Familiar Strangers

Over at Bookspot Cenral, Jay Tomio has reposted an essayistic thing, “Notes Towards a Sort of Supreme Fiction”, which I wrote a very. long. time. ago.  In my mid-twenties.  Reading over it again is like reading the work of a familiar stranger.  It also makes me feel just a little bit old. 🙂

Here’s Jay’s intro to the piece:

More bringing back vintage pieces from names you know now! I dug up some files from the Ratbastards! Today, Chris Barzak is one of the great young writers we have, with novels like One for Sorrow and The Love We Share Without Knowing (one of my best of 2008). The former won the Crawford award for Best Debut Novel.

Back then, however, we had a young man writing essays with titles like Notes Towards a Sort of Supreme Fiction. With his permission, it is this piece that BookSpot Central now represents. We’d like to thank Mr. Barzak for allowing us to do so . . .

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

I should probably also mention that One for Sorrow has made the preliminary 2008 Nebula Awards ballot.  It’s a list with some amazing writers on it.  I’m honored to be included in their company.

On my way to Spain

Some good news last week:  One for Sorrow is heading over to Spain now, to be published in translation by La Factoria de Ideas.  I’m always excited when something I’ve written is translated into another language, especially languages with which I have at least a passing familiarity.  When I received the Italian edition last spring, I spent hours look through the book to see what some sentences and passages looked and sounded like in that language.  And the way the book was packaged there was entirely different than how it was presented in North America, which was interesting too.   I’m thoroughly pleased to know I’ll have the chance to see what my first book looks like in Spanish now, too.

Locus Interview

The good folks at Locus Magazine are offering a deal for the latest issue, which features an interview with yours truly talking about everything from my first novel to my second novel, from Youngstown to Japan.  Order the issue with the full interview in Locus postage free (a savings of $3.00) or completely free with a subscription! To receive this special deal, click here.

Youngstown: Descent into Darkness

My friend Deb over at Youngstown Moxie found this great photography project on rustbelt cities created by freelance photojournalist Sean Posey of San Francisco. His family left Youngstown in the 80s and now he’s putting together a fine art/documentary project that will look at Youngstown and other areas of Michigan and Pennsylvania as it considers the rustbelt and the effects of de-industrialization on these communities. I love the slide show (the images of disintegration, decay, nature reclaiming a once settled and extremely populated region, the abandonment left in the wake of the 80s, are the sort of images I tried to collect through words when my characters Adam and Jamie come into Youngstown toward the end of One for Sorrow–and by the way, for readers of the book, the photo of the church in this slide show is the church that Adam and Jamie squat in when they reach town) and the Bruce Springsteen song is a perfect match for background music. But I’ll just crib from Deb and you can follow the link to the site to see for yourself. Thanks for finding it Deb!

Odd how things work around here. A friend of mine sent me a link to a slide show created by Sean Posey and as I was looking through the photos I recognized a church that another friend of mine, Chris Barzak, had written about in his book One for Sorrow. The church is located by YSU and I’m told that it is was the first church in the area. It is in poor condition and I would love to see the building saved. However, that is a story for another day.

I want to share with you the slide show that depicts our ruins in all of their glory. In the decay there is much beauty. I,for one, believe that by looking and perceiving the ruins through a lens of creativity, new birth will come to Youngstown. Not only has Sean Posey captured the beauty of the place, but he has somehow managed to imbue his photos with the emotional strength and courage of the people who reside here though people are are not his subjects, and are not within the frames of the photographs. Click here to view the show.

One for Sorrow in Italy

One for Sorrow debuts in Italy this month. Here’s the cover of the book there. And they’ve retitled it as The Secret Voice of Crows, since the title doesn’t translate well because of the rhyme from which it comes not being part of the culture there, I think. I like the new title as well. They’re comparing it to the film Donnie Darko, which I also like a whole lot. I hope my Italian readers like the book. I’ve had the most wonderful conversations via email with my publisher and translator in Italy over the past few months, and hope I have the chance to meet them one day.

