Random quote of the day:
“Time bears away all things, even our minds.”
—Virgil, Eclogues, Book IX, line 64
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
We’re on a trip. Well, we should be. Aren’t yet. Last night, due to hard frost and no de-icing equipment in San Francisco, our flight was canceled.
When we first booked, I held the reservation for Rick and myself. Later, my mother decided to go on the trip, too, so we booked her a separate airline ticket.
Because we were paid first-class customers, we were re-booked in status order.
I’m a Premier Platinum, the third of United’s status tiers. (Earnable tiers, lowest-to-highest: Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, and then there’s Global Services, which is an entirely different category.)
Rick’s a Premier Silver.
My mother, however, has no status.
Thus, when there were no more seats, guess who got rebooked into economy?
Yeah, so that happened.
1. Contact Borderlands Books (http://borderlands-books.com/) in San Francisco, California. You can contact them by either email or phone; check the website for specific options.
2. Order books! You have to tell them which ones, naturally, and whether you want them signed and personalized, or just signed. Personalized books must be paid for up-front. You can request a specific inscription. Some inscriptions (ie, my phone number) will be refused, although your book will still be signed.
3. While you're at it, order anything else that you'd like to get. I mean, hello, bookstore, and you're already paying for shipping, so why the heck not?
4. Give the store any information they need, like shipping address and billing and stuff.
5. The store will contact me, and I'll go in and sign things!
If you want your book or books shipped in time for Christmas, you need to contact the store and place your order by December 12th. That's still not a guarantee, especially if you're in like, England, but at least it's a ballpark.
But wait, you cry! What books are currently available?
TOBY: Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses, One Salt Sea, Ashes of Honor, and Chimes at Midnight.
INCRYPTID: Discount Armageddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special.
NEWSFLESH: Feed, Deadline, Blackout, and the Newsflesh box set.
VELVETEEN: Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots and Velveteen vs. The Multiverse.
ANTHOLOGIES: The Living Dead 2 (Newsflesh-universe story); Home Improvement: Undead Edition (Toby-universe story); Zombiesque; Westward Weird (Incryptid-universe story); Tales From the Ur-Bar; Human For a Day; The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity; Other Worlds Than These; Human Tales; Grants Pass; The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination; Glitter & Mayhem; Raygun Chronicles; Carniepunk (Incryptid-universe story); Oz Reimagined; Coins of Chaos (Rose Marshall story).
Because Borderlands does not carry non-fiction, none of the Mad Norwegian Press titles are available from them.
(Post concept gleefully stolen from John Scalzi. I love you, John!)
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:Frozen, "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?"
I'll also be signing copies of The Golden City on Friday, December 20th at the Quail Springs Barnes & Noble in OKC, starting at 6PM. I'm hoping the weather is decent and that people will be out shopping (and buying books).
But stepping backwards, given the winter storm expected, it's unlikely that I'll make the "Meet and Greet" event I was involved in with several other authors in Dallas. It's a 4-hour drive each way for me, and given the dicey roads, going that far for a 2-hour event is not wise.
This round of chemo, thus far, has been easier on me than the first one, but there are still some surprises to enjoy, apparently.
Still struggling to control the chemo-nausea, but it’s getting better. Weaning off the Ativan, drinking more ginger ale, taking Zofran round the clock, and continuing to take Benadryl as a just-knock-me-out recourse. This strategy seems to keep the queasies mostly under control.
However, now I’m having the onset of a shiny, new side effect: annoying tingling in my hands and feet (i.e., peripheral neuropathy)–I assume due to the Vincristine in my chemo cocktail. It’s not terrible, but it is quite uncomfortable. When it got truly unpleasant yesterday, I took a Benadryl to render me comatose and felt better when I regained consciousness.
Benadryl appears to be my new panacea for side effects. Yay unconsciousness.
Jim Hines brought my attention to this quote from someone in science-fiction fandom:
Instead of insulting us, [Hines] could be using whatever influence he has in social media to help recruit more people of color into our circles. They need to know they’d probably be much more welcome here than they might be elsewhere. (After all, many of us would love to befriend extra terrestrials or anthromorphs.)
