|The Joys of Publishing
||[Nov. 7th, 2004|06:40 pm]
"Fresh blood. Editors are always looking for fresh blood."—Ellen Datlow, interview|
One of the many joys of publishing at Prime Books is that I get so many opportunities to read new authors, one step or two steps ahead of the end consumer, adding to the sense of wonder inherent in reading anything new, whether it's a short story or a novel or a collection or .... It's actually quite funny how this happens, as obviously we're a closed market, and most of my editorial picks come from friends, editors or authors, which makes every day exciting and fresh, like it's Christmas over and over again. I never know what to expect.
Next year's projects are no different, especially with the re-introduction of offset printing (and new distribution channels) to our pod operation, allowing for further experimentation on a number of levels. And that is an essential part of Prime, offering the reader something new, something original, as much as possible. You don't grow out of "sense of wonder." It's always there, bubbling under the surface, eager to issue forth in an explosion of wonder.
In this way I'm going to expand further on a few of next year's projects, if for no other reason to introduce you to new authors that I think you should be aware of, an embarrassment of riches that I'm personally proud of:
Catherynne M. Valente
Discovered by Nick Mamatas (god bless him) and sent to Prime Books, Valente combines an incredible facility of language with classical mythology, as evidenced in this year's critically-acclaimed The Labyrinth. However, next year brings us Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams, the story of a hermit-woman in ancient Japan, who in her solitude dreams herself into strange mythologies. She is currently busy with finishing up the second book of her four-book The Book of the Garden series, Under In the Mere (an Arthurian fantasy), and The Floor of Heaven, a novel of an alternate Japan, traversed by a magic train which contains entire cities, mountains, and kanji that speak.
The Labyrinth: http://store.yahoo.net/shocklines/labycamvabha.html
Yume No Hon: http://store.yahoo.net/shocklines/boofdrbycamv.html
Discovered unexpectedly at a Necon earlier in this year (who could have known?), this award-winning author is a real joy to work with, leading to her first short story collection, Singing Innocence and Experience. It is hoped for that, time permitting, that she writes a short novel for Prime eventually in the future, but knowing her as I do, I'd suspect that pressuring would have fatal consequences. (If I vanish one day, you'll know why.) Patience is not one of my many virtues, I'm sad to admit.
Singing Innocence and Experience: http://store.yahoo.net/shocklines/siinandexbno.html
Jeannelle M. Ferrierra
Introduced to Prime Books by Sonya Taaffe, Jeannelle handles difficult subject material with relative ease, dropping the reader in the middle of chaos with an experienced hand. Her first book, A Verse from Babylon, represents a slight change in Prime's editorial policy, in that it is definitely not genre at its roots, with its roots and story deep in the days before World War II. However, it is definitely horror writ large in 1930s Vilna, seen through the eyes of its many inhabitants. She is currently hard at work on her second novel, The Seal Wife.
A Verse from Babylon: http://store.yahoo.net/shocklines/vefrbabjemfe.html
This has quite a story behind it, for those still around reading this. It was actually foisted onto Prime unexpectedly by John Gregory Betancourt, over which I complained, as I generally don't take Wildside Press projects. I was told to read the collection in my copious free time—the implication being that I wouldn't be at all adverse to publishing it as a Prime title. I was pleasantly surprised and I was proven delightfully wrong. This was actually one of the few times that I even rang up one of our own authors up to coordinate efforts (we'd forgotten to give her notice that we'd accepted her collection, as we couldn't find her email address), in which we scheduled the title, worked out our plans for the introduction, and more. In the Palace of Repose is a small gem, with more than half a dozen original stories, two reprints, an introduction by Sean Stewart, and a stunning cover design by JT Lindroos.
In the Palace of Respose: http://store.yahoo.net/shocklines/inpaofrebcob.html
I can't admit to discovering Vera at all, but she really is the nicest and cheeriest person I've ever had the delight of working with, either over the Wildside Press website, newsletter, parties, or projects. My only regret is that I wasn't around originally to help up with her first two books, but I am helping her with her first short story collection, Salt of the Air (with introduction by Gene Wolfe). Find out why I fell in love with her writing, especially with the stunning "The Young Woman in a House of Old."
Salt of the Air: (not yet listed)
and so many more. I'm adding many more authors and titles, as many as I can handle within human reason or endurance, so I'll be expanding on a lot more in coming days and months.
Pro gloria Primi.