This book has felt like a non-stop birthday party. It’ll be over one day, but I’m still having fun until then.

NewNowNext

This video is from Logo, an MTV owned televison station programmed for the GLBT community. All I can say is that it’s about six minutes long, and you have to “wait for it” till about the last one or two minutes for the really interesting part. (The famous transexual Amanda Lepore is hilarious and weird, but the really interesting part comes late in this little clip). Watch it, then afterward go here and vote.

Locus Award Nominees

It’s been brought to my attention that my novel One for Sorrow has made it onto the list of finalists for Best First Novel in the Locus Awards this year (thanks Rick and John!).  Very excited, of course, especially to be named among that list of other first-time novelists.  Congratulations to everyone in all the categories.

Locus Awards Finalists

Voting in this year’s Locus Poll and Survey has closed. Winners will be announced in June at the Locus Awards Ceremony in Seattle, June 21st.

Here are the finalists — the top five ranking items — in each category, listed here alphabetically by title, then by nominee.

SF NOVEL
The Accidental Time Machine, Joe Haldeman (Ace)
Brasyl, Ian McDonald (Pyr)
Halting State, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
Spook Country, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon (HarperCollins)
FANTASY NOVEL
Endless Things, John Crowley (Small Beer Press; Overlook)
Making Money, Terry Pratchett (Doubleday UK; HarperCollins)
Pirate Freedom, Gene Wolfe (Tor)
Territory, Emma Bull (Tor)
Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada; Roc)
YOUNG ADULT BOOK
Extras, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)
The H-Bomb Girl, Stephen Baxter (Faber & Faber)
Magic’s Child, Justine Larbalestier (Razorbill)
Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt; Gollancz)
Un Lun Dun, China Miéville (Ballantine Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
FIRST NOVEL
City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster/McElderry)
Flora Segunda, Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt)
Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill (Morrow; Gollancz)
The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (DAW; Gollancz)
One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak (Bantam Spectra)
NOVELLA
“After the Siege”, Cory Doctorow (The Infinite Matrix Jan 2007)
“All Seated on the Ground”, Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec 2007)
“Memorare”, Gene Wolfe (F&SF Apr 2007)
“Muse of Fire”, Dan Simmons (The New Space Opera)
“Stars Seen through Stone”, Lucius Shepard (F&SF Jul 2007)
NOVELETTE
“Dark Integers”, Greg Egan (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2007)
“The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”, Ted Chiang (F&SF Sep 2007)
“Trunk and Disorderly”, Charles Stross (Asimov’s Jan 2007)
“We Never Talk About My Brother”, Peter S. Beagle (Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show Jun 2007)
“The Witch’s Headstone”, Neil Gaiman (Wizards)
SHORT STORY
“The Last and Only, or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French”, Peter S. Beagle (Eclipse One)
“Last Contact”, Stephen Baxter (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction)
“A Small Room in Koboldtown”, Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Apr/May 2007)
“Tideline”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Apr/May 2007)
“Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?”, Ken MacLeod (The New Space Opera)
COLLECTION
The Dog Said Bow-Wow, Michael Swanwick (Tachyon)
The Jack Vance Treasury, Jack Vance (Subterranean)
Overclocked, Cory Doctorow (Thunder’s Mouth)
Things Will Never Be the Same, Howard Waldrop (Old Earth)
The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, Connie Willis (Subterranean)
ANTHOLOGY
The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, eds. (Ballantine Del Rey)
The Coyote Road, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds. (Viking)
The New Space Opera, Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan, eds. (Eos)
The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, ed. (St. Martin’s)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s)
NON-FICTION
Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction, Jeff Prucher, ed. (Oxford University Press)
Breakfast in the Ruins, Barry N. Malzberg (Baen)
The Country You Have Never Seen, Joanna Russ (Liverpool University Press)
Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1970 to 1980, Mike Ashley (Liverpool University Press)
Shadows of the New Sun: Wolfe on Writing/Writers on Wolfe, Peter Wright (Liverpool University Press)
ART BOOK
The Arrival, Shaun Tan (Lothian 2006; Scholastic)
Dreamscape: The Best of Imaginary Realism, Claus Brusen & Marcel Salome, eds. (SalBru)
Emshwiller: Infinity x Two, Luis Ortiz, ed. (Nonstop Press)
Mervyn Peake: The Man and His Art, compiled by Sebastian Peake & Alison Eldred, edited by G. Peter Winnington (Peter Owen)
Spectrum 14: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)
EDITOR
Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois
David G. Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Gordon Van Gelder
MAGAZINE
Analog
Asimov’s
F&SF
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet
Subterranean
PUBLISHER
Baen
Bantam Spectra
Night Shade Books
Subterranean Press
Tor
ARTIST
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio
Shaun Tan
Charles Vess
Michael Whelan

