As the end of the year approaches and the “best of” lists continue to roll out, we are reminded that the best readers are writers. Our writers, specifically. So we asked a handful of FSG Originals authors to share the best book they read in 2015. Their answers, unsurprisingly, are positively original…
We’ve known that Eli Horowitz is some kind of storytelling genius for a while now—as Miranda July says, “Everyone who knows him thinks of him as their secret weapon”—but we’re glad the secret is finally out (we’ve been trying to tell people for years!) thanks to this terrific profile in Buzzfeed by Anne Helen Petersen.The piece perfectly captures much of what makes us so happy and proud to publish Eli. As Petersen writes, “It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true: He’s radically rethinking the boundaries of narrative and our expectations for the technology that surrounds us.”
Yes, we can confirm: True.
Over the course of the profile, Horowitz opens up to Petersen about his days at McSweeney’s, about the surprise benefits of his carpentry skills and the shortcomings of his homemade dumbwaiter, about the specialness of Sonoma County’s newest socialist restaurant, Russia House Number #1, and about his new book, The Pickle Index, which, she notes, “aims to effectively reconceptualize the book—in its digital and printed forms alike.”
The printed book! That’s where we come in!
We heartily recommend the whole piece to you, not least for the animated GIF of the aforementioned dumbwaiter.
It’s 2015. We’ve all seen multiplatform publications, right? A paperback book, a deluxe slip-cased hardcover, an app, videos, letter-pressed broadsides. Yeah, The Pickle Index has all that, of course it does, all of it debuting at the same time, today. Yeah, yeah, blah blah. We’ve seen The Silent History and The New World yadda yadda blah blah—what’s this but that a better, funnier, more wholly imagined and exquisitely timed version of all that?
Well, funny you should bring up timing—because you didn’t see center court at Barclays Center on national TV coming, did you? Check it out. And they say the multimedia publishing has never been met. It’ll be a long time before anyone tops this. All hail the creative minds behind the The Pickle Index.
The Los Angeles Times coverage of this year’s Nebula Awards® begins with two suggested tweets:
Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ takes best novel at the Nebula Awards
There’s a fungus among us! Jeff Vandermeer’s ‘Annihilation’ wins a Nebula
Perhaps a little background is in order. First off, the Nebula Awards® have been described as “science fiction’s most important award” (Laura Miller, Salon Reader’s Guide) and “the Oscars of the SF/F field” (Locus Magazine). They have been given annually since 1966 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States during the previous year. This year, at the 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation took home the big prize. (As for the fungus tweet, check out the LA Times review of Annihilation.)
The LA Times also notes that Vandermeer’s publisher is “known for literary fiction, not science fiction.” And indeed, so far as we can tell, this is the first Nebula Award for an FSG author. In fairness, they are only fifty years in. And it’s not as if FSG has never had a finalist—check Hild just on last year’s list. Nonetheless, we’re thrilled that the Originals have brought FSG to this milestone.
Meanwhile, unable to attend the ceremony in-person, VanderMeer’s good friend Usman Tanveer Malik accepted the award on his behalf, reading one heck of a speech…
In a world of short attention spans and instant updates it’s remarkable when you come across something on the internet that stays with you, sitting in your brain, waiting to be digested. But that’s the specialty of FSG Originals author Robin Sloan.
“The Counselor” is a piece of fiction he wrote for the “Intelligence & Autonomy” project, hosted by “the think/do tank” Data & Society. Initially intended exclusively for the participants of the “I&A” forum, who gathered to (hang on, it’s a mouthful) “identify the core set of challenges that consistently arise in deploying intelligent systems regardless of arena,” it has now been published by Vice’s Motherboard.
At least as we read it, the story does just what Data & Society was after: It grabs onto a fantasy, mixes it with a strong taste of reality, and lets your imagination do the rest. Hungry for more, we tracked Sloan down on the World Wide Web to ask him a few questions about the project…