16th March, 2011: The morning after the night before

I’m not quite sure what I expected, but yesterday was a bit… crazy. Good crazy, of course. In case you missed it, my deal with Angry Robot was announced. Very quickly my Twitter feed went bananas, and my inbox began to fill up. In fact, last night I sat down to reply personally to the many kind emails I received, and almost in perfect synch as I sent one email out, another came in. Which was bewildering but very nice, and thanks to everyone who took the time to get in touch!

So here’s a round-up of links:

Commentary from Genreville at Publisher’s Weekly.

Brief mention at the British Fantasy Society.

News item at io9.

The original announcement, with some comments.

One of my beta-readers posts some thoughts.

The mention at Genreville was a big surprise, and my editor Lee has added a comment there. Becoming a news item at io9 was an even bigger surprise (especially seeing my photo on the front page for a while!), although some of the comments are a little odd. I suppose I’ll have to get used to that – this is the internet, after all! But this is my favourite one:

Now I know what has been keeping me from getting a book and movie deal all my life, it’s not talent, or wit or charm, it’s boy-ish good looks. Damn. It.

Ha! Thanks, mysterious commenter!

One interesting thing that came up yesterday was the detective’s name in Empire State – Rad Bradbury. Obviously, it is derived from the legendary SF author Ray Bradbury, and it seems that most people love it, and some people don’t.

I had the name Rad Bradbury floating around well before I started writing Empire State. I had been searching Amazon for something, and mistyped ‘Rad’ instead of ‘Ray’. Obviously no results came up, but it occurred to me that ‘Rad Bradbury’ had a nice sound, and would be a good name for a pulp detective. Later, when it came time to write the book, the full title was Rad Bradbury: Empire State, but I dropped the first bit because I knew if that ever appeared on a cover, people would get confused.

Rad Bradbury isn’t a spoof of Ray Bradbury at all – and really I’m not sure how you would spoof a famous SF author anyway, and Empire State certainly isn’t a comedy or satire. Rad is a 1930s private dick, not quite down-and-out but certainly in need of a new shirt or two. I guess his full name is Bradley, although that doesn’t come into the story. At one point someone does comment on his first name, but aside from that, Rad Bradbury is just Rad Bradbury. That’s his name. There’s also a character called Kane Fortuna, but he’s not related to this guy.

So I guess Rad’s name will always raise a few eyebrows. I hope most people will dig it for the pulpy/noirish quality I think it has and the way it rolls off the tongue.

Needless to say, not much writing got done yesterday, but then it’s not everyday that you get to announce some cool news. Thanks again for all the lovely comments. Hopefully today will be a little calmer!