Sad news

The latest victim of the ailing economy is the wonderful publication Realms of Fantasy.  Edited by my agent Shawna McCarthy since its founding, it has long been the best print magazine for fantasy.  The last issue will be April 2009.  A story I just sold them, “Healing Benjamin,” won’t be published.  Not too long ago, I learned my editor at Bantam has been “let go.”  I hate that expression—as if people are dying to be unemployed, and sometimes you just have to  let them.  More details on the Realms closing is available at SFScope.

Creatures ‘n Crooks Bookstore this Saturday

Anyone in Richmond who’s ever asked me “where can I buy your books?” knows the answer:  Creatures ‘n Crooks.  While many local booksellers talk the talk of being supportive of locals, C n C actually does it—by stocking and selling their books.  The booksellers here are all wonderful, and the cat, Hamilton, is superbly pettable.  There’s nothing about this place not to like.  This Saturday I’ll be attending an event to benefit the store.  Please stop by.  Here’s the info.:

Saturday, January 31st from 1-4 p.m.
Mingle with authors, eat sugar-laden treats, win incredible door prizes and
buy books in support of the most charming book store in Richmond in the
words of our beloved mystery author and shindig organizer, J.B. Stanley ; )

Some of the attending authors are Katherine Neville, Donna Andrews, Ellen
Crosby, Maria Lima, Ellen Byerrum, Andy Straka, Joseph Guion, John Gilstrap,
Austin S. Camacho, Maggie Stiefvater, Kristy Tallman, Dennis Danvers,
Elizabeth Blue, Tee Morris, Pamela K. Kinney, Tony Ruggiero, J.B.
Stanley and more.  There will be many fabulous prizes, including signed books and more.

Creatures ‘n Crooks Bookshoppe
3156 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221

ARGS at Minerva’s

No, that’s not a pirate tale, but a reading series in Petersburg, Virginia, just down the road from Richmond.  The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School has an outstanding Literary Arts program.  It’s been my privilege to work with them and get to know the students and faculty.  The students have teamed up with a local bookstore, Minerva’s, to host a reading series.  To quote from the Minerva website:

ARGS Reading Series

Mark your calendar now for the next one, February 19 from 5-6:30 pm. The readings feature some of the area’s most talented young writers and the sponsoring ARGS Writers Forum plans to open these to public participation. Readings are held the third Thursday of each month from 5-6:30 pm. For more information, contact Christina Trimarco.

I know what you’re thinking.  Student readings?  High School Student Readings?  Danvers has lost his mind!  Well, you probably already thought that, but trust me on this.  These guys are good.   Check them out.  You’ll be glad you did.

Art on vacation

We returned Sunday from a vacation in south Florida.  Saw a lot of wealth, saw a lot of For Sale signs.  We also saw some interesting art, like this sand rhino on the beach in Delray, and this woman in the window at a St. Augustine gallery:

I love them both.  The gallery in St. Augustine was closed, so I didn’t get to see the piece up close.  We rented one of those cabanas you see behind the rhino, however, and in the three or so hours we were there, dozens of photos were taken of him (as well as a lion lyin’ beside him).  It occurred to me that the supposedly transitory sand art would find itself digitally spread around the world, viewed by hundreds, while the more permanent work of art might never achieve such visibility.  Life is short, art is long—in all sorts of ways.

Taking a break

My computer and I need to spend a little time apart.  You know how it is with a long term relationship—sometimes you need your space.  We’ll be back together again in time for the inauguration.  Till then, for your consideration, here’s a new reading/film list for the science fiction class I’ve been pondering—a chronological survey, but all somehow connected to the theme of war:

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Dr. Strangelove
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Star Wars
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Terminator
Count Zero by William Gibson
Children of Men
The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson

Ethel Meets Maggie

When we first adopted Ethel, she was terrified of a neighbor’s pug.  As you can see, she’s made progress.  Once they sorted out the canine politics, she and Maggie played nonstop during old friends’ Randall and Betsy’s visit.  This was one of the most enjoyable holiday seasons in recent memory.  Course my memory isn’t what it used to be.