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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 08:46 am:   

This was one of my main reasons for coming back to the board, as I have some news about changes the publisher has made in the publication of this novel. I wanted to make sure readers who might have ordered it early got the word on this, so they knew what they were getting. It looks to me from Amazon that there have been a few people who have ordered Girl in the Glass early. I just got news a couple days ago, though, that Harper Collins has decided to drop this book from a hardcover to a trade paperback. They don't believe the book will sell well in hardcover because, as they put it, it is so different from my other books. This I have to agree with them on. It is very different. Different writing style, different type of story, not fantasy, per/say, even more difficult to place than Mrs. Charbuque. Beyond this, it is a very political book, which I think makes them also warey. Anyway, in an effort to help the book do better they have decided to publish it in trade paperback, almost triple the print run and publish it under their edgy, noir imprint, Dark Alley. Believe me, I've gotten my cracks out of the name of this imprint. But it's supposed to be doing quite well. So if you ordered the book, you will not be getting a hardcover, and you may want to cancel your order or at least make sure you get reimbursed from the original price to the new one.
If you don't care about the format of the book (I understand some readers do and some don't) and are still interested in getting a copy, there will be more available and they will be cheaper. Fun for the whole family. I was somewhat upset by this news, as it came so suddenly so late in the game (the book is due in stores in August), but in the long run I think for business sake (both theirs and mine) they are making the right move. In any event, if you decide to get a copy of the novel, I hope you enjoy it. I'll put news of reviews (good and bad) and anything else about this book here as the days roll on.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 09:08 am:   

Hey, that sounds fine to me. It'll just make it more affordable.

Maybe a specialty publisher will pick it up for a nice collectors hardcover down the road anyway?
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al duncan
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 09:30 am:   

Will it be out in the UK?
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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 09:49 am:   

Stephen: I'll be happy if anybody picks it up, period.

Al: No, as far as I know, it won't. Pan Macmillan, who published my other books in the UK, are looking for another fantasy novel from me, which I hope to oblige them with after the summer, but this book was too not fantasy and too different from my other stuff. If you want a copy let me know, and I'll bring you one when I see you in Glascow.
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al duncan
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:01 am:   

Definitely, man. I don't give a fuck whether it's fantasy or not. Vive la difference!
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

Who can resist such a cover?

cover
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Jonathan
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 04:34 pm:   

Hey Jeff: Sorry to hear about all of the publisher stuff. It's never great. Still, bigger print run, broader reach hopefully. As to the book, you know I think it's the best book-length work you've done, period. Funny, moving, constantly engaging. I love the novel, and think everyone else should too.
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 05:16 pm:   

Plus with the Nabokovan lepidoptera on the cover, how can it possibly fail to sell?

Maybe I'll buy some friends copies, too, now that it's in cheaper paperback format.
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BrianO
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   

Jeff,
Thanks for the update. I'll have to check with Amazon and find out what they intend to do with my order before I cancel it.
I can't wait for the novel, and I intend to read Hammett's Thin Man before, to get a sense of where you're going with it.
Also, it's great to see you back on the board. By the way, will you be updating your Web site anytime soon?
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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 07:57 pm:   

Al: I'm packing you one. Now you're in trouble.

Mastadge: You know, I've always wanted to get a picture into this message board but could never figure it out, so thanks a million for that. The butterfly thing is a story unto itself. Butterflies play a part in the story (as I've recently noticed they do in about 10 other books that have come out already this year -- the meme is in the air). We were going to go with a big butterfly picture on the cover, and my editor searched high and low for an image of that particular butterfly, which appears in the story. Somewhere along the line the plan for the cofver got changed, but my editor said screw it, it took me forever to find that butterfly and we're using it now one way of the other, which cracked me up.

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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 08:06 pm:   

Jonathan: Thanks for taking the time to read it. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed it so much.

Brian: The website? Actually, I was talking to my webguy, Rick Derry, the other day and I think we are going to do an update this summer. He said he's available for it, so probably soon. I don't know if you'll see the direct connection to Hammett, but The Thin Man is different in a lot of ways from his other books like Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest, two of my favorites. It's a lot lighter. The use of dialogue, the brevity of the chapters, the comedy, all inspired me. Also the Thin Man movies and other movies of that time period. Thanks for checking it out.
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rick bowes
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 01:58 pm:   

You've got a great cover. I think TGITG is going to do just fine.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:48 am:   

Review From Booklist

BOOKLIST July 2005
Ford, Jeffrey The Girl in the Glass
Ford’s fascinating literary thriller tells the story of an orphan’s career as Ondoo, a phony mystic. He is really Diego, a Mexican and part of a trio staging séances for the gullible grieving of Long Island’s Gold Coast, where in 1932 you’d never know the Great Depression is raging. Besides whacked-out humor and compelling suspense, there is sentiment among the thieves in the novel, and all those qualities make it hard to put down. After all, how can you not love a wake attended by Hal the Dog Man, Marge the Fat Lady, and “the legless spider boy who walked on his hands and could bite a silver dollar in half,” especially when the deceased is Coney Island snake charmer Morty, whose close companion and best friend, Wilma the Cobra, died of a broken heart when he expired and lies coiled up next to his head in the coffin? And when Diego’s mentor undertakes a quest for a kidnapped girl, the mood turns mysterious without, thanks to all the fast dialogue, ever slowing the pace.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:49 am:   

Publishers Weekly

A band of con artists-cum-spiritual mediums focus their psychic and sleuthing powers on a murder mystery in Ford's offbeat, thoroughly researched fifth novel (The Physiognomy; The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque; etc.), set in Depression-era Long Island, on the posh North Shore. Diego, a 17-year-old Mexican illegal immigrant, narrates the escapades, as he follows his mentor and surrogate father Thomas Schell, who rescued him from the street and tutored him in subjects from English to chicanery. Disguised as a Hindu swami, Diego helps Schell conduct phony seances to bilk wealthy Long Islanders. But when Schell sees the apparition of a young girl during a seance and then hears of the disappearance of Charlotte Barnes, daughter of shipping magnate Harold Barnes, he determines to solve the case. Schell and Diego-along with henchman Antony and phony psychic Morgan Shaw-find Charlotte's dead body covered by a cloth painted with a Ku Klux Klan symbol. They link her murder, along with those of several other dead children, both to the Klan and to a nefarious Dr. Greaves, aka Fenton Agarias, who headed up grotesque eugenics experiments. Though Ford's efforts to evoke the period occasionally strike a twee note, he's crafted an engaging read.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

Kirkus Reviews

1932-hard times for most; easy pickings for flim-flammers. But, of course, you gotta know the territory. Which, for the ladies and gentlemen of the con, means locating that apex where the swollen wallet meets the fat susceptibility. Thomas Schell, a confidence man descended from confidence men, is a dab hand at isolating the mark. His current game is spiritualism, and when deep in a "mediumistic state" he can charm the ghosts from the nether world so convincingly that he and his two trusty aides are making a good thing out of the Depression. His aids: swami Ondoo, Schell's mystical deputy, and Antony Cleopatra, third banana, chauffeur and muscle in time of need. Ondoo, aka Diego, a young Mexican illegal befriended by Schell, serves as narrator. He idolizes his benefactor, aims no higher than to match the skills that have made Schell enviable in the con community. But the incisive, miss-nothing Schell is less than himself these days---a kind of weltschmerz seems to have undercut his transcendent amorality. It's about this time that Schell sees, or imagines he sees, the eponymous girl in the glass and is knocked sideways by the apparition. A child is missing, he subsequently learns, her family desperate, the police baffled, and Schell, impenetrably skeptical to now, thinks he might have been given a sign. In the meantime, there are other developments to cope with. For one, Diego has fallen in love, diminishing, to a considerable degree, his ability to focus. For another, there's the bothersome presence of a bevy of KKK-like crackpots, their mission: the racial purification of Long Island, N.Y. Suddenly, the trickster life has gone complicated. Ford (The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, 2002,etc.) romps engagingly here-his Schell an intriguing scoundrel, as if Sherlock Homes had a Moriarity taint in his gene pool.
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ABV
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 10:13 am:   

Jeff, I've got an advance copy of your book and am looking forward to reading it this weekend. It looks wonderful!

