What I'm up to now (and what's next)

A while back, I reported that the Russian translations of my books bore a blurb on their back covers that purported to be from The New York Times. Since it's in Russian -- and since I'm fairly sure that the Times has never published a word by or about me, I was naturally fascinated to know what it said.

Enter the very kind Larisa Walk, who read my story "Pavel Petrovich" in Realms of Fantasy, and in the course of a complimentary e-mail about it mentioned that she would be happy to translate the mysterious Times blurb.

A few weeks lapsed while I got my act together and figured out a way to send her a .jpg of the back cover (see below), and she replied with a quick translation.

First, the back cover:

And the translation:

"This is a present for anyone to whom discovering magical, mysterious other worlds and other times is a pleasure."

A very nice blurb, all things considered, but I remain confident that this did not originate in the Times -- but I'm also confident that no one from the Times has heard of me or reads this Web site. Because I'd hate to get my Russian publishers in trouble... .

Separately, I'm still chuckling evilly over the kind reception of "Pavel Petrovich." For instance, take this quote (from a review by David Roy at Epinions):

"This is a wonderful story, with Hood capturing the oppressive nature of the gulag perfectly. The characterization of the narrator is great, and the narrator captures Pavel perfectly. The atmosphere is strange and foreboding, and what ultimately happens is kind of surprising, though it feels just right."

I call that pretty tasty.

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