A quick moment to plug some stuff worth plugging:
1. It’s Scott Westerfeld’s birthday today, and you know what would make his birthday go down so smooth? If you said, “why, picking up a copy of his novel Extras, now finally out in paperback form!” you would be absolutely correct. Really, it’s amazing how often you’re correct, when I ask rhetorical questions on my site and have you respond. If you pick up the paperback edition, it also features a sneak preview of his next book, Leviathan. And you know you want that.
2. It is not Tobias Buckell’s birthday, but he just had twins (or rather his wife did, while Toby offered encouragement and assurances that he would change a diaper or two, really), so that’s all the excuse I need to tell you to this very instant go and purchase his brand-spankin’ new short story collection Tides from the New Worlds, which is available in a nifty signed limited edition from Wyrm Publishing. I’ll note that one of the 19 stories collected here is “Shoah Sry,” which Toby and cowriter Ilsa Blick wrote for the edition of Subterranean Magazine that I edited a couple of years back. Good story, great collection. Buy two, he has twins.
3. Ellen Klages, who also is not having a birthday today but whom I think is nifty beyond my capacity to express in words, pinged me to let me know that her book White Sands, Red Menace just won in the Young Adult category at the 78th Annual California Book Awards. What does this mean? Well, it means that aside from her and the other winners being feted in a nifty ceremony on June 4th in San Francisco, that the book is LASER AWESOME, and you should hold yourself in a state of massive ashameitude until you check it out. More seriously, Ellen is an absolutely fabulous writer, which is why she keeps piling up the awards (she won a Nebula a couple years back in the novelette category, and her previous YA novel The Green Glass Sea won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction). If you (or the YA reader in your family/social circle) aren’t reading her, you’re missing out.
4. The publicist at Roc sent me an e-mail asking me: “Won’t you please let us know if you write something about Flood, Stephen Baxter’s terrifyingly apocalyptic novel about the last days of dry land here on Earth?” And I said “Hey, why are you writing to me in blurb form?” And they said “I can’t help myself, because Flood’s gripping narrative of global warming taken to its natural and compelling conclusion has robbed me of my ability to speak genuine narrative and instead I must speak only in flap-copy-ready bites!” And I said, “That kinda sucks,” and they said, “Yes, but Flood, Stephen Baxter’s all-too-plausible vision of the ecological near future, does not!” And that’s pretty much where we left it. All I know is that I’ve been a fan of Baxter ever since he had the last creature descended of human stock attached to a super-tree by an umbilicus in Evolution, because, dude, we all knew we were going to end up as tree monkeys anyway, right? In any event, Flood, Stephen Baxter’s deeply moist tale of heavy-duty civilizational inundation, is out today. Also, it is not Stephen Baxter’s birthday. I feel I need to throw that out there.