realthog: (Default)

A couple of new e-book anthologies are of some interest, at least to my relatives and those hoping to borrow money/scrounge free drinks from me.

First up is the e-book edition of Mike Allen's celebrated anthology Clockwork Phoenix, which won all sorts of accolades despite including my story "All the Little Gods We Are". The digital Clockwork Phoenix can be found (so far) at Amazon and in the Mythic Delirium/Weightless Books store.

The other just-published e-anthology to contain a story of mine is called Past Future Present 2011, is edited by Helen E. Davis (or should that be Helen e-Davis?), and is a great big bumper volume of sixteen -- count'em, sixteen! -- hitherto-unpublished stories by the likes of Keith Brooke, Vera Nazarian ([ profile] norilanabooks), Mike Allen (him again), and Catherine Mintz. My own offering, so as you know what to avoid amongst all this good stuff, is a longish novelette (~10,500 words) called "The Girl Who Was Ugly"; unusually for me, it's a piece of straightishforward SF rather than fantasy or slipstream or noir or genre spaghetti or . . .

UPDATE: UK Kindlers can download Clockwork Phoenix here and Past Future Present 2011 here.

realthog: (city in pages)

The review blog Calico Reaction ([ profile] calico_reaction) is running a competition in which the lucky winner will receive a copy of the Mike Allen-edited Clockwork Phoenix #3 -- complete with a story by moi, but no anthology is perfect.

Details are here but, in brief, the rules are:

1) Email calico.reaction[AT] (fix the email addy accordingly, of course) with:

2) The subject of the email stating PHOENIX GIVEAWAY and:

3) Your real name and full mailing address formatted properly and:

4) If you have an LJ, your LJ name; also, where you heard about this giveaway and FINALLY:

5) Do this ALL by Tuesday, October 5th. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday, October 6th.

So what are you still hanging around for?
realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Mike Allen ([ profile] time_shark) has now announced the list of stories that'll be in Clockwork Phoenix #3, although he has yet to determine the final order. In alphabetical order of the authors' names, then, the contents are:

By the way, for some reason there's currently a delay of hours if not days between people leaving comments on this blog and my receiving the customary e-mail notifications. Comments left for me on other people's LJ blogs, by contrast, seem to be coming through fairly promptly, in the usual way. Is anyone else experiencing similar difficulties?
realthog: (Default)

My short story "Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight" has sold to editor Mike Allen (
[info]time_shark) for Clockwork Phoenix #3. It's essentially a far-future fantasy, with links (although these won't affect most readers) to my 1992 novel The World and its prequel: it's a vignette of one of the World's possible futures.

Obviously I'm delighted: Clockwork Phoenix has got to be among the very front runners of current anthology series, and I'm immensely honoured to be included a second time. (My story "All the Little Gods We Are" was in CP#1.)

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Well done to Mike Allen ([profile] time_shark) for spotting this -- and a big shout of congratulation to the book's editor, Vera Nazarian ([ profile] norilana), for having put the whole project together -- but the forthcoming fantasy anthology Sky Whales and Other Wonders has received, even despite its containing a story by moi, a quite extraordinarily favourable review from Publishers Weekly:

Priced to sell, Norilana founder Nazarian's first anthology presents 11 intriguingly off-kilter fantasy stories where the unexpected doesn't so much jump out in the reader's path as subtly peek around corners. Tanith Lee's “The Sky Won't Listen” weaves a future on another world where the skies are filled with whales, ghosts, and loss. John Grant details an unusual way to kill a city in “Breaking Laws.” JoSelle Vanderhooft's “Death's Appointment Book, or The Dance of Death” is a tongue-in-cheek warning that Death can't be cheated, but doesn't mind if you try. Rhysling winner Sonya Taaffe proves with “Stone Song” that even her prose is poetic. Mike Allen's “She Who Runs” gives flesh to spells moving faster than time. A few ambiguous endings will put off some readers, but they don't diminish the overall high quality of the stories. (Jan.)

realthog: (city in pages)

I've just heard from [ profile] hutch0 that three of the stories I published last year have received Hon Menshes in Gardner Dozois's Best New Science Fiction 26. The three are

"Will the Real Veronica LeBarr Please Stand Down?", published in Postscripts #16 ed Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers

"All the Little Gods We Are", published in Clockwork Phoenix, ed Mike Allen ([profile] time_shark)

The City in These Pages, published solo by PS Publishing

Since I think it's the case that I published only four stories last year, I feel I've achieved a fairly high batting average . . . especially since I'd been under the impression that The City in These Pages was published in January '09. (The copyright date reads '08, but I think the book may not have been physically published until '09.)

