One week in & Lewis Shiner

Stealing Light seems to be doing well since it came out in paperback; it's definitely floating a bit higher on Amazon than the previous books were, which bodes well. Right now I'm powering through the more-or-less final draft on Stealing Fire.

A couple of recommendations: a book collection/cataloguing/community website called goodreads.com. It has the usual stuff about being able to upload info about your books, something I find particularly enjoyable since the real things are currently stuffed into a cupboard back home. Books, I'm sure you'll agree, are meant to live on shelves, not in darkened cupboards.

One of my favourite authors in the Eighties was Lewis Shiner. I first encountered him in a short story called 'Jeff Beck', printed in Asimov's. It was in the second or third copy of the magazine I ever bought, about the time I started buying Asimov's regularly for what turned out to be several years. That story particularly appealed to me because I was learning to play guitar at the time (although I was more of a Jimmy Page and Hendrix fan). Looking back at it now, it makes even more sense than it did then. I did in fact learn to play guitar at least passably. One could easily read the story and substitute 'writing fiction' for 'playing music'. Shiner also wrote one of my favourite novels - Glimpses.

He's got a new non-genre book out called Black & White which sounds very interesting, but even more interesting is that he's in the process of putting every single piece of fiction he's ever had published up on the net. I consider this to be a very, very good thing because until relatively recently Shiner was very much in the 'whatever happened to ...' category of writers. He was published very regularly in Asimov's and F&SF before fading off the radar during the Nineties. I've missed his stuff. He has a website where you can also download the complete text of his new book.

As an aside, I have a still-growing list of free downloaded fiction, much of it from Tor. All of it together is in itself reason enough, should I ever have the cash, to buy an epaper device if and when they become cheap enough.

No comments: