Category Archives: science fiction

What’s been happening…

As usual, I’ve been remiss in posting to my website. Mea culpa! A lot has been going on, including recovering from my recent PhD. The latest bit of news is that I’ve got copies of my new Holocaust collection Concentration in hand.

Concentration compressed

Here’s the skinny on the new book (which was officially published in 2016):

http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/concentration-hardcover-by-jack-dann-4173-p.asp

More soon…

We’re Launching Dreaming in the Dark…

 

Dreaming in the dark design2 26 Oct 16

The good folks at Dymocks Brisbane will be hosting the launch of Dreaming in the Dark on Thursday, December 8th at 6:00 pm. Dreaming is a showcase anthology of Australian speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror. To quote Locus Magazine:

Dreaming in the Dark will especially appeal to two groups of readers–those who love words themselves, and those who want an enticing sampler of work by some of Australia’s most talented working writers.”

I’ll be doing some master of ceremonies schtick, and Dreaming in the Dark contributors Paul Brandon, Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Janeen Webb, and Kim Wilkins will be giving some short (and spectacular) readings.

Paul and his wonderful Aria-finalist partner Sarah Calderwood have also graciously agreed to provide a few songs (and some sophisticated sound equipment).

So…sign up and help us celebrate this fabulous volume of “impressive prose, sometimes precise and measured, sometimes poetic” (Locus). Come and help us celebrate this first book from PS Australia! Click on the url below for details:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/dreaming-in-the-dark-book-launch-tickets-29396355290

Dreaming in the Dark…a sneak peek!

Dreaming in the Dark, the first volume in the new PS Australia line, will be out in November; and here’s a sneak peek of the cover:

Dreaming-in-the-Dark-DJ

Our Table of Contents:

Welcome to the Golden Age:
        An Introduction of Sorts—Jack Dann
Sing, My Murdered Darlings—Sean Williams
Falling Angel—Paul Brandon
Martian Triptych—James Bradley
Northerner’s Farewell—Rjurik Davidson
Midnight in the Graffiti Tunnel—Terry Dowling
A Right Pretty Mate—Lisa L. Hannett
Eromon No More—Jason Nahrung
Luv Story—Kim Westwood
The Luminarium Tower—Sean McMullen
Neither Time Nor Tears—Angela Slatter
His Shining Day—Richard Harland
The Liquid Palace—Adam Browne
Heat Treatment—Venero Armanno
Snowflakes All the Way Down—Rosaleen Love
Served Cold—Alan Baxter
The Dog Who’d Been Dead—Anna Tambour
Fade to Grey—Janeen Webb
All those Superpowers and What Are They Good For?
       —Garth Nix
Burnt Sugar—Kirstyn McDermott
In Hornhead Wood—Kim Wilkins
Moonshine—Simon Brown

And as I wrote in the introduction:

It’s said that one of the characteristics of a good editor is the ability to read out of his or her comfort zone. Well, I can only say that every story in this volume is here because it made me nervous, made me laugh, scared me, made me think, reconsider, or just plain blew me away: i.e. knocked me out. And many of these stories are definitely out of my comfort zone. My response: ‘Oh, joy!’

Not one of the stories was bought (yes, authors need to be paid!) because the author had a big name or because the volume was light on a particular subgenre or because I had to meet a word count. If I couldn’t get the stories, then I’d wait until I did. No conciliation, no accommodation, no concession. Well, okay, I lied: I did have to make one accommodation: I had a word limit. I couldn’t buy the universe. But I sure as hell tried to buy the best of it!

Dreaming in the Dark can be pre-ordered HERE.

More Dreaming news as it happens…

Late Notice: Doing a Gig at the University of Melbourne…

A conference on contemporary Australian popular fiction is taking place Thursday, October 6th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Gryphon Gallery, 1888 Building, University of Melbourne. Conference title is The State of Play: Australian Popular Fiction in the Twenty-First Century. I’m doing a program panel at 11:30 called “Genre Communities: How Is Popular Fiction Organized and Supported?” with romance writer Anne Gracie, crime writer Angela Savage, and academic Lisa Fletcher. Should be great fun!

Other writers, publishers, bloggers, and academics attending the conference are Kate Cuthbert, Rjurik Davidson, Beth Driscoll, Rochelle Fernandez, Candice Fox, Ken Gelder, Kat Mayo, Adrian McKinty, Angela Meyer, Kylie Scott, Angela Slatter, and Kim Wilkins.

Concentration…a new collection

I’m pleased to announce that Concentration, my collection of holocaust stories, will be published by PS Publishing in November.  It will also contain an original story called “Trainspotting in Winesburg”, which is set in a future Australia.

In her introduction to the book, critic and scholar Marleen Barr writes:

In Jack Dann’s Holocaust visions, “imagination is used to enrich reality, not to escape from it.” His “invented, alternate worlds” are related to the ones Faulkner and Márquez create. But Yoknapatawpha and Macondo are not Jewish neighborhoods. Dann is a Faulkner and a Márquez for Jews. His fantastic retellings of the horror stories Nazis made real are “more truth than fantasy.”  Dann imbues the Holocaust with the fantastic to liberate it from the constraints of temporal reality and, via using writing as a time machine, transports it to the new light of present and future relevance.

