September 12th, 2012


[links] Link salad is at home

SF is dying – again – and gritty epic fantasy is gritty

When I split an infinitive, God damn it […] it will stay split — Raymond Chandler on grammar and copy editing, along with some linguistic neepery. You're welcome.

Roger Ebert on Cloud Atlas

Chimp (and Elephant) Art

Sunday Fantasy #385 — Some very weird aviation art from x planes, for all you aircraft and SF fans out there.

There Is No Klingon Word for DeferenceStar Trek and the law.

Curiosity tests new camera, has nowhere to spend its penny

Explosion on Jupiter Spotted by Amateur Astronomers

Does asteroid mining threaten the earth? — The Kessler syndrome?

'Living Mammoth Cells' Found in Eastern Russia — The photo with this article looks like Chewbacca's autopsy.

Sexual selection in the fossil record — Yeah, I've been on dates like that.

Caves of Nottingham — This is pretty intense and cool.

The rush to exploit an increasingly ice-free ArcticThree perspectives discuss how Arctic nations are preparing the way.

It's all a giant conspiracy! (To some readers of climate blogs)Some of the climate skeptic community has bought into conspiracy theories. Gee. Who could possibly have predicted that obsessive belief in counterfactuals would lead to obsessive belief in counterfactuals?

“They Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Lustful Cockmonster”: Chris Kluwe Explains Gay Marriage To The Politician Who Is Offended By An NFL Player Supporting It — That kind of thinking only applies if you live in the reality-based community.

Slurs only bolster Sandra Fluke's cause — I don't suppose I should be surprised by this, but the endless willful misinterpretation of Fluke's original testimony and her statements since is just bizarre. No worse, I suppose, than the conservative willful misinterpretation of "You didn't build that." WHen your narratives aren't evidence-based in the first place, then the evidence of your own intellectual dishonesty simply doesn't matter.

The Ghost of George W. BushThe conventions are over, but the individual who will determine the 2012 election didn’t attend either of them. His name is George W. Bush. President who? According to the GOP, Obama is responsible for Iraq, Afghanistan, TARP, the auto bailout, the economic crisis and probably the heartbreak of psoriasis. That Bush fellow? Never heard of him.

The Deafness Before the Storm — The Bush White House and the infamous bin Laden briefings. Yep, your Republican party. Strong on national security since, well, never.

The Price of Hugging the President — Read this piece from Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is why I am a liberal-progressive, and can never, ever be a conservative. I can neither think that way, nor associate with a political party that fosters that kind of thinking. I have a lot of trouble believing anyone rational and humane can do so.

Desperately Seeking Scandals: The Right-Wing Media's Attempt To Take Down Obama — One of the few places where Your Liberal Media is actually more or less playing fair instead of slavishly toeing the conservative line is in generally not enabling these kinds of narratives, as they so faithfully did during the Clinton and Bush years.

Top Ten Bad Signs for Romney — We can only hope. And really, what the hell happened to the GOP? They used to be able to run scorched earth campaigns like masters. Now…? (Not that I'm complaining, but if I were conservative, I probably would be.)

?otD: House or home?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.5 (interrupted)
Weight: 236.4
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo


[cancer] A quick note on liver transplants

The question of liver transplants has come up a number of times here in comments, as well as by email, in conversation, and elsewhere. In short, the basic issue with the idea of a transplant is that I'm a low probability beneficiary. The metastatic seeds are loose in my bloodstream and lymphatic system. So a new liver would simply be recolonized by the tumors. Given the incredible shortage of organs available for transplant, and my likelihood of lack of long-term benefit, I'm too low priority to even make it on to a transplant list. Were I experiencing a primary liver cancer, I would in fact be a transplant candidate.


[cancer|writing] Matters literary about which I have been thinking

As mentioned before, I'm not terminal now, and nobody expects to see me go terminal in the next 12 months. However, both my regular OHSU team and the specialists at Johns Hopkins whom I saw for a second opinion are confident (without certainty) that the disease will probably recur repeatedly until we reach a point where our treatment options run out. In other words, my assessment of a lifespan of two to four years continues to hold up, though with considerable wriggle room to be wrong by a year or two or more.

One of the reasonably possible paths forward is for the metastatic pattern to become more persistent. That is to say, I may present new tumors while on the forthcoming chemotherapy course, or in a fairly short time window after this chemotherapy course. Should that be the case, it's conceivable I'll never be of fully sound mind and energetic health again in my life.

To that end, I've been working through a number of issues on estate planning, literary executorship and so forth with respect to the progress of my cancer. Mother of the Child and I are meeting with our attorney today to revise and update my will, making some estate planning changes around my intellectual property assets. Chiefly copyright, but I am in fact a patent holder (through work-for-hire) and there are a few other angles. There are also some asset disposition issues with respect to [info]the_child as primary heir to my copyrights.

I spent two hours in flight yesterday reviewing among other things my letter to my literary executors, which is to say, instructions for how to proceed with my literary estate upon the occasion of my death. At some point, I'll post that here online for those interested in understanding the sorts of questions that emerge in a process like this. This was in response to a number of issues raised by my agent Jennifer Jackson during our discussions at Worldcon in Chicago.

In that same block of time I also reviewed the Deed of Gift Agreement with the Special Collections holdings of the library at Northern Illinois University. Hugo Award winning author and podcaster Lynne M. Thomas at that institution has been spearheading a program to gather the literary archives of younger and mid list genre writers with the goal of establishing a long term resource for criticism and scholarship. I verbally committed my archives to Lynne some years ago, but have been dilatory about actually signing off the required documents and arranging for the transfer of material I am currently prepared to part with. Likewise this was in response to meeting with her at Worldcon, where she told me that my own estate planning was being viewed as something of a test case due to my heavy reliance on electronic media for archival material, correspondence, etc. This has led to a number of questions and issues which needed to be addressed in the Agreement between our parties, and also flowed back into my letter to my literary executors.. I won't be posting this online, as it is a contract to which I am only one party, but I may at some point be able secure permission to post key excerpts.

This is neither dire nor morbid work, merely me thinking through some key issues now, while I am of indisputably sound mind, so that if and when end of life and posthumous planning becomes important, I will not have to deal with it at that time.

Of course, in parallel, I am looking at treatment options, disability options, financial planning with respect to my ongoing, ordinary financial life, and so forth. I will be commenting on these and much more as time goes by.

If you have questions, general or specific, please feel free to ask.