Tue 5 Aug 2008
Welcome to Day Two of Small Press Week; today our spotlight is on the relative newcomer Norilana Books. Their most recent release is Sherwood Smith’s A Stranger to Command; you can read more about it here. In October, they will be releasing this novel. John Grant is the pen name of Paul Barnett; between them he has written seventy or so books. Generally speaking, Paul Barnett edits, and John Grant writes. Twenty-five of his books are fiction; he has also contributed extensively to several reference volumes. Combined, he has received two Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Award (twice), the Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award, the Chesley Award, the J. Lloyd Eaton Scholarship Award, and a rare British Science Fiction Association Special Award.
This is a novel in ten episodes; what that means when it’s at home is that it’s a series of linked and mostly sequential short stories. Five of them have been published in other places, prior to this volume. The first one, involving an Operation Iraqi Freedom wounded veteran, is set just shortly after the current time (or perhaps during the current time); the main character is surnamed Prestentra, and that name will come back in nearly every story. The second story is set just after that, and then the setting descends into a bizarre dystopia that is an extreme extraction of the United States’ current administrations’ policies — but, as far as I can tell, as near as only ten or fifteen years out from now. (more…)