About a month ago I realized that today’s publication of The Children of the Sky will not only mark the eighth book of Vernor Vinge’s that I’ve edited, it will also mark thirty years that I’ve been working with this talented writer. If we’re going to be picky, I have actually been working with him for slightly longer, but the first book of his that I worked on was a Binary Star double-novel book that included his short novel “True Names,” which was published in February of 1981.
We lived in a different world in 1981. I hadn’t yet started using a computer for word processing, no less for communicating on the internet. And the science fiction publishing world was a very different place as well. I—as is true of many colleagues both at Tor Books and elsewhere, could go on and on about how publishing has changed over the past thirty years or so. But I will refrain. In this blog post I will limit myself to talking about what the title suggests.
When I first read Vernor Vinge’s work, it was in the pages of Galaxy and Analog magazines. I particularly remember reading Grimm’s World, first the novella, then the novel. I was struck by the . . . I believe I would have said “nifty” world he had created. Like many SF readers, the notion of a world that had an SF magazine publishing company on a boat was nothing less than cool. It’s a tribute to his ability to evoke a sense of wonder in his readers.