How This Site Came to Be

In March 2000, I wrote a rambling review-essay on Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers, and noted in passing that, since there wasn't yet a Swanwick website, I'd be willing to help put one together. I sent the piece off to Keith Brooke's infinity plus mega-site, and he wrote back offering to help design a Swanwick site, if I (and others) would supply content. A few days later, Nick Gevers wrote, offering his Swanwick reviews and essays.

Cool. Three Swanwick fans, from Arizona, England and South Africa. Keith even makes his living designing websites! How hard can this be? We tossed around ideas, many of which you're seeing now.

I'd also sent a copy of my Vacuum Flowers piece to the author, who responded with a gracious note, and - since I'm a geologist - asked me to comment on a geologic scene in his novel, Bones of the Earth, then in progress.

Whoa. Michael Swanwick's science advisor! I dutifully critiqued the scene, perhaps in more detail than the author was expecting:

"... Breaking limestone & sniffing the fresh surface for kerogens is standard field practice, because mappable [rock] units sometimes have distinctive smells, and petroleum is always of interest. I usually 'taste' sediments too - this is a good way to distinguish fine siltstone (which is slightly gritty) from smooth & creamy shale.

When I was a bottle-washer and gofer in an organic-chemistry lab, there was a postdoc who could identify hundreds, if not thousands of organic compounds by their smell alone. Trying to stump him was the break-time diversion in the lab. The standard bet was a Coke (then still a nickel). And - he'd pop the bottle-cap on his newly-won soda with his teeth!"

Thus began a really neat email correspondence with Michael Swanwick. Regarding our site proposal, he wrote "Well, I am floored. And honored. Not to mention grateful ... So, yes, I'd be very receptive to the idea." He bought - we're up to May 2000 now. Ideas flew thick & fast - here's a note from Nick Gevers: "This could well become one of the best author sites in SF..." The boys were on a roll!

Except - Nick, Michael & I were almost ludicrously ignorant of the mechanics of site-building. Keith was supposed to take care of these petty, technical details (or so we kept hoping), but he wandered off to write a novel or something ... Anyway, time passed, and the Swanwick site project drifted to the back burner, then to the hall closet, then ...

It struck me. We ... need ... help! How did I get help before? Asked on the net. So I did.

Enter web-wizard and all-around good guy Vlatko Juric-Kokic. We're now up to March 2001, and this Croat design-wallah is a fireball! The results are before you. Nick was right - this really is one of the best author sites in SF. In our 'humble' opinions. We hope you agree.

And, if you're another Swanwick fan, and yearn to see your opinions up in lights on [ahem] "one of SF's finest author sites" - well - don't hold back. We're waiting for your help, correspondence, love-letters, advice....

Many thanks to all of our contributors, especially the hard corps: Vlatko, Keith, Nick - and Michael. It's been a... learning experience. Fun, too, mostly. And a big thank-you to SF Site - which we urge you to visit - for providing webspace at first.

Oh, and thanks to Michael for writing all that good stuff. If you happen to be new to Swanwick - boy, are you lucky! He's being a bit coy about us doing all the work here, as a glance through the contents - and his bibliography - will reveal. Anyway, it's absolutely certain we wouldn't have a Swanwick site without Michael...

So, enjoy your visit! Stay tuned! And -

"Write faster, Swanwick!"

Peter D. Tillman

Contributors and staff

Michael Andre-Driussi
A life-long love of science fiction. A variety of jobs, including retail bookseller, screen extra, assistant English teacher in Japan, small press magazine editor, amateur lexicographer (see Lexicon Urthus), writer (see complete bibliography at, and currently house husband with two kids. Recent publication on fiction of John Crowley in the form of a chapbook titled Snake's-hands.

Aaron Bergman is "at least for a little bit longer, a graduate student studying string theory at Princeton University."

Gardner Dozois is the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, and of the annual anthology series The Year's Best Science Fiction, now in its Eighteenth Annual Collection. He has won twelve Hugo Awards as the Year's Best Editor, and two Nebula Awards for his own short fiction. He is the author or editor of over eighty books.

Richard Horton is a software engineer living in the St. Louis, MO, area. He is a Locus Short Fiction columnist, and he writes reviews for 3SF Magazine, Locus Online, and SF Site among other publications. His homepage is at

Roz Kaveney is a well-known reviewer and interviewer; she was a contributing Editor to The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy and a contributor to The Cambridge Guide to Women Writers. She is the editor of 'Reading the Vampire Slayer - An unofficial critical companion to Buffy and Angel'.

James Patrick Kelly has written three and a half novels and sixty stories and has been on more Michael Swanwick appreciation panels than anyone else he knows. He and Michael both won Hugos at the 2000 WorldCon.

David Kennedy "trained as a scientist (PhD astrophysics) but bailed to become a commercial software engineer. I've always felt a bit like I've given up something very special, even though I know my research was rubbish and the reality of life of a post-doc in the UK is very far from ideal. However, I got to keep the scientific world-view goggles (tm) and enjoy wearing them all the time, even when reading fiction for fun."

James Davis Nicoll (1961-TBA)
Compulsive reader and accidental collector of lost or feral cats, I have lived in Kitchener-Waterloo for most of my life, except for five years in England and a year in Brazil. My great-grandfather once took his wife on a walking tour in a live volcano and survival skills do not seem to have improved markedly in my family since then.

Keith Brooke's short stories, novels and non-fiction have been published widely around the world. In 1997 he launched the web-based SF, fantasy and horror showcase, infinity plus ( The site features the work of many top genre authors, including Michael Moorcock, Stephen Baxter, Kit Reed, Ian McDonald, Vonda McIntyre and James Patrick Kelly, and since 2000 has been co-edited by Nick Gevers. Infinity Plus One, an anthology based on the website, includes Michael Swanwick's "Radio Waves", and was published in 2001. You can find out more about Keith and his work at

Nick Gevers is a regular reviewer and interviewer for infinity plus, Interzone, SF Site, Redsine, and Locus Online, and also writes for Nova Express. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, he recently became an Assistant Editor at Cosmos Books, and has been Associate Editor of infinity plus for some time. An academic by background, he holds a Ph.D. for his investigation of why SF so conspicuously lives in the past.

Vlatko Juric-Kokic has been the editor of an SF magazine, book reviewer, interviewer, translator, con organiser and all-around SF busybody. In 1996, he started his fanzine, Neither Fish Nor Fowl, which migrated to the Web in 2000 (at, and there you can find some of his interviews and other fine things. Because of the fanzine, he learned the Web weaving which he used to build this site. It's the interconectedness of all things, as Dirk Gently used to say.

Pete Tillman has been reading SF for more than 40 years. He reviews SF - and other books - for SF Site, infinity plus and many other publications. Most of his reviews are available in Under the Covers, at He is the author of two published short stories (one online at Dark Planet, and something like twelve lineal feet of technical reports. Pete is a mineral exploration geologist based in Arizona.

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