The other day, for instance - and this is not at all to toot my own horn - I mentioned how I'd been disappointed by the first 50 pages of The Unremembered, a debut novel due out this Spring from an author Tor appear to be pitching as the next big name in epic fantasy. I expected that to be that, but the next morning an email arrived in my inbox from the gentleman himself: Peter Orullian was writing to say he was glad I'd taken the time, whatever my initial impressions of his book. Terribly decent of him, really, particularly considering some of the things I'd written.
(And in case there was any confusion, I will be reading the rest of The Unremembered - because it's a big deal, for one thing, and because I wouldn't feel justified in offering up an opinion on the whole without having experienced the thing itself in its entirety.)
Of course, there's a certain element of insidiousness in the shift that's occurred; or at the least, there's room for such. As yet, however, I'm very much of the mind that the positives of the exponentially increasing familiarity between reader and writer far outweigh the negatives - if you'll pardon the pun, I wouldn't trade my postcard from Bas-lag for all the tea in China.
With that in mind, readers dear, it gives me great pleasure to report that Tor are hoping to extend the reach of their stable of speculative fiction craftmasters beyond us humble bloggers and still further. For on the third Wednesday of every month for the immediately foreseeable, the hashtag #torchat will make for a moderated discussion between you, me, and the likes of Greg Bear, whose brains you might like to pick about his contribution to the Halo mythos.
Here's the press release in full:
"Next Wednesday’s first #Torchat will revolve around a discussion of “hard” science fiction, that ambiguous and often narrowly defined subgenre of SF that purports to extrapolate from “real science.” Special guest authors Greg Bear (@spacegriz), Steven Gould (@StevenGould), and M.J. Locke (@MorganJLocke) will lead a fan chat on what Hard SF means, whose really doing it (and whose not...), and the science behind the fiction, using the Twitter hashtag #Torchat.
"The chat will be introduced and (loosely) moderated by Tor publicist Justin Golenbock (@jgolenbo), with giveaways of advance copies of upcoming summer SF releases from @TorBooks preceding and following the 4 PM chat."
If at some point in the future I can work out how to magic US time into GMT, I'll certainly be joining in next Wednesday. #Torchat sounds like it could be a right lark.
Plus, free books. Did you hear? Who doesn't want free books? :/