No News Like Bad News

This Crazy Biz We Call Pub

So, the news broke this morning that Angry Robot is shuttering the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A imprints, effective immediately.

Questions I'm getting:

What does this mean for Blackwood and The Woken Gods?

I suspect little in the short term, although if you've been procrastinating on buying them, now would be a good time. It also means I can finally answer all the people who ask if there will be a sequel to The Woken Gods. In some ways, this might make it more likely at some distant point down the road (Angry Robot/SC had an option). But I hope it will make plain why I didn't rush to try and do that project just now. Not that I knew this was coming, but I have been around the business a long time and I can’t say it came as a surprise either (the abruptness, yes). Ultimately, what I want is to write many, many books for you guys, and so I make career decisions based on that. Which brings me to the other question…

Are you okay?

GoaWI really and truly am. I hope that Blackwood and The Woken Gods either stay in print and easily available, whether from Angry Robot or some eventual buyer of their list or parent company, or that the rights revert to me so that I can make sure they are.

But the book I'm most proud of that I've written to date is Girl on a Wire, and it'll be out this October. If you want to show me your support, put it on your radar, talk about it if you like it, preorder. And I have another project (Secret Project) that is close to being announced, I think. And there are several other things in the works I'm very excited about.

I will be fine. I'm among the least screwed in this situation.


I will be forever grateful to Strange Chemistry and Angry Robot for giving my career its start, and for the wonderful friends I met because I published there. I hope everyone lands on their feet — staff at the publisher, but most especially the amazing writers who were notified yesterday that their books are canceled, debut authors and people writing sequels or who had already written them, and those who were mid-series. Please support them, now and in the future. We can't afford to lose their voices.



Thanks to everyone for your good thoughts and concern today. All the love for that.

Edited to add: As expected, The Woken Gods and Blackwood will continue to be available for now from Angry Robot–there are apparently some potential buyers of the list in the mix, so we'll see how it all plays out and this is also when we read reversion clauses just in case. Thanks again for all the kind words and well wishes. Sign up for my quarterly or irregular for *big* newsletter, and you won't miss anything. <3

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A Lovely Project

I'm sure you've all seen the simply awful news about L.K. Madigan's health, which she revealed in a typically amazing post last week. She's one of those people whose work–and whose personality–generates an extraordinary amount of light and warmth. (I thought Flash Burnout was absolutely brilliant, and will be reading The Mermaid's Mirror soonest.) And, oh, how I wished there was something, any little thing I could do, and maybe you wished that too. Well, now there is.

The below is reproduced from the fabulous Tiffany Trent's blog. Participate if you can, if Lisa has somehow touched your life:

Photography: Latin for "writing with light."
~FLASH BURNOUT, by L.K. Madigan

Don’t you just love how friends join hands in troubled times…that, even when our lives are touched by shadows, we find Light when we're together?

We share a common link of friendship, one that connects each of us to L.K. Madigan. Our friendship is steeped in joy, in gratitude…and now, a tinge of sadness. But we've found a way to stand together in light: A book of love for Lisa, written and illustrated by her friends.

Lisa loves photography, as evidenced by her award-winning novel, FLASH BURNOUT, and the lovely images she posts to her blog. So we're compiling an album for her: one that demonstrates the many ways we've learned that lesson. First and foremost, it'll include her friends' photographs–pictures that symbolize all the ways are lives have been (and continue to be) touched by Lisa's. And of course, there will be room for your poems, personal anecdotes, and illustrations.

Be aware that we're working on a tight timeline: the submission deadline is this Friday (1/21), 8:00 p.m Eastern. If you'd like to participate, here are the project particulars:

1) Email your contribution to Tiffany Trent (tiffanytrent at MSN DOT com), with a cc: to Melodye Shore (newport2newport at gmail DOT com).

2) Use this subject line: "For Lisa"

3) Be sure your project is included as an attachment! (High-resolution jpg files, PDF and/or .doc files are acceptable.)

4) In the body of your email, please include your name and how you'd like to be credited (i.e., first and last name, first name and last initial, initials only, anonymous, or…?)

5) Briefly explain the story behind/significance of your photo (optional)

6) You must also include this statement in the body of your email message: "By emailing this submission, I've certified that I own sole copyright of the attached photographic image(s) and/or written materials. I've also granted permission for my work to be included in an album, as well as other tributes (print and electronic/online)."

Over this next weekend, Tiffany will assemble the album, which will be sent to Lisa via FedEx next Monday (1/24).

Share the love, spread the word! Please feel free to cross-post this to your blog, or to help spread the word via Facebook and Twitter. Be careful not to include Lisa in your messages or postings (ETA: no @ symbol with her name anywhere)—we’d like this to be a surprise!

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And After Good News

Cometh more bad: Sara Nelson laid off at PW, ironically on the same day her column posits that the worst of the cannings have passed, and things will inevitably look up. David Ulin at Jacket Copy has it right –  her voice is a big loss to the magazine. (But, of course, best of luck to the new editorial director, SLJ's Brian Kenney.) See also: The New York Observer weighs in.

Okay, so that's too depressing a note to end on… How about the news that Lauren Graham's got a new TV project in development and describes it as "Arrested Development"-like in tone?

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My Own Personal Best of Sci Fiction (Updated)

For those of you who didn’t regularly read Sci Fiction and are wondering what all the fuss is about, a list of my own personal favorite stories published there with links to them. Read now, as no one seems to know how long the site will be archived. I’m only linking to new stuff; pretty much everything from the classic science fiction series is worth your time. I know I’ll leave out some excellent stories, but here goes nothing. (Oh, and I didn’t read the site consistently from the very, very beginning, so that explains why I’m missing a bunch of excellent stories from the start–I suggest you go browse the archives on your own.)

We are losing something special. Ellen is one of the best editors working right now, period. As far as I’m concerned, the best literary magazine in the world just got shut down. It’s a pretty rare situation that an amazing editor with fantastic, broad taste is able to pay such that she can pick from the best stories being written in the field. It’s time for some billionaire who loves SF to step up and start a new magazine for her to edit.

(p.s. What stories am I missing, peeps? I haven’t read everything, obviously, with Lucius Shephard being a big blindspot.)

(Updated) Reactions elsewhere:

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Worst News Ever

Stupid corporate parents:

As SCIFI.COM gears up to expand with exciting new ventures utilizing the newest technology, it will discontinue SCI FICTION, the online publishing division of of the site, at the end of 2005.

In almost six years of groundbreaking online publishing, SCI FICTION and its editor, Ellen Datlow, had an unparalleled record of critical success, earning 10 major awards, including three Hugo Awards, four Nebula Awards and a World Fantasy Award.

We wish Ellen the best and look forward to seeing her future work.

There’s a message from Ellen at  the site too. I’m just stunned and sad.

Updated: Okay, three quick thoughts.

  1. This pretty much tells me that the Sci-Fi Channel cares nothing for science fiction.
  2. They have lost my viewership forever.
  3. If there’s any justice, Ellen will have a great new gig instantly.

Back to being stunned and sad. (Letter writing campaign? Endless, brand-crushing interweb mockery of, anyone?)

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