Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Dancing in the Winter Rooms Out in Electric Velocipede
I think that if wacky, misguided aliens invaded and threatened to eradicate all my work from existence but for one story (and I realise this may be an unlikely scenario, but then again maybe it happens three times a week, because really, how would you know?) then Dancing in the Winter Rooms might just be that story. We've been apart for a while, me and Dancing, for reasons we'll come to in a moment. And usually, when I return to a story after a long absence, all I can see is the flaws. Not so with this one.
Don't get me wrong, it has flaws all right. I mean, when I first wrote Dancing, I thought I'd invented the whole Millennium Ship concept. The harsh blow that this wasn't, in fact, the desperately original idea I thought it was set me off on a five year reading program that basically involved digesting all of the Gollancz Fantasy and SF masterworks series. But that's another story. Point is, Dancing in the Winter Rooms isn't the genre-inventing sci-fi revolution I once thought it might be.
I don't care. I love Millennium Ships, I loved flawed heroes. And I love the hell out of Doc, fool that he is.
As for Electric Velocipede ... it looked for a while as if John Klima's Hugo Award-winning baby might never make it to issue 23. I've seen plenty of markets go down since I started selling fiction, and I have boundless respect for John for rescuing EV from that fate. It takes a lot to come back from the brink, let alone to do it with such style. It was a little over two years between Dancing in the Winter Rooms being accepted and it being published, and the wait was worth it. Because the fact that I got to see this particular story published the day after I moved into the first home I can truly call my own is oddly perfect.