A Bit Of Bragging

My new book, Gravity Box and Other Spaces, has been getting some notice.  I offer, in a spasm of unusual self-promotion for me, a selection of recommendations and quotes:

This author is among the most valuable—and insufficiently appreciated—visionaries in the SF field, and his new collection is an important addition to his corpus delectable. Allow me to reprint a quotation I offered the publisher. “Ranging from rural fantasy to urban dystopia, Gravity Box and Other Spaces is the opposite of a black hole: Mark Tiedemann has wrought a stellar event from which phenomena of every sort—fancies, fears, ideas, aspirations, surges of eros, irruptions of violence—escape to transfix and enlighten us.”

James Morrow, author of The Godhead Trilogy and The Philosopher’s Apprentice

Mark Tiedemann’s worlds are surreal, sexy, and strange. This is an inventive collection from an author who never fails to surprise.

Carolyn Ives Gilman, author of Isles of the Forsaken and Halfway Human

Mark Tiedemann includes enough scientific and fantastical details to satisfy the most demanding sf/f reader, but the stories really draw their power from the book’s human elements—a woman’s longing for her lover’s touch, a young boy’s yearning to belong, an adolescent’s desperate attempts to break free of the poisonous gravity of home. It’s the familiar that makes the alien so relatable and so real.

Sharon Shinn, author of Archangel, Royal Airs, and The Turning Season

The stories here may make you smile or cry.  At least once, I wanted to hurl the book in anger at what the author had allowed to happen to a character I had come to care about.  That I cared enough to be that angry shows Tiedemann’s success as a writer.

Stephen Bolhafer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Mark Tiedemann’s Gravity Box and Other Spaces…contains the marks of quality from beginning to end.  The dishes he serves are varied, nicely spiced, and will satisfy a variety of fantastical palates.

Janet L. Cannon, Revision is a Dish Best Served Cold

One of Tiedemann’s strengths has always been his ability to create fascinating worlds and complex characters and this book is no exception.

Brittany Porter, St. Louis Books Examiner, Examiner.com

I’m blushing (not really, but I could).  It’s one thing to be allowed to publish and offer my stories, but to see responses like this is a real pleasure.  I hope the book continues to please and by all means, express your opinions!

Thank you.

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I’m going to be writing a story in public tonight, at Left Bank Books.  I am cleaning house in preparation and playing a bit with Photoshop.  So till I have something to tell you about tonight’s frolics, here’s one of the results.


Brick On Granite, b&w, May 2014

Monday Morning Surprise

A friend of mine called while I was out. He left a message (which I thought had to be a mistake) to the effect that apparently my new book, Gravity Box and Other Spaces, made the local (St. Louis) independent bookstore bestseller list of the week ending June 29.  Post-Dispatch page here.

Well, not one to be fooled, I looked it up.  And there it is. (See link above)

I’m stunned.

I’m…well…stunned.  Gravity Box Cover

I mean, the last thing I expected was for something like this to occur with this book.

Not that I had a list of expectations, mind you.  I was just very pleased with the finished product and that it arrived on the shelves.  I was gratified right down to my socks that people showed up at the release party.  (No, that’s an understatement, I was beyond gratified.  I never expect people to pay any attention.  I’m always surprised and pleased and blown away.)  If I got a couple of positive reviews and the book sold well enough to justify my publisher’s commitment, well, that would be great.  Beyond that, no expectations.

Hopes, on the other, I got plenty.

But to be real, it’s a short story collection.  Best seller?  Granted, it is a local list, but even so, I’m in the top three with Gone Girl and Orange Is The New Black.  What?

So right now I am about as happy as a writer as I have been since…

Well, since I sold my first story.  Then sold my first professional story.  Then sold my first novel.  I was elated when I was informed that I’d made the short list for the Philip K. Dick Award.  And again when I made the short list for the Tiptree a few years later.  Yeah, I’ve had some moments in this insane business.

But this!  Wow.

So, what would be very cool would be to see this happen elsewhere.  I doubt this will be anything other than a word-of-mouth success.  That being the case, please—say something.  Push your local independent bookstore into getting it.  Talk to people.  With a little help from my friends (well, maybe a lot of help) I may yet have a decent career.  It would be really strange if this were the book that made the comeback for me.  But I wouldn’t be the least bit unhappy about that.

For those of you who have already bought the book, thank you very, very much.  Picking up a book and laying out cash for it is an act of faith.  One that, I hope, will be justified in this case.

…and another shoe falls…

By all appearances, I seem to be having a good year.  After my new collection came out last month from Walrus Publishing, a second book has now been released by Yard Dog Press.  The link to this “new” title is here.

Logic of Departure is a neat thing.  Last year, the marvelous Selina Rosen, chief cook and bottle washer of Yard Dog, called me to ask permission to reissue the two chapbooks of mine they had published.  Extensions and Diva are novellas which, being novellas (and notoriously difficult to place), made their debut as nifty chapbooks.  Yard Dog has consistently sold them for years.  The strangeness of publishing being what it is, it is now more economical for them to issue them together, in a perfect-bound edition, than to continue pushing the chapbooks—which are, of course, both still available singly as ebooks.  Of course I said yes, and then suggested they hold off a bit, as I was then working on a new story that might fit in very well with those two.

Without intending it, Extensions and Diva both fit a loose background universe.  So I wrote a third novella set in that milieu, called Raitch, Later.  I was inspired to write it by a wonderful short story by Adam-Troy Castro called Arvies, which I urge you all to look up.  It’s one of those logical projections of a current thing that blows the mind.  A few days after reading it I had what I considered a suitably nasty idea and started work.

It took the better part of the last six months.  This past year has not been the most conducive to writing I’ve ever had (though not by any means the worst), but the end result is something I’m good with.  Lynn and Selena took the piece and now the completed book is available, with cover art by David Lee Anderson.

LogicOfDeparture_small   I don’t write very many novellas.  Mainly because they’re damnably difficult to sell, but also because most of them end up becoming novels.  That happened with the last Secantis novel I wrote—in fact, the last two, because Peace & Memory began life as a novella as well—an unpublished novel called Ghost Transit which is lying fallow, awaiting the day when.

But these three I doubt could be expanded, at least not as conceived.  So this is a neat thing, having them between covers, all together.  I think they work well together.

So I can now officially claim 12 books to my credit.  Published books, that is.

The link above is directly to Yard Dog.  Please, if you intend to order it online, do so directly from them.  They are a very small house and buying their product through Hamazon, ahem, while not profitless for them certainly takes a bigger bite out of their bottomline than is comfortable.  And while you’re there, check out some of their other titles.  A lot of fun work gets put out by these smaller publishers, work that one occasionally scratches one’s head and wonders, “how come Simon & Schuster didn’t take this…?”

I’m hoping this bodes well for the near future.  Maybe the freeze is beginning to thaw and I can get some of my other books in the pipeline to print.  I have learned in this business than 95% of it happens at a glacial pace, balanced in the end by 5% that requires time travel to complete.

(I just finished reading a time travel novel for my reading group.  What if…?)

A word about the stories included here.  This is a near future world, just on the brink of breaking out of the solar system.  You could easily read them as (loosely, very loosely) part of the Secantis universe.  They’re about class divisions, underdogs struggling to overcome, and the byzantine workings of social systems are laid bare for the reader’s scrupulous examination.  They are all about knowing when it’s time to leave.  Beyond that, I wish to leave everything else for you to discover.  Enjoy.