Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Belle réussite"

I've had several books translated into French but never seen a French review of my writing... so what fun to see this review of "Static" and other stories from Extraordinary Engines in Les Notes d'Eumene de Cardie.

If you want the somewhat amusing Google translation, it's here.

And if you haven't bumped into this anthology before, it is a steampunk anthology edited by Nick Gevers and published by Solaris. The publishers bill it as the "definitive" steampunk anthology, but I don't actually think that was what the anthology tried to do--all the stories were new, requested from specific authors, so it is an all-original-publication anthology...

"Static" feels a bit Dickensian, in part because it hews to that curious and rare phenomenon, spontaneous combustion. You may remember how important that element is in Bleak House. If you haven't read Bleak House, please do.  So complex and inventive! Every now and then I feel a deep need to travel around in Bleak House. "Static" may also remind you a slight bit of Rapunzel. There's certainly a lot of hair! And a rather unattractive old woman.

I had a lot of fun making up a world where static poses a constant danger. Living in Yankeedom no doubt had some influence--that and being a mother of three and so doomed to much shocking laundry and crackling winter static in the No'th and cold.

6 comments:

  1. Wow!That's impressive. Your work is making its way around the world.

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  2. Well, it is interesting to see a foreign review--I have seen some from Eastern Europe and India and a few other places, but never France, I don't think...

    Of course, one never knows much about print-only reviews from elsewhere.

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  3. Yes, as Robbi said! I also had to look up 'steampunk', I thought that was a band. I think I'm illiterate.

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  4. "For narrative also not very happy" -- sounds great! (Must re-read Bleak House, too.)

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  5. marja-leena,

    I am quite sure my story was not wholly in the steampunk groove, as I prefer to go my wayward way! But one of my old editors at FSG pointed out that I would increase cred with my kids.

    Blogger just changed that to "increase fred with my kids," which I rather like.

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  6. Dave,

    Yes, Googlian has a certain charm, doesn't it? You might like it. Steam pipes. Great raveled tangles of hair. Sparks. Spontaneous combustion.

    We must all read "Bleak House" again. Soon.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.