March 14th, 2007


Reviews r us - a triple bagger

Rocket Science Powell's | Amazon ] reviewed at Kat Dancing

It was also a pleasure to read some positive science fiction for a change; despite the narrator being literally beset with Nazis, bootleggers, Russian spies, and the government, it was overall a cheerful and uplifting little book. If you miss Heinlein's early stuff (you know, pre-incest-kick) you should check this one out.

Trial of Flowers Powell's | Amazon ] reviewed at Whatta Fiasco.

...this time he wrote well and pushed some of my buttons. I particularly love that his characters face real and serious consequences.

Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ] reviewed at SF Signal.

The setting of Mainspring alone should vault this story to the top of 'to-read' lists everywhere. The fact that Jay Lake has created such an interesting, personal story to boot is just icing.

Go know you want the whole set.

(Thanks to joshenglish and princejvstin for the tip offs.)

What's in a name? A rose by any other name would taste just as good with ketchup.

frankwu made a comment earlier about me linking to unfavorable reviews. Personally, I belong to the "if they spell your name right it's good press" school of thought. Perhaps excepting indictments for moral turpitude1 or something.

People don't usually get my name wrong in writing, except for the occasional "Joe Lake" because they've seen my legal name somewhere, or the somewhat annoying "Jake." In conversation, people will hear my surname as "Blake", which is why those of you who've been to dinner with me have heard me give my name as "Lake, like the water." But you know, I'm easy to find on the Internet, I'm easy to find on the bookshelf, and I'm easy to remember. Or at least my name is. Of such small blessings is life's good fortune constructed.2

Someone shared with me today, second/third hand, a discussion about small press publishing. It was like a voice shouting of the 1980s, about how low pay rates were taking advantage of authors, the markets were cliques and cabals, etc. Speaking as someone who came in through the small press and still spends considerable time there, um, no. And if you think that's true, don't submit. Problem solved.

I'm tempted to say the insecurity of authors knows no bounds, but someone would take that as a challenge. It sometimes comes out of the skinny end of the tube as paranoia. There is no conspiracy in publishing, just a whole lot of people doing their damndest for love of the written word. Write more, get better, sell. Don't forget to eat, sleep and love. It's the key to a happy career.

1. Which begs the question of whether there is any other kind of turpitude. Can one have felonious turpitude, or beefy turpitude, or green turpitude?

2. Other small blessings include Girl Scout thin mints, 75 mph speed limits and a good, solid afternoon nap.