Many of these guys would love to befriend an alien… in the abstract. But I’m pretty sure that if we did meet aliens, they’d be, well, alien. They wouldn’t understand humans all that well. They’d arrive from an entirely different culture, one they’d consider to be the “default” culture that all sentient beings follow in their heart of hearts, and they’d make constant mistakes. You’d get invited to the alien’s house, and they’d forget, oh hey, you eat chicken strips and not cans of semi-sentient slime.
Man, that’s so messed up that you eat dead chickens, the aliens would say. Why would you do that? Why aren’t you drinking our slime? Hey, check it out, this guy eats dead chickens – do you just snap their necks and gnaw on the bodies?
You don’t? Crazy. Anyway, all we got is slime, so here, we put some ice in it. You humans all love ice.
And the aliens would be thrilled, showing you around to all their friends, because you’re their proof that they’ve got a human friend. You have the vague feeling that they really don’t give a crap about you per se, you could be any human, but they’re very happy to show you off like you’re some kind of prize they won when you go to their alien parties.
And when the aliens are a little tipsy on their slime-drinks, they make comments. They high-seven each other and talk about how great it is that we helped you. Because you guys – you’re always “you guys” – never did invent intergalactic space travel. We had to give it to you. Oh, yeah, I’m sure you would have gotten there eventually! But it’s good to help the races that just don’t put it together as fast. You folks were pretty much stewing to death in your wars and garbage and whatnot, and, I mean, wow, you sure like killing each other.
“I never killed anyone,” you’d protest.
Your people do, though, they’d say, and you’d have this discomforting feeling like there’s no distinction between you and everyone else like you.
And at parties, some of the aliens would dress up like you, putting on a comically oversized Texan hat and dancing Gangnam Style and putting on that big, swinging foam genitalia they think is so hysterical because they all reproduce asexually and eyew sex, and they’d wander around mashing your whole culture into one discrete wad, and they’d laugh because you humans have so much of interest to tell us. And their stories would all feature humans as a stock figure of The Race That Didn’t Really Want It, a bunch of backwards hicks who were so caught up in strangling each other they never thought to look to the stars, either the tragic figure who had to be killed to make way for progress or the goggle-eyed comic figure who wandered around Jar Jar Binks-style, astounded by all their magical inventions.
And after a while, you might stop coming to the parties, because the slime-drinks weren’t any good and their movies made fun of you and the aliens kept getting drunk and touching your junk because oh my elders, is that how you reproduce, lemme see that! And when you complained, they assured you that you were making too big a deal of things, those were just jokes, and these were just movies, they didn’t think that way about you, come on. We love you guys. We love you. Just stick around.
You might stop attending those wild alien parties. And the aliens would talk among themselves, trying to figure out why the humans were staying away. We were friendly! they’d cry. We bought them chicken strips!
What’s wrong with them, that they don’t show up?
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/358187.h
I am, as they say in “the biz,” a pantser. I don’t plot anything; I just find an interesting starting point and get to writing.
This is a high-wire act, rife with failure. Neil Gaiman once likened it out leaping out of a plane and hoping you can knit a parachute on the way down. And I have the smashed wreckage of many stories that I could not find an ending for, including one sad novel that devoured half a year of my life before coughing up blood on my vest.
Yet I am currently rewriting the last third of a novel, after someone In The Biz pointed out that the last third didn’t fit with what had happened before. (Oh, the plot made sense, but thematically it’s like Dorothy went to the Land of Oz and then jetted over to visit Christopher Robin; the last third wasn’t bad, but it was addressing entirely different concerns than the first bits.) So I made a detailed outline (10,000 words!) and ran it by some very smart friends of mine who’d read the book for me, and they agreed it was pretty good.
Writing the actual words has been a vacuous hell.
As it turns out, I write to see what happens next. And knowing what happens next, all the bits afterwards are boring transcription: I’m left with all the tedious details, the equivalent of choosing camera angles after the actors have been cast and the sets built. And some really get off on selecting camera angles, there’s nothing wrong with that, but for me I know what they’re going to do and they can’t vary all that much from it because it’s a quite good outline, so now what?
This novel will make me gain weight, as the only way I can force myself to write it is to promise myself a large glass of chocolate milk when I am done with the day’s work. And nothing is better than a large glass of chocolate milk.
