Tuesday, December 30, 2008
First reason: it's a kickass story - funny and sad and just a little bit gross - and being as you came here, Yard-ape, you're probably core target audience.
Second reason: I kind of helped. Not with the writing - that's all Spencer. But with the reading. Some months back, Hugh asked me to come help him record a sort-of dramatic reading of the story for On Spec's website. We spent an afternoon at a little recording studio in the wilds of northern Etobicoke, yelling prose at each other until Hugh's money ran out.
And now it's on the Internet. So go, go. Once again, it's right here: Sticky Wonder Tales. Tell 'em I sent you.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So, Yard-apes, I admonish you once more: Go to the World's Biggest Bookstore. Bring $10. Buy my and Karl Schroeder's novel The Claus Effect.
What's that, you say? Don't want to?
May I suggest you check out this sample, and then read this chapter following, in which Emily meets the one thing in the world worse than Santa Claus.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And for one, glorious - ahem - shining Wednesday evening, Jonathan Coulton's Monkey Shines made television history.
Let's treasure the memory, all of us...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Here are some pictures, courtesy of Karen Fernandez...
... of editor Claude Lalumière, extoling the virtues of Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, the high quality of the slush pile, and the virtues of longer pieces of Canadian sf:
... of Brett Savory, who wrote the introduction to the book, extolling the virtues of Claude:
... of Michael Skeet and Jill Snider-Lum, reading from their story "Beneath the Skin":
... of E.L. Chen, reading from her story "The Story of the Woman and Her Dog":
... of Grace Seybold, in town for the weekend from Montreal, reading from her story, "Intersections":
... of me, hollering out the opening scene of my story "Wylde's Kingdom":
... and of Corwin Snider-Lum, reading somewhat more quietly from his own book, the title of which he didn't feel need to share:
Here's what the signings looked like:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
... imagine what I could do for a new one.
You might think that was the end of it. Well no, it's not. The good people at The World's Biggest Bookstore apparently took note of that one, righteous sale -- and, even granting the prospect of hard-scrabble times ahead in the book-mongering trade, they looked at the cover, looked at the calendar, and seized an opportunity that no one has seized since the old Bakka Science Fiction Books set up that first window display in the fall of 1997.
They ordered a bunch of copies for the holiday season, and put them in this section of the bookstore:
... near the bottom:
That, you might think, would be quite enough. But there's more. Over in the science fiction and fantasy section, they took another four copies and put them here:
And, in the juicy core of the science fiction/fantasy section proper, right before Douglas Niles, where a Nickle book should go, here:
So. Ahem. It's Christmas coming up. The World's Biggest Bookstore (on Edward Street, between Yonge Street and Bay Street, just north of the Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas) has gone out on a limb and actually ordered a significant stack of this creepy, violent, foul-mouthed, Bill-O'Reilly-baiting-War-Against-Christmas novel of cherubic mayhem from the 1990s. On Tuesday, there were (yes, I counted) eleven copies there -- a sizable percentage of the remainder of the print run, if I'm not mistaken.
Yard-apes, you have your mission.
* Thank you, lone book-buying Yard-ape. Your reward is in Heaven.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Scroll down, and you'll see three video links, to a three-part home doc I put together about a month back. It's based on long conversation with my dad, Lawrence Nickle, and uncle, Graham Nickle, about the scandalous history of a branch of the Nickles I'd only learned about a month earlier. That's when I heard from Joe Nickle, a photographer shooting out of Louisiana, who'd been googling his name and found the Yard. Funny old world, he wrote. There aren't too many of us Nickles around.
Truer words were never spoken. Turns out that we were cousins, separated after the Second World War, when my cousin Wallace and great-uncle Oliver left Harriston, Ontario for points south in Texas, to sire a sprawling brood of Nickles there.
So we got to emailing back and forth, and putting together a family story as near as we could figure. It wasn't nearly enough - but it was enough to arm me with questions to throw at Lawrence and Graham when I got them in front of the camera over Thanksgiving.
