the mirage

In Portland on Tuesday

This Thursday night at 7:30 PM I’ll be reading and signing books at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon.


* If you’re in the Queen Anne area, you should check out the new Queen Anne Book Company. They’ve got signed copies of my novels as well as signed books from all the other local authors who attended their grand opening weekend. They’ve also got the world’s sweetest bookstore dog, Tali.

* Signed copies of The Mirage trade paperback are also in stock at the University Book Store, the Elliott Bay Book Company, the Secret Garden Bookshop, and the Seattle Mystery Bookshop.

* Today’s New York Times has a piece on the difficulties of training cats to perform in live theater, but the best anecdote in the story involves a dog and some KFC: “Bill Berloni, an animal trainer who cast the dog Sandy in the current Broadway production of ‘Annie,’ remembers when a family in the front rows of ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ brought a bucket of chicken, and the Chihuahua he had cast abandoned its role to hover at the edge of the stage.”

This week…

* I’ll be reading from The Mirage and signing books at Elliott Bay Book Company on Thursday, February 28, at 7 PM.

* I’ll be attending the grand opening of the Queen Anne Book Company on Friday, March 1, from 4 PM to 6 PM. Lots of other Seattle authors will be at the bookstore over the weekend; check the event page for exact times.


* Secret Garden Books in Ballard, the University Book Store at the U.W., and the Seattle Mystery Bookshop downtown all now have signed copies of The Mirage trade paperback.

One week left to apply for your National Endowment for the Arts grant

The deadline to apply for a 2014 NEA Literature Fellowship is next Thursday, February 28. Fellowship applications must be filed electronically, which means if you wait till the last minute and the NEA’s computers happen to go down you’ll be out of luck. Procrastination is part of the artist’s job description but do yourself a favor and get it done this weekend. More details about the Fellowship here.

Other news:

* I had a good reading last night at the University Book Store. If you missed it, you can catch me on February 28 at 7 PM at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

* The Queen Anne Book Company is celebrating its grand opening on the weekend of March 1-3. I plan to attend as part of their “cavalcade of local authors,” though I don’t know yet exactly when I’ll be there.

* I’ll also be doing a reading and signing in Portland, OR, at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne on March 7 at 7:30 PM.

* Via Gawker: Six minutes of cute animals. With bonus rain frog video.

Appearing this Wednesday night at the University Book Store

I’ll be reading and signing at the U.W. University Book Store this Wednesday, February 20, at 7 PM.

Then at 7 PM on Thursday, February 28, I’ll be at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

If you can’t make either event or just can’t wait to get your hands on a signed copy of The Mirage trade paperback, the Secret Garden Bookshop in Ballard has some in stock.


* The deadline for applying for an NEA Literature Fellowship is only ten days away. (Details here.)

* Nothing says President’s Day like a bucket of sloths. (via @queenannebookco)

The Mirage paperback on sale today

I’ve updated the order links on my Mirage web page, so you don’t even have to leave the house to get a copy!

You can download a sample of the book here. The Big Idea essay I wrote for John Scalzi’s Whatever is here. Other essays and interviews, including my interview with Nancy Pearl, are here.

If you’re in the Seattle area, I’ll be reading and signing at the U.W. University Book Store on February 20 and at Elliott Bay Book Company on February 28 (both events start at 7 PM). On March 7 I go to Portland for an appearance at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne (reading starts at 7:30 PM).

And finally, just to make my publication day a little more special, I see Cory Doctorow has reposted his review of The Mirage on BoingBoing. Thanks, Cory!

The Mirage makes Locus magazine’s 2012 recommended reading list

Locus magazine’s February 2013 issue, on newsstands now, includes their 2012 recommended reading list, and The Mirage is on it. Quoth senior editor Tim Pratt: “[The Mirage] is more than a clever inversion of the War on Terror… in my review I called it a modern answer to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and I stand by that.”

In other news:

* The Mirage trade paperback will be on sale next Tuesday, February 12. (Links for online preorder here.)

* I’ve been getting a lot of emails from fans in Germany asking when a German translation of The Mirage will be available. I don’t have an exact date yet, but my current understanding is that Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag will be publishing it sometime late this year or very early in 2014.

* The latest in procrastination technology: Bradley W. Schenck’s Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual website presents the Pulp-o-Mizer, which lets you create custom pulp sci-fi magazine covers and download them as .jpgs or, for a fee, have them printed on posters, cards, and coffee mugs. It’s a cool thing, and I hope the ‘Mizer is expanded to include other pulp genres. (Assuming my current book proposal goes well, I’ll be in the market for a horror/weird tales version.)

