Angel Stations is out today!
I found it on the shelves in Glasgow’s Waterstones, although it wasn’t on the ‘new books’ display shelves. There were several, however, faced out on the regular shelves. I did what every writer does in these circumstances; I picked up a couple of copies, and carefully placed them, face out, on the ‘new books’ shelves. You could say I had a sense of quiet satisfaction, seeing it there on the shelves.
More good reviews, particularly one in ‘Dreamwatch’ magazine: "a strong debut novel that promises well for the future and a serious contender for the shelf space currently occupied by Greg Egan and Richard Morgan". This will, of course, be up on the right-hand bar of the blog within the next few days, if not the next few hours. There’s also a mini (very mini) interview with me next to the review, along with a, frankly, slightly rough-looking picture of me. Well, it looks rough to me. And reminds me I’ve been meaning for ages to get a better digital shot, maybe in the garden, for the Pan Macmillan publicity people to use. They did ask for one before, but I didn’t have a digital camera at the time. I do now (or rather, MJ does).
Hal Duncan has already spoken about it at length on his own blog, but he, myself and another Glasgow-based author Mike Cobley met a journalist from the Evening Times the other afternoon. MJ put together a press release for me a couple of weeks ago and sent it out to a good few of the local rags, and on this occasion it looks like she hit paydirt. The journalist was as interested in hearing about the writer’s circle, so it seemed like a good idea to get a couple of other writers along to get involved. One writer having a book out is one thing, but demonstrating that there’s a remarkable contribution to the genre as a whole originating from north of the border, particularly if you include Edinburgh - that’s a whole other level.
The feeling I got from the journalist was that she didn’t really know what to expect (her slightly bewildered words to me on the phone: "what … kind of people are you exactly?". Part of me suspects she anticipated a couple of deeply socially challenged anoraks with a complete set of Battlestar Galactica dvd’s, and this feeling arises from what struck me as some confusion/surprise on her part that we were interested in talking about literature, not even necessarily restricted to science fiction.
The good thing about having Hal along on these things is he knows his classical mythology, and is well-informed on the role that stories of the fantastic have played in dozens of cultures over the span of recorded human history. So, we talked about writing, and books, and some fairly complex subjects, all really far too deep and involved for the newspaper she was writing for - the Evening Times. I’d say about 99% of what we said would never make it into the pages of what is, after all, a Scottish tabloid, but I was hoping we got across that we were serious about our craft, both in terms of execution and of our attitude towards it. If that impression comes across in any subsequent news piece, then we’ll have done okay.
If the article does go ahead, we can expect to do some kind of photo-shoot involving the three of us some time early next week, following which I suspect the piece would appear in the following weekend’s edition. But, like Hal says, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll still call us ‘sci fi’ writers.