|News and Appearances - 2002|
Asimov's published the second Darger and surplus story, "The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport," in its October/November issue. Michael says:
"Darger meets the one great love of his life, with predictable consequences. And I've just
sold Gardner another story, "Legions in Time," a Van Vogtian tale of superduperscience - all
speed and no adjectives - which should dismay and appall all lovers of fine literature."
Michael describes an event he attended: "I was present at a reception at the Roxborough branch of the Philadelphia
Free Library for the unveiling of their sidewalk bricks. This is a common bit of fund-raising
these days: For a sizeable contribution, you get a vanity brick with your name or message cut
into it. I bought two bricks, one reading Jack Faust and the other Jane Alderberry. I liked
the physical connection of my books to the neighborhood, and the thought that a hundred years
from now those in the know will get a kick out of seeing them."
The Dog Said Bow-Wow won the Hugo for Best Short Story at ConJose. Michael says:
"My story aced out "The Bones of the Earth" at the last possible minute, too. Le Guin led solidly until the very last cut. I'm just glad that I'm down on record as liking that story.
My moment of glory occurred at 1:30 a.m. East Coast time. The phone rang in the middle of the
night, I stumbled out of bed, and kicked the cord out of the phone. By the time I got it stuck
back in, the phone was silent. So I hung it up, not realizing that the answering machine
downstairs was recording Eileen Gunn's message, and went back to bed. I said to Marianne, "For a
moment there, I thought I'd won," and went back to sleep."
Being Gardner Dozois won the Locus Award for best non-fiction book, "much to Gardner's chagrin", says Michael. "BGD is my book-length interview with Gardner, in which we examine every published work of short fiction he ever wrote in order of publication. It contains his statement that only "five people on Earth" would want to buy a book-length interview with him, later revised down to four when his wife, Susan Casper, told him she wasn't going to buy a copy.
"Which just goes to show you how wrong Gardner Dozois can be. Wonderful writer.
In The Shadow Of The Wall, edited by Byron Tetrick, is fresh out from
Cumberland House. In addition to Michael's "Dirty Little War," it contains stories
relating to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. by Orson Scott Card, L.E. Modesitt, Jr.,
Laura Resnick, Barry Malzberg, and many others.
Foundation has just accepted "Hope-in-the-Mist," a biographical profile of fantasist Hope Mirrlees. Quoting Michael: "Back in the 1920s, Mirrlees was a serious literary figure, a crony of Virginia Woolf (Mirrlees's only professionally published poem, "Paris," was the fifth publication of Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press) and good pals with T.S. Eliot, who stayed at her mother's house during World War II. She wrote three novels, two justifiably forgotten, and a third, Lud-in-the-Mist, that is an enduring classic of the genre. Then, at the peak of her abilities, she stopped writing. At 19,000 words, including footnotes, "Hope-in-the-Mist" is the longest piece of non-fiction devoted to her to date.
This project has taken me years of research to put together, and it's been enormous
amounts of fun. It's put me in touch with feminist academics, T.S. Eliot's widow, and
Hope Mirrlees's nephew, Count Robin de La Lanne Mirrlees, and it's made use of academic
skills I picked up in college thirty years ago, and haven't had the opportunity to employ
«King Dragon» again: "[It] is finished and in. I confidently expect it
will give all Anne McCaffrey-style dragon-lovers the pip.
New Hugo nominations came in. Michael is nominated in
two categories: in Best Short Story, for "The Dog Said Bow-Wow",
published in Asimov's; and
in Best Related Book, for Being Gardner Dozois. You can
see the other contenders at the
«King Dragon» is almost finished. Michael describes it: "It'll appear in The Dragon Quintet, a Science Fiction Book of the Month Club original, edited by Marvin Kaye. With other original dragon stories by Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Moon, and two others. (Since they haven't turned in their stories yet, I feel I shouldn't name names.) Kaye calls Lee's work "a sensual legend of a woman in love with dragonry," and Moon's "an engrossing story of an appealing young man who finds dragon eggs that drastically change his life." I told him that my story would serve as a corrective to these two. It's so caustic, it'll strip the paint off a Peterbilt."
Also: "I sold "Slow Life" to Analog, and Stan Schmidt is talking
about giving it the cover. As Pete will testify, this is hard SF
- it begins with a three-page description of a raindrop falling
A new series of Michael Swanwick's short stories on the Web:
"I've already written the first dozen stories and, even for
me, they are mordant creations. Images of Goya's etchings will
be posted with each story, which is particularly helpful because
his wonderful images add immensely to the narratives. There will
be an overriding arc to the entire series with several inter-related
threads (tales of the ruthless Elena, of the unfortunate Grace,
and of Prick the Donkey among them) running throughout. This is
something I've wanted to do for years, and I'm quite excited about it.
Michael Swanwick about his latest batch of short stories:
"Invisible Cities Press experienced cash-flow problems and dropped Crossroads: Southern Stories of the Fantastic, but since I trust the volume's editors, Brett Cox and Andy Duncan, I'm leaving "The Last Geek" with them while they look for a publisher. Most (and possibly all) of the writers in that book are doing the same.
"And I've turned in another thirteen short-shorts to Ellen
Datlow for Sci Fiction's "Periodic Table of Science Fiction,"
bringing it up to element 52, Tellurium. I got a ton of complaints
for calling element 27, Vanadium, a "couch potato," incidentally.
Vanadium, it turns out, has fans. Lots of fans. Take my advice
- if you ever want to work on the Web again, don't dis Vanadium."
Michael Swanwick will be Ellen Kushner's guest in her radio show on NPR, Sound and Spirit,
on November 9. He will talk about J. R. R. Tolkien. More about the show at