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Grrl Scientist has given a wonderful plug to Denying Science in her Guardian blog; I keep meaning to talk about it here but failing to do so because there've been exciting developments on my three earlier science books, Denying Science, Corrupted Science and Bogus Science, that I want to talk about at the same time. More on those developments later.

In the meantime, though, David Hebblethwaite has said kind things about my recent PS Publishing novella The Lonely Hunter on his Follow the Thread blog. Here's some of it:

[T]his novella from PS Publishing is as good as ever. . . . As a murder mystery, The Lonely Hunter plays the game with its red herrings and twists. But Grant’s novella is about more than that: Emil is open about the fact that he has changed some of the identifying details of his tale, and muses over the differences between real life and fiction. This is what I think is at the heart of The Lonely Hunter: individuals creating stories about themselves and others, to the extent that they become fictional characters, of a sort – and you’ll close the book wondering exactly where the boundaries between reality and fiction lie.

Although, because of the film noir encyclopedia, I've had virtually no time over the past two years or so to write fiction, I find my inclinations turning more and more toward a sort of noirish form of fantasy, as exemplified in The Lonely Hunter, my earlier novella for PS, The City In These Pages, and a bunch of other short stories. That said, the next longish fiction I want to write -- and this'll not be until spring next year, at the earliest (how frustrating this is!) -- concerns Ellery Queen tackling something that looks a bit like the parallel worlds hypothesis but in fact isn't.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)
David Hebblethwaite, blogger and reviewer at Follow the Thread and elsewhere (and present on LJ as [ profile] thisplacehere), was asked by Reading Matters to contribute one of their "Triple Choice Tuesday" columns -- wherein reviewers choose three books that are, each for a different reason, of special significance to them.

To the delight of myself and John Clute, David chose, for his "a book that changed my world" offeering, none other than The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, edited back in the '90s by John Clute and myself. David has some very kind words for the book:

It’s difficult to put into words just what it felt like to read The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and be swept away by its enthusiasm and knowledge. . . . I’ve certainly found plenty in its pages that I wanted to investigate . . ., and I still have a lot of investigating to do.

Something else I particularly like about The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is that it’s not just descriptive; it has its own idea of what makes good fantasy (it should “release or even . . . catapult the reader into new areas of the imagination,” as John Grant puts it in one entry), one that doesn’t map neatly on to the published category. When I started reading it, I found that the Encyclopedia’s way of thinking chimed pretty well with my own developing taste; I also appreciated its prose style, which managed to sound knowledgeable without being stuffy. These became strong influences on the way I think and write about books, and some of that influence is still there today. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy did more to shape me as a reader than just about any book before or since, and that’s why I’ve chosen it as a book that changed my world.

His other two choices are Christopher Priest's The Prestige (in the "a favourite book" category) and Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal (as "a book that deserves a wider audience"). What he has to say about both of them is interesting and perceptive and well worth your time.

On the subject of encyclopedias, I have some further news of interest . . . but let's wait until the countersigned contract is in.

March 2013

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