Oh, there are little surprises, enough to keep me going: here’s a need for a secondary character, here’s a scene that turned out more powerful than I’d envisioned, and of course I need my protagonist to be more active in his fate. (Always my problem in early drafts.) But in general, this is loathsome writing to me, a thing I find mechanical and hateful.
Many outline their plots wonderfully. Every time I’ve tried, it’s ended in disaster. My inner muse doesn’t like being bossed around, and I guess I’d better let her run amuck.
Which is the real lesson for all writers: There’s nothing that works. There’s only what works for you. Find it.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/357912.h
Regarding my concern over how many female writers I am reading, pktechgirl phrased it wonderfully:
The premise is not that women are lesser writers who need a hand up. The premise is that the same quality of book will get less attention when written by a woman, and we should actively work to counter that.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/357705.h
Lunt actually has several meanings -- originally, taken from Dutch, a fuse or slow match, and then by extension to kindle/light, to emit smoke or steam, and to smoke a pipe. From that last, via some particular Scotsmen, we get the above sense, which may not be quite as obsolete as I originally thought, at least in the UK. Still, a word's a word, regardless of theme.
Yesterday was an unexpectedly exciting day for me, not always in a good sense (a school shooting at a nearby high school which added several police cars to my little trike ride home from Target), so exciting that I pretty much missed for several hours that Nanoism had accepted and published a little untitled twitter story of mine, which you can read here. It won't take long, I promise.
And then there was Arrow, which offered another game changing episode last night, and suddenly made my life look completely dull by comparison. Clearly I need to start wearing a green hood.
( Suddenly, superpowers rang out! And lo, there were many spoilers, though not about the romance stuff – I feel I covered that already.Collapse )
Bits and pieces of me, flung into the dark of night…
1. A week or so ago, I turned in the third Gabe and Delia book, Against A Brightening Sky. This is what they call one of those bittersweet moments. I’ve lived with these characters since 2009. Saying goodbye and getting them to vacate my head is hard. Really hard.
And how do I put this? I know I’m biased, but I felt that each book in this series got better than the one before. They are all good books, but the third book may be the best of them all.
2. I’ve been thinking, a lot, about a line from an article I read that included the line “You can be a feminist and still want to fall in love.”
That struck such a cord for me.
There is a constant undercurrent of criticism that boils down to a strong female character can’t fall in love or engage in anything resembling a healthy romantic relationship, mostly because doing so renders that character “weak”. We all know weak characters are the downfall and ruination of any book, right?
What is truly interesting about this is that the exact polar opposite kind of criticism also exists. Any female character who is able to fully function and get on with her life, with or without a man, is one of those women. Oh, and a woman who doesn’t need a man to make decisions for her or tell her which side to part her hair on is also a tired old trope.
So to sum up, women who fall in love and have relationships are weak, and women who are autonomous, in or outside of a relationship, aren’t strong, they are a tired, over used cliche.
The most interesting part of this dichotomy, for me at least, is that when I see this comment, it is almost always directed at women authors. Like 99 out of a 100 times.
Wow. How did we get to that state of affairs? I really wish I knew.
I’m not the only one to make this observation. I might be the only one silly enough to say so outside of a tweet.
3. Long time readers may remember the novel formerly known as Reasons. Josh and Lori have been patiently waiting their turn, and waiting for me to be skilled enough to do their story justice.
After years of sitting in the back of my head while I wrote Gabe and Delia books, the novel has a real name–A War For Philadelphia (book 1&2). It has a coherent plot, a story arc, and lots of complications.
It is, however, still the Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies novel. That isn’t changing.
When I wrote the original draft of Reasons I did over 103k in five months. That was kind of boggling at the time, and still dazzles me. This book wanted to be written almost faster than I could write. The major problem is that there was two books worth of story crammed into that 103k.
So I’m starting from the top and, with luck, doing this story justice. Expect snippets now and then. I like posting darlings.
Now to bed, perchance not to have stress dreams about work. I’d like that.
Via Facebook, 10 of the worst design logos. Some are just poorly implemented. Some are just dumb. Some are either the work of deranged minds -- especially when the only explanations are either malicious or total failure by everyone to pass any sort of Rorschach test...
