Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tired of slackers

As I've mentioned couple times before, I've been editing a reference book on thriller writers. I ordered some 15 articles from guys I know are good and capable writers. Little did I know. The deadline for the entries was 15.2., and I'm still waiting for the majority of the entries. The publisher sent me a note saying that all the entries that come after 15.3. just won't get in the book. Luckily that day I'll be away and I was able to negotiate that I'll deliver the finished manuscript by 20.3.

Now, what really bugs me is that we are going off to a holiday. We'll be at Cyprus for a week and immediately after that I'll have to edit the late entries and patch up the book - in a day! And I can't relax fully knowing that I'll be with my hands full of work that other people knew they had to do a month before! Christ! (I'd like to say worse things, but this is a fuckin' family blog after all.)

Okay, another bad news concerning work: a publisher phoned me yesterday and told me that the big compilation of Finnish pulp fiction crime and adventure stories that I've put together won't be out until next Spring! In 2008, that is. Aw Christ... Lord knows I need money next year, too, but still... I compiled the stuff in the Fall of 2005, one and a half years ago.

And the said publisher had some bright ideas about splitting the book in two, putting out first a book with only old stories and then, if that one sells enough copies, putting out a book with newer stories. I don't think a book with only stories from the 1930's to, say, the 1950's will interest anyone but some collectors and some veteran readers who may remember some of that stuff from their own youths. Here I was thinking that I could grasp the whole phenomenon of Finnish pulp fiction with one sweep, putting together stories from the early thirties to the present day. But no such luck.

Okay, calm down, calm down, these things happen. Worse things have happened to writers. (They shouldn't, though.)

The good news was that the said publisher will bring out a paperback-size biannual anthology of crime fiction short stories. I'll wish him luck (in the country where even the best known names won't sell even one thousand copies of short story anthologies).

Okay, enough of complaints. I hope I'll have enough time to read unread books during our stay at Cyprus. I've packed these books:

Leigh Brackett: (um.. what was the title.. one of her Mars story collections, with Eric John Stark)
Richard Matheson: The Shrinking Man
Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon
Reed Farrel Coleman: The James Deans

And I hope I'll be able to finish John Gregory Dunne's True Confessions (1982) before we leave.

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