* Stewie, the world’s longest house cat (4 feet from nose to tail) has died at age 8.

* …but Shiro lives!

Coming up for air

I’ve been making good progress on the new novel, hence the lack of recent posts, but with The Mirage paperback publication coming up in two weeks, it’s time for me to come out of my little room and practice talking to people again. (I also need to shift gears mentally from 1950s Chicago and New England, where I’ve been for the last six months, to alt-universe Baghdad; I expect some culture shock).

I’ll be doing readings in Seattle and Portland in conjunction with the publication; my current schedule is here.

In other news:

* The late, lamented Seattle indie bookstore Queen Anne Books is being reincarnated as the Queen Anne Book Company! It’ll have a new owner and new management (and is, technically, an entirely new bookstore), but it’ll be in the same location and at least some of the old Queen Anne Books staff will be returning. The grand opening is March 1. You can follow the new store on Facebook and Twitter.

* I’ll have a separate, longer post about this soon, but the National Endowment for the Arts is currently accepting applications for their 2014 Literature Fellowships in Prose. These are grants of $25,000 for fiction and creative nonfiction writers who are either citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The deadline for applying is February 28.

* Iran is claiming it launched a monkey into space. No word on which monkey, but I have my suspicions. In semi-related news, Bigelow Aerospace is partnering with NASA to test an inflatable space module. The prototype will be attached to the International Space Station, but the long-term goal is to develop a line of standalone orbital bouncy castles for rich people. Warren Ellis is skeptical.

* Rat City Rollergirls season 9 has started. The next bout is February 9 at Key Arena. Grave Danger will be going up against the Throttle Rockets, and the Sockit Wenches face visiting Terminal City Rollergirls team the Bad Reputations.

* Livestream kitten cam!

The Mirage P.S. edition on sale February 12

The trade paperback edition of The Mirage will be published next month. I just got my author’s copy in the mail, and it looks great.

I’m currently scheduled to make appearances in Seattle and Portland, OR on the following dates:

February 20, 7 PM — Reading and signing at U.W. University Book Store in Seattle.

February 28, 7 PM — Reading and signing at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle.

March 7, 7:30 PM — Reading and signing at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne in Portland, OR.

I’ll post about additional dates when and if they are scheduled, and you can always find the most up-to-date schedule by clicking on the Appearances tab.

Goodbye 2012

Edward Hopper’s IKEA Monkey (via @SamSykesSwears)

Paul Constant, who is nominally the Books Editor for the Seattle Stranger — though lately his duties seem to have expanded to writing half the content of the paper — invited me to contribute to the annual Regrets Issue, in which staff and local celebrities confess their professional and personal regrets about the year just ended. Naturally, I missed the deadline. So, yeah, sorry about that, Paul, but the truth is this has been a good year for me, and the few disappointments were things beyond my control.

The big news, of course, was the publication of The Mirage. My book tour recap post is here, and the full list of Mirage-tagged posts is here. My Big Idea essay for John Scalzi’s Whatever blog and my interview with Nancy Pearl are both worth a look. And if you’re at all curious about book design, check out the Huffington Post interview with artist Oliver Munday, in which he discusses the evolution of The Mirage‘s cover art.

The Mirage made the San Francisco Chronicle‘s “Best science fiction and fantasy books of 2012” list and Alyssa Rosenberg’s list of “65 Favorite Things From the Year in Popular Culture.”

The American trade paperback edition of The Mirage will be published in February 2013. I will be appearing at the U.W. University Book Store at on February 20 at 7 PM and at Elliott Bay Book Company on February 28 at 7 PM. A German translation of The Mirage is scheduled for publication in Winter 2013. No word yet on whether there’ll be a German book tour to accompany publication, but just to put it out there, I’d be happy to come if my publisher invites me.

I remain hard at work on what I hope will be my next novel. If it were a Bad Monkeys-sized book, it’d be almost half done now, but it looks like it’s going to be a lot longer, so I’m just getting started. Stay tuned.

The one truly sad note of 2012 was the passing of Queen Anne Books, my favorite Seattle independent bookstore. Since QAB shut down at the end of October I’d been hoping a new owner might swoop in to resurrect it, but it wasn’t to be, and by now the staff, the real heart of the store, have moved on to other things. I wish them all the best, and will always be grateful for the decade of support they gave me and my novels.

So, on to 2013! And just to start things off right, have another monkey, courtesy of ZooBorns’ “Top 25 of All Time” list: