January 25th, 2012

a-links

[links] Link salad has one foot on the platform

Ten Bits of Advice Writers Should Stop Giving Aspiring Writers[info]nihilistic_kid is wise.

The Sky is Falling – Not — Richard Parks on the state of the short story market.

I will be a guest at World Steam Expo, May 25-28, Dearborn, MI — Along with G.D. Falkesen, Gail Carriger and Cherie Priest.

Author D&D Game — Myke Cole reports on the misadventures at Epic Confusion. Brent Weeks on the same.

Lewis Hyde on work vs. labor and the pace of creativity

What if there were another advanced species? — A little AH courtesy of your morning news.

Cute storm trooper photos — Really. By my friend JD Hancock.

Penguin with Russian aircraft — I love the photos x planes has been running lately.

Seattle museum gets 'keys' to shuttle trainer from NASA — Wait. "Bypass the Rocky Mountains." What?

Eternal Monuments Among the StarsCentauri Dreams on a new approach to SETI.

Scientists at MIT replicate brain activity with chipScientists are getting closer to the dream of creating computer systems that can replicate the brain. (Via @Mari_Kurisato.)

Dog skull found in Siberia is 33,000 years old - and hints that man's best friend didn't come from one single ancestor — Arf.

100 years of the war on drugs — From the British perspective. (Snurched from @amendlocke.)

Yes, We Have No TomatoesPortland’s indoor gardening shops sell all you need for homegrown medical weed—except advice. Ah, the hypocrisy of the War on Drugs.

Muslim Men Rescue Bagel Shop And Keep It Kosher

Graphic of World Military Spending (Iran’s too Small to Show up) — Defense spending isn't really an issue that ignites me, but this does make me think.

Scalia: Blame Congress For My Decision To Turn Campaign Finance Into The Wild West — I don't think so, Justice Knucklehead. Coincidentally, the free spending money enabled by the Citizen's United decision overwhelmingly favors Republicans. Who knew? (Via @twilight2000.)

Arkansas Democrat's cat killed, painted with "liberal" — Stay classy, conservative America. It's what you do best.

Could A GOP Victory In 2012 Mean The End Of Roe v Wade? — Remember, the GOP is the party that doesn't want the government to come between you and your doctor.

Mitt Romney's Father Palled Around With Saul Alinsky — Oops. Newt's got his boogeyman doubled down.

Romney, Interrupted — Way to go, Mittens.

?otd: Where is this train bound?




1/25/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 (solid)
Weight: 226.2
Currently reading: Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
writing-bookshelf

[books] The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

I just finished reading my way through The Laundry Files by Charles Stross. This started with me reading the third book in series, The Fuller MemorandumPowells | BN ], out of sequence. (See my comments here: [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ].) I've since caught up with the series, reading book one, The Atrocity ArchivesPowells | BN ] and book two, The Jennifer MorguePowells | BN ], and thanks to Charlie's generosity, the as-yet-unreleased fourth novel, The Apocalypse CodexPowells | BN ].

I have to confess to having been skeptical of the premise of these books when I first heard of them. Boy howdy was I wrong. Stross pulls it off beautifully, this cock-eyed intersection of spy thrillers, IT wankery, civil service drudgery, and eldritch horrors from beyond the boundaries of time and space. These are highly entertaining books, and by the third volume, he's developed a definite series arc pointing ahead. The fourth volume sustains that arc, and with the its ending lands Bob Howard, your humble narrator, in some seriously uncharted waters that I can't wait to explore in the next volume or two.

There's a very strange charm to this series, which I suspect evolves from the unlikely premise as explicated by the goofy insouciance of narrator and protagonist Bob Howard. (Though in truth Angleton might just be my favorite character.) They're certainly structured and written like spy thrillers or adventure novels, but the sensibility is so very much from the darker corners of fantasy, not to mention outright horror fiction. More to the point, entertaining as hell.

Highly recommended, even if dark stuff isn't normally your bag.
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[conventions] I will be reading at SF in SF, February 11th, 2012

Ok, not really a convention, but I don't have a tag for 'events' or 'readings'. I probably should, huh?

At any rate, I'll be reading at SF in SF on Saturday, February 11th, 2012, along with K.W. Jeter, hosted by Terry Bisson — two of the more interesting people I know. My appearance there is being sponsored by my publisher, Tor Books, as part of a tour for the recent release of my second Green novel, EndurancePowells | BN ].

We'll be appearing at The Variety Preview Room at 582 Market St. @ Montgomery, 1st floor of The Hobart Bldg. [ Google Maps ] Doors open at 6:00 pm and the event starts at 7:00 pm. I believe I'll be reading something connected to Sunspin. If you're in the Bay Area, come on down for an evening of live science fiction reading and discussion.

Hope to see you there!