I mean, I will concede that in reading this sort of article one is already sensitized to failure modes. But really? The "alternative" meanings are so obvious, none of them took more than 0.05 seconds to register. In fact, some of them I had trouble seeing what the designer saw or how the hell the businesses greenlit these.
Design is not a trivial process. It should be left to professionals who know what they're doing. And then let them. I am tired of hearing horror stories about designers being asked to work with no time or no money... Or both. And stories about corporations, big ones, spending fortunes on logos like NBC, only to find it nearly identical to Nebraska Public Television's.
Either way, if hard copies are involved, then staplers may not be far away. (And the Kindle Fire HD's auto miscorrect of stalkers instead of staplers may not be far from the truth. Read on, gentle reader.)
This piece from College and Research Library News details the horrors of Staplercide at Middle Tennessee State University and it's chilling. Information Literacy Librarian Jason Vance reveals:
The average life span for a stapler at my library’s reference desk this past semester was 15.3 days. The most common cause of stapler death was exhaustion. An exhausted stapler would staple once, and then jam, entering a state of nonresponsive “stapler shock.” After a librarian valiantly unjammed it, the stapler would muster one more staple before collapsing again. Often we were not able to intervene before a frustrated student began assaulting the jammed stapler. One should not beat a dead stapler.
Some staplers lasted no more than one day. The longest living stapler succumbed at the age of 45 days. May they all rest in peace.And that's not the only crimes exposed.
You do not want to know what happened to the electric stapler -- if you're faint of heart.
Sadly, I feel better about some of the public staplers in the Physics Dept. The one in the old-old Physics Help Room (0077 Rood Hall) was mounted to the wall, but usually failed by mid-semester. My heavy duty Swingline metal staplers have served me well. But the Boston stapler I got in a value pack of office supplies when I had a second office up on the Engineering campus, it can work but not if you try to use it in your hand as opposed to on a firm flat surface.
I can see where student violence against staplers comes from. But like road rage, this doesn't make it right.
Just Say No To Staplercide.
And report stapler abuse when you see it.
Silence only compounds the problem.
You tend to forget these things. Here is a list of what to remember. Not necessarily applicable to other people. Just you, self. Just you.
1. Make people who give you things in Christmas bags take the Christmas bags back again after you have opened them if at all possible. They like using them! You have no objection to getting them but hate using them! Win win! (1a. Find something to do with the stack of Christmas bags in the closet.)
2. Do not buy green wrapping paper. Really. You love green. I know. And some of the Christmas stuff is a beautiful deep dark green that looks great in the store. But when you, yes, you, self, imagine it under the green Christmas tree, you will invariably be disappointed at how it blends in rather than lending a festive hue. You will not reach for the green wrapping paper. The green wrapping paper will be with you always. Do not buy more.
3. Do not buy the giant rolls of wrapping paper. I know, they are economical, and you feel thrifty and pleased, and sometimes they have quite lovely patterns. But I know you. After the fourth year of taking out the same roll of quite lovely dark red with white snowflakes, it will appear dingy and sad from its sojourn in the closet, and you will feel dingy and sad. Don’t do it. Wrap in brown paper if you want to be economical; it will make you feel old-fashioned as well as thrifty. But mostly economize elsewhere and buy the only moderately giant rolls of wrapping paper.
4. There is a reason that toddler-Moo thought that “sparkly” and “sprinkly” were the same word. The shiny sparkly paper will give you sparkly carpet, sparkly sweaters, sparkly smudges on your forehead. Leave it in the store to sparkle there.
5. Make sure–no, really really sure–no, check again–that the shiny paper you have selected is not made of mylar. Even your mother, who objects pretty firmly to religiously-based swearing on religious grounds, has been heard to refer softly to the one remaining roll as “that damned mylar.” It is damned stuff, it is damnable stuff, and you are wrapping presents, not filling balloons. Check again to make sure. They may not have to tell the truth about whether things actually contain blueberries in this country, but they are not allowed to lie about mylar wrapping paper, so Upton Sinclair did not live and die in vain.
Just trying to look out for you, self.
|Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux|
If you’ve published stories this year, I would like to read your best work and consider nominating it for an award.
