Kirkus Reviews likes The Boy at the End of the World

Hey, Kirkus Reviews (self-identified as “The World’s Toughest Book Critics” and known by authors as a source for ouches) likes The Boy at the End of the World:

Part speculative fiction, part cinematic survival adventure, the novel features a brisk pace and clever and snappy dialogue. The real, scary possibility of human destruction of our own environment is tempered by this diverting tale of the possibilities of continued existence and the meaning of hope, friendship and community.

Full review here.

Jodhpurs and a review

The good folks over at Tor.com were kind enough to let me blab a bit about writing dystopian stories for kids. I would call The Boy at the End of the World post-apocalyptic adventure rather than dystopian, but a lot of people use the terms synonymously, and I don’t really have a dog in any lexical fight that might ensue.

Here’s my piece: Tarkin’s Jodhpurs and Dystopia for Kids

Over at Ms. Yingling Reads, good Ms. Yingling reviews The Boy at the End of the World, as well as Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Kapow by Nathan Bransford, a book I’ve been looking forward to ever since Mr. Bransford announced he was leaving agenting to devote time to writing.

 

Signing in Columbus, OH and other thingeroos

Hiya, there. Look, sorry this space has lately been just book newsy stuffins instead of other stuffins. Not much else going on right now, which, frankly is fine with me. Though I’ll try to get back to posting more stuff about beach walks and the dog and tacos and stuff, because those things are very important to me as well. I mean, this is San Diego and the tacos are just OUTSTANDING, in case I haven’t mentioned it before. I probably have. In fact, I’m sure I have mentioned the tacos PLENTY.

Gwenda Bond reviews The Boy at the End of the World in Locus Magazine, saying “The sure-footed pacing, deft balance of humor with serious, memorable characters, and well-crafted action sequences combine to make this van Eekhout’s most accomplished work to date.”

If you’re anywhere near Columbus, Ohio, please consider swinging by the Barnes and Noble in Lennox Town Shopping Center on Saturday, April 16, at 7:30pm. Not only will I be there, but so will Paolo Bacigalupi, C.C. Finlay, Sandra McDonald, Paul Melko, and Sarah Prineas, all signing books and whatnot. Here are some details.

Have you a paper allergy? Is that what’s kept you from reading Kid vs. Squid? Well, I now remove your excuse by pointing you to the just-now-available Kindle version. I care about you and your itches.

Were you hoping to snatch an advance reader copy of The Boy at the End of the World? Have you acted upon this hope by entering my Goodreads ARC giveaway? No??? Goodness. Well, I am making it very easy for you to act upon your hope by providing a clicky below.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout

The Boy at the End of the World

by Greg Van Eekhout

Giveaway ends May 03, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Kid vs. Squid paperback delayed

Hello, reading people!

It has come to my attention that some people are starting to place pre-orders for the paperback edition of Kid vs. Squid. Naturally, such activities warm the cockles of my heart. (I don’t actually know what cockles are, or what they are doing in my heart. Give me a sec while I go look it up. Huh. Turns out cockles are a small kind of saltwater clam. I have saltwater clams in my heart. And they are warm.)

Anyway.

My publisher is delaying the release of the paperback edition, hopefully to occur some time after the release of my next hard cover, The Boy at the End of the World. I’m not sure when the Kid vs. Squid paperback will be rescheduled, but when I know I’ll be sure to announce it here.

In the mean time, let us all enjoy our cardiac clams.

Goodreads ARC giveaway

Here’s another way to win an ARC of The Boy at the End of the World.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout

The Boy at the End of the World

by Greg Van Eekhout

Giveaway ends May 03, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

And you can still enter Sarah Prineas’s giveaway.

I’ll also trade however many ARCs I have left in exchange for a Tesla Roadster. In fact, I’ll deliver them to your door. In my Tesla Roadster. That you will be giving me. I’ll even give you a ride!

