December 31st, 2011


[links] Link salad for New Years's Eve

A reader reacts to Green — Mostly with the liking.

Alone in the Old Republican Crowd — Ta-Nehisi Coates on writing in the coffee house.

Have We Met? Tracing Face Blindness to Its Roots — Some cool perceptual psychology here. (Via David Goldman.)

The Joy of Quiet — Hmmm.

Antarctic adventurers race against history's clock

Ice Varieties along the Antarctic Coast

A history of the Earth in 24 hours — A nifty graphic. Not valid for Young Earth Creationists and others among the wilfully ignorant, of course.

Prior Visions of Star Flight — Interesting from an SFnal perspective as well as a historical technology perspective.

In Panama City, Colorful Red Devil Buses Yielding to Paler, Safer Kind

Energy giant hid behind shells in "land grab" — A perfect example of why the conservative rubric of "industry self-regulation" is total crap. Which, of course, is obvious to anyone with a junior high school education and intact critical thinking faculties who isn't too invested in their ideology to think about the role of self-interest in corporate decision making. (Via Steve Buchheit, who got it from Tobias Buckell.)

2011: End of US Hyperpower & its War with Islamdom

The Price of 'Victory'The war in Iraq is over … just not for the Iraqis. Lest you are somehow ignorant enough to believe that Iraq war was in any way good for Iraqis or their country. (Via Eunomia.)

Newt Gingrich: "I'm A Middle Class Person" — Right. Because all us middle class people have half million dollar lines of credit at Tiffany's. Sadly, millions of low-information GOP voters will nod along to this tripe, as they always do.

?otd: Partying tonight?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 10.5 (fitful)
Weight: 209.4
Currently (re)reading: The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey


[personal|writing] 2011 productivity, a bit on 2012 writing goals

In 2011, I spent May and June, and September through December, on chemotherapy, six months out of my year. I also underwent a liver resectioning in July to remove a metastatic tumor. In August, along with [info]kenscholes, I co-hosted the Hugo awards ceremony at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention. In September, I had the "A" interview and cover of Locus magazine. Those were pretty much the high points of my year.

However, even with spending eight months under serious medical care and running around on stage in the middle of all that, as well as holding down a full time job from which I never took a leave of absence, and parenting my daughter, I did manage a little bit of writing and marketing. It's been a fairly thin year by my standards, less than I would usually expect from myself, but I did produce a total 243,100 words of first draft fiction and related nonfiction. That's 198,500 words of first draft on my Sunspin project, along with 38,200 words of short fiction and 6,400 words of nonfiction. I also executed revisions to much of this material, including both Sunspin's outline and manuscript, and the revisions and final turn-in of the third Green book, Kalimpura. Plus seeing the release of Endurance, the second Green book.

This is far short of my original goal of 600,000 words on Sunspin first draft this year, but cancer pretty much ate my life and stranded me at the 243,100 mark. Likewise it interfered with my marketing of short fiction. Nonetheless, I managed 26 submittals of original short fiction, with 10 acceptances, 14 rejections and 4 outstanding. (The math doesn't quite add up because of year-to-year overlap.) I also managed to submit 12 reprints for consideration, of which 7 were accepted, including two Year's Best. 4 nonfiction pieces were accepted as well. In addition there were various foreign rights sales, the most notable of which was a three-book deal in the German market.

My 2011 convention and conference schedule was severely curtailed by my medical issues, but I did make it to Rain Forest Writers Village, Norwescon, the Locus Awards, ReaderCon, Worldcon, and (briefly) Orycon.

For 2012, if I can stay out of the oncology unit, I plan to write the other 400,000 words of Sunspin, revise the first two volumes for submittal and publication, and write several requested novellas and short stories. For financial reasons, my convention attendance will be severely curtailed except where I'm being sponsored to appear, unless fiction sales pick up enough to refill my travel budget. I do currently expect to be at Confusion, RadCon, Rain Forest Writers Village, Norwescon, Orycon and Surrey. Additional appearances to be confirmed/announced as time and resources permit.

Even if I do go back into cancer treatment, experience shows I can still be reasonably productive. If I metastasize yet again, I still plan to write another 100,000 words of Sunspin, as well as revise the first two volumes and write the requested short fiction.

I'll be discussing 2012 goals and my thoughts on them in more detail with another post. For now, this is the 2011 round up. I hope it's been informative.


[movies] Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Yesterday, H— came over and took me to the movies to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocolimdb ]. Honestly, I'd given up on the MI reboot after the first one, due to some of what [info]scalzi calls "flying snowmen". Specifically, the helicopter flying into the Chunnel near the end of the first movie pegged my "no effing way" meter so far into the red that I didn't bother to go see any of the sequels.

What drew me to Ghost Protocol was a desire to see the Burj Dubai stunts on the big screen. Really, that was about it. Somewhat to my surprise, I was actually quite entertained by the whole movie. Including the Burj Dubai stunts, though they triggered my age-related vertigo hard. If I'd been watching this movie in 3D instead of hi-def digital (which is sort of IMAX-lite), I think I'd have thrown up. That's a compliment, by the way.

You don't ask many plot questions of a movie like this, because the answers never hold up on sober consideration, but I did finish the movie in a state of serious puzzlement over one in-story issue. (Mild spoiler alert.) How did they get from a railroad car in Moscow to the Dubai desert, with all their gear, given that the entire Russian state security apparatus was hunting the MI team, and their own IMF support was completely flatlined? The script doesn't even pretend to address this question, just cuts us from one scene to the next with no resolution. (Not to mention which everyone involved in the Dubai business started out in either Budapest or Moscow — they could have met up in Warsaw and saved themselves a lot of hassle.)

If you like action/caper/thriller movies, this was a lot of fun. There were some snowmen in the movie for me, but they never quite took off flying. And pay no attention to the stupidly egregious product placement from Apple and BMW. Turn off your brain, turn on the popcorn bucket, and watch the pretty people do dangerous things.