And taken together, it was enough to fill me with a kind of horrified admiration for my preacher cousin Wallace Nickle - who, based on all the stories, was the closest thing to a bona fide literary character my family has ever coughed up. Hopefully, faithful readers will see what I mean when the story I'm working on right now sees publication.
In the meantime, watch these videos. They tell the story of Wallace, the Webley and the Fearsome Hound; Wallace and the Pram-Full of Furs; How the Nickles Got Their Name; and Fantastical Stories of the Nickles' Adventures In A First World War In Which Apparently No Actual Combat Occurred.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The launch is for Tesseracts Twelve, of which you've heard so much for so long. It's happening on November 29, a Saturday, at three p.m., at Bakka-Phoenix Books. There will be cookies (Bakka Phoenix is well-known for their cookies). There will be me. There will be Claude Lalumière, Jill Snider Lum, Brett Alexander Savory, Grace Seybold, and Michael Skeet. We will all read our entire novellas and Jill and Michael will sing theirs in a Sonny-and-Cher-inspired duet, with banter.
Okay, that last bit was just to see if you were paying attention. If you're lucky, they won't let us read more than a paragraph of two of our very long stories. There will be lots of writers, though. And I'm pretty sure they'll let us sign copies.
Bakka-Phoenix Books, if you're still interested, is located at 697 Queen Street West, just west of Bathurst Street.
And my story, Wylde's Kingdom, can be sampled, as ever, here.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
And you wake up, and you go and check, to see Goddamn if for once, your friends in the United States - the ones that aren't represented by Fox News , who don't fit the ugly stereotype of the small-minded, bigotted, superstitious and fearful Americans that have made themselves so unwelcome in the homes of so much of the world... see if they actually managed to get their shit together and climb back up that brink over which they so recklessly stepped in 2004.
And noodling around on the internet, you see this:
... and you realize, this isn't the first time that particular country has looked upon itself, seen the face of evil, and chosen redemption.
It is, however, the first time you slept through it.
Here's some more speech.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
... because the reviews of the all-novella-all-the-time anthology edited by Claude Lalumière and contributed to by me are lining up. So far, it's two-for-two. This one, from SFRevu reviewer Colleen Cahill, is just as kind as the last one (see below). Read it here.
Here's what she said about my story, Wylde's Kingdom:
"David Nickle gives us a darkly satirical piece in "Wylde's Kingdom", where the end of the world is combined with an over-the-top and fatal Disney production. A former TV star who has tried to escape the nightmare of the show Wylde's Kingdom is kidnapped when his former boss decides this is the best way to make a comeback. A work of both humor and pathos, this story is one that will keep you turning every page."
She said nicer things still about the story my writing-workshop pals Michael Skeet and Jill Snider-Lum wrote:
My favorite novella is "Beneath the Skin" by Michael Skeet and Jill Snider Lum, an oriental fantasy with lots of atmosphere.
And so on. Go check out the full review. And buy the anthology. Colleen Cahill and SFRevu say so.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
But I post now to note a very kind review, from noted author and critic Don D'Ammassa, which you can read here. It says kind things about the collection, and very kind things indeed about my story Wylde's Kingdom. Which you can read a bit of here. You have to buy the book to read the whole story, but you have to click on the link to learn about the AbSucker 2020.
Friday, October 24, 2008
We won't make the same mistake in the oh-so-close American election.
So, American yard-apes here goes.
Don't listen to these Russians.
They're obviously smitten.
Listen to Obama Girl.
She's thinking straight.
Alternatively, you can take a risk and go the classical route.
Caligula for President: It's Time for a Tyrant from Cintra Wilson on Vimeo.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
A few posts back, I copied a list of our top three winners.
Well, now they're online, here, in the latest issue of ChiZine. Go look. They're good. And free.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This is actually a good thing, because it will also push the trade paperback release of the book to September, 2009, which is and always has been the publishing sweet spot on the calendar. And by then, we're sure to have worked out a better web advertising banner than this one:
Thursday, August 21, 2008
There's probably something redundant in linking to video I've seen on boingboing, and I'm probably doing it more than's good for me. But I can't seem to stop myself...
