Business In The Way

Kage Baker’s career is not over. This is both interesting and nice in all sorts of way, both for me and for you, Dear Readers. But it … well, it can get in the way, you know?

The sequel to Nell Gwynne is safely with the publisher; I am awaiting the manuscript for requested revisions, but it’s out of my hands and hair at the moment. “Marswife”, though, needs daily work, as it is for an already planned and partially constructed collection. There is also a “Best of” volume in the works, and so at intervals I get requests for electronic copies of various stories – these kinds of books get put together like jigsaw puzzles, and during the decision process various stories get moved, inserted inside out, lost … recycled twice and used for fire starters, for all I know.

Just two days ago, an idea was proposed to me of hawking some of Kage’s work over in the UK again. Her very first novel was actually published first over there, under the title At the Edge of the West. It had an hysterically funny bodice-ripper cover, and was in fact marketed as a romance. They declined Sky Coyote, however, telling Kage that no one in England was interested in Indians … however, she does have quite a following Over the Pond, and all her books are in print over there; the Tor versions, mostly.

It has been suggested that a publisher might be interested in publishing some of her novellas, two at a time – like the old Ace Doubles, which were a hallmark of our childhood, she and I … books with B sides! Two for the price of one! And in those days, even an Ace Double cost only 50 cents, so they were quite a bargain. The project has some nostalgic value for me, thereby.

But it’s complicated! I am going through the novellas, checking to see which ones have been published a lot and which ones are still relatively unknown; trying various combos to see if they go well together. Does “Angel In The Darkness” go better with “Dark Earth” – both family stories – or should it be paired with “Hanuman”, in that they are both essentially tragic? Can “Maid On The Shore” carry the lesser-known “Or Else My Lady Keeps The Key?” Is “The Queen In Yellow” just too weird to repeat, or too peculiar not to?

On top of these authorial concerns (and they take considerable Kage-channeling, I tell ya), life staggers one. The dryer is dying – time to put up the clothesline, which we have left late this summer. And Harry has chewed up most of the clothespins for toys. We can’t find a spice cake mix anywhere – someone has decided they are seasonal or something.

And there are the summer movies! Broke down today and went to a matinee of Captain America. Oh, Dear Readers, this one is every bit as good as you could hope for! If you’re a comic fan, a Marvel fan or even just an antique car fan – see it. It’s grand. And I only found one egregious anachronism! Go, see it: the romantic ingenous are very pretty and can even act; Tommy Lee Jones would be a delight reading the  freaking phone book, and Hugo Weaving chews up the scenery admirably as the Red Skull.

Anyway: it’s been a busy day. It will be busy days for a little while now. Thank you for your patience, and I will endeavour to give you something better than just my To Do List tomorrow.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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6 Responses to Business In The Way

  1. The Lord of Misrule says:

    Yeah, I I liked it too so make of that what you will…and even more surprising, Stacey wants to see it because (she says) she likes period pieces.

    I was particulary impressed with Steve Rogers patriotism which never became too strident. That, I feel, is the right way to love ones country.

    And going back to a previous post, I’m now up to “The Spy Who Loved Me”


  2. Kate says:

    Yes, I thought the patriotism was … wholesomely portrayed. Human and realistic. Steve Rogers was not mawkish, and in fact the “Star Spangled Man” sequence was not only hilarious but sharply satirical, I thought. How to do it wrong!

    But there were good Germans, and madmen who had nothing to do with Nazism, and interestingly complicated characters. And I did get an enormous kick out of Dum Dum Dugan, who was played – it looked to me – by Giovani Paladini!

    It’s a quite decent period piece, too, I thought. I hope Stacey enjoys it. And are you enjoying the Fleming?


    • The Lord of Misrule says:

      As I have never read the books (Should I?) I’m not sure if “enjoying the Fleming” is really the right term. I was under the impression that the more Bond films they made, the farther they got from the books until they were not even trying for anything even remotely resembling adaptation.

      That said, though, it is kinda fun seeing a sort of cinematic evolution from the awful special effects and the clumsy screenwriting to the more coherant plot lines and better than average visuals. What is consistant, and always a joy to see are Ken Adam’s sets (Did your Dad ever work a Bond?).

      “For Your Eyes Only” is next.


  3. Kate says:

    Oh, you’re watching the films, not reading the books? Yeah, they mutate further and further from the books – but they are fun in their way. The books are less gadget-y and have NO sense of humour.

    And nope, no Bond is the family history, alas. Closest we ever got was being held up in traffic while Sean Connery chased some bad guys through parts of San Francisco.


  4. Have you considered looking at e-publication as an option for making some of her older works available again? Self-publication by that route can be a good option for already edited material that has gone out of print. That gives you more flexibility in terms of length – novellas can be issued by themselves, for example. Or it might be an option for lesser known works that the print publishers don’t think was popular enough to reissue, even paired up with something more popular. The serious fans will want all of it, and probably happily plunk down $2 or $3 for a novella by itself.


    • Kate says:

      Thus far, Kathryn, e-publishing hasn’t been necessary – Kage couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with publishers requesting her stuff, and I have 5 projects – some old, some new – lined up now. However, that is always in the back of the quiver, as it were, in case something gets lost. It would take some considerable time and tricky moves to get the rights back to all of Kage’s work – it was all only published through standard methods, and there are some odd and downright peculiar rules to regaining them once that happens. Not quite as arcane as the signatures of 7 witnesses in red ink, but almost!


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