"Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero, and an intelligent, fully adult heroine -- We haven't had a science-fiction novel like this for a long time."
-- Ursula K. Le Guin
-- Ursula K. Le Guin
Last Monday, you heard from my best childhood friend, Sarah, on the perils of loving a writer. Today, you get to ASK THAT WRITER ANYTHING! Felix Gilman will tell you his background himself, but you should know that he's British, so that you can imagine this post read aloud to you with the driest of Jeremy-Irons-esque accents.
Hello, all. I’m Felix Gilman, and this is a guest post while Carrie’s in wherever. [France! Back next week. -ed.] My own blog is at felixgilman.com/wordpress and gets updated essentially never. [Which is why he's written more books than I have. -ed.] I’m the author of two novels published by Bantam: Thunderer and Gears of the City. My third book, The Half-Made World, will be published by Tor in October. About a week ago I finished a fourth book, and my agent sold it to Tor. That one doesn’t have a title yet. These are what you might call fantasies, or secondary-world fantasies, if you prefer. Thunderer was billed on the hardcover version as a “High Fantasy,” which with hindsight was probably a mistake: it makes people think of Dwarves and Elves, which I don’t care for. [These novels are in fact in urban settings! The New Yorker in me loves this immensely. -ed.] Later it got described as New Weird. I don’t exactly know what that means. [Felix also has a short story in a collection called The New Weird, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, and I read it, and I don't know what it means, either. -ed.]
The Half-Made World gets described as steampunk. I don’t know exactly what that means, either. But everything has to be called something. People ask, and I say, I don’t know, just books. But that doesn’t work, they keep asking. There has to be an answer. Whereof we cannot speak, we cannot market. Anyway, I suppose all this means I’m in early-mid-career as a writer.
"Career" -- probably the ugliest word in the English language.
So far I’ve got by on blind luck and also not caring all that much if it doesn’t work out. Also, everything I’ve published so far was written or begun or at least substantially committed to before my first book was published. Now, for the first time, I’m planning out a new book with some sense of the shape of the market and my place in it and where I might want to be in five years’ time and where I might actually realistically expect to be... It’s a very different experience. There are things to balance that I’m not sure really can be balanced.
I suppose I don’t really have a point here. Does anyone have any questions about publishing or my views on writing after a couple of books? Boy, have I have got some vague and unsatisfying and potentially inaccurate half-answers for you.
Also there should be a contest. A copy of my first two books to (1) the best cute animal YouTube posted in comments; (2) the best song posted in comments, according to my own arbitrary tastes; (3) any person who proposes a workable and cost-effective solution to the Deepwater Horizon leak.
Please note that the video below is the most recent one sent to me by Felix, so the standard for cute/funny animal YouTube is HIGH, y'all.
I'm keeping this contest open until the end of next week, July 9th at midnight EST, to give the first contest some time to settle before the winner of this one is announced. TWO BOOKS! Enter now!