Hurray for Midwestern Awesomeness

After a day of braving the twelve degree cold today, with a running inner monologue about the ridiculous starkness and severity of the Midwestern winter accompanying me throughout my travels about town, I came home to find an e-mail from my editor telling me that One for Sorrow has been nominated for the 2008 Great Lakes Book Awards.

What the awards are about:

Founded in 1995, The Great Lakes Book Awards annually honor the year’s brightest and most deserving books about America’s heartland. The purpose of the awards is “to recognize and reward excellence in the writing and publishing of books that capture the spirit and enhance awareness of the Great Lakes region.” You can find out more here: http://www.books-glba.org. Finalists will be determined over the summer, and the winner will be announced at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association trade show on October 3, 2008.

By the time I finished reading this e-mail, I had forgotten how I’d come to feel like a walking Popsicle this afternoon. As my editor Juliet says, “Hurray for Midwestern Awesomeness!”

Totally agreed!

The Crawford Award

one for sorrowI just found out yesterday (and see the news was just released) that this year’s Crawford Award is being given to One for Sorrow.

The award, according to the press release, is sponsored by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, recognizes an outstanding first book of fantasy published during the preceding year, and will be presented March 22 at the association’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida, where I will certainly be.

Other titles on this year’s shortlist are Laird Barron, The Imago Sequence (Night Shade); Ron Currie, Jr., God is Dead (Viking); Ellen Klages, Portable Childhoods (Tachyon); and Ysabeau Wilce, Flora Segunda (Harcourt).

Instead of a formal committee structure, the Crawford Award is determined by a panel of nominators, who review and discuss each other’s nominations. This year’s panel included John Clute, Kelly Link, Farah Mendlesohn, Cheryl Morgan, and Graham Sleight. The award is administered by Gary K. Wolfe of the IAFA Board.

The Crawford Award was established in 1985 through a grant from Andre Norton in memory of early fantasy small-press publisher William L. Crawford, who had died the preceding year. Past winners have included Charles de Lint, Susan Palwick, Greer Gilman, Jonathan Lethem, Candas Jane Dorsey, Alexander Irvine, Steph Swainston, and Joe Hill. Last year’s winner was M. Rickert.

I can say this two ways:

1.) I’m so honored to be in the company of writers such as these (both in the previous winners list, as well as the short list for this year).

Or

2.) I’m totally flipping out in the best possible way.

Both really capture the truth.

Great books you may have missed in 2007

From the Village Voice:

Yet could there be enough fell doings in a year that saw only one book from Stephen King, the Richard Bachman trunk novel Blaze? King’s son Joe Hill took up some of the slack with his bestselling horror novel Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, a lovely, earnest collection of short fiction. One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak’s lyrical first novel, gave a melancholy edge to a ghost story about a teenage boy haunted by his murdered classmate. Arthur Phillips’s Angelica at first seems to be a fairly conventional, if elegantly written, gaslight tale of supernatural obsession and possession. But as its multiple storylines unfold, a more disturbing truth emerges, drawn from the real-life horrors faced by women in Victorian England.

You can read the entire list here.