Housekeeping, Fountain Bookstore, and More

The video above is a promo I shot for Fountain Bookstore in their basement, with blooper at end. I highly recommend Fountain, and they may still have signed copies of Finch and Booklife; if you live in Richmond, check them out–great owner and staff. Just look at the cool display they did for Finch, for my reading there:

…But there’s an additional purpose to this post, as the end of the year closes in on us. Some reminders and other housekeeping.

– Victoria Blake at Underland Press is offering a special on Finch limiteds. Mention this code with your order and you get 15% off your total: xmas09

– We are reading reprint submissions for the Steampunk Reloaded anthology. Check out the original guidelines post here. If you don’t submit and we don’t find your story in our research phase, well, it’s on you, bud. LOL. (Please help us spread the word.)

– We will not be having an open reading period for the Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, due to be published by HarperCollins in 2011. There are several reasons for this, including limited space and having very specific requirements for sections of the guide. It’s going to be very tricky coordinating the art and fiction on this one.

– S.J. Chambers has been assisting me with the Steampunk Bible (Abrams Books). We are still soliciting recommendations for creators and creations to feature in the book–see the original post about this project, as well.

– Alex Mueller has posted the first German review of Finch, along with some translated passages.

– BookBanter has posted a podcast with me that’s mostly about Booklife. At Booklifenow this week, we’re posting some video interviews with me from the tour.

– Rick Kleffel, who did a national NPR piece about Ann and me last month, has also posted his podcast interview with us from World Fantasy, which is probably one of the best interviews ever done with us.

– Rick also posted the text of an email interview he did with me for the World Fantasy Convention program book, which includes two question/answers dropped from the program book because of space limitations:

Has the spectacular success of young adult fantasy serial fiction had an impact on your fiction in particular? Could you talk about how it is changed the genre itself?

It’s more or less impossible to have a discussion about this because if you imply that YA may have had both good and bad effects, someone usually jumps down your throat. I’d just say (1) anything that helps create more readers is a wonderful thing, (2) YA is by now such a hodge-podge of different kinds of things that it no longer reflects marketing to a particular audience but more of a successful brand identity that allows editors and publishers more maneuverability and market penetration than an adult fiction label, especially for genre works, and (3) it’s good inasmuch as YA is allowing many weird and wonderful things to see print that might not have otherwise and bad inasmuch as may be making it harder to sell work that could never, ever be marketed as YA (even as adult in content some YA is…).

Young adult fiction is increasingly read by adults as well as the intended, or at least, included audience of adolescents. Science fiction and fantasy have often been characterized as adolescent fiction; is this of use to you as a writer? Do you find such a characterization helpful, hurtful, or irrelevant –and why?

Again, I realize someone is going to slam me for saying this, but…I’m not really fond of teenage protagonists, and much of YA is from the viewpoint of teenagers, despite exceptions. I don’t find teenage points of view that interesting as a reader. (It’s folly to say we don’t grow as people throughout our lifetimes, that we don’t add layers of experience and nuance; we are not the same at 40 as we are at 17, nor the same at 60 as at 40.) When I say I don’t read much YA, it’s for this reason and this reason only. It’s the same as if I said, I don’t read much Romance, because I don’t like romance stories or I don’t read many Westerns because I don’t like cowboys. Every reader has a set of likes and dislikes, and it’s impossible to expect readers to like every category equally—this is an entirely acceptable form of prejudice. (I usually don’t write from teenager perspectives, either.) Do I know that there is stuff in YA I would like if I sought it out? Yes, but there’s more than enough in the adult fiction category for me to read for twenty lifetimes. There’s also something too safe about YA as a category. When I was a teenager, I loved going to the adult section of the library because I was supposed to go to the juvenile section. I wouldn’t have gone to a section marketed to me, because the whole point was to do something that seemed slightly dangerous or forbidden. Indeed, my stepdaughter Erin almost never checked out YA—headed right for the adult section. That said, I make it a point to highlight YA works for my regular feature/reviewing gigs because I know I have a blind spot and don’t want to restrict access to readers because of my own hang-ups.

Posting here the rest of the week will most have to do with catching up from the book tour. Rest assured, in the new year I’ll have more non-book content, including extended reviews deconstructing both Avatar and The Prisoner 2009, as there’s a lot to learn from their glaring failures.