Last weekend, Margo Lanagan's collection Black Juice
gained extended eligibility for the Hugo Awards--so that stories in it can be nominated for the 2006 Hugos--on the grounds that the US edition wasn't available until this year. Frustratingly, however, it now looks like the UK edition of the collection won't be published until next February, or after the nomination deadline, which means some people will still
not get a chance to read it in time. I'm also not quite sure about the publisher's blurb:
Short stories, no translation rights, no Australian rights, US (and first world) hardback published this month. Sometimes writing is so extraordinary that you just have to publish it. Even if it breaks all the rules. BLACK JUICE is such a collection. However few copies we sell of this book, Margo Lanagan is the sort of writer that every list has to publish if that list cares about good writing. These are stories of immense confidence, the faith they have in the believability of the worlds they describe is such that they explain nothing, concede nothing but still leave you entranced because of the beauty of the writing and the intense clarity of the characters. Whether a family singing their daughter to her death, a young boy braving pestilential angels to give his grandmother the death she deserves and himself the freedom he deserves, or clowns on a sniper spree at a clown convention these are people you believe in, peopling stories of quite extraordinary power. Margo Lanagan will, one day, write a world beating novel.
OK, most of that's perfectly good; I just wish they'd left off that last line.
On the upside, when it's finally published it will contain an extra story
compared to the existing editions. And in the meantime, the US edition
is easily available from Amazon.