February 23rd, 2009


My friends bid me, come and see...

February 22nd -- yesterday -- was the official 'release' date for Ravens in the Library, a benefit anthology to benefit S.J. Tucker following sudden, unexpected medical bills. (Yesterday was also, coincidentally, Sooj's birthday. Wonder how those two dates wound up synching up so closely...) Ravens features stories by twenty-five authors, some of whom are household names, some of whom ought to be household names, and some of whom are going to be household names if they have anything to say about the matter. I've read two of the original-to-this-volume stories, as well as several of the reprints, and I've seen some of the original interior art. This is going to be an amazing book.

Illnesses and technical issues during the layout process (read 'our editors came down with the plague' -- I DIDN'T DO IT) delayed delivery to the printer slightly, and the book's first run (comprising pre-orders and a few extra) is now at press. Barring issues with the printing, it should be flying out of that aerie in about two weeks, and landing on doorsteps everywhere. Everywhere that's ordered a copy, anyway.

To clarify one question I've seen asked several times now, yes, the book is still available for order. It will be print-on-demand when the initial 'print run' has been exhausted; how long that takes will depend somewhat on how many orders are received. Not available in any store, etc., etc. You know the drill by now!

On a more personal note...Ravens in the Library was the second anthology I was ever invited to be a part of (the first being Grants Pass, which will be out in July, from Morrigan Books). It was also the first anthology where the editors actually sought me out to invite me to participate. I am thrilled beyond all words to be a part of this project -- if, as various people have joked, writing were an RPG, this would represent leveling up my Anthology Writer character class. It makes me a little giddy. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. If you like anthologies at all, neither can you.

Words within our grasp: do we let go?
Do we fly heavily with the weight of what we know?
Words within our grasp: do we let go?
Do we fly heavily with what we know?

-- 'Ravens in the Library,' S.J. Tucker.

DEADER STILL is coming your way!

During my wandering and wending through the dark, dank, disturbing sewers of the Internet underworld -- in short, my home town -- I managed to stumble over a, well, let's go with the word 'gentleman' by the name of Anton Strout (antonstrout, for those of you in need of someone else to stalk). For the most part, I made note of his existence, was unwooed by his weirdling ways, and wandered off to do what I normally do, ie, 'poke dead stuff with sticks and see what happens.' Then came the amazing used book bonanza of 2008, which united me with a truly epic number of books both familiar and strange. One of these books was Anton's Dead To Me, about which there will be more later. I read it. I enjoyed it. I added context to his manic capering and moved on, preoccupied by the ongoing surreality of the local madmen.

Then Anton made what was either a fatal mistake, or a majorly good move, and started waving shiny banners in the air, hence attracting my mercurial coyote-girl attention. "What do you want?" I asked. "I want you to be awed by the awesome of my new book," he said. "Hmm," I said. "Also, look, shiny things," he added. "New best friend!" I cried. Because my love is always for sale, ladies and gentlemen; always for sale.

Deader Still is the second adventure of Simon Canderous, a psychometric employee of the New York branch of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs. To semi-quote myself in my upcoming review of Simon's first outing, take one part Men In Black, two parts Bureau 13, three parts 'I can totally see this as a Phil Foglio comic book adventure,' and mix thoroughly. Simon's luck is marginally better than Toby's, in that he spends slightly less of the book knocked unconscious than she tends to, but other than that, he's another bad plan minefield walking through an unsuspecting world.

And it's awesome.

Deader Still officially comes out tomorrow, but you can find it on store shelves already, since it's a sneaky little thing, and it's been escaping from store rooms like a sort of, I don't know, fungal infection. In honor of this fun, frightening event, I present another shot of my resident Pretty Little Dead Girl, this time in her formal role as a member of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs. I recommend staying on her good side, and not submitting to any body cavity searches, as there's no real way of being sure that she's not planning to do something nasty.

I'll be reviewing Dead To Me later this week, and probably doing a review of Deader Still, since Anton was kind enough to send me an ARC of my very own. Because that's just how we roll around here.

Happy new book day, Anton!