Also, to my very great delight, Gardner mentions my novel Leaving Fortusa, published by [ profile] norilanabooks, in his introductory Summation of the year's sf.

And we have no beer in the house . . .

The fourth story, by the way, was "Always More than You Know", published by Des Lewis in his anthology Cone Zero. I'm not sure whether or not Gardner would have seen this book, which could easily -- coming from an exceptionally small UK outlet (it's just taken me several minutes to track down an appropriate URL for the link) -- have flown below his radar. A pity if so, because it's an excellent antho . . . yes, even despite my presence.

realthog: (real copies!)


The Mike Allen anthology Clockwork Phoenix, containing my story "All the Little Gods We Are", was published yesterday by Norilana Books, and is already bringing in the reviews.

The Fix has
Elizabeth A. Allen (no relation, one assumes!) reviewing the book; as befits The Fix's policy, she reviews the individual stories -- and mostly very favourably -- rather than the anthology as a whole. Her comments on my own contribution start in such fashion that I was bracing myself for a panning, but in fact she seems to like the piece:

In “All the Little Gods We Are” by John Grant, John loves Justine. They feel utterly familiar to each other, as if they are two halves of the same organism. (To Grant’s credit, he describes John and Justine’s intimate fusion with such precision and matter-of-fact familiarity that the concept of soul mates, upon which this story hangs, feels fresh, original, and convincing.) They grew up together, but time parted them in their adulthood…that is, until John, single now, gets a call from himself in a parallel universe in which he has married and had children with his other half. As single John reflects on his past, we learn what happened to separate him from Justine. Like the authors he follows in this anthology, Grant takes an old trope of science fiction and refurbishes it on two levels. The parallel universes work as an SF construct and also as a powerful metaphor for the strength of wishes, denial, and memory. Another sad and satisfying story.

I'm a little startled (though I'm certainly not grumbling!) to find that "All the Little Gods We Are" is a parallel-universes story, since that wasn't what I thought it was; I thought it was about "the strength of wishes, denial, and memory" to create realities -- an interpretation with which Nick Gevers seems to agree in his exceptionally glowing (and as always neatly perceptive) review of the anthology in the latest edition of Locus. Here are extracts:

. . . a very strong first volume, Clockwork Phoenix, edited by Mike Allen. Established writers and new names all are in good form here . . .
       "All the Little Gods We Are" by John Grant is a rich meditation on the vagaries of romance. The protagonist met a girl at school he was convinced was his other half; and two possible lives unfold for him, one in which he remains inseparable from this heaven sent partner, the other in which he is single, lonely, unfulfilled. One day he makes a phone call, and lines cross between existences, selves are in impossible communication. This prompts deep reflection, a trawling of memory, an inner dispute over how one's will relates to reality, how we make our fates. [. . .]
       These and other contributions mark Clockwork Phoenix as a series of great promise.

All in all, both Mike Allen and Norilana must be feeling very pleased with themselves, especially since the two pre-publication reviews of the book -- by Charles Tan and by Publishers Weekly -- were likewise extremely positive.

realthog: (Default)
Mike Allen's ([profile] time_shark) anthology Clockwork Phoenix (published by Norilana Books; [profile] norilanabooks), in which I'm lucky enough to have a story, has been reviewed very favourably indeed in this week's Publishers Weekly ( The review reads in part:

Author and editor Allen (Mythic) has compiled a neatly packaged set of short stories that flow cleverly and seamlessly from one inspiration to another. . . . In “All the Little Gods We Are,” Hugo winner John Grant takes a mind trip to possible parallel universes. . . . Lush descriptions and exotic imagery startle, engross, chill and electrify the reader, and all 19 stories have a strong and delicious taste of weird.

As Arthur Schopenhauer might have put it: Yahey!


March 2013

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