February 22nd, 2010


[links] Link salad with a literary Monday

calendula_witch with the YogurtFail caption contest poll — Vote early and often!

My Lone Star Stories short story "On the Human Plan" makes its third Year's Best appearance — Also receives Hugo nomination love from Rich Horton. Slightly oddly, this reviewer notes the unusual double Locus recommended list appearance of the story without noting the three Year's Best appearances (though he mentions other stories with two Year's Best appearances), then goes on to say, but I won't read the story unless it [gets nominated], since I have yet to read anything of [Lake's] I understand, much less like. To each their own, but it makes me sad that a story with that much recognition isn't even worth even a click-through to such an otherwise careful reviewer. Just reinforces my rubric that the story always belongs to the reader, even when it doesn't. For my own part, I'd love to see some Hugo love for this one.

Speaking of would-be Hugo love, a reader reacts to Green — I believe this is an older review, but I can't sort out the original appearance, so I'm linking here.

Another rather interesting review of Green

eldritchhobbit Podcasts and the Hugo Awards — An article about bringing podcasts such as StarShipSofa: The Audio Science Fiction Magazine into the Hugo fold through the Best Fanzine category.

Geologists find a way to simulate the great Missoula floods — This is cool. (Thanks to my Dad.)

Study Examines Family Lineage of King Tut, His Possible Cause of Death — Some cool archaeogenetics. (Courtesy of e_bourne.)

George Will is as usual intellectually dishonest about climate change again — More conservative thought leadership in a difficult world. Also, sun rises in east.

?otD: Is it just another manic Monday?

Writing time yesterday: 0 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.5 (slept solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 226.6
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 6/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[cancer] Chemotherapy, day three of session four

Posted yesterday's story mostly in images, yesterday. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] This round went easier in a lot of ways than the previous ones had. I think this was a combination of me being more prepared for what would happen, through sheer experience, and the good luck of having several days of solid sleep and general well-being right before Friday's infusion start.

Still a lot of stress, still a lot of trouble, still spent most of my time horizontal. Except for walking, and the chemo bottle ritual, I didn't leave the house. After yesterday's walk, I never really left my chair. fjm took excellent care of me, including yeoperson' work on extracting the the needle from the chest port yesterday. (Sadly, she returns to the UK today.) calendula_witch and shelly_rae both hung in close from afar with love and concern. Scheduling vagaries have been resolved, and I won't go through any more chemo rounds without one or both of them close by.

Back to work today, though I'm running a tad behind from oversleeping. So far, so okay. At the moment, the chemo bit I seem most disturbed about is the sharply increased incidence of typos in my keyboarding work. Ah, brain, brain, what is brain? Nothing but a chemo drain.

Another week. Due to my planned participation in Rainforest Writers Village upcoming, I get two weeks off from infusion this cycle. Whee! I am making up for it with forthcoming visits this week and weekend from markbourne, H—, garyomaha and elusivem, and shelly_rae. I love my friends.


[cancer] The long and grinding road

Another hard swerve on my cancer journey. Finally got the insurance benefits statement for session one of chemotherapy. They're allowing about 9% of the $16,100 pharmaceutical cost. (This is before clinic charges, lab fees and physician fees.) Of the $1,500 they're allowing, about $600 is being billed back to me as out-of-pocket and deductible.

While my out-of-pocket and deductible is limited to $2,000 per year, that leaves $14,600 per session, of 12 sessions unaccounted for. As it stands today, the hospital will be looking to me to make up about $175,000 in shortfall over the next six months.

So to my conservative friends who oppose HCR because our current system is 'the best in the world'... my advice is to fall on your knees and pray to whatever god you believe in that you're never in my position. Because it ain't conservative principles and leadership that will rescue you from this. Even by your own standards, I've done everything right — good job, good insurance, good income. This will bankrupt me in a few months if I don't fix it. Or kill me in 2-3 years if I can't keep it going. Which of those choices is 'the best in the world'? Please tell me, so I can really understand the rosy worldview of conservative America.

In my case, hopefully a hell of a lot of phone calling will help. But guess what I don't have the time, energy and resources for? Full scale battle with my carrier, that's what.


[books] Pinion receives starred review in Publishers Weekly

Pinion receives starred review in Publishers Weekly

Pinion Jay Lake. Tor, $26.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2186-2

Political conflicts and philosophical arguments find closure at last in this splendidly baroque whirl of geomancy and Victorian clockwork. Young Paolina Barthes, the gear-minded prodigy who became a target for the empire-building ambitions of rival governments in 2009's Escapement, is on the run, heading south over the Wall that God built to divide the hemispheres and keep the Earth's gear turning through the heavens. As spies and ancient secret societies scramble to find her, Paolina struggles to learn how to control her world-shaking abilities, while her heart pulls her toward Boaz, a golemlike man of brass. Lake wields big themes—magic and religion versus science, free will, colonialism, and a bit of romance—with surprising elegance, and readers will enjoy cherishing the characters and pondering the concepts of this "clockpunk" world. (Apr.)


[cancer] Life's problems, department of other people

I've said before, cancer is a social disease. It affects everyone around me in ways I cannot even begin to count. I keep running into this with my friends, family and loved ones. I've had people say to me, "Wow, I feel lousy with the flu — Oh, wait, you have cancer, never mind."

To which my response is always, "And? My cancer doesn't make your flu any less unpleasant."

Flu, work issues, indigestion, divorce, health, life issues. Stuff happens to us. My life isn't yours, yours isn't mine, and whatever's up with you isn't any less important or troublesome just because I'm down inside the chemotherapy meat grinder.

It's something I hang on to, for my sense of normal. That everyone else's life goes on, good, bad and indifferent. My cancer doesn't devalue your experience. Your experience enhances mine. It's such a simple, difficult thing.