I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Prime Codex is Go!

This weekend sees the debut of Prime Codex! This is an anthology collecting the best published short stories of the Codexwriters group. You can buy a copy at Balticon this weekend, or order from the website linked to above for books that will start shipping on May 30. The title is also live on Amazon. All codexians have published at least one short story at professional rates, or, at a minimum, have graduated from a major workshop like Clarion or Odyssey. You can hardly blink these days without another Codexian selling a novel. Follow this link for a Codex Library.

My story in the anthology is a reprint of my first sale to Asimov's, "To the East, a Bright Star." Of the short stories I've published to date, "Bright Star" is at top of works I'm most proud of, dancing on the head of that pin with "Perhaps the Snail" and "Empire of Dreams and Miracles." It's the story about the choices we make when we are most aware that life is finite--much of the story unfolds in the last fifteen minutes before a comet is going to strike the planet, and our protagonist, a former circus tightrope walker named Tony, is faced with the choice of meeting his destiny the way he's imagined for the last ten years, since learning of the date and hour the comet would strike, or detouring from that dream in order to rescue a damsel in distress. One of the questions I'm faced with most often as an atheist is, why live a "moral" life? In the absence of the reward of heaven or fear of hell, what does it matter if you're kind to your fellow human beings or not? Do the choices you make matter in the absense of hope? This story is my most successful attempt to answer that question.

No reviews yet of the anthology, but you can read a review of my story at Emerald City. My story is the last one reviewed, so if you don't want to read about the entire issue of Asimov's just scroll to the bottom.

Speaking of Codexians, I get to meet one today, Joy Marchand. She doesn't have a story in Prime Codex, but we share a table of contents in Modern Magic and I've read her story in Interfictions, "Pallas at Noon." I can safely report she's insanely talented, writing rich, image-filled prose at a level of talent I can only dream of. If you're interested in Prime Codex and want to qualify for free shipping, throw in a copy of either of the above two anthologies, although if you have to pick one, pick Interfictions, since "Pallas at Noon" is such a strong work. The final scene, and the final line, are amazing (in the context of the story, natch... don't just read the last line and think, "What's so amazing about this?").

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