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Hylozoic Writing Notes. Literary Archive.

I made a Hylozoic website for my forthcoming novel today—it’ll be out at the start of June, but you can pre-order copies now from the Hylozoic site if you want to (which is a good thing for me, as it sends a signal to Tor that people want to read the book.)

A more compelling reason to visit the Hylozic site at this point is that it contains a link for my “Writing Notes for Hylozoic,” which is a whopping 4.3 Meg PDF file, containing a 385 page single-spaced (but nicely formatted) document with the working notes for the book. I have numerous images in the document, as well and internal and external hyperlinks. It’s really a book in itself, about 190,000 words long…which is over twice the length of the actual novel.

I recently got this preliminary image of the Hylozoic cover from Tor. It’s quite beautiful. For a second I didn’t realize that those blue things are images of a manta ray, but, yeah, there they are, the Hrull, not exactly as I’d depict them myself, but nice to see.

They might still drop the “Sequel to Postsingular” line from the Hylozoic cover, as that kind of phrase could be off-putting for a reader who hasn’t read Postsingular. And, I would argue, one could perfectly well read Hylozoic on its own, or before Postsingular.

I was initially surprised that the font of the Hylozoic book title was so small, but, looking back, I see that the title was even smaller on the Postsingular cover. In any case, I’m proud that my name is printed large, which indicates that my “brand” has become a good selling point. And thank god for good old Bill Gibson’s solid-gold blurb. And for the Tor art department. These are some of the best covers I’ve ever had.

Farewell, Postsingular and Hylozoic. I liked this world a lot, maybe I’ll be back some day.

But right now, having finished the initial version of my memoir, Nested Scrolls, I’m busy with my next SF novel, Jim and the Flims

Well, actually, I’m not working on Jim and the Flims this week, instead I’m rooting around in my basement organizing my literary archive. It’s been a cockroach-in-his-nest kind of activity for these rainy winter days.

It’s weird looking at the three bookshelves of my old writing notes, journals, and book drafts. A life’s work, a vine twining around time’s tree. I’ve been lucky.

Conceivably I could sell the archive. As I understand it, the way this works is that you get someone to pay you a substantial sum for your archive, and then they donate it to a university library and they thereby do a public service and get a tax break. Of course, I might get a better deal if I was dead.

Oddly, enough, if the writer him or herself donates the archive while alive, he or she can’t take a tax break—Congress passed this law in fury after Nixon got a $19 million tax deduction for donating his papers to the Yorba Linda Nixon Library! Good old Nixon…

3 Responses to “Hylozoic Writing Notes. Literary Archive.”

  1. Steve H Says:

    Make ’em change it to ‘Author of Postsingular’ instead – makes the point without excluding the new readers. The colors are great!
    Trust Nixon to have one more trick.
    Funny if you looked through the archive and found some stuff you didn’t remember writing . . .

  2. Rudy Says:

    Steve, I like the idea of an author working his literary archive and finding a manscript he doens’t remember writing. Of course to some extent that’s actually the case, you find things you don’t really remember. But for the story you push the strangeness parameter, and the story is about something very startling and perhaps precognitive. Ideally there would be some twist explaining how the unremembered story came to be written…

  3. vanderleun Says:

    “Nixon got a $19 million tax deduction for donating his papers to the Yorba Linda Nixon Library! Good old Nixon…”

    Hey, you may not like him, but nobody said he was stupid. (Except of course those who believe that anybody they don’t like who gets to be President of the United States is stupid. You know, like that idiot Obama.)


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