Strange Horizons reviews the Autumn Rain trilogy

October 30th, 2010

Nader Elhefnawy has penned an extremely thoughtful review of the entire trilogy for Strange Horizons.

On a more personal note, I should say it’s very cool to finally be IN Strange Horizons; I sent them some shitty short stories several years ago, which they (wisely) declined to publish. Though I did have one that featured a gang of space pirates trapped on Titan that I was rather partial to at the time.  Alas, this was before I learned how to write.

Anyway, now I need to get back to the cats and the Sekrit Projects.  Enjoy the Halloween weekend….

Breaking the silence: interview on SFSignal

October 18th, 2010

Last week I resurfaced from various Sekret Projects to do an interview Patrick Hester and Andrew Liptak over at SF Signal. As you can see, I appear right after a panel discussion on genre series overstaying their welcome, which you may rest assured is pure coincidence, given that in a fit of total disregard for the prevailing fashion regarding series, I actually finished mine. Go figure. And give it a listen.

9-11 nine years on

September 11th, 2010

It’s strange to think there’s an entire generation of kids who don’t remember the day the Towers collapsed. It’s even stranger to think that there’s an entire generation for whom this was their first “event” memory, the way my generation remembers the Challenger exploding or those in the early 60s remembered Kennedy’s assassination. And now we’re almost a decade into the so-called “long war”, a term I resist because it’s impossible to name the victory conditions….as will become woefully apparent the next time an attack occurs on American soil, as it assuredly will, unless we throw out everything that makes us a free society.

Arguably, the most potent damage that Al-Qaeda did to us that day had nothing to do with the death and the carnage.  Thucydides was deeply skeptical of the ability of a democracy to maintain a coherent foreign policy; the ease with which Bin Laden was able to lure us into Middle Eastern quagmires would have done nothing to change his mind on that score.  An even more severe fallout was the division in American society that the event engendered.  America is weaker now because of the near-fratricidal level of venom and vitriol unleashed by those who would label those who disagree with them as traitors.  To some extent this is the natural tension of a republic operating on the world stage; Democrats tend to forget that FDR’s supporters labeled those who voted for his GOP opponents as aiding and abetting the Nazis.  But that a handful of men operating out of caves could have facilitated such polarization of American society beggars belief.  Nine years later, we mourn the victims, yes, but also the path along which we’ve been careening ever since.

Reading at Library of Congress Wednesday …

September 8th, 2010

…as in today at noon, the Madison Building, along with many other cool writers.

Sorry for the short notice but the cats have hijacked my organizational system.

Congratulations to Hugo-winner Peter Watts

September 6th, 2010

Congrats to the whole list of winners, but I’m particularly psyched about my friend and (dare I say) mentor, Peter Watts, whose 2010 started out with him facing jail time but will now go down as the year he won the #$# Hugo for his brilliant story “The Island,” possibly the best SF short story written in the last five years. More details, along with disturbing photos, at Watts’ blog.  And you can (and should) read the “The Island” here . . . a harrowing tale of first contact by a construction crew unlike any you’ve ever seen before.  Huge congrats to the Doctor, and kudos to beautiful Melbourne for pulling off what was by all accounts a fab WorldCon.

More Autumn Rain reviews/commentary

September 2nd, 2010

While I continue to crank away on various Sekrit Projects, I thought I’d share with you a few more links related to the Autumn Rain trilogy.

First Mike Johnstone at the University of Toronto has completed his analysis of THE BURNING SKIES. I’ve mentioned previously that I thought his essay on MIRRORED HEAVENS was the most astute I’d seen yet, as he delved into the political context during which the novel was written (i.e., the last decade), and integrated that with my decision to write in the present tense in an ingenious theory that I’d be a fool to disavow.  He enlarges on this in his essay “THE BURNING SKIES:  SF and Historical Allegory.

Second, Only the Best SciFi has reviewed trilogy finale MACHINERY OF LIGHT:  “make sure to plan big chunks of reading time because it’s hard to put down when you get going.”  He even mentions he wasn’t put off by the profanity, of which there is rather a lot.  Which is #$# awesome.

Third, Mihir Wanchoo at Fantasy Book Critic, who wrote such a fantastic review of MACHINERY OF LIGHT a few weeks back, has published an interview with yours truly in which I reveal, among other things, the extent of my ultimate ambitions, the limits of my cats’ gratitude, and the true identity of my literary idol.

Fourth, a really cool review of BURNING SKIES from Beam Me Up:  “How Williams keeps all the players and action under control is a mystery to me, but he does it and the hat trick produced from all this plate spinning is The Burning Skies”.  I’m not sure how I did it either, especially since I delegated most of the work to the cats.  Here’s an example of their immortal prose: adkljfaklfklsafkadfkak

Fifth–and in some ways this is the coolest of them all–Kung Fu Monkey mentions the Autumn Rain trilogy while discussing a UAV drone that went out of control last week and strayed into D.C. airspace. The future’s on its way people, so stay tuned.

New MACHINERY OF LIGHT reviews

August 17th, 2010

Fantasy Book Critic loves MACHINERY, and describes me as “somewhat of a genius when it comes to describing plots”. I don’t know if “somewhat” means “sorta” or “definitely”, but I’m taking it anyway. Read the full review here.

And meanwhile Jennifer Brozek over at Apex Books has her own review of MACHINERY (a “cross between the Manchurian Candidate and Neuromancer, which works for me), along with an interview with yours truly.

On other fronts, I have a new novel proposal out in the market. So stay tuned.

Deconstructing MIRRORED HEAVENS

August 5th, 2010

Two years after its publication, Mike Johnstone, professor of English at the University of Toronto, has written what’s beyond doubt the most incisive review/analysis of MIRRORED HEAVENS out there. For starters, he’s pretty much the first reviewer to point out the parallels between the downing of the Phoenix Space Elevator and that of the Two Towers, and goes deeper than anyone has yet gone on the political context behind the novel, marrying that up with a discussion of my decision to write the trilogy in present tense:

The more I think about the novel, however, the more I am impressed by how challenging Williams makes the novel on several levels, weaving together breakneck pacing, significant narrative decisions, a conspiracy-theory atmosphere, and a political edginess into a whole that generates a rather plausible (and disturbing) vision of our nearish future. What interests me most are the narrative decisions and political edginess: the former, because I think they raise intriguing questions about what literary SF can do with forms of narrative; the latter, because I am surprised that reviewers of the novel seem to have shied away from addressing the historical context to which I believe it responds. Moreover, these two elements, in fact, mutually reinforce each other, revealing a novel more complex than it might appear at first blush.

I’ll have more to say about Jonestone’s essay in further posts but you can read it in its entirety here.

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist reviews MACHINERY OF LIGHT

August 4th, 2010

“By bringing this complex series to a close with such a bang, David J. Williams proves once and for all that he is for real.”

Read the full review here.

Hour of the Wolf interview

August 3rd, 2010

Here’s a link to my interview past Saturday with the one n’ only Jim Freund on Hour of the Wolf.  We had a great conversation, focusing primarily on some of the political implications behind the books….and I was super-psyched to hear how much he liked the ending of the trilogy, which he said for him invoked the vibe of Arthur C. Clarke and (gasp) Olaf Stapledon. I can’t think of higher praise, and it was all the more surreal to hear at 6 in the morning.