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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 03:03 pm:   

Both Jay Lake and I were nicely reviewed in today's Denver Post SF book review at http://www.denverpost.com/books/ci_2974094.

The Post's SF reviewer is Fred Cleaver. He comes to the MileHi Con in Denver every year, and I met him several years before my first collection came out. I don't know that he wouldn't have reviewed my stuff without the personal connection, but I've always thought that knowing people can't hurt.

His comments included this comment: "Grand Junction author James van Pelt has won a reputation as one the field's leading short fiction writers. His second collection is a fine demonstration that the reputation is warranted."
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Steve Parker
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 02:00 am:   

Congrats on the good review, Jim. I'm so envious I might be mistaken for the Hulk (albeit in a greatly miniaturised form).

I think it's time you shared the secret of your success with us all (by which I mean ME).
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 12:39 am:   

His secret is easy, Steve: he writes every day, WITHOUT FAIL. I can't remember, Jim...you have a word count, don't you? 200 words? EVERY DAY. As far as the quality of his work, you gotta believe a lot of it boils down to practice, practice, practice... :-)
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 05:18 am:   

200 words a day as a minimum every day since Sept. 20, 1999.

I'll be writing on the plane and during the layover in Phoenix on my way to NASFic today. When things are going well, I sort of chomp at the bit all day, waiting for when I can return to the world of the story. I'm excited about the piece I'm working on now.

What I like about the 200 word goal is that it is doable. I can do it before breakfast. It can happen in a notebook during a boring meeting. No matter how tired I am in the evening, 200 words fall out of the fingertips pretty easily. As easy at it is, however, if I don't miss a day, even doing the minimum I end up with over 70,000 words at the end of the year.
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Steve Parker
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 07:27 am:   

Aha! Well, now that you've spilled your magic beans...

I think it'd be a great idea for me to emulate your regimen.

So far, I'm not sure that my patented 8,000 words in a no-rest, no-meal single sitting is doing me very much good at all. I seem to suffer from headaches towards the end of the session. Think I'll try a change.

Thanks for the tip, Jim (and Patrick).
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 09:30 pm:   

Steve, that's the way Honna used to write. Definitely was a binge writer, and of course this was before Orion was born. Used to be if she knew she might get interrupted within an hor or two, she wouldn't even start. She'd hole up on a Saturday, announce it was her writing day, and I'd leave her alone, and she'd write anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 words a day! The most she ever did was 15,000 words. Of course this was first draft stuff, almost freewrite mode, no editor, all right brain first thought work.

When Orion was born, she didn't write for a whole year. Then she started writing during his naps, and in the evening, when he was asleep. She certainly changed her method, so you can too, Steve!
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 05:35 am:   

The Internet Review of Science Fiction (www.irosf.com) reviewed the latest Talebones, concenterating on "Still Life With Boobs," "One Day, in the Middle of the Night" and "A Whole Man."

You have to be registered to see the whole review, but they were all complimentary.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 07:57 pm:   

Yeah, but..."the somewhat banal cover..." ???
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 08:04 pm:   

Jim Van Pelt's collection THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS received a nice review from Booklist. It's available on the Amazon listing for the book.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 05:06 pm:   

Tangent Online reviewed THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS at http://www.tangentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=573&Itemi d=263

They said nice things, including, "Clearly, Van Pelt has been recognized as a growing talent in the field, and Iím happy to say that this collection confirms his reputation."

The review mostly synopsized (real word?) the stories.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 08:49 pm:   

The latest LOCUS reviewed the summer TALEBONES. I can't quote it in its entirety (without infringing on copyright), but Rich Horton does say that this is another "decent issue," and he picks out for notice Anne Harris's "Still Life With Boobs, Michael Poore's "The Wooden Mother" and my "One Day, in the Middle of the Night." He didn't include any of the TALEBONES stories in his "Recommended Stories" list, though, darn it.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 09:27 am:   

While cruising for issue #30 reviews, I found the following:

http://www.actionheroes.homestead.com/reviewstwohundredfive.html

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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 08:14 pm:   

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in "Writing." Maybe we need a "Writer's Life" topic?

I did my debut book signing for The Last of the O-Forms in town yesterday. Overall it was a great success. We sold over 30 copies of The Last of the O-Forms, and we also sold 7 or so copies of Strangers and Beggars. The uncertainty about the numbers are in the store's computer, which updates slowly. By a count of the books in the store, it looks more like maybe 40 copies of TLofOF and 9 copies of S&B.

