September 3rd, 2007


[conventions] Yep, really back from WorldCon

Here's Collapse )

Another fun thing is the interview Laurence Hewitt did with me and pnh at the pre-Hugo reception in Yokohama. Podcast here, and Collapse )

I will post photos with comments later today, images courtesy of lasirenadolce. I'm going to hold off on a full bore con report for a little while, as I was interviewed about this and the interview should be online in a day or so, at which point I can link it. Suffice to say that giving away a Hugo is an awesome experience, and the Campbell tiara may be the best idea matociquala and I ever had. Collapse )

And a whole lot more people, including many Japanese fans and pros. If you saw me there and I missed it in my blur, or I made a mistake, please drop a note.

[writing] The Nippon Reading

I made recordings of me reading "Three the Rivals" and "Iron Heaven" during my session at Nippon 2007. (I also recorded "Witness to the Fall", but as that's contracted for publication I think I'll hold off publishing it.)

"Three the Rivals" is part of Green Grow the Rushes, Oh from Fairwood Press Amazon ], and was originally published at Strange Horizons as the third in a twelve-story cycle.

Audio file of "Three the Rivals" ♬

"Iron Heaven" was originally published in Intracities, ed. Mike Jasper. The story was recently reprinted in The River Knows Its Own from Wheatland Press Wheatland Press | Amazon ].

Audio file of "Iron Heaven" ♬

[photos|tech] Japanese Plumbing, an adventurer's perspective

As most of you probably know, my inner fourth-grader is never far from the surface of my personality. The toilets at Intercontinental the Grand Yokohama were like a shiny lure to a hungry bass on a summer's day.

lasirenadolce tried it first, following the intended use, and reported it a worthwhile experience. When I attempted to pilot the toilet, the "Back" button (see pictures below) resulted in a low grinding noise, followed by an enthusiastic cleansing of my fundament that could charitable be described as one small step shy of purgative. This with the pressure setting on low.

The "Front" button was helpfully colored pink, presumably to discourage male users from experimentation. Never being one to stand aside from the progress of human development, I tried that as well.

There is no need for you to follow in my footsteps. Trust me on this. Let's just say that the recent Dr Pepper incident might have ended more joyfully if the Target in Federal Way, WA had been equipped with Japanese toilets.

Having experienced the joy of mysterious high pressure jets of water being directed invisibly from beneath my body, I enlisted lasirenadolce in adducing this engineering miracle. As the toilet seat has a pressure sensor, presumably to prevent premature or inappropriate deployment, I was forced to press down with my foot. The grinding nose turned out to be the deployment of a device which can only be described as a toothbrush for one's ass. (Or possibly an anal probe.) When the water jet began to hose upward, the flaw in our plan became apparent as a brief moment of toilet water-soaked panic ensued.

Here at this blog, we travel to distant parts and experiment with exotic personal grooming implements so you don't have to!

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As usual, more at the Flickr set

[books] I have a new favorite fantasy novel

I just finished reading a draft of bram452's novel for 2008, An Autumn War. This is the third book in his Long Price quartet, the first two of which are available now: A Shadow in Summer Powell's | Amazon ], and A Betrayal in Winter Powell's | Amazon ].

You should consider me a lucky man.

As many of you know, I've been an admirer of Abraham's series for a while. As I said last year:

go buy this if you care about fantasy at all. Because Abraham needs good numbers to get more contracts to write more books we can all read and by which he can advance the quality and direction of the field.

An Autumn War builds on the first two books to deliver one of the most stunning punches I have ever seen in fantasy. I'll say this flat out: this novel deserves to be on all three major award ballots. It's gritty, wrenching, sad, and ultimately an incredibly human book. I won't deliver any spoilers, but An Autumn War is one of the most potent meditations I've ever seen on the costs of warfare, without a scrap of didacticism, while still being a story with profound emotional honesty, about people caring for their children and their countrymen.

This book will land bram452 in the ranks of our greatest working fantasists, shoulder to shoulder with Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin and their peers. I urge you to buy, borrow or check out from the library the first two books so you'll be ready for An Autumn War when it comes out next year. As for bram452, he's outdone himself and the rest of us with this book. I await the fourth book in the Long Price quartet with a certain amount of awe.