Since Paul Park’s novella “Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance” (from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue) is on the final ballot for this year’s Nebula Award, we’ve posted the story on our Website:
In the climate change anthology I just edited, I did up a list of books in which climate change plays a significant role. Which titles did I miss?
Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (1985)
Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson (1997)
Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (2008)
The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman (1990)
Climate of Change by Piers Anthony (2010)
The Drought by J. G. Ballard (1968)
The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard (1968)
The Drylands by Mary Rosenblum (1993)
Earth by David Brin (1990)
Eruption by Harry Turtledove (forthcoming 2011)
Exodus by Julie Bertagna (2005)
Far North by Marcel Theroux (2009)
The Flood by Maggie Gee (2005)
Forty Signs of Rain (2004), Fifty Degrees Below (2005), and Sixty Days
and Counting (2007) by Kim Stanley Robinson
Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias edited by Kim Stanley Robinson (1994)
The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse by Dale Pendell (2010)
Greenhouse Summer by Norman Spinrad (1999)
Greensword by Donald J. Bingle (2009)
Greenwar by Steven Gould and Laura J. Mixon (1997)
Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling (1996)
Hothouse (aka The Long Afternoon of Earth) by Brian W. Aldiss (1962)
The Ice People by Maggie Gee (2005)
In Flight Entertainment by Helen Simpson (2010)
Mother of Storms by John Barnes (1994)
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman (2008)
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (2004)
Pennterra by Judith Moffett (1987)
Primitive by Mark Nykanen (2009)
Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi (2008)
The Ragged World (1991), Time, Like an Ever-Rolling Stream (1992), and The Bird Shaman (2008) by Judith Moffett
The Road to Corlay by Richard Cowper (1978)
River of Gods by Ian McDonald (2004)
The Sea and Summer (aka The Drowning Towers) by George Turner (1987)
The Snow by Adam Roberts (2004)
Solar by Ian McEwan (2010)
State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004)
Sunshine State by James Miller (2010)
Timescape by Gregory Benford (198x)
Ultimatum by Matthew Glass (2009)
Water Rites by Mary Rosenblum (2007)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)
World Made by Hand by James Howard Kuntsler (2008)
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2009)
- Tell us a bit about “12:02 P.M.” What’s it about?
“12:02 PM” is a direct sequel to my 1973 story “12:01 PM.” The 1973 story concerns a somewhat beaten-down office worker named Myron Castleman who has got into such a rut that his life is a daily repetition. He keeps doing the same things over and over, getting nowhere, as all of his hopes and dreams slowly fade away. Pardon my use of a lit’ry term, but in fact this is a metaphor for the lives of too many people in the modern world. It was certainly my own life at one time.
“12:01 PM” ends on a note of despair. “12:02 PM” takes up directly where “12:01 PM” leaves off, and is, I believe, a far more positive and hopeful story. I don’t want to go into details here. I’d much rather have people read “12:02 PM.”
- What prompted you to write a follow-up story?
In 1989 writer-director Jonathan Heap made a brilliant 30-minute film of “12:01 PM.” The film starred Kurtwood Smith as Myron Castleman. It was an Academy Award finalist and still turns up on TV on occasion. As far as I know, the only purchasable version is on a compilation DVD released in the UK. BTW, this film is not to be confused with the feature-length version starring Jonathan Silverman, Helen Slater, and Martin Landau. That’s quite a different story, although it’s based loosely on “12:01 PM.”
For the past twenty years I’ve remained in contact with Jonathan Heap and Kurtwood Smith, and one of them mentioned in a recent email that it might be interesting to try and figure out whatever happened to Myron after the first story ended. Did he just stay in his rut, repeating one hour over and over and over — endlessly? Or might there be an escape for him after all. I went to sleep with that question in my mind and woke up the next morning with the answer, ready to write “12:02 PM.”
- Did the writing of this story present you with any significant challenges?
From a creative viewpoint, I had to decide just when the new story would take place. After all, it had been 37 years since I wrote “12:01 PM.” I decided that “12:02 PM” should continue the narrative seamlessly. Once I sat down and turned on my computer — I was tempted to rev up the ancient IBM Selectric I wrote “12:01 PM” on but decided not to do that — I was amazed that I was able to slip right back into the writing mode of the first story.
- What kind of research, if any, did you have to do for the story?
I’m an old New York hand, and even though I’ve lived in California for more than 40 years, I had no problem with getting my head back into the Manhattan of that era. I’m convinced that “You can take the New Yorker out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the New Yorker.” “12:02 PM” takes place on Vanderbilt Avenue, in the Public Library, in the Chrysler Building, and in Bryant Park. I had no problem revisiting all of these locales, “seeing” a copy of the old Daily Mirror, or “eating” in various midtown restaurants.
- What are you working on now?
My latest mixed-genre collection, Dreams, should be out from Mythos Books very shortly. And a police procedural novel, Rookie Blues, is in production at Dark Sun Press, a new publisher in Virginia. I’ve promised a Lovecraftian novel, Beneath the Karst, to Perilous Press. I hope to write that book later this year. And I’ve been
Editorial Director at Surinam Turtle Press, an imprint of Ramble House, for several years. I’ve been having a great time there. Always wanted to be a publisher, and finally made it. I do wish I had a bigger budget to work with — or any budget! — but I have marvelous support from my boss, Fender Tucker, and our chief designer and art director, Gavin O’Keefe.
- Anything else you’d like to add?
The first story I ever submitted to a professional magazine, I sent to F&SF in 1951. Anthony Boucher rejected it. He was right to do so, it was strictly amateur stuff. But Tony offered such encouragement that I kept on trying and finally got into this great magazine. I’m proud any time I appear in its pages, and hope to continue doing so for many years to come.
* “12:02 P.M.” appears in the Jan./Feb. 2011 issue of F&SF.
I wasn’t planning on doing another one of these promotions this year, but I find myself with fifteen advance copies of the December issue, so I’m looking to give away to anyone in North America who will blog about the issue. (Sorry, overseas readers, but international mailing rates are just too high for F&SF to foot the bill.) So here’s how it works:
1) Go to the F&SF Contact us page: http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/contact.htm
2) Fill in your name and address and send a message indicating that you will blog about the issue.
3) After your issue arrives, comment about the issue on your blog and send us a link to your comments.
If you’ve participated in one of these bloggers’ promotions before, please give someone else the chance to try F&SF for free.
—Gordon V. G .
I thought this was worthy of note:
Sept. 19, 2008: Jose Saramago starts a blog
Sept. 2, 2009: Jose Saramago gives up blog:
And here’s the blog itself: http://josesaramago.blogspot.com/
(I think it’s curious that the news item on Saramago giving up his blog doesn’t link to the blog itself).