Saturday, November 12, 2011

Being a publisher has its moments

...and I had one of them Tuesday morning, when I went into my office and found an ARC sitting on my desk. Kath arrived with them Monday night, and unbeknownst to me, Tom had put one on my desk so that I'd see it first thing in the morning. Not recognizing it by its look, and without noticing what it was, instead of pushing it to the side, as I would have done with a book that I'd put there myself, I picked it up to look at it and saw that it was a novel by Rebecca Ore, turned it over, and read the description on the back cover. Three thoughts then rippled through my mind in lightning-swift succession:

Have to read this. Soon! (Salivating.)
Wait! This is the book we're publishing! (Laughing)
Wow! Isn't it cool to be this book's publisher??? (Bursting with elation)

I've had that third thought often since starting Aqueduct-- which, unpacked, is at least partly about how wonderful it is to be publishing work by authors whose work I've been devouring for years. After all, our second book, which I bought shortly after deciding to start Aqueduct Press, was Life, by Gwyneth Jones. But I haven't had the experience of that sort of double-take before. (Well, it was early in the morning, before I'd had my coffee, and this was the first time I'd laid eyes on the ARC, & so it was a bit unfamiliar to me: I don't suppose I'll ever have that experience again...)

Here's a description of the book, by the way (from the press release, rather than from the back of the ARC), which is called Time and Robbery and will be out in March 2012:

Time and Robbery features the protagonist of Ore’s Centuries Ago and Very Fast, Vel, a gay immortal born in Paleolithic who jumps time at will. Unless Vel can help out his younger self, Vel’s tribe’s descendants—a big chunk of the 21st-century British population—will be eliminated from the timeline. Present-day Vel, though, has problems of his own, so he takes a chance and outs himself (and his talented teen-aged daughter Quince) to Joe Tavistock, a subcontractor on the weak end of the plausible deniability chain dangling off British intelligence, making it Joe’s problem. Joe's superiors are dubious, and Joe doesn't know who to trust. The stakes are high not just for Vel, but for everyone involved.

Terry Bisson, author of Fire on the Mountain and TVA Baby, writes of Time and Robbery, “Rebecca is up to her old tricks here: surprising, puzzling, and delighting us at every turn; and in this sleek, lean detective tale, coolly twisting the tail of Time itself. Ore is that rarest of creatures, a writers' writer that readers also love.”

Rebecca Ore’s first book about Vel, Centuries Ago and Very Fast, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick and the Lambda Awards. As Jeff VanderMeer wrote for Locus Online: “Centuries Ago and Very Fast by Rebecca Ore (from the truly amazing Aqueduct Press) has a kinetic energy and hard-to-define originality that held me captivated from first word to last. Profane—scandalous?—the book wraps stories around stories, combines the surreal with the mundane and every-day.”

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