bed, and then get up and do most of it over again.

Yes, I will check Amazon a few times as well. I probably won't get out to Borders or B&N today, though. I did that on the day that Gabriel's Story came out back in 2001. It was a surprisingly muted experience. Yes, my book was there on the new release shelf, but damn, there were so many other books in that place! Needle in a haystack, it felt like, and I was there hoping people were going to get pricked. That was, of course, a first novel. Things are different now. In some ways. Just the same in others. But still, my life goes on quite normally. Things to do. Books to write. Donuts to make. This is a good thing, really.

On another note, Fantasy Book Critic is doing a giveaway. He's got five copies of the paperback to doll out to folks. Click over and sign up for one. (And if you win one, please consider buying another copy, just to like balance the karmic scales and all that.)

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook Again

Apparently, Facebook deleted Vintage-related pages recently. So it's look likes anyone that joined my Facebook, um... fan page... is no longer a, well... a fan.

So, if you're interested in reaffirming your fandom, please visit again! All sorts of good things will come from it, I'm sure. Not sure what sort of things, but I have faith.

I think this link will take you to right place.

By the way, did I mention that Acacia goes on sale in paper tomorrow? Well, it does!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just An Update

Hi, folks. I've not been blogging a ton the last couple of weeks. Had a lot going on. Some of it was some family stuff that's taken a good deal of time and energy. I've also been preparing - mostly mentally, really - for beginning of the new academic year. I'll be teaching two classes, an undergrad Beginning Fiction Writing course and a Graduate Writing Workshop. Not a bad schedule, really, but it's a readjustment.

Oh, the third thing that's been taking up a lot of my time, of course, is The Other Lands. I was trying to get as much of it done before the school year began as I could. I didn't make it all the way to the end, but I'm pretty happy with where I ended up. Not done yet, but the end is in sight. I've got all the story before me. I know all the scenes that are yet to be written. I know exactly how each narrative thread ends. (Suspect cliffhangers. It is a middle volume, you know.)

It's one of the funny things about writing novels that the process often requires living with uncertainty for years. I've had that with this one, as I've had it with each of my longer books. For example, even up until a few days ago there were... um... "problems" ahead of me in this book. Spaces that were blank. Storylines that seemed to dead end. Plot moves that I knew I had to make but wasn't sure how I was going to make them. It's kinda crazy if you think about it too much. Like - "David, you've been working on this book for how long? How could you not know by now how you were going to handle what happens when $%^& finds out about *(&)%? That's crazy!"

But that's part of the process. Those plot elements and connections and character growth and the surprises can't all by mapped out ahead of time. Some of them have to be lived - by the author as well as by the characters.

What I'm saying, though, is a good thing. The end of The Other Lands is firmly in my sights. I have to work toward it while I'm also doing some other stuff, (You know - LIFE!) but I will be at the end soon. I will get this to my publisher and (barring something unforeseen - like my editor hating how I finished) I'm confident this book can make the pub date that we've had in mind for a while now, which essentially is a year from now. And, just so you know, I'll be at work on the third book immediately, no delay in getting the engine revving between two and three. This is mainly because the narrative really does flow right into the next book. I'd like to say I'm finished with The Other Lands one day and start work on &%^$# the next day. So that's my plan.

BTW, don't forget that Acacia: The War With the Mein hits in paperback form in two days! August 26th is the release date. It's mass market, you know, perfectly priced for these difficult economic times...

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Interview with Dave Brendon is Up

Hi. Just wanted to mention that the interview I did with Dave Brendon is up on his blog.

You can check it out here.


Okay. I'm off to the natural world for bit. Be back in a few days!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sly Mongoose

Hey folks. Just writing to make sure that everyone knows Tobias Buckell's new novel, Sly Mongoose, blazes into the world today. I've mentioned Toby before, since I think he's both a great guy to hang out with and also a very slick writer. His novels Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin are both top notch, fast, well-crafted, action-oriented sci-fi.

I expect more of the same from Sly Mongoose. I've had a galley of it for a few months, but, through no fault of my own, I've been unable to crack it open yet. I will, though. I will. I'd like to enjoy it, though, instead of feeling like I'm cramming it in between the host of other unmentionable things that demand my time.

