When I’m wearing my fan-girl hat, I love attending author events like the Naked City reading hosted by Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Attending readings like this gives you the chance to *hear* the author’s voice in a way that you just can’t get when reading words on a page, and sometimes you even get a glimpse of the characters as the author sees them. It’s a special experience and one that readers should actively seek out because it gives you a chance to connect more deeply with the story while also supporting some of your favorite authors.
The Naked City reading was fantastic. Not only were several of the anthology’s contributing authors on hand, but there were also a lot of other authors in the audience since they were in the area to attend Readercon over the weekend.
The evening started with the lovely Ellen Datlow who introduced the anthology and then gave a brief introduction for each reader, including Kit Reed, Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Kressel, John Crowley, Ellen Kushner, and Caitlin Kiernan. Each author read a five minute excerpt of his or her story, which was just enough time to make you want to know what happens next!
Ellen Kushner gave Swordspoint fans a little taste of her story The Duke of Riverside, which will made me flip straight to her story as soon as I got the book home. She’s so expressive. Listening to her read was great fun! Meanwhile, Jeffrey Ford’s piece Daddy Long Legs of the Evening
had me wanting to check all of the closets and dark corners in my house just to make sure there weren’t any multilegged visitors hanging out in places they shouldn’t be “hanging” out.
Kit Reed’s story Weston Walks was terrific and definitely had me wanting to visit New York City, but I think I will be staying far away from the abandoned tunnels under Central Park. John Crowley’s piece, And Go Like This, was wonderfully experimental – a definite “must read.” One of the most beautifully written pieces was Matthew Kressel’s The Bricks of Gelecek, which was a treat to hear him read. He’s a new writer and someone to keep your eye on. Caitlín Kiernan read The Colliers’ Venus. She was fantastic as usual, and her prose is simply gorgeous whether you’re reading it on the page or hearing her read it out loud.
In the Q&A session, Datlow explained that one of her goals with Naked City was to bring urban fantasy back to its roots and back to the city where it was born. From what I heard tonight, she succeeded. Naked City should be on the shelf of every urban fantasy lover.
Here’s the best part of the evening. Not only did I get my own copy of Naked City signed by the authors, but I also got a copy signed for you!
This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered!
Enter the Naked City Contest on Underwords
All you have to do for your chance to win this special copy of Naked Citysigned by Ellen Datlow, Kit Reed, Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Kressel, John Crowley, Ellen Kushner, and Caitlín Kiernan is to post a note in the comments below by midnight on July 20th.
The contest is open worldwide. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email for mailing instructions. If you are under 14, please get your parent’s permission to enter the contest.
Table of Contents includes:
Curses – Jim Butcher
How the Pooka Came To New York City – Delia Sherman
On the Slide – Richard Bowes
The Duke of Riverside – Ellen Kushner
Oblivion by Calvin Klein – Christopher Fowler
Fairy Gifts – Patricia Briggs
Picking up the Pieces – Pat Cadigan
Underbridge – Peter S. Beagle
Priced To Sell – Naomi Novik
The Bricks of Gelecek – Matthew Kressel
Weston Walks – Kit Reed
The Projected Girl – Lavie Tidhar
The Way Station – Nathan Ballingrud
Guns for the Dead – Melissa Marr
And Go Like This – John Crowley
Noble Rot – Holly Black
Daddy Long Legs of the Evening – Jeffrey Ford
The Skinny Girl – Lucius Shepard
The Colliers’ Venus – Caitlín R. Kiernan
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree – Elizabeth Bear
Contest Update: E. Zimmerman is our winner! Congratulations!!