November 15th, 2009


[links] Link salad takes a wrong turn somewhere near Albuquerque

jaborwhalky with Jay Lake Dorito noodle doom mac and cheese — A recipe in honor of my cancers.

Charles A. Tan with a takedown of International Science Fiction Reshelving day — What he said. (Via Andrew Wheeler.)

Superconductors to Wire a Smarter Grid — More than you probably wanted to know about the US power infrastructure. Still, cool stuff.

Bad Science on the Iraqi bomb detection wands — This is as insane, and in its way deadly, as Thabo Mbeki's AIDS denialism. US conservatism have their global warming denial and evolution psychoses, liberals have their antivaxers, but it's nice to know that antiscience lunacy is not just for Americans.

China's fear of a black president

?otD: Which way to Pismo Beach?

Body movement: Not yet, but upcoming 60 minute urban walk (San Francisco hills!)
Hours slept: 5.75
This morning's weigh-in: 236.5 (!?)
Currently reading: Finch by Jeff VanderMeer


[cancer|personal] Crossing the streams

Yesterday was a good day. calendula_witch and I got in a terrific walk up some mondo hills, spent some good quality couple time together, both got writing and reading done, then eventually went out. Our itinerary included Good Vibrations, Borderlands Books, Tacqueria Cancun (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants on the West Coast), and of course, The Make-Out Room for Writers With Drinks. Borderlands Books produced some unexpected bonus in running into Greg and Astrid Bear. I also got a phone call on the store phone, from sdn, which was surprising but fun.

We ran into Kat Richardson on the sidewalk, who was killing time before reading at Writers With Drinks, so we pulled her along. Once there we met up with maryrobinette (another reader) and Mr. maryrobinette, along with two friends of calendula_witch's. Afterwards, out with the WWD crew for crepes and fries at Frjtz. Whoever thought of putting truffle oil on french fries ought to be sanctified.

After WWD, we wound up talking to blakecharlton and therinth quite a bit. Blake's a medical student with both a personal and professional interest in cancer, Erin is a nurse. They had a lot to say, especially Blake, which was very helpful to me in my ongoing process of sorting my perspectives on my cancer, its recurrence, and my fears both rational and irrational. One thing Blake talked about was the survivorship community. The point he made, in reference to a close family member who'd survived a very bad experience with cancer (much worse than mine looks to be, frankly), was that there were conversations that Blake could not have with his loved one. There's a shared experience and an emotional vernacular which cancer survivors only find in other cancer survivors.

This of course made all kinds of sense. You see the same phenomenon in veterans, law enforcement, survivors of a disaster, or people who've shared any complex, high stress experience.

Which made me realize that one reason I'd written "The Specific Gravity of Grief" was to try to frame that cancer experience, that cancer mindset, for people who haven't taken that particular journey. To some degree, it's why I blog so extensively and thoroughly about my cancer journey, but the story (just finished, now in revision, due out from Fairwood Press next year) is a way of communicating the essentially incommunicable. Or so I hope.

A lot of streams crossed last night, and it wasn't dangerous so much as enlightening. It reminded me that while I stumble a lot, I also continue to progress. Sometimes I remember to be proud of myself, and the people around me.


[food] The virtues of wretched excess; or, what I made for lunch

calendula_witch had her friend Notorious G, and NG's swain, over for lunch today, in connection with orientation on care and feeding of the extensive Witchnest orchid collection whilst she is up in Oregon for my surgery and recovery. I volunteered to cook. Apparently, madness descended, because I seemed to think that everybody needed about 7,000 calories for lunch.

I made lasagna, for some value of the term "lasagna". This originated with a meal I had somewhere in my recent travels (possibly in San Jose) where I was served a deconstructed lasagna. Ie, big flat pasta in layers with sauce and whatnot, but simply built loose upon the plate rather than laid down in a pan and baked. This seemed kind of neat, so I went for it, using no particular recipe but random inspiration.

My sins:

Chopped and lightly sauteed in butter an entire head of garlic, which I mixed with about a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh oregano, then with a stick of butter to make garlic butter for the baguette and pugliese I bought fresh this morning.

Made a salad of arugula, mixed greens, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and chow mein noodles. (This was not particularly heinous, but did serve as a grace note of plausible deniability for the nutritional blast crater that was the lasagna.)