Don't trust old Dave's opinion on Mr. Buckell? Well how about Publishers Weekly? Here's what they had to say:

Buckell returns to the universe of Crystal Rain (2006) and Ragamuffin (2007) for another action-packed story of human colonists fighting to survive on an alien world with all the odds against them. The story bounces between two protagonists: teenage Timas, one of the few inhabitants of the floating spherical city of Yatapek who can maintain the enormous mining machine that harvests ore from the furnace-hot surface of Venus-like Chilo, and Pepper, aka Juan Smith, an elite Ragamuffin soldier from New Anegada who'd prefer to forget about his violent past. As the only survivor of a ship infected with a virus that turns people into murderous zombie slaves of the alien Swarm, the last thing Pepper wants is another fight, but with the Swarm making inroads on Chilo, he has little choice. Buckell delivers double helpings of action and violence in a plot-driven story worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

There's plenty more about Toby here at his website: Tobias Buckell Online.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

davebrendon's fantasy & SciFi Weblog

Dave Brendon, a bookseller and blogger from South Africa, has posted a lovely review of Acacia on his blog. He's the SciFi and Fantasy specialist at Fascination Books, which appears to be a chain with stores all over South Africa. Cool. Also very nice that he liked the book so much!

Dave has been in contact with me, actually, and I'll be answering a few interview questions for him shortly. Great to think I'm getting some attention way down south in Africa.

If you have any desire to buy your books in Rands, now you know where to go!

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'd Take That Action

(Bear in mind, please, that I don't have a vendetta against spiders in general. I know they do much good in the world. But... this is personal, baby.)

If you said, "David, I'll bet you a negihamichi roll that you can't kill ten black widow spiders within the confines of the half acre or so of your house this very evening..."

I'd say, "I'll take that action. Start toasting the maki, my friend."

I'd say, "You're on, baby, and I won't even include the one I smashed in the garage earlier, or the two I squished on the walkway to my back office."

And then I'd say, "Yeah, but those three cheeky buggers hiding in the bushes beside the front steps... they're fair game. Sweetness. They're going down..."

Am I disturbed?... Another August evening in Fresno, CA... Who needs reality TV?

(I'd include pictures, but I've had enough of seeing these things. Honestly... yesterday, I dragged one of our kayaks from the side of the house. Figured I'd plop it in the pool and see if I could still hand roll. How many black widows had made it a home? Four. Four! It was a six foot, bright red plastic spider condo. Two had egg sacks. Planning for the future, I guess.)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If Only Jeff VanderMeer Were A World Fantasy Judge This Year...

If he was, maybe I'd have made the list of finalists for best novel. But he's not, and I didn't. (Sad face.)

I learned this news via his Omnivoracious Amazon Blog, from his post: World Fantasy Award Finalists Announced-- Gone Trad? Click over and read his thoughts on it.

Spontaneous Derivation also mentions me as a finalist pick: A Quick Note of the 2008 World Fantasy Awards. Thanks for that. (It's funny, as well, because that post features Kindle content/subjects, and links to the Kindle version of Acacia. Hi Arachne Jericho.)

And Yendi had a few words on the subject: World Fantasy Awards.

Thanks to all of them for the kind mentions, and for placing me in the rather grand company of some of the others that didn't make the list. (Think Patrick Rothfuss, Dan Simmons, Ekaterina Sedia, Scott Lynch, Nalo Hopkinson, Daniel Abraham, John Crowley, Paul Park for example.) We should all get together and have a party at the Convention.

Don't get me wrong, though. I've nothing against the folks that are nominated. Actually... I haven't read any of the books in question. A couple of them I didn't even notice coming out, which is strange because I was looking. It's possible that I'll find a new favorite author from this list - and that's one of the things that awards are really about. (They can also be a kick in the pants that helps get my nose back into The Other Lands. There are books to be written!)

Here's the full list from the Locus website.

See any of your favorites there?

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zauberspiegel - Das Online Fanzine

I had the pleasure recently of doing an interview with Zauberspiegel, an up and coming German review site. Thanks to Bettina Meister for her time and attention to the book and to translating the interview!