I read/nominate for Hugos and Nebulas (and Campbell). I’ll read short stories, novelettes, or novellas. Tell me the category when you send the work. Please send only one item per category. Make sure you use the subject line AWARD READING 2014 so I see it. Doc or rtf files are best. You don’t need to sales-pitch me in your email note; that really turns me off, I’m afraid. Just say hi and tell me what you’ve got for me. Entertaining me is optional. Thanks. web AT vylarkaftan DOT net.
If you’re also reading stories in order to nominate, I would be delighted if you’d consider my novella The Weight of the Sunrise, which was originally published in Asimov’s. It’s an alternate history where the Incan Empire survives into the 19th century and bargains with the Americans for the smallpox vaccine. If you’d prefer a mobi or epub file, just contact me and I’d be happy to give you one. (I may put them up on the page, but I haven’t yet.)
Christmas Wedding is reprinted at GigaNotoSaurus. This story is secretly one of my favorites. Okay, not so secret since I’m telling you. Queer polyamorous wedding. I wrote this one after Shannon and I eloped at Christmas some years ago. After we married, I turned to him and said, “You know, we have just smooshed together two of the sappiest things ever. Christmas and weddings. …Wait, now I have to write a story called Christmas Wedding.” And that is how that started.
I just signed a contract for “Ink of My Bones, Blood of My Hands” to appear at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This is pretty damn dark, so if you like me when I’m violent and angry, this might be the story for you. It’s my homage to Lovecraft, sort of, without the overblown prose. There are dinosaurs in it.
I did an interview about the Singularity and the current state of science fiction, which I will link to when it’s up.
I am having a wonderful time just watching these guys and how a herd acts with one another and the pecking order. The dapple grey is a bit of a bully. This lad won't take anything off him but the others, especially the brown is usually chased off when he tries to come to the fence.
We all hate Mondays a little bit, right? It’s always like spring back Daylight Savings Time. Week after week after week.
Once a month, on the first Monday of the month, I’ll post some of my comments on your indie published book. Well, someone’s book. Maybe yours. But only if I like it. Which means I have to know about it.
Here’s the rules:
You must have a web site. I don’t care if it’s for you as an author or the book (or the series of books).
There must be an excerpt of your book on your web site. ~2 pages (500 words) is a good start.
There must be a link that offers a downloadable sample (e.g., through iBooks). I’m sample girl. The book must be available somewhere in EPUB format. I don’t read on a Kindle or with the Kindle app, and I don’t read paper books any more.
If it’s part of a series, I’m only interested in the first book.
Your book must have been published for the first time within a year (to the nearest month), but must be available on the posting date. So for the Jan 6, 2014 edition, anything published between Jan 1, 2013 and Jan 6, 2014 is fine.
It must be in a genre I read. (See below.)
How to be considered:
a. Email me: email@example.com (spell carefully). Deadline is two weeks before the post date, so Dec 23.
b. Make sure you list your web site, book, and its publication date.
c. Note that I will actually look at your excerpt and, if I like that, your sample. And, if I like that, I’ll have a go at the rest of the book.
d. Your book doesn’t get picked unless I like it.
e. If you leave any of the necessary bits out, I will probably not approve your comment. (At this time, all comments are moderated unless you have a previously-approved comment.)
Even if I don’t pick your book, if I find you have an interesting-sounding excerpt that isn’t quite my thing, I may give you a shout-out in the Indie Monday post.
Women writers, writers of color, LGBT* writers are all encouraged to participate.
If I don’t feel that I’ve found an indie published book via your submissions of your own work that I’d love to give a shout-out to that month, I’ll still post about an indie book, just not one that was submitted. This is a last resort, though.
Anything I didn’t cover? Feel free to ask questions below.
What I Like to Read
Science fiction, fantasy (except of the good vs. evil sort), paranormal romance, romance (any heat level), mystery, travel essay.
I like funny books and upbeat endings and complicated plots, but none of those elements are required.
What I Won’t Read
Horror of most kinds, lifestyle BDSM, Christian-themed books, tragedies, strenuously dramatic works, overly derivative works, and erotica that’s too out there for publishers like Samhain.
There was still snow on the back deck earlier today. It's gone. And from where I'm sitting, the snows are gone from the property, save for a little ridge leftover from the bit of scooping Mrs. Dr. Phil did the other day.