And neither, it seems, can this student/YouTube mogul/claymation maniac/plastecine gorehound takena. Here's another one:
To see what I mean, scroll down to the very bottom of the yard. Even further. Further. Okay, there.
See the two advertising banners? Those are new. They're meant to convince you to go buy a couple new books from ChiZine Publications - Brent Hayward's Filaria:
and Bob Boyczuk's Horror Story and Other Horror Stories:
Eventually, I too will have a banner on this blog and many others, urging you to go buy my collection, Pants Are For Company. It will in all likelihood not look like this:
Monday, August 18, 2008
Using the boot-camp Clarion method (write, read, critique - repeat), it's intensive and productive and a lot of fun.
This year, it was also a great relief.
See, that story collection coming out next year, which you might recall was going to be called Monstrous Affections... well, after some talk, we decided on another title.
A title, according to Sandra Kasturi, that more properly screamed DAVID NICKLE.
A title that really needed a story underneath it to anchor the whole collection.
A title that now, thanks to Gibraltar Point (and a week before it, a cabin at Lake Herridge, near Temagami, Ontario), I can confidently say has that story.
And so, in 2009, I invite you all to go out and buy my story collection:
Pants Are For Company.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Now take a moment to uncurl from that foetal position, and join me in congratulating the winners and honourable mentions from the 2008 Chizine Short Story Contest - in which yours truly was a judge. From Brett Alexander Savory's blog:
Here we go, folks. Thanks to everyone for entering the contest! The top three placers will be published at 7 cents per word in the October–December 2008 issue of ChiZine.
- 1st place: “The Blog at the End of the World” by Paul Tremblay
- 2nd place: “Grave's Edge” by Alex O'Neal
- 3rd place: “Beyond” by Brenta Blevins
- “Angelica's Elegy” by Chris Miller
- “Fitness Freaks” by Matthew Farrer
- “The Button Collector” by Stephanie Campisi
- “Organ Nell” by Jennifer Pelland
- “Low Tide” by Lisa A. Koosis
- “El Dorado” by Horace James
- “The TV” by Ben Loory
My deepest thanks to the judges for taking the time to help us out this year:
- Cherie Priest
- Claude Lalumière
- David Nickle
- Derek McCormack
- Nancy Baker
- Peter Straub
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Saw this one on boingboing, and usually I'd leave it at that. But after checking out the above gateway-drug video, I noticed that the twisted puppeteer of terror Matt Ficner had posted a couple of other, less wholesome videos (do I have to say not for kids? I guess I have to say not for kids). This one:
And this one here:
The Yard is pleased to share.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Seriously, though... not having ever had kids, or ever intending to, the opportunities for inter-generational pride are few and far between. And so in that spirit, I present to you: my pal, the doctor.
(Hopefully, this will be a credible enough hit that the web-cred-conscious Ms. Ashby will feel she can have something to link to on her own blog, when she starts in with the justifiable boasting).
Some shout-outs, now, to cool people I met for the first time, like Nebraska sf teen dynamo Shelly Li and Ottawa sf author-entrepreneur Barry Alder, and to old pals like Doug Smith, Peter Bloch-Hansen, Tanya Huff, Peter Watts (who rode shotgun on the dawn and midnight drives to and from the airport hotel), Derwin Mak and Christian Sauvé; and to Sherry Moore, who wing-manned me on the hard-sell of the third copy of The Claus Effect to the even-tempered woman at my, erm, sparsely-attended shall-we-say signing Sunday afternoon. And to Erik Buchanan, author of the new fantasy novel Small Magics, who gamely snagged the first.
