BREAKING NEWS: "Irontown Blues" is a Go!

Kevin Long
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John Varley is the first SF Author we ever interviewed on this site  ( ) and one of my favorite writers (Despite some flat-out disturbing stuff in some of his books and short stories). How good a writer is he? He can piss me off to the point where I feed one of his books to a fish, then eat the fish, and yet I still come back for more. That said, he's probably *NOT* an appropriate author for most of the readers of this site, but he's still very worthy of note.

Back in 1974 he created a future history called "The Eight Worlds," in which humanity has been forced off the earth by mysterious aliens, and has settled the rest of the solar system, but hasn't gone to the stars yet. There's a whole batch of these stories written through the '70s and into the '80s. In 1992 he revisited the Eight Worlds after eight years with a book called "Steel Beach" which is the fish story novel from above. (I've since re-read it and loved it. I think it might be my favorite of his novels, it transcends the genre and becomes actual literature, though it's not for the timid).

I expected this was the end of that particular universe or cycle or whatever the hipster doofuses are calling it these days. But no: In 1998 he put out a novel called "The Golden Globe" which was one of the best adventures ever, and which had a clear setup for a sequel in the end. I've been bugging him for years about when the sequel - "Irontown Blues" - is coming out. In fact, I even asked him in the interview.

He gave me a list of books he was working on, and the order he anticipated doing them in. Well, six years later he's held to his word. He just came out with "Dark Lightning," the final (probably) book in his "Thunder and Lightning" series. The next thing on his list, then, is....Irontown Blues.

I confirmed it with him by Email today, and he said that, yes, he's working on it now.

I debated for a good long time if I should mention this or not, since it's personal information. Ultimately, however, I decided it wasn't a secret, since he said it was what he was going to do on this very site a way back when. So really this is just a confirmation.

This, AND I got news that I'm in remission today! I tell you, if I were any happier, I'd be twins!

As for his most recent novel, "Dark Lightning," I got a copy last night, and will start reading it just as soon as I finish re-reading "Rolling Thunder," the previous book in the series. I want to be all primed and ready to go before I dive in.

And Mr. V., should you stumble across this, and if this should comprise a violation of trust, please let me know and I'll remove it immediately.


Kevin Long