HarperVoyager, my UK publisher, have just published British editions of the three novels they didn’t already have in print: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, and Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. There’s also a UK paperback edition of Makers out this week.
I’m going to be celebrating all these UK launches at Clerkenwell Tales in London on July 20, in an event with China Mieville, chaired by English PEN’s Robert Sharp. The event’s set for 7PM and space is limited (though attendance is free). Email Clerkenwell Tales to RSVP.
Dave Holowiski sez, “I used my Mac’s text to speech to turn your book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town into 43 MP3s. Then I put them up on a WordPress site set to post a new one every three days. Then I submitted the RSS feed to iTunes. So I turned your book into a computer-read podcast. The web site is here, the RSS feed is here.
36 weeks ago — give or take — I set out to read my 2005 novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town aloud, in installments, in my podcast. And now I am done.
Someone Comes to Town is my weirdest book by far, a fantasy novel about a man whose father is a mountain and whose mother is a washing machine, who moves from small-town Ontario to Toronto to help build a citywide meshing wireless network with a crustypunk dumpster-diver.
Reading the book aloud was enormously satisfying. I hadn’t read it through since I finished the final draft in 2004, and in many ways it was like coming back to it for the first time.
But even more satisfying was the participation from my readers. First there was John Taylor Williams, of DC’s Wryneck Studios, who volunteered to master the audio for me, adding bed-music, editing out the gonks, and making it sound really good — he started this around week 27, and it seriously improved the final 9 episodes.
Then Glenn Jones, a reader in the UK, decided to create a dedicated podcast feed for the book, with all 36 episodes, to make it easy to fetch and play in one gulp.
Im not sure what I’ll podcast next — I have a little more than a week to think about it — but I’m really looking forward to it.
David Wallace Jackson wrote a script that randomly changes the names of the characters in my 2005 Tor Books novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town — a book in which the characters’ names fluctuate, with only their first initials remaining constant. It’s an absolutely delightful idea!
Web Webster writes, “Enjoying the podcast of Someone Comes To Town Someone Leaves Town. Excellent hearing it read by the author and I’m amazed at how much I didn’t pick up the first time I read it. Wanted to share a link to a Flickr set I shot this weekend. We went to Smithville, Tennessee to The Joe C. Evins Center for Craft and its annual Celebration. In wandering through the Ceramics building I ran across a set of pieces that immediately recalled the Golems from Someone.”
Pavol Hvizdos just finished translating two of my works into Slovak, releasing the translations under Creative Commons licenses and putting them on the Internet Archive. Pavol chose my third novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, and my short story Truncat (a sequel, of sorts, to Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom). This is way too cool.
Pavol Hvizdos, a Slovak speaker, has translated three of my books into Slovakian — Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, and Overclocked. The translations are Creative Commons licensed for your remixing and sharing pleasure.
I can’t tell you how awesomely cool it is to have readers spontaneously undertake major translation projects just for the fun of it. I believe that sharing my books under CC licenses inspires my readers to promote them, and this is the proof that it works. w00t!
Last night’s episode of Criminal Minds on CBS opened with a quote from my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town — keen!
(Thanks to everyone who wrote in about this!)