This is really good in a couple of ways. First, I was surprised by how many copies of my first collection sold, but a lot of folks saw that I had two books, so they bought them both. Since they're $17.99 each, that strikes me as expensive! Second, when I did my first signing in 2002 for S&B, all my friends and family came over for Denver, about 250 miles, to support the signing. That was worth 20 books or so. This year they didn't come. Not counting those 20 books, the totals for this signing were bigger than the one for S&B.

(Here's an interesting aside: when I was at MileHiCon last weekend, I heard Wil McCarthy talking about the muliple-book effect. He said when his first book came out, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, everybody came to his first signing. Now, though, that he has done five books, he said his wife won't even read it. The novelty of knowing an author wears quickly.)

Third, the book store had put the books on the shelves a couple of weeks before the signing, and ten or so had sold already. For the first signing, the books didn't show up until the day of the signing. So, total number of books sold from this store are really high.

Now, if I can just convince Barnes and Nobel and Borders to carry a print on demand book (later I'm going to wish that pigs had wings *g*.)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2005 - 04:30 pm:   

A great turn-out for your signing once again, Jim! Thanks for the nifty breakdown of the numbers.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 05:38 am:   

The ED SF Project is an effort to gather appreciations for all the stories that appeared on SCIFI.COM. It's a cool idea that you can find more about at The ED SF Project

Alex Wilson wrote a nice set of comments about my piece, "A Flock of Birds," although he really said more about me than the story. I'm very flattered.

"A Flock of Birds" is in my new collection from Fairwood Press, THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS AND OTHER STORIES.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 09:15 pm:   

Richard Horton summarized Talebones of 2005 at his SFF.NET website at http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&group=sff.people.richard-horton&artnum=3265

He lead off by saying, "As usual, Talebones published two issues in 2005. This continues to be a fine and consistent magazine, always worth reading -- notable, really, in the way that even the lesser stories are still solid work."

Also, Bluejack did an overall look at small press magazines at The Internet Review of Science Fiction (http://www.irosf.com). He said, among other things, "Talebones is one of those magazines I would read even if I weren't reviewing it. They publish an exciting mix of established and new writers, and they are unafraid of taking risks."

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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:06 pm:   

Nice! Thanks, Jim, for passing along those review nuggets. I'd seen the IRoSF review, but hadn't yet seen Rich Horton's.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 08:02 pm:   

Some new reviews or mentions of ROCKET SCIENCE online:

http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp
http://www.oremlibrary.org/index_files/Page2455.htm
http://www.strangehorizons.com/2006/20060102/cheney-c.shtml
http://www.of2minds.org/otm/archives/001084.html
http://www.bookslut.com/bookslut_in_training/2006_01_007447.php
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 08:04 pm:   

A very nice review of OFORMS in the February 2006 issue of VOYA. In part, it said:

"From spine-tingling visions of the future to good old-fashioned ghost stories, this anthology has something to please fans of the various fantastic genres...Van Pelt's unique ideas, unusual situations, and plot twists both pique the reader's interest and engage the imagination. Evocative of writers such as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, Van Pelt offers speculative fiction at its best."

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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   

Wow, that is nice!
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kenscholes
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 06:36 am:   

I expected no less from JVP. :-)
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 07:28 pm:   

Thanks, Ken. Patrick sent me the entire review, and it's glowing the whole way. I was afraid for a moment that they never diss anything, but the review above mine was not glowing at all.

On another note, I check this bulletin board daily for updates, and my heart always does a pleasant little bump when I see there is a new post. We HAVE to get more people here to chat about Talebones and Fairwood Press.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 10:53 pm:   

Thanks, Jim. Our #1 fan. :-)

Sigh. And unfortunately, sometimes, ye old editor doesn't even get over here for days at a time. Yeah. Time.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:28 am:   

Fairwood did well with the Locus recommended reading list at http://www.locusmag.com/2006/Issues/02RecommendedReading.html

Both ROCKET SCIENCE and THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS AND OTHER STORIES made the list.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 02:54 pm:   

Saw that in the print version of the magazine yesterday when it arrived. Both book covers are in the "color cover collage," ROCKET SCIENCE is on the list for first novels, O-FORMS for collections. And at least a half dozen reviewers in their end-of-the-year summaries mentioned the books. A good showing all around. :-)

Gardner specifically mentioned Talebones, too, with a nod for a Van Pelt story and Ken Scholes story -- perhaps these are Honorable Mention candidates??
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kenscholes
Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 09:27 am:   

John (Pitts) sent over the blurb this morning: "Talebones also seems to still be healthy, publishing worthwhile stuff by
James Van Pelt and Ken Scholes."