Funny. Over The River And Through The Woods shows up as a Christmas carol. But I tend to think of it as much as a Thanksgiving song as Christmas. The sort of Courier & Ives New England Thanksgiving with ice and snow.
Late fall and winter in Greensboro NC is a season of mud. Cold rain and mud. In Medina, sandwiched between the lake effect snow belts of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, Thanksgiving was a mixed bag. Sometimes snowy, sometimes brown and rainy. Same as White Plains NY, 27 miles north of New York City.
Hell, once in the U.P. we had a Thanksgiving with the temperature near 80°F! Windy, too. Warm winds in Laurium in late November? One more data point to demonstrate that weather and climate are not the same thing.
As much as I like snow, there is something peaceful in a brown, rainy Thanksgiving -- or in this case an early December. In a way it's a counterpoint to the brown muds of early spring. One represents the shutting down of nature, the other the restart/rebirth.
I've a friend from WOTF XXIV Down Under in Perth. There they are heading into summer. Warm days on the beach looking at the Indian Ocean. I have only travelled a small part of this planet. But I do know that I am built for seasons. Seasons with variety. As much as I love Autumn... And Winter... I get renewed with the breaths and sounds of Spring. And Summers, when I am allowed to have them (grin), are pleasant.
I feel sorry for people in tropical climes with minimal variations. I'll take the rains in December.
Even if I am not out in them. (amused-grin)
UPDATE: By 5:30pm, it was up to 50°F. And 10:30? 54°F. And in two days it won't get out of the 20s.
Ok,, so this is why I haven't been posting, because my posts turn into big long whines about what isn't going right. And lots of things are going right and things aren't that bad. But I'm tired and cranky all the time, and that makes me feel Bah-humbug. So now I'm going to go get on comfy clothes and meditate for 10 minutes and then write, because I'm revising a story and I have a deadline to sub it. So, time to get off the whinge-horse and settle in to work. Right? Or, maybe I'll just play another round of Spider. ;-D
Natch, I'm far too modest to mention what the title of my own story is . . .
- Current Music:Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies
A little while back I announced I'd sold a reprint of a story called "Nor To The Strong" to Every Day Publishing for the anthology, Ray Gun Chronicles.
I am very pleased to announce the publication of the anthology, which includes short stories by some of the best writers in Space Opera today. I have a contributor's ebook copy and the stories are amazing!
As of yesterday, the book is live on Amazon in hardcover and I expect trade paperbacks and ebooks will post any time. I would like to encourage everyone who wants to buy to do so this first week. This will help visibility and long term sales. If you all would like to buy a copy, here are some links:
Barnes & Noble hardcover: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ray
Barnes & Noble paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ray
Goodreads Giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/s
I'm happy and honored to be a part of this anthology and hope you the readers enjoy the stories as much as I have.
Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
Random quote of the day:
“Flowers are words even a baby can understand.”
—attributed to Quentin Crisp
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
At some point I turned around from thinking of this situation as a hardship, though, to thinking of it as magically, and perfectly, right for the book. There is adventure in this!
So! Now the ebook of Pen Pal is out in the world at three out of the four locations it'll be available at--Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. (It'll eventually also be available through Apple.) The print version is not far behind; I've reviewed and corrected one set of proofs, and hope to receive a second set sooner rather than later. And then I will be able to offer you a book to hold in your hands, a book of letter, emails, journal entries, and newspaper clippings.
sartorias talks a little about the book here. So very, very grateful for her hugely empathetic reading.
On this occasion . . . Here is the message in the bottle that starts the story.
- Current Music:Josette Césarin: Papiyon Vole
Still'n'all, let's not be ungracious. It may be unconscionably late, and we may speculate all sorts of reasons for that, but none the less: Chip Delany has been recognised as a Grand Master by SFWA. Yay.
I think the LJ gods were listening. And if they are kindly gods, this will continue. But if they are tricksy ones, they will curse me back to lurking status again.
I have to tell you, right now, this comment box is only picking up every other letter I type, UNLESS I keep a "write mail" thing up alongside it. No. Really. And no, it's not my computer or my keyboard--everything is fine both on the internet and off...except for writing in this comment box. I'm not kidding. I wish I were.
