If it weren’t for Tor.com, where this story first appeared, I wouldn’t have known about this.
But thanks to this post, I’ve just learned that “What Doctor Gottlieb Saw” (a standalone piece set in the Milkweed universe of Bitter Seeds) is included in Locus’s list of recommended short fiction reads from 2010.
And, gosh, now that I look at the actual list, I see that Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale) is up there, too. Wow!
Well, gosh, this is a wonderful surprise.
The venerable Pat, of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist fame, has included Bitter Seeds in his list of the Top Ten Speculative Fiction Titles of 2010. And over at Fantasy Book Critic, Bitter Seeds is listed among the Top 25 Novels of 2010. And the Mad Hatter has included Bitter Seeds in his list of the best genre books of the year.
It’s a great relief to see that people still remember a book that came out way back in April. (Holy cow. Has it really been that long already? Seems like yesterday, yes it does.)
Over on her blog recently, Susan Dennard has been giving some thought to one of the heaviest of writerly burdens: research. Since she’s written her own historical spec-fic novels, it’s a topic to which she has given a fair bit of thought. (Her posts are a good primer for folks who find themselves contemplating a project that requires its own research, but who haven’t done something like that for a while, or who don’t know how to tackle it.)
Believe it or not, the Milkweed books required a bit of research. (It’s true! People even ask me about this from time to time.) So this is a topic of no small interest to me.
Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated turn of events, I bought a new camera this weekend. And find myself completely incapable of using it effectively. (Big surprise). So I thought it would be fun to post a few photos of the bookshelf where I kept many of my research materials while working on the Milkweed Triptych.
Below the cut: blurry photos and puppet robots.
This morning, over two cups of coffee, I wrote the final scene of Necessary Evil. And, thus, the final scene of the entire Milkweed Triptych.
This is the third novel I’ve finished (not counting one hilariously sucktackular piece of compost in my trunk that will never ever see the light of day). But it’s the first time I’ve finished a trilogy (obviously), and it feels a little different.
It didn’t really hit me until I shut down Word and copied backups to the thumb drives, which is part of my daily ritual for closing out a writing session. And then I realized: “Holy crap. This is the last time I’ll do backups to new Milkweed content.” And I got a little wistful.
(Yes, I’m a sentimental weirdo. Pleased to meet you.)
Now up on Tor.com: a standalone story set in the Milkweed universe of Bitter Seeds!
“What Doctor Gottlieb Saw” takes place roughly 18 months before the events in Chapter 1 of Bitter Seeds. (So it takes place maybe 17 years after the prologue, which you can read for free here.) I wrote it entirely as a standalone, so it doesn’t require any foreknowledge of Bitter Seeds.
For people who have read the book, the story might shed a little more light on the relationship between a certain flying man, and a certain perfectly innocent girl who likes to pick flowers and who just happens, maybe, to see the future.
(More thoughts on the story, below the cut.)