It is a really strange and fine feeling to be mentioned in the same sentence with one of your writing heroes. I can't get my inner geek to stop giggling.



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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 10:40 am:   

Well, bring your inner geek over here, and I'll stomp some sense into him *g*.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 01:11 pm:   

Boys, don't fight. There's room in that anthology for both of you. :-)
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kenscholes
Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   

Heh. My inner geek would probably giggle about that, too, Jim. He's an odd sort...way worse than my inner redneck. When the two of them get together, my inner child pretty much hides underneath the bed with his imaginary friend Bozzy the Talking Radish and hopes the voices will stop.

Patrick, we're counting on some good hang-time with you at Radcon next week! Jen and I are arriving Thursday night.

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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 01:01 pm:   

It'll be fun, Ken. Don't forget to bring something for Talebones Live. Something short, cough, cough. :-)
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 09:04 am:   

Rich Horton included ROCKET SCIENCE in his list of best first novels for LOCUS. The discussion is at http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&group=sff.people.richard-horton&artnum=3414
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kenscholes
Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 09:48 am:   

Just wrote it, Patrick. "The Boy Who Could Bend and Fall" at 1,200 words. Each year, I write a story JUST for Talebones Live. Guess I'll write TWO this year! Yee-haw!



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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 07:42 pm:   

Not a review, but a paragraph from the interview of Jay Lake by John Joseph Adams on SciFiwire at Scifi.com:

"Before inking his Tor deal, Lake sold three other novels to the small press. His first, Rocket Science, was published in August by Fairwood Press. "It [received] a starred review in Booklist, which was quite gratifying if somewhat unexpected, [considering] the librarians in the book are in league with the bad guys," Lake said. "That's my 'Golden Age SF' novel. Think Hardy Boys meet the Red Scare, with flying saucers."

The full interview:
http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=34484
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 05:11 am:   

Jay Lake sent me a link to this review of THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS AND OTHER STORIES. It's the nicest comments about the book I've seen yet, starting with its title, "The Best Sci-Fi Writer You've Never Heard Of."

The review is at http://chasingray.blogspot.com/2006/03/best-sci-fi-writer-youve-never-heard.html
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 09:19 pm:   

I've got a host of writing-related news.

First, THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS AND OTHER STORIES, is a finalist for the Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award. The voting for it closes in Jan. '07. STRANGERS AND BEGGARS was a finalist for this award too. The ballot and a brief book talk is available at http://www.cal-webs.org/bluespruce/booktalks5.html

Second, THE LAST OF THE O-FORMS AND OTHER STORIES has been reviewed in several places, but the absolute best review I've ever seen for it or any book is posted here: http://www.bookslut.com/fiction/2006_04_008412.php It's an incredibly kind review. If what people say about a book can help sell a copies, then I ought to send this reviewer a cut of the sales.

Third, I'm famous! Sort of. I was looking for reviews of the book, and I found that I'm now an entry at Wikipedia, the huge on-line encyclopedia. I have no idea who put the entry up, but it was startling to see it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Van_Pelt
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 10:29 pm:   

Cool stuff, Jim! No Wikipedia entry for me yet, damnit. :-)
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Steve Parker
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 03:03 am:   

Congrats on the Wikipedia entry, Jim. That's pretty cool.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:00 pm:   

Folks, book reviews are now on the Talebones website. We've taken them out of the magazine and set them in electrons instead. We will add them as we get them from reviewers. There are seven reviews there as of now. Check out the new look on the opening page.

If you're a reviewer, let me know. We do 100-150 word thumbnail reviews. Payment is one copy of whatever issue of the magazine is current. We'd prefer more than one thumbnail review from any one reviewer.

http://www.talebones.com
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 05:24 am:   

Tangent Online reviewed #32 at http://www.tangentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=752&Itemi d=261
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 08:01 am:   

Cool. The reviewer seemed to like a majority of the stories, and the overall format change. I've been getting a lot of positive notes about Joanne Steinwach's "Recognition" at the end of the magazine as a best-of the issue.

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