Thursday, March 17, 2005

VERA NAZARIAN WALKS THE PLANK

Vera Nazarian has had what one might call a colorful life. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at the age of seventeen, and since then has published numerous works of short speculative fiction -- or "wonder fiction," (not New Weird, Vera? not Slipstream? :) ) as she prefers to call it -- in many anthologies and magazines, has seen her work on Preliminary Nebula Awards Ballots, honorably mentioned in various Year's Best volumes, and translated into seven languages. An active SFWA member, she made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by epic fantasy about a world without color, Lords of Rainbow. Look for her first short fiction collection Salt of the Air with an introduction by Gene Wolfe from Prime / Wildside in August 2005.

One of her latest and most intriguing books is The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass--a far future "dying earth" science fantasy about identity, erotic desire, flying water and a mystery. It is a signed limited edition novella in book form, with an introduction by Charles de Lint, coming from PS Publishing in May 2005, both in hardcover and trade paperback. I'm very much looking forward to it.



And now, without further folderol...Vera



WALKS THE PLANK OF THE FIVE QUESTIONS

Why should readers pick up your new book as opposed to, say, just about anybody else's book?
Now what kind of question is that? Why, certainly everyone should pick up all those other fine lovely volumes filled with scintillating words and deep imagery and butterfly thoughts that are getting published at the rate of too many a minute, plus or minus a sneeze, and I'll just slip mine into the queue gently, see, you won't even notice --

Oh, wait! You just saw me sneaking up, did you? Well, criminy. I suppose now you'll have to pick up my book first.

Does your book have any socially redeeming qualities? If so, what are they?
As a rule, my books are all uniformly steeped in stodgy wisdom and contain arcane symbols disguised as ordinary punctuation that, when you run them through a decryption device, spell out BUTTCRACK.

However, rest assured that such is not the easy ending to the puzzle, but merely the start of an intricate Sherlock-Holmesian journey. Indeed, fool simpletons would assume it is the punch line to this quip, and would pound their thighs like baboons and guffaw, and come away with the notion that they have seen the full extent of cleverness.

Meanwhile, the quiet, more insightful reader would continue plowing onward, soon to be rewarded with the tidbit that what you have before you is in fact a complex and subtle and extraordinary acronym, and a thing of power. I'll give you a hint: "Books Universally Thought To Convey Rare And Curious Knowledge."

Bright-eyed readers, please be sure to look for and expect evidence of BUTTCRACK in all my work.

Does your book have any medicinal or mental health value to readers?
Yes, just like a fine pair of suspenders, a well-constructed brassiere, a high-rise elevator, a construction crane, or a batch of yeast dough, my book -- indeed, all of my books -- is equipped with the sublime ability to lift. It works best upon things intangible, such as spirits, desires, memories, and dreams.

Assume your book has been filed under "Ages 8 to 12" in the children's section, perhaps by mistake, perhaps not. How horrified do you imagine a child would be after reading your book, and why? How many years of therapy would the child take to recover from the experience?
I envy this child; he or she will be delighted. I can wish no better fate upon any young person to have such a first exposure to the pretty birds and the shiny bees.

If no one buys your book and you are unable to continue publishing your fiction due to the intense vilification that occurs in the media, what line of work will you go into?
Inconceivable! Ask me another. Since I am too old to go back to that big wild techno-jungle, and too focused on writing as my most pressing creative outlet to resume the fine and musical arts, publishing and publicity is a place where I'll probably stay, and there will always be the website work. Come to think of it, I'll become a literary agent.

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