Well, here we are at the end of a long and weird year, though I don't suppose it's longer than any
other. It just feels that way. Like many of you, we've felt the crunch of the economic
downturn. We've had to tighten our belts and couldn't even afford to do a chapbook this year,
which is kind of sad, since it would have been the 30th. But there's always next year.
At least the Americans got an election right. Here in Canada, we can't really be blamed
since we didn't have any viable choice in the first place.
But the year turns, hope springs eternal, and one has to believe that things will get
better for all of us in the coming months.
I've spent the year working on a new young adult novel that doesn't have a contract or
a title as of yet. I've also been rewriting an old high fantasy called Eyes Like Leaves,
which I think of as the fourth in the Early Stories series that's been coming out through
Subterranean Press, preparing a fifth collection of Newford stories for Tor
called Muse and Reverie (thanks to MaryAnn for the title), and working on some shorter
pieces, but none of these will see print for awhile, because that's how the publishing business
works. After I turn something in, it's still a year or so before it actually hits the shelves.
But I do have a new adult novel coming out in March. This is The Mystery of Grace,
set in a city in the Southwest. I really lucked out with the cover. Actually, the book sort
of has two covers. The advance reading copy had a gorgeous John Palencar painting on it (at left).
But as much as I loved it artistically, it was really too dark for the book and happily, not only
did Tor agree, but the ever-busy Mr. Palencar found time in his hectic schedule to do a second
painting for the book. The cover at right is what you'll see when it hits the stands.
We got a couple more advance reading copies of the book, so MaryAnn's just put another one on eBay. It can be found at:
Coming in June from Tachyon Publications is a trade paperback edition of Medicine Road. The
cover is a different colour from the original edition, but it still contains all of Charles Vess'
gorgeous art, and it will be available at a much more affordable price than has been the case on
the collector's market.
The third collection in the Early Stories series, Woods & Waters Wild, is now out. I
never got to see galleys of it, but the final copies arrived just before Christmas and it
looks very nice. Gail Cross of Desert Isle Designs who designs most of Subterranean Press'
books (if not all of them) has done her usual wonderful job. I can't wait to see what she
does with the upcoming Eyes Like Leaves and the reprint collector's edition of The Onion Girl.
Also out now is the audio version of Moonheart from Blackstone
Audio (www.blackstoneaudio.com). These
are the same folks who did such a wonderful job with Memory & Dream. I haven't listened all
the way through to either one of them (I already know how the stories end), but I've dipped into
various chapters and really like what I've heard. Forthcoming titles
include Dreams Underfoot and The Onion Girl.
Some of you might be familiar with the work of Andrew Vachss. I know the books are a little
too dark and hard-boiled for some of you, but I love them, especially the long running Burke
series. That series has now come to an end with the publication of the eighteenth
book, Another Life (now available from Pantheon).
The book was the perfect lift I needed at the end of a trying year. I'm not going to tell you
anything more about it except to let you know that he ties up a lot of loose ends from the
series as a whole, and the few he doesn't—well, that's why we have imaginations. We
can work it out for ourselves.
But I can tell you that Andrew being Andrew, is doing something different to promote the
book. That shouldn't come as any surprise to those of you who know him; just consider the
fabulous blues "soundtrack" that came out to accompany another of the Burke books a few years ago.
This time he's duplicating one of his book store events, except he's doing it on-line. Let
me quote a bit from his publicist: "Anyone who has ever had a question they wanted to
ask Andrew Vachss has an unprecedented opportunity to do so, on Wednesday, January 14. He'll
answer as many question as he can, live, on camera, during this totally free, three-hour
webcast. More info available at www.vachss.com."
It's going to be a terrific event, a way of allowing everyone to participate where before his
book tours would only take him to a few big cities. And this is the book tour, so do point
your browser there on January 14th. Even if you're not a reader of his books, you'll find
Andrew to be a charismatic and fascinating speaker on every sort of subject.
MaryAnn wants to simplify her life and rediscover some creative arts that she left behind,
and explore others that she's never tried, so she wrapped up the year by closing her vintage
clothing & jewelry booth at the Antique Market. She'll continue her vintage thing on a smaller
scale, doing shows and private sales. If you're local, and want to hear about those, just drop
her a note at email@example.com, and she'll be happy to
add you to her mailing list. If you're not local, but want to hear about eBay listings,
just send her a message to that effect.
In the past several months, MaryAnn's helped out some artsy young women with their cool
e-zine called The Dinner Jacket. www.thedinnerjacket.com
You can read an interview with MaryAnn in the September issue, and see her clothing in
various issues. I especially love the stilt pictures from November. Because of dastardly
technical glitches, December's issue isn't up on the main site yet, but you can still
take a peek at:
* * *
I started writing this one afternoon in 2008, but didn't finish it until late at night in
2009. So I can't say see you next year anymore. But at least it's been less than a month
since the last newsletter (which was misnumbered #28).
MaryAnn and I wish each and every one of you the very best in 2009. Take care of one another and stay safe.