August 3rd, 2006

bear by san

everybody says I've got great balls of fire.

Peter Watts is the best science fiction writer of my generation. Full stop.

Now, when I say "my generation," I don't mean my age group--Peter's a bit older than I am, and a hell of a lot smarter. And much, much better educated. (And far more bitter and difficult, but he's funny with it, so that's okay.) What I mean is, the group of science fiction writers who've come into print as novelists in, oh, the last five or seven years or so.

Look around. It's a pretty amazing crew.

Peter kicks all our asses.

I've been talking about his forthcoming book Blindsight a lot, here and elsewhere. I blurbed it. (I don't blurb books I don't love--as I told Peter when he accused me of giving him a pity blurb, I might be willing to have sex with him out of pity if he asked nicely enough, but professionalism precludes blurbing something I wouldn't like to see my own name on, thank you.) (Full disclosure: He didn't ask. *g*)

Moreover, Charlie Stross blurbed it. And identified the book as a likely Hugo winner. And I agree with him. Now, Charlie and I both have books out this year. Charlie's Glasshouse is already getting major award buzz. My own Carnival is, in my opinion, the most important book I've written. (I dunno if it's Hugo calibre--I don't get to make that decision--but I think it whacks the stuffing out of the Jenny books.)

We're both pretty convinced that Blindsight not only is going to, but should kick both our asses. This book, I shit you not, is one for the ages. I'm not going out on a limb here for Peter because he's a pal, or because he gave me a blurb for Hammered that we are still getting mileage out of. (That one and the Brin quote. They will not quit.) So when I say, you need to read this book, I mean each and every one of you.

Not only is Peter one hell of a hard science and idea writer, but his characters are amazing, complex, damaged people. He's got narrative guts like I've never seen. (You may blame him for me having the courage to end Scardown the way I did.) and his plot cooks along like the windows of a train passing in the opposite direction.

And. He writes like a fucking dream. His prose is sharp, lean, shocking, inevitable. His imagery verges on poetry.

His endings may tend to be a bit rushed. ;-) Nobody's perfect.

The reason I bring this up again at this moment is because there's an interview with him up at Meme Therapy now, and if you want a little taste of why almost everybody who's read this book in advance of publication is talking about it in hushed and trembling voices, go look now.

This is the best science fiction novel I've read in years.

And it has vampires.



***
ascii frog by Jean Seok

all of us are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.

Well, I spent $800.00 today. And I still have to pay the rent, buy my WFC membership, and plane tickets to Los Angeles.

And the truck needs a new exhaust system. But it has new tires. And I ordered my new bow.

NEW BOW!

It will be blue.

Next year, maybe I will buy myself a fancier recurve. I refuse to commit to just one shooting style.

Also, I will apparently be presenting the Campbell Award at Worldcon. So, um, I will actually be at a Hugo ceremony, rather than spending it in the bar, as is my custom.

I also just wrote a three-paragraph synop of, oh, a third of the plot of Undertow for the sales guys, and I got alovely review of Blood & Iron from Green Man Review (it has a few bitty spoilers), and a pair of charms in the mail from katallen for my charm bracelet--leap frogs! for finishing Undertow, and an axe, for Isolfr. I am very jingly now.

Thank you.