Chopped and lightly sauteed in butter another entire head of garlic, which I split into two portions. Cooked down a pound of sliced cremini mushrooms in butter. Lightly sauteed in olive oil a red bell pepper and half a purple onion. Combined all of the above in a plain storebought red sauce base with the garlic set aside from before, along with about four tablespoons of minced cilantro and two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh oregano. Let that sit and steep for a few hours.

Meanwhile, I sauteed in olive oil eight green onions chopped down, and four serranos. I melted a pound and a half of fontina cheese in heavy cream, added the onions and serranos, the balance of my garlic, a quarter cup of green olives sliced in half, a tablespoon of truffle oil, heavy black pepper and moderate paprika.

Also for giggles I pan fried a pound of chopped prosciutto.

I then boiled a large pack of lasagna noodles, laid them down flat on four plates, spooned out a generous helping of red sauce, a couple of tablespoons of ricotta, and a portion of the prosciutto. Another layer of noodles, a generous portion of white sauce, more ricotta, and more prosciutto. Another layer of noodles, an artistic mix of red and white sauces, then topped with grated parmesan.

Served hot with garlic bread from the oven and the salad on the side. I'm not sure why all four of us didn't wind up in the cardiac ward, but zomg was it good. Deeply heinous, but stupid tasty. Pretty sure I should be banned from kitchens for life, or at least for a while.

But I ain't sorry. Nuh uh.


[awards] A largely complete 2009 bibliography, as it is Nebula time

With the new Nebula Awards rules in place, nominating season is upon us. I thought I'd mention my works this year, highlighting my own favorites, for those interested in considering them. My favorite picks are in bold.

2009 Published Science Fiction:

* "On the Human Plan"; Lone Star Stories; February, 2009 [short story]
* "Rolling Steel: A Pre-Apocalyptic Love Story" (with Shannon Page); Clarkesworld; April, 2009 [short story]
* "To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves"; The New Space Opera 2, ed. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, Eos, April, 2009 [novelette] [in Sunspin continuity</em>]
"Leopard"; Jim Baen's Universe, June, 2009 [short story]
"Black Heart, White Mourning"; Grant's Pass, ed. Jennifer Brozek and Amanda Pillar, Morrigan Books; August, 2009 [short story]
* "Chain of Stars"; Subterranean, October, 2009 - [novella] [In Mainspring continuity]
"Last Drink Bird Head"; Last Drink Bird Head, ed. Jeff vanderMeer; Ministry of Whimsy Press, October, 2009 [flash]
* Death of a Starship; MonkeyBrain Books, November, 2009 [novel]

2009 Forthcoming Science Fiction:

"Bringing the Future Home"; Global Warming Aftermaths, ed. Eric T. Reynolds, Hadley Rille Books; Fall, 2009 [short story]
"Looking for Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder" (with Ken Scholes);, Fall, 2009 [short story]
"The Starship Mechanic" (with Ken Scholes);, Fall, 2009 [short story]

2009 Published Fantasy:

* "Golden Pepper"; Flash Fiction Online; February, 2009 [flash]
"The True Secret of Magic", as Joe Edwards; Crime Spells, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Loren Coleman, DAW; February, 2009 [short story]
"Witness to the Fall"; Crime Spells, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Loren Coleman, DAW; February, 2009 [short story]
"To Stone" (with Shannon Page); Morrigan eZine, May, 2009 [short story]
* Green; Tor Books, June, 2009 [novel]
"People of Leaf and Branch"; Fantasy; June, 2009 [short story] [in Green continuity]
"Tale of the Poet and the Dog"; Japanese Dreams, ed. Sean Wallace, Prime Books; Summer, 2009 [short story]
"An Elderly Pirate Recalls the Death of Love"; Electric Velocipede Issue 17/18 [short story]
* "Red Dirt Kingdoms"; Realms of Fantasy, October, 2009 [short story]
Madness of Flowers; Night Shade Books, November, 2009 [novel]

2009 Forthcoming Fantasy:

"Bone Island" (with Shannon Page); Interzone, Fall, 2009 [novelette]
"In the Emperor's Garden" (with Shannon Page); Fantasy, Fall, 2009 [short story]
"The Passion of Mother Vajpai" (with Shannon Page); Subterranean, Fall, 2009 [novelette] [in GREEN continuity]
"Shedding Skin; Or How the World Came to Be"; Shimmer (Clockwork Jungle Issue), Fall, 2009 [short story]