In case you were hoping to share my essay “How Kids React To My Pretty Princess Nails” but were blocked by work because it’s adult content, the Good Men Project has reprinted it in a slightly changed format. Go check it out, comment, love, whatever you crazy kids to do it. Also, it gives them traffic, which I support.
I really wish I knew who to petition to have my site taken off the “adult content” lists. I put it on to be nice because I swore a lot and occasionally wrote about the vajayjay, and I thought being scrupulous would protect my site from kids. Now the whole Internet is 4chan, and I wish I could say, “Hey, all I do is words, you don’t need to treat me like I’m cow-felching porn,” but I don’t know to whom. There’s plenty of links to put yourself on the porno lists, but few I’ve found to get off.
(…so to speak.)
In any case, my essay is live and has pictures of me and more shareable, and on a larger website to boot. So check it out.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/357397.h
It started innocuously enough – when long-time reader Snippy left a comment on my Christmas List:
I’m curious: aren’t there any women writers whose work you’d like as a gift?
To which my snap reply was:
No, because I bought them all. (Or, in the case of Ann Leckie, won the relevant one I would have bought.)
Which was true. My Christmas list rarely reflects what I actually like, as I am a man of little restraint and tend to rush out and purchase what I want now, now, now. So when I heard Holly Black had a new book, I immediately zipped out and purchased that, and was literally about to purchase Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice when she announced she was holding a book contest, which I won. (In retrospect, Ancillary Justice was so good that I wish I’d purchased it just to give her money.)
My Christmas List was, in fact, originally developed as a defensive mechanism for friends and family, because before I started locking everything off, I bought ALL THE THINGS. So the Christmas List isn’t necessarily what I’m lusting to read – which are usually in my hot little handles – but rather what I’m curious about but not so rabidly curious as to get it that very moment.
Still, it’s a valid question. Do I read enough female authors? Certainly the books I’ve enjoyed the most over the last four months skew female: Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, and Joe Lansdale’s The Thicket are my favorite books, so 66% wimmen. I’m reading Alethea Kontis’ Enchanted, and that’s lovely enough that it’s going to be the topic of one of my upcoming podcasts.
But I don’t know. I tend to be more enthusiastic on the whole about my female authors than male authors – I’m a big fanboy for Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemisin, so much so that there’s actually a hidden reference to them in the novel I’m writing now, and that novel is heavily inspired by Kij Johnston and Suzanne Collins. And while Daniel Abraham is my latest big fantasy crush I’m really kinda psyched to get around to Kameron Hurley’s God’s War, who I love as a blogger. (I’m actually sort of irritated that that’s not on my Christmas list, as I accidentally marked that as “purchased” on my wishlist when I didn’t mean to.)
I don’t know. It’s a tough call. Of the books on my to-read shelf, there’s only two females on it right now out of about ten books (hellooo, Seanan McGuire and Jo Walton), but I do tend to read more books by men because I have old and accreted tastes. Which is to say that ZOMG NEW STEPHEN KING BOOK and ZOMG JOE LANSDALE BOOK and ZOMG TERRY PRATCHETT and ZOMG OTHER DUDE I GREW UP READING do tend to clog the ol’ bookshelves, as I have a long history of acquiring my reading tastes during a time when women were not well-represented. And I love those guys severely. When they have new stuff, I get it reflexively. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But they do tend to get in the way of reading newer authors. Every book by an old favorite I’m reading is time I’m spending not reading some new hotness.
Plus, my old tastes had been reasonably constricted for the past decade or so. I used to read very widely, when I worked at Borders, and then there was a long period where I wasn’t as in-touch with the book industry, so what I read had calcified a bit into old favorites. Now, with Twitter and Facebook, I’m constantly hearing my friends micro-squee about awesome books, and my tastes have become much more catholic. There’s just a lot more authors I’m hearing about, period.
And those new tastes tend to skew very equal, if not actually biased towards women, as I read more women bloggers than men and as such I’m more likely to stumble across a really exciting female author. I think in about ten years that to-read shelf will have adjusted towards gender equivalence, as eventually I’ll have accreted enough new and exciting female authors that I’ll have to have their latest on the shelf, too, clogging up the path for even newer writers who I feel guilty about not reading.