The English Version is HERE.

The German Version is HERE.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

John W Campbell Award Goes To...

Mary Robinette Kowal.

Hey. Truth is, if it wasn't going to be me I'd have wanted it to be her.

Congrats, Mary.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Kindles? Anybody Out There Using Them?

(I'm actually away from the internet for a few days, but I set this up to post in my absence. So if you write me and I don't respond it's just because I'm away for a bit. Be back soon!)
I guess somebody is buying them, considering that all of my books have a Kindle sales ranking on Amazon, but this bit of technology is hard for me to get my head around. I, admittedly, have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. They're more important to me than any other household item, honestly. But is my favorite medium for the consumption of stories (by which I mean the stuff of life) on its way to obscurity?

I came across this post on the subject by a former student of mine, Allison Hartman Adams. Found it quite amusing: Prick Your Finger on the Kindle Spindle.

So, anybody out there with one of these? Like it?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Denvention Not Happening For Me

I'm sad to say I'm not going to be going to WorldCon this year. I'm bummed about it, but some familial stuff has come up that I simply have to deal with. Family first. So this time I'll be missing out on the fun.

I have tapped a friend to be on hand at the Hugo ceremony. On the very off chance that I'm the person called up for the John W. Campbell Award there will be somebody there to pick it up for me and to say a few over emotional words.

If you're going, have a great time! Me... Well, I'll start setting my sights on the next World Fantasy...

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Soon To Be On Airport Shelves All Across The Country

Hey, so I've had a busy week. Yesterday I got another box in the mail, this one with the mass market paperbacks of Acacia in them! Again, I'm very happy with it. It's chunky, but Anchor still pushed for a quality feel to it. The lettering is all shiny and cool, and I like the way they slapped the John W Campbell Award Finalist Emblem on it. I'm imagining this one on airport bookshelves all over the country...

The scary thing (for me) is that this is the last page of the book...

You'll note that in the lower right hand corner there's a projected pub date. It's says "Summer 2...." Oops, I guess I blocked that part accidentally. Anyway...

This book (the first one) will definitely be on shelves at the end of August, the 26th to be exact.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

A Little Italian Action

Will it get annoying if I keep mentioning nice things that are happening to me? I don't want to overdo it, so let me know if I start to get on your nerves. I'll keep it to myself then. (Or give you a bit more info on the things that AREN'T going right. There's plenty of that, too! It's just not quite as much fun to talk about.)

Anyway, my heart is a twitter today because I just received my copies of the Italian version of Acacia - I Ribelli del Mondo Oscuro! I think it's kinda lovely. It's very different than the other covers. Kinda brooding, not a person or strange beast or scraggly tree to be seen. What do you think?
It appears that this version has actually rolled out in that lovely country. I know this mainly because I've started to get Google alerts about it in Italian!

I got two in the last few days, for example. One of them took me
here: fantasy.blogosfere.it.

The other one was here: FantasyMagazine. Nice as well, although they used the photo of me from last year's World Fantasy. Overdressed and overheated and too smiley... Oh, well, though, that's me.

I noticed that there was a comment up already. Scanning it I noticed the word "tortura". Uhoh... Might this mean someone found the book a "torture"?

"Ce l'ho ma ancora non l'ho letto! Aspetterò l'uscita del secondo volume, altrimenti - se la storia mi cattura - sarà una tortura aspettare!"


And with an exclamation point, no less! Although, there's also something in there about the "secondo volume"... Okay, time to call of free internet translation technology... Babel Fish made a complete mess of it, but SDL came up with this...

"There I have it but still I did not read it! I will wait for the exit of the second volume, otherwise - if the story captures myself - will be a torture to wait for!"

Ah, okay. That I like. It's a reminder that the book was split in two for the Italian publication. This kind person, it seems, has picked up the first volume but is waiting for the second to come out before he starts reading. Nice of him. Makes me hope the story does capture him and is worth the wait. Also makes me very curious about how this first volume will be received. For those of you that have read the book, imagine if it stopped right in the middle, while Aliver was still with his rock-shaped friends in the Far South. Hmm... There's an awful lot left to go...

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