Still Life With Cat and Book

Because who doesn’t like cats? And books? Illiterate dog-fanciers, I suppose, but there’s not much chance of them coming here.

Aside from giving the increasingly unruly Ghans ogh Ghlaghghee a gheline ghix, this post also serves notice that according to Subterranean Press, who would know, the print version of METAtropolis is now out and shipping. So if you preordered yourself a copy, it’s on its way (also: Thank you). And if you didn’t preorder yourself a copy, you should know that now there are fewer than 100 copies still available and you really need to get yourself motivated to pick one up, because when this edition is gone, it’s gone. So get cracking, folks. Ghlaghghee wants you to have a copy of your own.

18 Comments on “Still Life With Cat and Book”

  1. John P. Murphy – I'm an engineer and writer living in New England. My research background is in robotics and computer security; my writing is primarily science fiction and mystery.
    John Murphy

    Well, yeah — inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.

  2. My copy of MEATropolis is on its way.

    So, is this about a particular kind of meat used to make the city? Or did each writer take on a different kind of meat?

  3. Dana King – Laurel MD – Dana King has two Shamus Award nominations, for A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window. His Penns River series of police procedurals includes Worst Enemies and Grind Joint, which Woody Haut, writing for the L.A. Review of Books, cited as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. Down and Out Books will release the next book in the Penns River series, Resurrection Mall, in May 2017. A short story, "Green Gables," appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash. His newest book is A Dangerous Lesson. Dana’s blog, One Bite at a Time, resides at He lives in quiet near seclusion with The Beloved Spouse.
    Dana King

    Maybe this will expose my legendary ignorance even more, but this is how I learn:

    METAtropolis is clearly (pre)selling well. Assuming the 100 remaining copies sell out quickly, why wouldn’t Subterranean print more? Do they have a policy against making too much money?

    Not being snarky; genuinely curious.

  4. Subterranean’s primary business is short-run, high-end editions of books, basically. The book’s nearly sold out because Bill Schafer (the publisher) knew his market well enough to gauge the right amount to publish. You’re looking at someone hitting his target spot on.

    There’s a possibility that there might be a more mass-market edition of METAtropolis down the road, but that’s another issue, unrelated to this particular release.

  5. OK, I know how this is gonna sound, but:

    Is there any way to find out if I pre-ordered a copy of this way back when? I honestly can’t remember – it would have been months ago – can I ask Subterranean Press?

  6. CaseyL –I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person whose former self tends to order things without informing his current self. The plus side of this is that I am often delightfully surprised to randomly receive “gifts” that are of great interest to me.

  7. O Great Scalzi, how wonderful it is to finally have a picture of the Beauteous Ghlaghghee.

    However, it is clear you require a brief refresher on improving your photographic technique.

    a) Magnificent She must be centered in the frame. Props are unnecessary and should not be used.
    b) Her Glorious Shimmering Radiant Perfection must be well-lit and properly in focus. Please compensate correctly for Her Inner Illumination. You usually overcompensate and underexpose Her.
    c) Please leave interpretations of Her Desires to the experts of the Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club. She does not want people to buy this book. What She wants is for you to reward Her Infinite Efforts by actually winning a Hugo for Best Novel. Finally.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, incarnadine


    There, I said it. You happy?

  9. Shit, I was going to order the limited version but it was already sold-out. Doofus. Then I checked my mail from around 6 months ago there was a nice acknowledgment from Sub Press for my order. Maybe not as big a doofus as I thought but I still forgot I’d done it.
    Crisis averted.

  10. Thanks, John; done.

    Thomas: That’s what happens when there’s a gap… a lapse… a *lacuna* of time between when one orders something and when one can expect it to arrive.

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