Diana Wynne Jones don’t owe me nothing

News this morning that Diana Wynne Jones has died.

I came to her works late in life, as an adult, working at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. I think the first one I read was The Ogre Downstairs, or possibly Witch Week. In any case, it was instant infatuation, and I spent several weeks happily devouring her books. She was by no means a formulaic writer, but each of her stories dependably delivered equal measures of magic, humor, and heart. It’s a winning combination.

Eight Days of Luke is my favorite. Contemporary setting, Norse gods, characters who aren’t what you think they are, Valkyries in video arcades …

Steven Boyett once pointed out the similarities between Stephen King’s The Stand and his own Ariel (similarities that weren’t obvious to me until he pointed them out). He summed it up like this: “Stephen King don’t owe me nothing.”

Well, for my book, Norse Code, Diana Wynne Jones don’t owe me nothing.

I never met Diana Wynne Jones and she very likely never read a word I wrote, but she was an important teacher. I’m sad she’s gone, and tremendously grateful for her lessons.

32nd Children’s Literature Conference

I’m going to be speaking at the 32nd annual Children’s Literature Conference at Northern Illinois University next year, along with Nic Bishop, Floyd Cooper, and Sneed Collard III. Mark your calendars. In advance. Like, really, really far in advance.

This year’s conference featured such luminaries as Jon Scieszka, Laurie Halse Anderson, Mac Barnett, and our great friend Sarah Prineas. SarahP actually Skyped me in for part of her talk, so I even know what the hall looks like. I think I took sociology there, only it was at a different school, thousands of miles away. I also did tech support for another conference in that same room. But again, it was at a different school in another state.

It’s a way’s off, but I’m already really excited about it.

Dog, Writing, Appearing, Milkshaking

Dog
Today we had Dozer’s second of four obedience training sessions. He was much less barky at the other dogs, and he’s really good at responding to his name and coming when called. So impressed were we with his progress that we took him for a nice long walk on Shelter Island (where he was okay around dogs and completely off his nut around birds), and the pet store, where he not only maintained his nut in proximity to other dogs in the store, but even ignored the pet adoption stuff going on outside. Good dog.

Writing
Crossed the halfway point on my novel. Still a long way to go, but the thing’s getting written. My characters have just perpetrated a tiger kidnapping, which has not all that much to do with kidnapping actual tigers.

Appearing
This week I actually did more author stuff than writer stuff. I did Skype visits with a 4th grade class at DW Lunt School & Plummer-Motz Elementary School in Falmouth, Maine; a 5th grade book club at Groveland Elementary School in Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Mrs. Huebner’s 5th graders at Sioux Central Elementary in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. Mrs. Huebner’s students blogged about our visit. They said I am nice and funny. That’s because I opted not to show them my malicious and humorless side. Why not? Because I flipped a coin, like Harvey Dent.

This Skype visiting thing is a whole mess of fun. I thought it was going to be like rainy-day schedule when I was in elementary school, where they just projected whatever they could on a screen to distract the kids from committing mayhem. Usually it was that Disney cartoon about Johny Appleseed. We’d seen it so often that they once showed it to us backwards. So it was really kind of a documentary about deforestation. But the Skype visits weren’t like that. The students were well prepared, had done research, and came ready with good questions.

I also Skyped right into the middle of Sarah Prineas‘s talk at the Children’s Literature Conference at Northern Illinois University. Sure seemed like both she and her audience were having fun, at least they were when I showed up. Hopefully they still were after I left. I tried not to be malicious and humorless. I’ll be giving a talk at the conference next year, and it was nice to get a little preview.

And I also did a signing at the Oceanside Barnes and Noble. Met some readers, scrawled my name, doodled some squid.

Milkshaking
Last night I had a healthy salad for dinner. Mostly vegetables with just a drizzle of dressing. Tonight I’m thinking a milkshake for dinner makes sense. That’s what I’m thinking.