And of course a big ovation goes to the organizers of Polaris, particularly Alana Otis and Lance Sibley, who made it all run so smoothly.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Some explanation may be in order. Polaris is a big old science fiction convention that until Star Trek effectively went away a few years back was Toronto Trek. Now it's a convention devoted to SF with a media slant, with a healthy respect for the writers of written word and lots of good-looking, well-groomed actors. And me, in such dire need of a haircut...
So I'll be there, and I'm on a good whack of programming, and if you want to hear me reminisce about my Starlost days back in the seventies, the subtle charms of Dexter, and why Battlestar Galactica is so fracking great, Polaris is the place to be, at 655 Dixon Road.
Not so far from Pearson Airport.
See, you take the 427 north from the Gardiner, execute a lightning lane change just south of Eglinton, and...
Ah, screw it. Here's a map.
And here's my schedule:
Friday, 7 p.m.
Minimum 400 Pages
Description: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is not a long book. A World of Ptavvs is not a long book. Today, it's not certain that a book under 400 pages can even get published. What has changed? Is it us, or the publishing industry?
Friday, 11 p.m.
Battlestar Galactica: The New Series
Description: What makes Battlestar Galactica so great? How do we feel about it coming to an end?
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Description: Dracula is one of the most-depicted characters in the history of film and literature, second only to Sherlock Holmes. Bram Stoker's 1897 novel has formed the basis for countless imitations. Why has this particular character endured for over a century? What are some of your favourite Dracula films?
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Whither The Short Story?
Description: Science Fiction and fantasy short stories used to be a viable business. There used to be competition for the best writers. What ever happened to the short story? Do people need more character development now, or are they just seen as bad value for the money for some reason? Is it a conspiracy of writers? Even if it isn't, should we start spreading that story?
Saturday, 3 p.m.
The Starlost: 35 Years Later
Description: It's been 35 years since the premiere of the first SF series made in Scarborough. Despite its reputation, one of its scripts won a Writers Guild of America Award, it inspired two novels, and now the British watch it on DVD. Why do people still remember this show?
Saturday 11 p.m.
Dear Disturbed Dexter
Description: Season 1 of Dexter was met with great approval by fans and critics alike. Did Season 2 live up to the promise of the first season? Was Lila as interesting a character as the Ice Truck Killer? Did you enjoy the character development for Doakes? Discuss whether you thought this was a killer season or a let down.
In addition to all of this, they've got me down for a reading (one full hour! Holy crap I can read all of Wylde's Kingdom! Or something else!) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. And I'm signing stuff in the dealer's room. So bring your Claus Effect, or prosthetic, or pet turtle; I'll be all with the signatures suitable for collectables and identity theft at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
So yeah - Jonathan Coulton, Superstar of the American Internet, came up to see the Canadian Internet last night. And the Canadian Internet saw him back.
At least we did: we being me, my partner Karen Fernandez, and Peter Watts and Laurie Channer. Karen, who knows her way around a Canon Powershot like no other, shot some video. Which is right here.
It's okay, though; no need to call Jim Prentice.
Coulton does the Creative Commons thing, just like me here, which means doing things like video-recording live concerts and posting them to YouTube does not, even theoretically, subject anyone to a maximum $20,000 settlement.
Putting up the absolutely show-stopping encore cover that he and henchmen Paul and Storm did of Sweet Caroline, immediately flowing from their encore rendition of First of May - that's something else entirely. So you won't get to see Sweet Caroline on this blog. Not until you write to Canadian Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice, and tell him in no uncertain terms to scrap Bill C-61, you won't.
But enough about politics. Coulton and henchmen Paul and Storm put on one hell of a show at the Lula Lounge July 9. They should come back every Wednesday.
