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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 06:42 am:   

So, I got my copy of the Chabon-edited issue of McSweeney's yesterday, which means probably everyone else got it before I did, as I'm on the west coast.

Thoughts? Opinions? Anyone had a chance to read it yet?

I managed a modicum of self-restraint and didn't go directly to the Stephen King story, which is unusually for a guy who normally considers a new King book a national holiday.

I just finished the Nick Hornby story, and I liked it quite a bit.

Jason
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GabrielM
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 08:58 am:   

It's out? Damn, I'm in New York and I haven't seen it. On the other hand, I'm also buried under two feet of snow.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 09:08 am:   

I think only the subscribers got copies. I know Vintage is doing it as a trade paperback next month, so I don't know if there will be any newsstand copies available.

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jonathan briggs
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:11 pm:   

Chabon, that's Michael Chabon, right? He's great and shows a lotta respect for the lowly genres. Who else is in that issue??
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 04:24 pm:   

Hey Jason

I got a galley of the Vintage version the other day and started reading it. The opening story is kinda fun. So, what is the McSweeney's version like physically?

J
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 07:49 pm:   

Let's see, who's in this thing:

Jim Shepard
Glen David Gold
Dan Chaon
Kelly Link
Elmore Leonard
Carol Emshwiller
Neil Gaiman
Nick Hornby
Stephen King
Michael Crichton
Laurie King
Chris Offutt
Dave Eggers
Michael Moorcock
Aimee Bender
Sherman Alexie
Harlan Ellison
Karen Joy Fowler
Rick Moody
Michael Chabon

The McSweeney's edition has the same cover as the Vintage edition, as far as I can tell. It's a big fat tpb, about 500 pages. It's a dense mother.

Jason
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 02:10 am:   

Sounds lovely.
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Mike Williams
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 11:30 pm:   

Apparently the subscriber edition is different to the newsstand edition. Through some over-indulgence of mine at the McSwys site, I got two copies in the mail last week. Joy!
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Peggy H
Posted on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 07:40 am:   

I just scored an ARC of the Vintage edition myself and dove in last night. Lots of cool stories, but my favorite so far is the Moorcock.
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Chris Roberson
Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 11:37 pm:   

The Chabon short, The Martian Agent, is a little gem. I know Chabon had a screenplay by that name optioned years ago, never produced, that he onced described as "Lawrence of Arabia on Mars." Does anyone know if the two are related, or if he's planning to follow this with further installments?
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 07:24 am:   

Just read the Kelly Link story, a reprint called "Catskin", which I missed when it came out last year, and it's a real treat. The Gaiman story is solid, and I really liked the Hornby piece. Currently read the King story, an excerpt from The Wolves of the Calla, which is pretty good.

Jonathan
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 11:03 pm:   

Finally got myself a copy. I'd been asking around at bookstores and no one had it, when I remembered that there is in fact a McSweeney's STORE here in my own Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood. (I kid you not. I think it's a leftover from when Eggers used to live here -- they sell books by McSweeney's writers, back issues of the mag, McSweeney's t-shirts and sweatshirts and a whole lot of bizarre odds and ends, like ferret shampoo and these tiny cast-iron models of different species of birds' feet.)

They had a copy but couldn't give it to me unless I bought a subscription, so after they teased me by dangling the book in front of my face for a few minutes I coughed up the dough. Turns out the book from Vintage will be out next week anyway. Bet it will have better binding. Haven't read the stories yet but as an occasional collector of Weird Tales issues from the thirties I'm quite enamored of the little pulp format touches.
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Jeff Topham
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 01:08 pm:   

Just finished this the other day--ironically, the same day I received an ARC of the Vintage edition. The Vintage edition is printed on shitty paper and lacks the little pulpy flourishes. The McSwys edition is a much sturdier product--Eggers has all his books printed in Iceland, I believe, for some reason perhaps known to him alone.

I thought it pretty good overall, if a little uneven. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is it shows how hard it is to sit down and write a strongly plotted piece of fiction--some of these folks give a good try but just can't pull it off.

To my taste, the strongest pieces were the ones by Eggers (the best thing in here, I think), Moorcock, Fowler (one of my favorites), Shepard, Chaon (awesome), Link, and Emshwiller. Rick Moody's piece was interesting but too long by about a third. Ellison's story ends in a weak joke--disappointing. Chabon's piece is pretty good, but you only get the first chapters.

Pretty good overall, but not quite as good as I wanted it to be. Anyone else have any thoughts?
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rossblanchard
Posted on Friday, July 08, 2005 - 01:07 pm:   

Some friends and I started a literary discussion website at www.pettifog.net and are looking for participants. I'd like to see a McSweeney's group start up, but we're mostly just interested in people writing about (instead of just talking about) what they're reading. Any takers? You can join up at the site or email me at ross-at-pettifog.net.

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