With a Little Help for my Friends

As school prepares to sweep my attention away like a raging derecho, I am at least very pleased by the great many bosom chums, online acquaintances, briefly encountered semi-celebs, and pals of various sorts who are getting a little good news lately, and it seems appropriate for me to take a few moments to spread the joy around a little bit.

First, follow me through this link to an excerpt from "The Charles Dickens Mystery," a new short story by the Edgar-nominated and always gentlemanly W. Edward Blain. In addition to his prodigious skills as a mystery writer, Ted is also my colleague of (gulp!) over seventeen years' history, and it is regrettable that the hard work he does for our mutual employer has sometimes prevented him from writing as much as he might otherwise. Of course, since I benefit from his hard work either way, I win, but if you wish to benefit, you'll want to take a look at the complete version of his latest opus in the latest Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. And if you want more, pick up a copy of his debut, Passion Play, or its follow-up, Love Cools.

Second, I'm happy to report that I've acquired Why Do They Kill Me?, the final piece in my collection of books by cartoonist/essayist Tim Kreider, whom I met in July at a reading in Baltimore (as reported here) to support his newest book, We Learn Nothing. Kreider's savage wit and sublime cross-hatching would make his work seeking out even if he were a total boor, but when Dixon and I encountered him in Baltimore (at the impossibly cool Atomic Books, following a magnificent dinner at the nearby Golden West restaurant), he was such a perfect gentleman that I've developed kind of a crush. Or as much of one as a straight married man is entitled to have, anyway. He's still out there promoting We Learn Nothing even as I speak, so by all means, buy and enjoy his stuff.

Third, I've already shared the good news about Ursula Vernon's Hugo Award, but you really owe it to yourself to read her own priceless and hilarious account of the Hugo experience, which eclipses any possible comment I could make about it. I mean, if a tale involving John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, and a guacamole-related incidence of violence doesn't make you want to rush out and read Digger and Dragonbreath, I don't know what will.

And finally, there's this long-awaited novel:

111836.jpgYes, it's David Abrams' debut, Fobbit, which has been getting rave reviews and publicity of all sorts, and which is finally mine. I'm almost as delighted about that fact as David is. Almost. Well, no, probably not. But delighted, nonetheless.

And if you look at the book's apostrophe (or think about the title for a minute), it should be apparent why I posed with it front of my map of Middle-Earth.

Congratulations and best wishes to Ted, Tim, Ursula, and David. And I'm not saying that just to earn writerly karma while I've got my own proposal on several desks. No, I'd never be that crass. Or that desperate. But, y'know, if the Publishing Gods are paying attention, I'm not going to complain...

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on September 12, 2012 3:56 PM.

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