At the risk of disappointing Jonathan, I’m going to talk about some book promotion.
Specifically, I’m going to talk about the next Gollancz promotion, following on from those round-cornered masterworks, the future classics, the ultimate fantasies earlier this year, and the terror 8. Next up? Yes, space opera.
- Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds
- The Centauri Device by M John Harrison
- Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
- Eon by Greg Bear
- Ringworld by Larry Niven
- Stone by Adam Roberts
- Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
- Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon
- Ilium by Dan Simmons
- Eternal Light by Paul McAuley
This does strike me as an odd list. Clearly there were some constraints in terms of what’s already popped up in other promotions — so no Revelation Space and no Hyperion, which strike me as better picks for their respective authors than Century Rain and Ilium. It also looks to me as though there’s some element of selecting authors to be promoted, rather than just going with the best space operas on the Gollancz list (otherwise the exclusion of A Fire Upon the Deep really is inexplicable). Indeed, it’s not actually a very space opera-ish list at all. And, obviously, there’s a lack of women again, although in this case I can’t even think of a woman published by Gollancz who writes space opera, even under this flexible definition — except Gwyneth Jones with Spirit, which isn’t out yet. They do get points from me for including Last and First Men, though it really does stretch the definition of “space opera” to breaking, and as has already been pointed out elsewhere the cover makes it look like it’s a book about either “gay men or male toilets”. I’m not sure about the covers in general — though as with the future classics, they may well look better in person, as it were — though I am partial to that Stapledon cover, and The Centauri Device.