Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Awards Eligibility Post

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

My views on people posting lists of their award-eligible work have evolved. I used to think it was a little gauche, and advocated instead posting lists of works you loved, and urging people to nominate those.

Then some people very gently (more gently than I deserved) pointed out that I expressed that view from a position that was actually a locus of several overlapping forms of privilege. Particularly for new writers (who don’t get as much attention), and women writers (who are culturally pressured not to crow about how great they are, no matter how great they are), and writers of color (who can suffer from both issues and then some), it’s a way to raise the visibility of their work, and that’s something that needs to be done. Plus, a year is a long time, readers forget stuff, so there’s a utility to these lists.

For me, though, I dunno, I like getting awards, but I’m a nearly 40-year-old white guy who’s got his Hugo already, so here are some 2014 SF/fantasy works by women/people of color/new writers/all of the above you should nominate instead. (It’s not a very long list. I don’t read as much work in my genre as I used to, since most of my pleasure reading is crime/mystery.)

One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear. A triumphant return to the Promethean Age universe and one of the weirdest contemporary fantasies I’ve read all year. (Bear has won a few awards, too, but not for my favorite series, so give her some more.)

“Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters, Because They Are Terrifying,” Alice Sola Kim. A powerful story by one of my favorite short fiction writers.

“The Mothers of Voorhisville” by Mary Rickert. Genius work by a genius writer. She has a novel, too, The Memory Garden, which I haven’t read, but come on: It’s Mary Rickert. It’s gonna be great. 

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King, a weird and warm and heart-wrenching YA about petrified bats and difficult friendships and how to live now in the face of the onrushing future.

Phantasm Japan, edited by Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington, which didn’t seem to get as much attention as the SF volume The Future Is Japanese from 2012, despite being similarly great. (Disclosure: I have a story in this one. Probably the best story I published last year.)

All the stories in Flytrap #11. (Yes, I co-edited it, but I didn’t edit the fiction; Heather Shaw did.) “The Philiad” by Domenica Phetteplace is probably my favorite, but Jessica May Lin’s “Pickup Artist at the End of the World, Plus Stuffed Bunny” is also particularly great.

Go forth, read good art, and make good art, too, if that’s your deal.

Words and Pictures (Note: No Pictures Included)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

After a month of being lazy — er, that is, recharging creatively and refilling the wells of inspiration and suchlike — I have been writing again. Mostly working on a story called “The Fairy Library” which recently informed me it would like to be the start of a novel, please. I will finish a novelette version of it, though, for inclusion in my upcoming collection Antiquities and Tangibles. It’s about 10,000 words long already, and will need another five or six thousand words to be finished. It’s a rambling romantic oddball fantasy; basically the kind of story I most like to write, and do best.

I also wrote a review of Neal Barrett, Jr.’s Other Seasons for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Short form: Barrett’s an awesome short story writer with a crazy range, you oughta read him.

An interview with me will run in the November issue of Locus. I talk about The Constantine Affliction and Briarpatch and a bit about crowdfunding/self-publishing and a bit about other assorted things. I even got to do the traditional author photo shoot, which entailed standing on wobbly collapsing steps, leaning on a tree near some raccoon poop, falling off a wall (the scratches on my arm are nearly healed, thanks), getting spiderwebs in my hair, etc. The things I do for my art. Or, uh, the promotion of my art.

More on the Constantine Affliction

Friday, August 10th, 2012

My alter-ego T. Aaron Payton talks about The Constantine Affliction over at The Night Bazaar, and then he talks about it some more.

Y’all know I pretty much never post reviews anymore, but I did like these lines from one of the Amazon.com reviews (all 5-star so far; I’m enjoying that while it lasts):

What begins as a murder mystery in an odd steam punk London opens up into a fantastic world of Science Gone Wrong, and a love story too! This book has everything, Prostitutes, Robot Women, Tentacle Monsters, Transgender Disease, Lightning Swords, and a love sick Frankenstein.

I cannot dispute any of those characterizations. (Well, I wouldn’t call it a “transgender disease” really, and it’s more like Frankenstein’s monster, but I know what the reviewer means, and can’t dispute the flair of phrasing.)