Looking forward to November, as my showcase PS Australia collection Dreaming in the Dark will also be published.  This volume really shows off the extraordinary talent we have in Australia…and will truly be a showcase for the new PS Australia imprint. Oh, did I mention that I’m its MD? <Grin>

Come to the launch at Supanova Sydney…

I meant to get this out earlier, but I’ve been flat-out with deadlines. Ah, what fun! Kevin J. Anderson, bless his generous heart, will be launching The Rebel: Second Chance at Supanova next week. Details: Sydney Showground, 1:15 pm on Saturday, June 20th at the Wrestling Ring. (No, they’re probably not going to make me wrestle!) If all goes according to plan, there will be James Dean and Marilyn Monroe look-alikes … and Jack and Kevin doing shtick. Hmm …

So, Sydney pals, if you’re around, I’d love to see you. Satalyte will have copies of the limited hardcover edition (we’re talking a BIG book here) and trade and ebook versions will be available. They will also have copies of the Reading the Entrails chapbook, which contains my Lucius Shepard interview and a very personal introduction.

Ah, I miss Lucius.

I’m flying into Sydney just for the day and will be at the Satalyte table. Stop and say hello.

Cheers, all!

#

From the preface to The Rebel: Second Chance:

This special edition of The Rebel is published in commemoration of James Dean’s death sixty years ago. My original working title for The Rebel was Second Chance, and it was my publisher’s idea to title this edition The Rebel: Second Chance; and, indeed, it is a second chance for this novel, as it explores in greater detail he lives of James Dean, Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and the Kennedys in this, my alternate history of American pop culture. This version — with its greatly expanded scope — is meant to be a deeper meditation on the construction of myth and its creators.

I appreciate this opportunity to reveal my original conception, this rather large, fully painted canvass …

#

From the introduction to Reading the Entrails:

When we’re submerged in what I now think of as the ‘Green Years’ — that luminous time when everything was concentrated, when we rushed headlong shouting into what absolutely had to be an even grander future … that time when we were falling in love and doing such odd things as picking up refrigerators to express the joy and wonderment of it all (well, Lucius, fortified with Tequila, wanted to pick up my refrigerator after a night of falling in love) … that time when we were drunk stoned obsessed with the idea of writing and living and writing, when learning the craft was as exciting as parachuting out of airplanes, when fast friendships were made and the mundane, quiet days were merely inconvenient ellipses between adventures — when we’re living in those dilating supercharged times, we don’t consider (nor are we concerned) that we’re living history, albeit our personal history.

We’re too busy embracing experience, rushing forward, great locomotives speeding down the tracks of experience, until suddenly, suddenly we look at the gray face in the mirror and realize that we’ve arrived. We don’t necessarily know where we’ve arrived or what we’ve arrived at, but suddenly under lidded eyes we’re looking down those tracks, staring dumbly at what was and can never be again. And we know with some bizarre combination of shock and poignancy, that those green joys are over: oh, there are still joys, great geysers of the stuff; but those geysers are now taking place in a grayer, darker, shadowed time.

I found myself looking down those tracks on March 19th, 2014 when I found out that Lucius had died. I was — and am — in Australia, some 9,000 miles away from those green times; and when I heard the sad, obliterating news, I flashed through our shared past, remembering/reliving the good times, the bad times, selfishly grieving for my own loss of a dear friend; but also realizing that the world culture had just lost a white-hot, deadly penetrating, genius talent: the phenomenon known as Lucius Taylor Shepard …

 

Jack is a Supa-Star Guest at Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Melbourne…

We’re still trying to get the kinks out of this site, which is why there has been a dearth of posts from me. A lot has been happening,  and I’m hoping to remedy the dearth/post situation.

I’ll be doing a guest gig at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne, which is taking place this weekend, April 10-12 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. I’ll be signing all weekend and doing a Q&A panel on Sunday at 11:00 am with K.J. Taylor, Jack Dann, Traci Harding and John Scalzi. It should be great fun. Here’s the title and the brief:

When We Were Young”: Our panel of guest authors maybe natural born storytellers, but were their first attempts at writing the finely crafted narratives that we have come to expect from them now? A light-hearted peek into the early writing attempts of our guest authors, looking at their humble beginnings to becoming fan favourites today. “

And I should also have a few copies of the new chapbook interview with Lucius Shepard called Reading the Entrails.

Looking forward to seeing old and new pals. So if you’re attending, do say hi!

More soon (he writes with great confidence).

http://www.supanova.com.au/guest/jack-dannSupanova/

I’ll be at the World Fantasy Convention…

Mea culpa…haven’t been updating my website. I’ll try to turn that around with a few bits of news…

I’ll be attending the World Fantasy Convention in Washington and am looking forward to seeing pals and hanging out. I’m doing a workshop panel with Joe Haldeman, Lee Modesitt, and Janeen Webb on Thursday, November 6th. It will run from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, unless we all decide to go out for a beer <Grin>.  Description follows:

“Critics have articulated rules for creating counterfactual fiction.  Jack Dann has formulated a set of embracing concepts he believes are central to the craft.  He and his fellow panelists examine these general concepts and explain the process and pitfalls of writing alternate history. To register, send an email to history@worldfantasy2014.org

Should be fun. The more the merrier!

I’m also slated to be on a panel with Eileen Gunn, David Coe, Jean Marie Ward, and Rick Wilber on Saturday, November 8th. The panel is titled “Historical People in Fantasy.”

“When using Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, or perhaps on of the most used names, Nikola Tesla and other real people as characters in fiction, what liberties can an author take and what holes do they have to fill? How close to the real Jack Kerouac does Nick Mamatas get in Move Under Ground? What do creators owe to history, especially if the players are in a new world as in Philip José Farmer’s Riverworld series. The panel will discuss where historical truth meets literary license.”

See everyone there!

Cheers!

–JACK