Check out the video. It's Re Your Brains, and it comes right before First of May and that other song you'll never get to hear.* * *
Update, July 11: But you will get to hear this song, "I Crush Everything," about giant squid and despair -- which goes well with my upcoming deep-sea action novella "Wylde's Kingdom" in Tesseracts Twelve (a project I haven't plugged for a couple entries, I notice):
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
If you're in Toronto tomorrow and want to go buy a copy for yourself, it's debuting at the Small Press Book Fair, Saturday June 7 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Miles Nadal Community Centre, at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Couple posts back, I alerted all Yard-apes to a deal cut with Pseudopod, the excellent horror podcast, to do a reading of my story "The Sloan Men." Well it's out today, and you can listen to it here. I gave it a listen before heading out to see the Sex in the City movie, and I can recommend it. Not the movie - that is a victim for another blog posting - but the podcast.
Particularly given the very fine interpretation brought to it by reader Cunning Minx, who deserves (and gets) a full-on Yard shout-out for bringing the old story to such exquisite life. Or undeath.
(And as an addendum: a Yard shout-out to Cory Doctorow and Boingboing, for this link.)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This. Is. Big.
At least it is in the limited universe that is the retail potential of The Claus Effect, Karl Schroeder's and my 11-year-old novel about Cottage Country, the Cold War, and Santa Claus.
I'll start from the beginning...
Stopping in at The World's Biggest Bookstore today at lunch, as sometimes I do, I noticed something peculiar in the horror section: four copies of The Claus Effect, which is not a horror novel, and for the past decade, has not been a novel you could buy in The World's Biggest Bookstore or its affiliated stores.
This second characteristic has, to my mind, been a huge contributing factor to the book's failure to take off in terms of sales when it appeared in 1997. Aside from the book's obvious literary pedigree (or, possibly, in spite of), it got as fine a coming-out party as a first novel could expect. The launch, I'm told, is in the top three of best-attended launches in the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy's history. A TV crew was there, to film a segment for Space TV's science fiction news report (and that segment aired repeatedly during the pre-Christmas rush). The bookstore then known as Bakka (now reborn as Bakka-Phoenix) did a full-bore window display in their Queen Street West location for a couple of weeks, again leading up to Christmas. Reviews were generally glowing.
There was only one fly in this otherwise generally smooth and fragrant ointment: Chapters and the World's Biggest Bookstore - at the time, and still today now that they've been taken over by Indigo, the friendly giant of the Canadian book retail marketplace - elected not to order any copies.
That meant that outside of Toronto, it was very difficult if not impossible for any readers to get hold of our book. The Internet was not then what it is today, and Tesseract Books was a small press of limited means when it came to promotion. The Claus Effect was effectively stopped in its tracks.
Well, I said to myself as I stared, gobsmacked, at the four, only-slightly-yellowing copies of the trade paperback edition of Karl's and my book, better late than never. But egads - this is no horror novel. Anyone who buys this expecting vampires and serial killers or frankly, something typical of the sort of thing I usually write, is going to be mighty steamed.
So I found me a staffer and explained to her about how this was my book, and how happy I was to see it on the shelves, but how I didn't think it belonged in the horror section. And to my delight, I didn't even have to show ID before she had me sign the copies then restocked them in the science fiction and fantasy section where they belonged. Then we got to chatting.
Apparently the deal is this: The World's Biggest Bookstore, which has always been, frankly, book-ier than the other Chapters-Indigo stores, has decided to stock up with small press books that might be harder to find. And checking the computer network, we confirmed it: So far, the only place to get The Claus Effect, is WBB. It's not in other Toronto area Chapters-Indigo stores, and presumably it's not in any of their other stores across the country either.
And now, Yard-apes, we come to my modest proposal (or abuse of my internet privileges in the name of filthy lucre, if you want to look at it that way). If you haven't, for some reason, ordered yourself a Claus Effect here or here yet, are thinking of doing so, and have a Chapters-Indigo store within a walk, bike ride or short drive, there are worse things that you could do than go inside, ask a staffer of they have a copy in stock, and if not, ask if they might order one.
It's not like they don't have it in the system. And it might give them some ideas.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Obviously, because "Wylde's Kingdom," which is in a fundamental way, all about squid, just like the Squidpunk manifesto says it should be, has not yet appeared.
Not that I'm bitter...
