2) What Makes This Book So Great comes out today in the UK. In North America it comes out next Tuesday. The two versions are idential except for the back cover. The UK one has a quote from my piece about re-reading "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who re-read and those who don't. No, don't be silly, there are far more than two kinds of people in the world. There are even people who don't read at all. (What do they think about on buses?) But there are two kinds of readers in the world, though, those who re-read and those who don't." The back cover of the US version can be seen here and I love it. Also on that page of my website, my FAQ. And at Civilian Reader, my piece about how I wrote it, which I am totally linking to because it took me forever.
ETA: The Tor author copies just arrived, and actually the spine is different as well. The Tor ones have a brown spine and the Corsair ones have a yellowish spine the same colour as the cover. And the Tor spine says WHAT MAKES and under that THIS BOOK and then my name horizontally and then SO GREAT, while the Corsair one says WHAT and then underneath that small MAKES THIS and then BOOK and tiny SO and then big GREAT and then my name, all going down the spine vertically. So if you have strong spine preferences -- like anybody would care -- now you know.
3) The Small Change books are coming out from Corsair in UK trade paperbacks, very very similar to the Tor/Orb trade paperbacks, but with cool black spines telling you which order to read them in. I believe the e-books are already out (with Farthing on sale, as I mentioned the other day) and the actual paperbacks are either out or due really soon. I have author copies so I know they exist. Now people in Britain can impulse buy them! And my aunt can walk into Waterstones and look at them on the shelf, which is a genuine pleasure for her, so that's great. I'm particularly glad to see these books get a UK edition at last because Farthing was rejected by eleven UK publishers for either being too SFnal or not SFnal enough, which was irritating.
4) For most of my life you could buy fine art prints and they'd be the same hundred or maybe two hundred canonical prints of Western Art plus Hokusai's Wave. Recently this has been improving. But amazingly, allposters.com have lots of incredibly obscure things that haven't been available at all and which I really want, like for instance the fresco from the Pitti Palace of Lorenzo de Medici welcoming the Muses to Florence (as mentioned in MRC... and come to think of it also in Thessaly...) and Ghirlandaio's St Zenobius with lion and door -- it's a whole wall from the Palazzo Vecchio, including the doorway. Who would want that? Me, obviously, but what normal person do they think would want that? And they even have a detail from it. And lots of ceilings. And the maps from the map room. (I have bought the first three of these things, and am excitedly waiting for them to arrive.) So if there's art that you love but nobody in their right mind would ever think was commercial or reproduce, check if allposters.com have it.
5) Have I been doing anything worth mentioning apart from revising Thessaly and cooking dinner? I don't think I have. Gosh I am boring. Sorry about that. I mean I went to Italy and I didn't even write about it, and then I come home and post nothing but boring stuff about books coming out. Terrible, really.