Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Links

Nisi Shawl reviews Sarah Hall's Tiptree-winner Daughters of the North for Ms. Magazine, in Grimness and Grace. Here Nisi suggests that Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents might offer a closer parallel to the novel than the dystopias of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, and Ursula K. Le Guin that the book's publicists have emphasized. And she speculates:

Perhaps the publicists don’t compare Hall to Butler because of racial differences; Butler was African American, and Hall is not. Yet Daughters, unlike many works of speculative fiction by white writers, refuses to let race remain the unmentionable elephant in the living room.

Meanwhile, Brian Charles Clark reviews Nisi's Filter House for Curled Up With A Good Book.

The real, here, is animated, alive, and Shawl's sentences weave a rhythm that gives voice to (secret?) desires: for divine intervention, for allies and challengers in rocks and trees and dragons, for love and imagination to be made simple, practical and transcendental. Her stories' trajectories are wonderfully entertaining, but her sentences are magical. Through dialogue and observation, Shawl frequently pierces the veil separating reader and writer, bringing her characters delightfully to life.

Check them out!


X. Trapnel said...

Totally off-topic, but: I was recently in Seattle, and was disappointed to see that Elliot Bay Bookstore (which otherwise seemed awesome) didn't have your Marq'ssan books (though the University bookstore did). And Bluestockings, a radical/feminist bookstore in Manhattan, had trouble figuring out how to get them when I asked. Are there any plans to expand your distribution pipeline?

Anyway, I'm a big fan--thanks so much for writing them!

Timmi Duchamp said...

The Marq'ssan books (& indeed all of our full-sized books) can be ordered via Ingram as well as Baker & Taylor, so I'm a bit surprised that Bluestockings found it difficult. (Our books might be listed under the name of our fulfillment house, Pathway Book Service, rather than Aqueduct's name, though.) Our Conversation Pieces series, on the other hand, has more limited distribution, because they are relatively expensive to produce, which means we can't afford to distribute them in the usual way but sell them to retailers directly. (Not all independent bookstores want the bother of dealing directly with publishers, though, even though they get a better deal going around the distributor.)

I'd be happy, of course to send Bluestockings a catalog. We should also have a new web-design implemented on our site in the near future, which will be easier for booksellers looking for information or customers interested in buying books to navigate. (Our current design worked when our list included ten or fewer books, but with 30+ books it's something of a mess.)

I, too, love Elliott Bay Books & have done readings there (& of course often attend readings there), but they just don't keep up their sf section the way Duane Wilkins does at University Bookstore.

& last but not least, I'm glad to hear you're a fan of my Marq'ssan Cycle. I'd like to believe there was a reason for publishing them. Thanks for your interest, X. Trapnel.