Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The Milkman has won a gold medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards competition: Best science fiction novel in North America, from an independent publisher. I am pretty happy about it. It is the only way I’m ever going to take home a gold medal as my Olympic career was cut short by lack of athletic ability and it doesn’t look like “Reading the New Yorker” or “Shouting to a barista” are even demonstration sports in Rio next year.
My wife Sarah and I will be attending the ceremony in New York May 27. I will post pictures of me wearing the medal and tearing up at the national anthem. My publisher, EDGE, is Canadian, so I hope they play both. Especially the good one.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 11:22 AM
Friday, May 1, 2015
Sometimes you meet someone, you’re intrigued, you spend time together, you learn, you laugh and after a while you realize you’re smitten. Ian Sales new novel, All That Outer SpaceAllows, is the book version. It follows an American astronaut’s wife from the mid-sixties to mid-seventies. She is devoted to him and his career, and writes science fiction on the side. The two halves of her life should have a lot in common. They don’t. The resulting inner conflict is pure, real and underrepresented in literature. It’s also they kind of theme that makes literary science fiction an invaluable genre.
The novel is fully formed and overwhelmingly believable. It will make you doubt your actual knowledge of recent history. Ian employs a canny tool to assuage your doubts. He occasionally intrudes into the story, which at first I found a little disconcerting. Only at first. Once you are moved outside the story, you appreciate the full reflection. The device give the thorough research move depth and meaning.
“Allows” is book four of the Apollo Quartet. The first, Adrift on the Sea of Rains, took home the 2012 British Science Fiction Association Award for his hard sf novella. Each book experiments with our early years in space, testing and prodding and wondering what they may have been like if this or that were different. And in wondering they produce a sense of wonder.
While I enjoyed each book in the quartet, I found “Allows” quite moving. I plan to go back to book one and start again. I expect this time, the journey will be different – which I have come to believe is the point of the whole quartet.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 12:46 PM