March 9th, 2010


[links] Link salad is green and crunchy

Lost Jewish tribe 'found in Zimbabwe' — Fascinating.

Is it true every type of animal dropping has its own name? The Straight Dope with your vocabulary lesson for the day.

The Jobs of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations — A nifty photo essay from NPR.

The Accident, Part 2 — Another haunting image, from the same incident as yesterday's Shorpy link.

New Rocket Engine Could Reach Mars in 40 Days

Literacy and the sex ratio — Sigh.

Vatican hit by gay sex scandalVatican chorister sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for papal gentleman-in-waiting. Those who live by the sword...

The Dogs Will Eat You Because They Are DogsWhen George W. Bush was wrecking the nation, left wing groups talked in terms of organization for elections or of impeachment. These [right wing] groups talk in terms of armed resistance. Yes, that.

Why health care reform is not a "huge progressive victory"Clearly something has gone terribly wrong since 1965. The ideological barriers against solving national problems through public provision rather than through the logic of profit maximization have increased enormously.

?otD: Do you like pickles?

Writing time yesterday: 4.0 hours
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 232.8
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 2/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[writing] Endurance, and future projects update

Woke up at 2:30 today. Yeah, really. That's what happens when you fall asleep around 7:45 and only sleep a little over six hours. So I got up and worked on Endurance for a couple more hours. The draft is out to first readers now, hooray! I've asked for it back by 3/30 so I can get it into casacorona and arcaedia before the end of April. Chemo or no chemo, I can still kick a deadline's ass.

This afternoon I plan to write the initial outline of Kalimpura (the third Green book, following closely on Endurance). The voice is fresh in my head, in some perfectly obvious ways. And as previously mentioned, the plot and structure of the book largely fell together in my head on Sunday afternoon whilst talking to calendula_witch on the drive back from the Rain Forest Writers Village. So I will capture all this, then set it aside for a while, as I have a contracted novella due Real Soon Now as part of a Sekrit Projekt, as well as a spec novella that is grumbling hard to be written.

Can't tell you about the Sekrit Projekt of course, on account of it being Sekrit and all, but the spec novella is a take on a lost colony story that I haven't seen done before involving religion, science and cultural self-awareness. I'm sure it's been done, as virtually everything has, but I'm approaching it ab initio. In considering this piece, it's also become clear to me that I need to write it steampunk for a variety of good reasons which I mostly blame on Maureen McHugh. So, erm, lost colony steampunk religious fiction. Go, me!

In truth, I suspect this is a novel-sized idea, but as I have my next five novel projects mapped out, I am not writing an unplanned spec novel. Especially in the middle of chemo. For those wondering, those next five projects are:
  1. Kalimpura, the third Green book

  2. Sunspin, a high concept space opera trilogy

  3. Original Destiny, Manifest Sin, my magical Old West book of long lost fame

It is of course possible that contracted work will intervene, and I will probably tackle another collaborative novel or two in the midst of all this, but if I get Kalimpura drafted by the end of the summer, I can take the autumn and winter to tackle Sunspin, which I currently believe will clock in between 600,000 and 750,000 words in first draft. I can then revise Kalimpura for a spring, 2011 delivery to Tor, and still be a year ahead of my next contract book, which gives me loads of time to write Original Destiny, Manifest Sin. So fie on you, lost colony steampunk religious fiction novel, you will be a novella for now and you'll damned well like it.

I love being a writer. And cancer can kiss my ass.


[cancer] Vacation from hell continues, for a few more days

Pushing chemo back a week continues to give me extra energy. I still wrestle with fatigue and mouth issues, but everything else is within spitting distance of normal. In a way, this is bad, because I've broken the momentum of my coping with chemo. On the other hand, I get to feel decent for a little while. So, erm, go me. And I'm leveraging this time and energy very strongly in pursuit of writing goals.

Will be renting some movies Thursday for the weekend when my brain is stuck on stand-by. I believe I'll be Tweetsnarking 2012 Friday night, then I'll go back to my recent poll for further Tweetsnark suggestions. Tweetsnark may be postponed to Saturday depending on my physical and mental energy, however.

Infusion session five of twelve happens Friday. tillyjane will be tracking me Friday afternoon and evening. shelly_rae arrives late Friday evening, to be here for the weekend. I'll be back in hell, but I go there with people whom I love, people who love me.


[awards] Final Hugo pimpage

We're near the end of the Hugo nominations window, so I thought I'd a last updated pimpage here.

My favorite picks are in bold with *.

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 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]
"Bone Island" (with Shannon Page); Interzone, Fall, 2009 [novelette]
"Shedding Skin; Or How the World Came to Be"; Shimmer (Clockwork Jungle Issue), Fall, 2009 [short story]

I also note immodestly that calendula_witch is Campbell-eligible this year.


[cancer] The brain, she fades oddly

Drove downtown today to have lunch with rachel_swirsky and Barry the Graphic Novelist. Lunch was very nice, with good company and good conversation. We talked politics, publishing, culture and food. I had fun.

The drive there and back, however, was a bit challenging. On the way there, the drawbridges were all up. I wound up on the Morrison Bridge, which Had Issues coming back down, the kind of issues that involve men in hard hats. Coming back out of lunch, I could not find my car in the parking garage.

I've never in my life gotten lost in a parking garage.

As it happens, this particular garage is built as a squared-off spiral with elevators at each corner. I parked on 8, went down to lunch, then came back up to 8 on a different elevator. Except it let me out on a different floor. Because, of course, delimiting floors on a spiral is rather arbitrary. Think about it for a second — took me fifteen minutes, plus a panicked phone call to calendula_witch, to figure everything out.

Oi. And this is a good week.

Teach me to hang around in parking garages.