It’s a good question to ask. I mean, the ultimate goal is to ensure that I’m reading good books, regardless of the author’s gender. Picking several books at random from girl-writers just to equalize the playing field would be crazy. But it is good to stop and analyze your reading habits occasionally, to see whether the new books you’re reading could be chosen a little more widely. And I’m glad to say that I think they are. I’m still reading probably about 70% guys at this stage, but a lot of those guys are – ahem – grandfathered in. But of my new and squeeing fandom-reads, a lot of them are women, and I think that ultimately balances out over time.
I won’t read a book just because someone’s a woman, just as I wouldn’t read a book just because someone’s a man. But questioning what you’re reading? Questioning what slices of life you choose to experience? It’s good to be called on that, and even more pleasant to come to the conclusion that you’re well on the path.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/357227.h
I say "finally" since like pretty much everyone else my response was, wait, he hasn't received it already? To be fair I don't actually keep up with the list of SFWA Grand Masters (though Wikipedia has a list.) Anyway, good if belated choice.
5) The sound arrows make as they whiz by. Video.
7) Video artist Patrick Liddell uploaded a video of himself, ripped it, then uploaded it again over and over to track the degradation of the recording. Video.
Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.
Literally, a gatherer of seeds (from Greek spermologos) but that sense is even more obsolete.
The various people who have already read it have all agreed that telling you anything about the story will completely ruin the story, so instead I'll just throw in some stuff about the publication of the story: one, the genesis of this story goes all the way back to kindergarten and a certain game played in my back yard, which officially makes this the longest gap ever between original concept and publication for me, and two, this story has been read by more people prior to publication than any other thing I've ever written, which gives me a twitchy feeling.
black liquor (image courtesy of wikimedia commons)
coldhighmountai and cinda_cite will know. Maybe many of you know--but I didn't, until last night.
It is a byproduct, yes, but not of drug manufacture: of paper manufacture. After trees are felled and ground into chips, they are then soaked in chemicals and cooked in order to digest (the technical term) them. At the end of the process, you have pulp for creating paper over here, and black liquor over here.1
This black liquor is a toxic soup of carbon, oxygen, sodium, and sulfur that paper mills used to just dump in rivers. Then they took to burning it. The fellow I was talking to about it grew up in Maine and can recall the smell of the burning black liquor--sulfurous, he said, and acrid. Nothing else like it, he said.
Then the mills realized that rather than just burning it off, they could use it to help power their operations--though first they needed to concentrate it.
It can also be "gasified" and used as fuel for hybrid cars (photo source)
This gets done in boilers. But you have to keep these boilers clean. They tend to get gummed up with tarry stuff. And then what do you suppose happens?
The guy I was talking to has to go up and talk to the folks at the plant that suffered the explosion and find out what protocols weren't followed and teach the proper way to maintain the boiler.
Life is sometimes so real, so intense--and when you least expect it, like when you're walking out to the parking lot after a dullish community meeting. You get into conversation with someone, and suddenly: so real, so intense.
1Not before the production of another evocatively named byproduct: tall oil (from the Swedish word tallolja ("pine oil"). In addition to the Wikipedia article linked to in this note, I also drew on the Wikipedia article on black liquor and this pdf by Magnus Marklund on how black liquor recovery works for information. (It's housed on the website of a Swedish nonprofit that's focused on energy research.)
- Current Music:David Gray: Draw the Line
1 and 2--That's Sadie Mae. See her too-many toes? The shelf is where Gyro has been hanging out lately, so she decided to check it out, too.
3--where my desk was. As you can see, it's a glorious, sunny window...and not good for computer work. Come 1-3 every day, I can't work there, even with the shade down.
4--This will be the new spot for my desk. A smaller window, but it only gets bright sun in the early morning, before I head up to work. Ignore the hideous tree painted on the wall. It was a project that did NOT work out, and until this past weekend, was covered by a massive, eight foot bookshelf.
5--Gyro, being gorgeous.
6--Gyro trying to charm Sadie, but she's having none of it.
7--Sunny window where my desk was, and where I will soon put a book shelf, a little table, a reading lamp, and my comfy rocking chair. Very excited for this to be my winter reading space. Reading and writng all in the same room! I may never go downstairs again. Oh...and Gyro.
8--And just for good measure, here he is again in all his gorgeous-glory. Seriously...have you ever seen such a pretty cat??