"Clockworks" has been sold. It should appear in Asimov's in the late winter or early spring, about a year after my last Asimov's publication.
Gotta pick up the pace on those. The next one in the sequence (also a prequel) is stalled because a) I've been working on another story and b) I have quite a few questions about both the plot and the physical details. It's a challenge.
I finished The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize–winning novel. I hadn't read Fitzgerald before. I have a novel (unread) of hers that I picked up at a library book sale, and I've seen her name listed often enough among the great English writers. She came to writing late, it seems.
I knew nothing about the novel before getting it from the library except that it was highly recommended. (I'm looking for contemporary novels to add to my AP Lit. class.) Had I known the plot, I'd have probably balked; knowing nothing (which is how I like to approach a book), I instead was drawn in by the story and the voice, having no idea where the thing was headed. It's the story of Fritz von Hartenburg, a real-life German poet of the late 18th century; he took the name "Novalis" as his pen name. Rather than a description of his career, it's the tale of his first love. It's also the story of the people around Fritz, family and friends who are mystified by his attraction to young Sophie ("my Philosophy," as he comes to call her); in addition, it's a vivid rendering of a time and place, the era of Goethe (who puts in a brief appearance) and a time of civil upheaval. It's a wonderful novel that defies categorization.