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February 15, 2007

RE: Introduction

Hi, Patrick,

Sorry this is taking me so long. Had an unexpected flood in my office—dishwasher dumped a few gallons right into my library —and then went out of town on business. But I’ve read the whole book—which is fabulous. What is our deadline?

Frankly, coming up with an intro that is the equal of Louise’s prose has me stumped. I keep keying off the fact that she is a feminist, a Roman Catholic, a musically talented person, while I am an agnostic, tone-deaf male, but she takes me right into the heads of her characters and gets me to look straight out their eyes. Good science fiction makes you think—but all good fiction of any stripe makes you feel, and she accomplishes both goals masterfully.

Half these stories would make great films and the other half great novels—the wonderful “reverse Harry Potter” of “Starchild Wondersmith” is screaming to be a full-length YA novel, isn’t it? Obviously, I loved “p Dolce” and “Absalom’s Mother”—I printed them first—and quite a few trusted friends and colleagues—not to mention my wife—have called those out to me as the best in their respective anthologies. The latter is a knife in the heart while the former should be a film staring Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett. But of course short stories don’t need to be other than what they are—and these are all fantastic. I personally find watching baseball like watching paint dry, but Louise makes reading about it fun. “Small in the Saddle” was great—I thought it was just a light tale when I read it but it’s stayed with me for days. The aforementioned “Starchild” may be my favorite in the collection, but then I’ve never recovered from when I read “Gathering Genius” some time ago. Oh, but “Jamie Says”—never read that one before but it does what the best science fiction should do, which is that it hits you hard in the brainpan and shocks you into its point. Ideas are one thing—but when ideas ride in on the coattails of emotional impact, that’s when they have the ability to change minds and unwrite prejudices—Oh, what a powerful tale!

I’ve known Louise for a few years now and always known she was a major talent, but seeing all these works gathered together and reading them through uninterrupted, I’m really in awe of her ability—which she displays with such a sure and subtle hand that its force takes you unawares. If only I could find a way to say all of the above in 500 words, you’d have an introduction worth what follows. Because what follows if tremendous, and your readers are in for a treat whether they believe me or not.

I’ll work on it and let you know.


Lou Anders, Editorial Director

Pyr, an Imprint of Prometheus Books

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