April 1st, 2008


[personal] Career changes

My attorneys have informed me that I can now announce my impending career change. The "Jay Lake" brand has been bought out by Tor Books, and will be serviced by a small team of newer writers working under my name. I will continue to make public appearances as "Jay Lake", and my likeness will be on book jackets and promotional material. I will no longer be writing, as such, but will be generating titles and outlines for the "Jay Lake" team. I am very excited about this new opportunity and what it represents for me and my family.

It's been fun, y'all.

[links] Link salad stays in Vegas

VanderMeers to Edit New Tachyon Anthology: Squidpunk! — I am proud to be a part of this progressive movement in fiction.

Agent Janet Reid offers query roulette

Try the Train: 1937 — A shorpy.com photo. Mostly for kevinstandlee and garyomaha, but it has haunting qualities many of the rest of us may appreciate as well.

Diamond paint for jet surfaces — Well, cz, but she'll never know.

Mysterious Crater Widens to Antarctica — Headline is rather misleading, but still a pretty cool story. Also bonus new word "strewnfield".

Dextre — A photo of the space station robot. (With a rather silly cutline...)

Centauri Dreams on dust and planets — Good reading for you hard sf/worldbuilding types.

Ten most unreasonable parking fines of all time — I had a pretty goofy one myself.

Negro President by Year 2000 — 1965 op-ed piece from a Mississippi newspaper.

Great moments in political candidacy — (Thanks to mojavewolf.)

Bush nominated for Nobel Peace Prize — Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha.


[personal] Open questions

From here, lt260 asks:
Open Question #1: What is the difference between critique groups and beta-readers? What are the pros and cons of each? Is there a graduation process? If so, at what point does one move from one to the other? Which has helped you improve your writing the most?

I've written before about critique groups. Loosely, groups work together while beta readers (or first readers) work separately. Critique from a group will have a moderated voice filtered by critiquers perception of each others' responses to the work in question, while beta readers (at least as I understand them) are only interacting directly with the author. I don't think it's a graduation or moving on so much as a shift of needs, which can move back and forth. I am a very big fan of "tennis ladder" critique groups, most especially for aspiring and early career writers. I would not have the career I have today if not for the Wordos. At the same time, given my current workload (and attention span), first readers work better for me now. I can readily envision moving back to a critique group at some point.

Open Question #2: I have a writing friend in Australia who won a fellowship to be mentored by a local pro. Evidently, and I am not at all sure about the details, she entered a contest in which the winning prize turned out to be two-weeks of tutoring by an accredited author. While I have heard of numerous authors here in the USA teaching creative writing courses (Joe Haldeman, Jim Van Pelt, Bruce Taylor, etc), and I know of a plethora of cons that offer writing workshops, I have not heard of this being done within fandom. Have I missed the boat? Should I get out of my cave more often? Or is this something not very prevalent in SF/F/H circles? Or is Clarion as good as it gets?

Not sure what an "accredited author" is. Not like we get certified. But, um, no, I've never heard of this. Maybe we're in the same cave. And for some values of "good", Clarion is as good as it gets. There are many paths. Mine didn't go through Clarion, I'll point out.

Feel free to ask other questions here.


[personal] Viva my heinie

Had a good day at the trade show. Important safety tip: when public speaking, never go on after Sir Richard Branson. The Microsoft guy who followed him was just lost.

The show is huge. I skipped walking this morning on the theory I'd get plenty of exercise there. Boy was I right.

Lost my cell phone on the way back to the hotel. I've been carrying them off and on for 20 years, and continuously for almost 15, never did that before. If it doesn't turn up in the shuttle service lost and found tomorrow morning, I'm in for some expensive annoyance.

After that little fiasco, I had dinner with skidspoppe, then off to a vendor party at Rain at the Palms. Tired now, and rather cranky.