Sunday, April 20, 2008
- only less blurry. I had not. So I checked it out here, at EDGE's online catalogue. (There's a .PDF of a T12 promotional booklet containing samples of all the stories, as well as foreword and afterword, here) For the less blur-tolerant among you Yard-apes, allow me to describe: it's a depiction of an attractive, short-haired young woman, carving herself out from a block of stone. Think of a Stone Angel cover - approved in an alternate timeline, where a far more literal-minded Margaret Laurence was pitching to the Canadian SF crowd, and Angelina Jolie'd been cast to play Hagar Shipley in the movie.
I think this cover kicks ass. It should sell lots of books, and perhaps also inspire a few intriguing websites that are nevertheless not safe for work.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
What I mean to say is, "The Sloan Men," available for free to read here, will be available to listen to here, at Pseudopod, sometime in the near future. Just got word that the well-known horror podcast wants to do an audio adaptation of the story - so soon as I can get the contract signed and sent, and they can fit it into their schedule...
And in other news - Tesseracts Twelve, in which my novella "Wylde's Kingdom" plays a prominent role, is now available ... for pre-order, from Amazon.ca, here. You still have to wait until September to get it, though...
Sunday, March 30, 2008
It'll come out in 2009, from ChiZine Publications. That being ChiZine's new paper-and-ink imprint, just launched last month with Brent Hayward's novel Filaria. Yeah, you could say I'm pretty stoked. Filaria's goddamn gorgeous, and Brett and Sandra reassured me that the collection will be goddamn gorgeous-er -- although we cannot, as I'd suggested, call it Nice Stories for Kids. More than likely, the book you'll all be ordering in limited-edition hardcover this time next year (right?) and again somewhat later in an affordably-priced trade paperback (um, right?) will bear the name of this blog and website:
Nice Stories for Kids
Okay, after a quick email exchange with Brett and Sandra, both of whom have a far better idea on how to sell a collection than I, it probably won't bear the title
Nice Stories for Kids
but rest assured we'll call it something. And probably not
Nice Stories for Kids
Friday, March 28, 2008
I'm going to be there, and doing some panels. For those of you who want to see me (or help build my self-esteem by packing my reading, about which there is more below), here's my schedule:
|David Nickle||Sat 10:00 AM||Ballr. East||Harry Potter: A Look Back|
|David Nickle||Sat 3:00 PM||Ballr. West||Collaborating|
|David Nickle||Sat 8:00 PM||Salon 443||Horror: How Far is Too Far?|
|David Nickle||Sun 12:30 PM||Salon 443||Reading|
Now, on to the reading. In honor of the overall science fiction/fantasy theme of the convention, this year I'm not going to read a slimy, be-tentacled horror story. I'm going to be reading just a bit of a slimy, be-tentacled science fiction story, the aforementioned "Wylde's Kingdom" novelette that will be appearing in Tesseracts Twelve this fall. Somewhat sooner than that, I'm going to post a bit of it online, and when that happens, I'll probably illustrate it with many cheesy photoshopped teasers, like this one here.
So. Sunday, 12:30, Salon 443. To the stars.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Unwittingly, I also apparently accepted a challenge from Mr. Savory to a blogging duel at dawn, at 20 paces with trolled facebook photos.
Never let it be said that I am one to shrink from a challenge.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Well that's a cryptic old title line, isn't it? In October it will be a tiny bit less cryptic, when Tesseracts Twelve comes out, with my novella "Wylde's Kingdom" taking up large amounts of real estate between its covers. Claude Lalumière, the editor of this edition of the long-lived Canadian speculative fiction anthology, let me know the story was in just last night. To say that I'm mighty pleased would be an understatement: one of the things you learn in the fiction-writing gig is finding respectable homes for your 17,000-word-plus novellas is a long game that rarely ends well. In that sense, Claude and Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing are doing the work of angels, because this next edition of the book is all novelettes/novellas all the time.
When the time comes, I'll post an excerpt over at the Devil's Exercise Yard website.