Ann V.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 10:40 am:   

Ann: Hope you like it. These are just the early reviews of it. We'll see what else comes in and I'll put them up (pro or con) here as I see them. There's one or two others I'm aware of, and I'll eventually track them down and get them on here too.
For what purpose, I'm not sure. Anyway, have a good weekend.
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rick bowes
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 10:57 am:   

Booklist and Kirkus, especially, get it right. This would be a great beach book.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 11:29 am:   

Rick: Yeah, if the humor doesn't work for you in this one, it's gonna be a rough read. Beach book, train book, electric chair book, barbecue with annoying relatives book, spanking the monkey book, any kind of fucking book -- this would be great for.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 11:50 am:   

I envy you the word "twee" in a review.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 12:08 pm:   

Marc: I was just waiting for one of you guys to break my stones about the Twee. LOL! "Twee," wait'll I find that reviewer. What a word!
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rick bowes
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

I think your monkey would have to be a very "special" kind of monkey.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:02 pm:   

FIFTH novel?!?
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Bruce
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

If I might butt in, 'Vanitas' is Mr. Ford's first novel and a great read to boot. I dunno about it being a monkey-spanking kind of a book, but there's no accounting for taste.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   

Rick: It is.

Sam: Good eyes. I didn't even notice that. Who can forget Old Yeller.

Bruce: Thanks. You're one of the few brave souls to have read it. A meta-fictional tour de force minus the force. I'm still partial to the Ubiquitous, though.
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Bruce
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:35 pm:   

Jeff, stalwart I am but 'Vanitas' definiely had some fine moments. Loved the illustration featuring the iniquitous Ubiquitous. What a great monster! Then you came out with the Delicate. You and Clive Barker are stealing all the good names.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 10:42 pm:   

Bruce: Vanitas was like a test run in some ways for the trilogy. The Delicate is one of my favorite characters and he has much Ubiquitous in him. You got me thinking about that book again, something I don't often do and I was reminded about all that crazy business in like the Himilayas or somewhere with the guy swallowing the bees. I can't even remember it anymore. And I remember the part about the Sargassos Sea is right out of Jhonny Quest, if you're young enough to remember that. Crazy shit.
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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 05:27 am:   

Oops, that's old enough to have seen it and young enough to still remember it.
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Bruce
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   

Yep, I remember Johnny Quest. That time was the end of an era for Saturday Morning Cartoons. Scooby Doo and other over-marketed tripe hit the airwaves and us kids thought 'What the fuck did we do to deserve that? Where's Bugs and Bullwinkle and Touche Turtle and Underdog?'

A sad and bitter time indeed. End of non sequitur.
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Minz
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 08:02 pm:   

Johnny Quest was The Shit, no doubt.
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ABV
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:23 pm:   

Just finished reading the book last night. Very enjoyable read, exciting and unusual. It held my interest from begining to end. I wish you the greatest success with this one, Jeff.

Ann V.
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 06:10 am:   

ABV: You're a good soul for taking the time to reading the book and drop a comment. I appreciate it. Glad you liked the story.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 06:57 am:   

Her no-account husband has yet to get to it--but, then, he also has been sluggardly on writing a certain intro, so...mad mala-props to that bastard.

JeffV
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 07:17 am:   

JV: A box of dried mushrooms for you, VanderMeer, if you don't get my intro done soon. Why I oughta... The reason I have not acted rashly as of yet is out of deference to your lovely wife, whose reading tastes are, obviously, unparalleled.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 07:40 pm:   

This is the reason many people have not acted rashly toward my person up to this point...

I am very much looking forward to reading Girl in the Glass, though.

JeffV
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 08:56 pm:   

Jeff: OK, you did such a nice job on the five questions blog spot, I am retracting the dried mushrooms and making it a box of porfal memory capsules instead to show my good nature. Your ingenuity has saved you again VanderMeer. Next time, though, next time...
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 05:40 pm:   

A recent review of The Girl in the Glass at the new issue of Emerald City #118. http://www.emcit.com/emcit118.shtml#Circus
Scroll down when you get there, or click through the table of contents to get to the review, or better yet, just read the whole issue.
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rick bowes
Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 08:37 am:   

Nice. You can reach the review by clicking on the GITG book cover image on the left of the page. And the reviewer gets what you're doing!
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 10:26 pm:   

Another review of TGITG from SFREVU by Colleen Cahill --
http://sfrevu.com/Review-id.php?id=2775

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