Best of Talebones

From Locus magazine:

Magazines don’t often come my way as a reviewer, so anthology The Best of Talebones arrived without introduction (literally, since my advance copy lacks its intro by editor Patrick Swenson). Suspended last year after 39 issues, with plans to return in 2011 as an annual, Talebones came from a small press Swenson’s own Fairwood that managed to garner work by pros and writers on their way toward becoming names, along with some worthy unknowns. This Best Of includes stories by Jack Cady, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Jay Lake, Patricia Russo, and Ray Vukcevich, to name but a few. Though the tone ranges from grisly horror to wry humor, surrealist SF to rampantly pulpish fantasy, these could almost be the varied productions of a single authorial mind, given decades with the freedom to move wherever it wanted, plus the talent to put those wanderings to good use. Less fancifully, they’re evidence of an editor who knows just what he wants. detective fiction as well as SF and the fantastic and writers from Poe and Kipling to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard and beyond. Some offer wry, satiric, outright loony perspectives, others a substantial lyricism that’s closer to Ray Bradbury. If you can’t stand lyrical prose, this isn’t the book for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s nice.


Short stories and even shorter works, along with the rare novelette (no poems), they create their own moods and worlds, in a kind of dialogue with Weird Tales and assorted pulps

Opener James Van Pelt’s ‘‘The Yard God’’ mixes beauty with the unsettling, as its retarded 22-year-old heroine suffers the depredations of a lusty jerk but never loses her contact with the little local biosphere which (she discovers) she can put to her own uses, not all of them innocent. The more absurdly SFnal, artificial, innocent being of Patrick O’Leary’s ‘‘23 Skidoo’’ leaves behind a hint of longing under the laughs, and Sandra McDonald’s ‘‘Bluebeard by the Sea’’ takes a deeper look into the half-formed desires of a weathered carnival building shaped like an oversize, oddly costumed man. Real children also show up in many tales: as potential victims, sources of really odd powers, sometimes both.

In ‘‘Sugar ’n’ Spice’’, Devon Monk recasts the tropes of PI fiction in the stuff of ‘‘Mother Goose’’ rhymes, with deliciously funny results. Other humor includes the wandering bodily parts of Anne Harris’ ‘‘Still Life With Boobs’’ and the deliberately overwrought fantastical exotica of ‘‘Zothique Mi Amor’’ by Mark Rich. In a few works, the language may get a bit too elaborate when no joke is intended, but most of these writers build their worlds with very few misplaced words up to and including the book’s last tale, Ken Scholes’ peculiarly moving combination of Pooh with spacefare in ‘‘Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk’’.


patrick vert

Just about one month later...

....I post here again.

Really. I'm mostly on Facebook these days, and even then I don't have much time to post. So do follow me over there if you're not already there.

A quick note: All 2010 Fairwood books are out and available!

School is busier than ever. World Fantasy was loads of fun, and I did "ok" in the dealer room. I will do better than "ok" at Orycon.

Life proceeds apace.

New book covers

I know, how long's it been? And even then, it's Fairwood stuff. Sorry, I exist mostly on Facebook, and even then I'm not getting much chance to post.

In time for World Fantasy in Columbus, Ohio, two new titles have been uploaded to the printer, joining the Ken Scholes collection Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars and Other Unusual Suspects (also on its way soon): Boarding Instructions by Ray Vukcevich, and The Best of Talebones, edited by yours truly. And of course there are the three earlier 2010 books: A Cup of Normal by Devon Monk (which just got a fabulous review in Locus), The Specific Gravity of Grief by Jay Lake, and Dark Dimensions by William F. Nolan. Not a bad year's worth of titles, eh?

But. How about some full covers, new and old?

Orion scouts


Orion's a Bear Scout this year. And this year he starts early enough to get in on the Boy Scout popcorn sales! Girl Scouts have their cookies, Boys have their popcorn!

Some of you might get an email from Orion (from my email) asking for your support in the next day or so, via an online site at the manufacturer's, and if you don't, comment here about your interest. They've got yummy stuff!


Dragon Virus

My issue of Locus arrived today, and I found that this little tidbit had already been announced, so I guess I better make official notice here. Fairwood will publish a collection of related stories by Laura Anne Gilman entitled DRAGON VIRUS. It will be a limited, signed and numbered hardcover, only 250 copies to sell! We've been ironing out this project, and I'm very excited to be presenting it. It will appear sometime in 2011. At this point the exact date has not been determined. 

"Walking" into the "Grey" of Quinault...

Kat Richardson, author of the very popular GREYWALKER novels, will be attending the Rainforest Writers Village's second session come March of 2011!

Kat will be hanging with the attendees those five days, and will be presenting several hours of discussions about writing. We're thrilled to have her aboard, and welcome her expertise!

We still have 15 slots open in the 2nd session; those slots will fill up as we get closer to the retreat.



Starred Publisher's Weekly Review for DIVING MIMES, WEEPING CZARS

Great news for Ken Scholes' new collection!

Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars and Other Unusual Suspects Ken Scholes, Fairwood (


), $17.99 paper (248p) ISBN 978-0-9820730-8-7 A mysterious voice, an alien songstress, a postapocalyptic Santa Claus, and a host of other bizarre creatures come together in Scholes's lively, arresting and gleefully offbeat second short story collection (after 2009's Long Walks, Last Flights), which equally startles with profound emotion and revels in absurd humor. In the brilliant "A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon," a tearful ruler encounters a strange object and a young woman that bring both doom and renewal. "Invisible Empire of Ascending Light" concerns a violent contest to take the place of a dying god. "Four Clowns of the Apocalypse and the Mecca of Mirth" is a wide-eyed, bizarro-style caper involving the misadventures of four clowns in a wasted, radioactive America. By turns baroque, off-kilter, and haunting, Scholes's writing will delight lovers of the unusual and wildly imaginative. (Oct.) -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review