March 28th, 2011

Dead Reign

Briarpatch Cover

The good people at ChiZine Publications sent me something wonderful last week: The cover Eric Mohr created for my novel Briarpatch! (Coming 9/15/11.)

Briarpatch cover

It’s weird, dark, strange, and perfectly suited to the book. I’m so glad there are bridges on the cover, as this book has been referred to over the years mainly as “the Bridge novel.”

Originally published at Tim Pratt. You can comment here or there.

Dead Reign

Deathly Ill Deadlines

Last week was a bit of an ordeal. We went to press on Wednesday for the April issue of A Certain Magazine, so that required the usual big push of hard work to finish. Wednesday night I did a panel on “The Radical Futures of the Book” with Nick Mamatas and Terry Bisson at Counterpulse in San Francisco, where we talked about e-books, self-publishing, the collapse of traditional publishing, Google, political writing, radicalism, and other things. I’m told it will be a podcast sometime, and I’ll link to it when the time comes, I’m sure. (I went to the panel straight after the end of a brutal deadline day, though, so I doubt I was at my best. I hope I struck the proper delicate balance of boorishness and being misinformed, for which I always strive…)

I took my day off with the kid on Thursday, and the boy started coughing in the afternoon. By evening it was clear he was suffering from a bad cold. He fell asleep in my lap after dinner and I put him to bed, but he woke up intermittently throughout the night, which wasn’t very restful. The next day he wasn’t any better — worse, if anything, wheezing terribly and feverish — so we took him to the hospital. That was more-or-less an all-day thing as they gave him steroids to help his breathing, then waited 45 minutes to see if he got better, then gave him more/different medication — rinse and repeat. He has asthma, so a bad cold can be pretty dangerous for him. By the afternoon he was buzzing on a steroid high and declaring himself “all better.” (Of course, he wasn’t, and when the meds wore off, he was a sad little dude.) But after a weekend of heavy asthma medication, he seems to be on the mend. My wife and I are sick now, too, of course. Having a pre-schooler means having your very own personal disease-vector right at home!

I did manage to get some work done, though, largely because deadlines loomed loomishly. I revised my novel over the weekend, and will send it off to the editor at the end of the week. The book turned out a lot better than I’d expected, and needed less work than I’d feared. A thousand thanks to my wonderful wife Heather for taking long stretches of childcare and allowing me to plow through making changes. I couldn’t do any of the worthwhile things I do without her.

Next week, I start working on some stories, and then my Pathfinder novel, City of the Fallen Sky.

I read Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold (I’m kind of a sucker for revenge stories, actually, they scratch some primal mental itch for me), and liked it a lot, certainly enough to read the trilogy set in the same world. Not quite as good as K.J. Parker’s gritty fantasies-with-minimal-magic, but in the same vein, and most enjoyable.

Originally published at Tim Pratt. You can comment here or there.