December 3rd, 2007

books

congratulations to Bear on a starred! review in Booklist

STARRED REVIEW:Dust.
Bear, Elizabeth
Jan 2008 Bantam/Spectra, paperback, $6.99. (9780553591071)

Bear takes on the well-worn sf device of the generation ship and, seasoning with Roger Zelazny-esque family politics and Mervyn Peake-ish behind-the-scenes intrigue, concocts a delicious blend of science so advanced it's like magic and people, the ships royalty, who are somehow altered by the nanotech colonies that make them Exalt but remain neurotic and struggling like ordinary humans. The ship hasn't moved in centuries, and Engine and Rule (parts of the ship) are nearly at war. Desperately trying avert war, Rien helps Sir Perceval escape Rule and dangerously trek to Engine, near-constantly watched by Jacob Dust, the Angel of Memory, while the other angels and devils make alliances in the continuing battle for survival. As the smaller angels are devoured, battle to control the hulk of the ship Jacobs Ladder nears an end. Bear's approach to the story results in exactly the kind of brilliantly detailed, tightly plotted, roller-coaster book she has led her readers to expect, replete with a fantastic cast of characters. When Bear revamps the genres standard furniture, the results are extraordinary.
books

from the mixed up files of Agent Manners

Dear Agent Manners:

several of your esteemed colleagues have been asking for a biography to be submitted with the query. What (and how much) ought an unpublished writer with a typical writer's CV (assistant gardener, multimedia designer, alphabetical sorter of index cards etc) write to satisfy agental curiosity?

Signed,

Respectably employed across the pond

***

Dear Respectably:

Agent Manners has heard that such details are especially relevant for non-fiction proposals. The author in that case, should have a platform, not just a CV. However, with respect to fiction, this can be tricky. Agent Manners suggests including details that are relevant to the position you are trying to seek: "agented author" and imagine how the information listed will benefit that aim. Other than that, one or two points to differentiate yourself from the masses should do the trick. Remember, the agent is primarily interested in the novel and the writing. They can get to know you better later.