In all the crazy of last week, I missed publication day for John Kessel‘s new collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.
John is one of my very favorite writers–his novel Corrupting Dr. Nice (first chapter here) is on my all-time top five. He’s also one of my very favorite people in the world; he was part of the small coterie that attended my and C’s nuptials, and I keep a polaroid of me, Karen, Kelly, and Barb posing next to a toga-clad John* at Wiscon 2004 on the filing cabinet next to my desk. In fact, something that still makes me insanely happy is this little snippet of "It’s All True," which you can read in the collection:
The wall of my apartment faded into a vision of Gwenda, my PDA. I had Gwenda programmed to look like Louise Brooks. "You’ve got a call from Vannicom, Ltd.," she said. "Rosethrush Vannice wants to speak with you."
My Mac is named Lulu.
Anyway, all this by way of saying that you need a copy of John’s book. Stat. And Small Beer is even offering it for free download. I guarantee you’ll end up wanting to own your own copy**.
*It’s not every writer who would wear a toga to promote someone else’s book launch!
**Some of the content has even been the center of a bona fide censorship controversy!