I’ll be paneling at Readercon, in Burlington, Mass., July 10-13. I’ll be doing several panels, but in particular I’ll be doing a special one-man show on the influence of the Gothic on 19th century science fiction. So if you’re anywhere near Burlington and are interested in the best darn literary science fiction convention in the world, drop on by!
I’ll be paneling at ArmadilloCon, in Austin, TX, July 25-27. I’ll be doing a number of panels there, but no one-man shows. But if you’re anywhere near Austin and are interested in a very good regional sf con, drop on by!
The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction will be published on Oct. 1. For it I wrote a chapter on the pulps, emphasizing the fact (underappreciated by critics and scholars) that more science fiction appeared outside the science fiction pulps than inside the sf pulps. I’m proud of this chapter; it’s not a discourse-changer, but it adds some new information to the discussion of the history of sf during the pulp era, and I think it deserves to be read widely.
The Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes–hey, remember that?–is due out from P.S. Publishing in the U.K. in the fall or winter–when I know the exact publication date I’ll post it here. Clocking in at a whopping 1674 manuscript pages (that’s 768,000+ words) and appearing in four volumes, The Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes will be the world’s largest and best guide to the series characters of global popular culture from 1902 to 1945, covering pulp magazines, slick magazines, films, novels, radio serials, newspaper serials, and plays. A sequel to my Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, Pulp Heroes represents a decade of work on my part, and I’m proud of it.
The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana will be appearing as an eBook sometime in the next year, published by Cheeky Frawg. When I know more I’ll post it here.
The book I’m working on now, The Victorians For Freshmen (alternative title, Victorians 101), should be finished by August, which means my agent should be sending it out to publishers in the fall, which means–I trust–that it will be sold in the fall or winter and appear in the fall or winter of 2015. The Victorians for Freshmen is a guide to the 19th century novels that freshmen (or those taking “The Victorians 101”) are usually assigned to read, and combines plot summaries with personal impressions and critical insight. Basically, if you’ve read my Fantastic Victoriana—and there’s a sample entry here if you’re curious–you’ll be acquainted with my approach. But for Victorians for Freshmen I’m not covering 19th century genre work, I’m covering the canon of literature, everyone from Austen to Zola, from Trollope’s Barchester Towers to Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I think the book will be both entertaining and informative, and of value to both students and adults.
My novel, Filial Devotion, has made it to the semi-finals of the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, with the finalists being announced tomorrow, June 13th. I don’t think the novel will make it that far–basically, I have faith in the novel as readable and fun, but I don’t think it’s the sort of outstanding work that makes it to the finalist level–so after tomorrow I intend to add some needed material to the novel and then start pitching it to publishers, ideally with an eye for publication sometime in the next year or two (or three). (Filial Devotion is about an 18th century Chinese ship’s captain whose father’s soul is stolen by an evil eunuch sorcerer, forcing the ship’s captain to go to extreme lengths, including a trip to Hell, to retrieve the soul. The elevator pitch is, “What if Patrick O’Brian and Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain had a love child.”)
Once I finish Victorians for Freshmen I’ll be done with non-fiction work and will be concentrating solely on fiction, so there will be more novels to come. I’ll talk about them here when they’re ready.