By Adam Roberts | November 10, 2004
Categories: Book News
An original story of mine ('The Afterlives of SweetDeath') is the least of many reasons to buy the truly excellent collection The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the west Memphis Three edited by the estimable M W Anderson and Brett Savory (Arsenal Pulp Press 2004). The volume is designed to raise funds for the West Memphis 3, three young men wrongly convicted of a horrible multiple-murder. If you don't know about this notorious miscarriage of justice go to wm3.org and find out more. The book is a very handsome volume, and contains many wonderful things by, amongst others, Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Poppy Z Brite.
Other recent publications include a couple of reworked and reprinted TAO columns in Lou Anders (ed) Projections: Science Fiction in Literature and Film (Monkeybrain Books 2004). Twenty-eight big names offer really interesting opinions on aspects of SFF from Lord of the Rings to X Men and all stations, literary as well as cinematic, in between. My pieces on the Matrix and Delany are far from the most interesting or the best things in the collection, but that shouldn't stop you buying the collection.
There's also a short new short at Infinityplus: 'The War in Another World'; kind of Wells-y, kind of Gulfwar-y.
Work forthcoming and in progress: Lou Anders has bought a story of mine 'Man you gotta go' for his next collection of original fiction Futureshocks (to be published by Roc). Another story of mine should be appearing in Pete Crowther's Postscripts magazine (it's slated for the third issue).
Otherwise I'm working like a dervish to finish off the Palgrave Critical History of Science Fiction, all 150,000 words of it, due in by the end of the year. Ha! Ha-ha!
In the moments when I'm not slogging at that I'm working intermittently on my next novel, Gradisil. which is my version of a Harder SF topic, the colonisation of space in the near future. Its initial premise is a ground-up technology that enables cheap access to space. This means that a new 'upland' is colonised by various well-off individuals (rather than by governments or corporations, although they soon try and get in on the act). But I'm not writing it as a gung-ho exercise in Ben Bova, Larry Niven or even Kim Stanley Robinson Hard SF. 'Gradisil' is the main character, named from a misunderstanding of the word Yggdrasil; which is to say, it is really a book about trees: the Earth's magnetic field as a type of Yggdrasil for one, on whose branches people climb into orbit. Family trees for another (it's a novel that spans several generations, and I'm interested in the way generations of a family relate to one another, how the stories and mores of the older generations get taken up, or not, by the younger). But above all it's a novel about the way big things grow from small things. It's a 'Birth of a Nation' story. Or so I hope.
Enough of my yakking. En avant.