August 24th, 2007


[help] Help on stupid Mac tricks

I need some help with finding files on a Mac. While I generally consider myself a power user, this one has me a bit stumped.

Say I have two drives, with files like so:

Drive 01Drive 02
File AFile A
File CFile B
File DFile C
File FFile D

How do I search in the Finder, or Spotlight, or on the Darwin command line, to locate those files on Drive 02 which are not also on Drive 01? Ie, in the above array, I want to detect that Drive 02\File B exists, and is not present on Drive 01. I don't care about Drive 1\File F...I already know where it is.

(Yes, I messed up a backup-and-restore a while back. I caught it before I'd wiped the now-displaced data, but I'm finally getting to the point where I need to retrieve it from the idled backup disk so I can put that back into service.)

[writing] Easing into the home stretch

This last, slow phase of dealing with Escapement is both driving me crazy and very rewarding. I had hoped to send the book off to casacorona and arcaedia today, but I think I'll have to wait until right before I go to Japan next week to do so. I need the extra time to continue with the very tight read I'm doing now. I'm trying to fix a couple of large issues, but really I'm just working on the line level prose in accordance with my developing process revision.

I don't anticipate taking my first drafts much slower in the future. This is about how I address the story once I've splashed it onto the page. But I like where it's taking me, and I think I'm making Escapement a tighter, better book for it.

Write and learn, learn and write.

[links] Link salad, Friday helping of goodness

Two-Sided Touch Screen — A pseudo-transparent screen?

We are fishermen — Motorcycle riding Jesus action figure! With golden crown of thorns!

Derinkuyu, or: The Allure of the Underground City

Cows might be alternative energy sources — BS?

Chick magnets today look like cavemen — Evolutionary biology goes to Hollywood, say "Relax."

Science Fiction Awards Watch — A new project from Cheryl Morgan and kevin_standlee. Check it out if you're at all interested in that end of the field.

[writing] The unbearable wankery of awards

It's popular in some circles — ok, in lots of circles — to sneer at awards as some form of wankery. Lots of theories abound about popularity contests, "in" crowds, favoritism, circularity, you name it. I've shared in them from time to time, believe me.

At the same time, I think awards are legitimate and important. This is a business fraught with negative incentives. We all have drafts which don't make it to final. I personally have well over 1,000 rejection letters. Stories go into print, and get bad reviews. Or worse, no one notices at all. Which, frankly, is the fate of many if not most stories and novels.

So if roughly 3,500 short stories and 600 novels come into print each year in our field (see here for a bit more on this), and several dozen of them land on award ballots, that's a very narrow ratio of recognition in its own right. Even if you take a very broad view of awards, as Cheryl Morgan and kevin_standlee have done at the new Science Fiction Awards Watch, the nominations don't exactly overflow the pool of what's published.

Awards are the way we recognize each other, honor each other, support each other. Is the awards process full of insider wank? Of course. Just like student council elections, politics at any level, the workplace, the Elk's club, the Oscars, or any other human activity. Like I said the other day, we're monkeys. It's what we do.

As for the awards processes themselves, of course they're imperfect. At one point I looked at establishing an award for excellence in anthologizing. The logistics of doing that were daunting. Establishing the credibility was perhaps the most difficult aspect.

Why awards? We all need a reason to smile, laugh and pound each other on the back from time to time. Writing is such a profoundly solitary pursuit that anything which offers social reinforcement is to be treasured.