Saturday, December 1, 2007

RoF weighs in

Michael Swanwick reports from the trenches ("Flogging Babel," his Blogspot blog, that is) that Realms of Fantasy this month contains not only a hot review of his own story collection, The Dog Said Bow-Wow, but also of Shadowbridge, which I reproduce in part below:

In addition to the return of heroic fantasy, stories-within-stories Scheherazade-style are back in vogue, which is good for Gregory Frost and his Shadowbridge, because not only is his protagonist, Leodora, a story collector and teller, but everyone lives on a huge bridge that is for all intents and purposes the world, as there's nothing beneath but endless seas. To call the premise audacious would be an understatement, and yet it's the stories and the characters that reign here, not the concept, for all the glitter. Leodora, fleeing her past, is a very real person, and her adventures and perils are also real. The idea of the naming of things and people being important, the idea of stories being not frivolous but vital, drives the engine of the plot. A cavalcade of other characters, from Leodora's manager to her musical companion, also provide depth. The inclusion of gos and much of wonder in the setting is certainly a bonus, but almost isn't necessary. The only real shame about Shadowbridge, however, is that it's clearly part one of a novel cut into two parts (for marketing reasons?), with the second half to be published in 2008.
--Jeff Vandermeer

All I can say is, fear not, Jeff, the second half will be published just six months after the first half, enough times to read it once, or even twice.


Note: This post duplicates one on my Livejournal page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Essay on process and plot

I've posted an essay about the writing process on the sfnovelists' site.

Go to: to view it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Palin is a Dangerous Man

Sitting in the packed auditorium of the Philadelphia Free Library, I had my hand up to ask Michael Palin a question: I wanted to know his reaction to John Cleese's claim, many years back, that Palin is the single most dangerous silly person alive. Palin can, it is claimed, bring an entire film crew to a standstill. Instead, he called on a young woman from China who insisted that he should market his book there because, in case he didn't realize it, there are a lot of people in China. Well, there you are: Palin is a magnet for this sort of thing.

He was erudite and screamingly funny at the same time. He could read the least flammable bits from the diary and make them riotous. Clearly, his diary is a book best served on audiobook--but only if read by him.

An example: he mentioned the first day of shooting "Life of Brian"--that there was a donkey on the set, and every hour on the hour the donkey would mount a nearby female donkey have at it. Eventually, Palin walked over to Eric Idle and asked him how many times he thought that donkey had gotten off so far that day. Idle replied, "Including the crew?"


Thursday, September 6, 2007


Here it is, the first posting on a blog that, I hope, will stay literary for a change (for the not-so-literary see the LJ "Frostokovich" posts). business. Who am I and why am I posting?
My name’s Gregory Frost. I write fiction, novels and short stories, the occasional essay, and maybe one of these days a script or two. I also teach--at Swarthmore College where currently I share Fiction workshop directorship with author Rachel Pastan; at Clarion, the intensive 6-week science fiction and fantasy writing program that moved this year to San Diego, CA; in local (to me) workshops and programs of various flavors.

After many years of shifting gears (let's not add poetry to the list), I'm returning to the category of what wise academic Farah Mendlesohn calls "immersive fantasy" with a set of novels, a duology entitled SHADOWBRIDGE. The first of these is coming out in January from Del Rey Books (Random House). It is being gorgeously packaged, and I hope will catch fire as my first fantasy novel, LYREC, did lo many years ago when it was a bestselling fantasy title for a while. Nice to have been a bestseller; would like to do that again.

Well, there it is in short. Off now to write the fiction that drives this blog, and then to hear former Python Michael Palin read from his just-published ten-year diary of his time with the incomparable Pythons. That's the literary tango for today. We'll try some talk of teaching and learning and "very small rocks" later.

A bene placito--