Saturday, June 21, 2014

And Now I Have Things to Shill

FLAPPERHOUSE No. 2 is now available for sale, for only $3! Even if you have already read the preview of my story, I encourage you to buy the issue. First, because it will enable the editor to continue paying authors (which may or may not include me) for poetry and prose in future issues. But more importantly, because there are good-to-excellent pieces not included in the preview.

Also, I think the editor made a very good curatorial choice putting my story first in the PDF version. My story, by itself, is what I consider to be a kind of meta-story, an unreliable narrator speaking obliquely about the types of stories who could tell and thereby unintentionally revealing things about the types of stories he is trying to avoid telling. With my story in front, one could, if one was so inclined, read most of the other pieces as if they were examples of the sort of things my narrator was speaking about. It sits well in that position, is what I'm saying. Buy the mag and read all 76 pages.

But say, for one reason or another, you don't want to buy FLAPPERHOUSE: Your loss, but I can imagine a number of reasons. You don't like reading digital magazines, or you don't like paying more than an a very low price for them, or you don't like paying for them at all, or you didn't like my story or any of the other teasers. I would actually agree with you on most of these reasons, except for the last. If the last reason applies, I'd ask what's wrong with you. But even if that reason applies, then you still have no excuse for not pre-ordering Phantasm Japan from Haikasoru.

Phantasm Japan is a conceptual continuation of The Future Is Japanese from the same publisher, which combined translations of stories by some of Japan's best contemporary science-fiction authors with Japan-inspired science fiction by non-Japanese authors. The result included one of the best science fiction stories I've ever read, Ken Liu's "Mono no Aware," and introduced me to Toh Enjoe, who is without doubt the smartest human being writing fiction in any language or genre today. What Future did for science-fiction, Phantasm promises to do for fantasy. (What is the distinction between science fiction and fantasy? That is a fraught question, especially since now they overlap a great deal, at least in Anglophone literature. I have attempted to frame the distinction in philosophical terms, but I doubt the editors were keeping my ontologies in mind when they selected stories.) Judging by the author list, which with one notable exception consists of some fairly accomplished individuals, it promises a great deal, and is likely to deliver.

And even if you hated my FLAPPERHOUSE story, you might enjoy my story in Phantasm: It has a plot, and a clear and linear one at that. And even if you end up hating my story--it has my usual quota of philosophical speculation and human despair--you can look forward to pieces by the likes of Gary Braunbeck, Project Itoh, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Tim Pratt, Benjanun Sriduangkaew and Sayuri Ueda. In fact, you can go ahead and read an excerpt of Tim Pratt's story. Are you seriously going to tell me you don't want to see where that goes?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your kind words on FLAPPERHOUSE, Joseph. (And you've astutely identified a big reason why your story comes first in the issue.)