Tags: metatropolis


[links] Link salad takes a walk with its sister, the moon

The C-Word or “C” is for Cancer — Author Eugie Foster is in great and sudden need, something I understand all too well. I will be shifting some of the funds raised for me to Eugie. Please join me in helping her.

You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fastLisa Costello on her first year in Portland (with me).

METAtropolis: Green Space is now available for pre-order — Edited by [info]kenscholes and me. Stories by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Ken Scholes, Karl Schroeder and me. Check it out.

A favorable Russian review of Escapement

8-year-old flags 'sexist' children's books; bookstore takes notice — Wow. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

Wind Turbine Bird Threat Overstated, Study Suggests — (Via David Goldman.)

Galloping robot "WildCat" — Crazy video. (Via [info]threeoutside, among others.)

When to Catch a Lie via TextA recent experiment finds that when people are about to lie via digital text they take longer to construct their words. I can think of about a million things wrong with this, but it is still interesting. (Via David Goldman.)

Shutdown Stops T. Rex Trek in Its TracksThe ongoing government shutdown has stalled plans to haul a near-complete T. rex fossil to its new home at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a federal institution forced to shut its doors last week.

Creationism and Climate ChangeSkepticism about evolutionary science, it seems, bleeds over into suspicion of all mainstream science. If mainstream science has been proven, from creationists’ perspective, to be a naked emperor, then its conclusions on every topic must be treated warily. I've been saying precisely this about conservative politics and culture for years. Privileging evolution denial has validated magical thinking at all levels and devaluated evidence-based reasoning. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Judge Demands Sikh Man Take Off His “Rag” — American conservatives: always at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty. Their religious liberty, not anyone else's, of course. Sarah Palin "real American" bonus points for total indifferent ignorance about the differences between Muslims and Sikhs. (Via [info]goulo.)

A Ghost of May Days Past: East Germany Rises Again! — Politics and the map.

Inquisitive Justices? No Argument There

What did Justice Scalia mean? — A linguist takes on the Supreme Court's most narrow-minded and intellectually dishonest justice. (And that's saying something.)

Why the Devil Quit Bothering Pigs, According to Justice Scalia — And this man sits on the Supreme Court. Are you proud of your Republican party?

The Craigslist Ad That Will Make The Government Shutdown Seem Hilarious — This is pretty funny.

Despite federal shutdown, MAVEN mission still blasting off to MarsKey role as communications hub keeps probe on schedule.

How Democrats Got a Spine“Dealing with terrorists has taught us some things,” said Washington Rep. Jim McDermott after voting no on one of Thursday’s GOP bills. “You can’t deal with ’em. This mess was created by the Republicans for one purpose, and they lost. People in my district are calling in for Obamacare—affordable health care—in large numbers. These guys have lost, and they can’t figure out how to admit it.”

Deadlock — Jim Wright on the government shutdown. A must-read, especially if you consider yourself a supporter of the shutdown.

The Importance of CompetenceLosing the last election seems to have exhausted Republicans’ patience rather than forcing them to scale back their ambitions. Winning parties are often guilty of overreaching and imagining that they have an electoral mandate to advance their preferred agenda no matter what, but it is very unusual for a losing party to have the same delusions of grandeur. The simple answer to that is that Republicans don't think they lost. They've never considered Obama's victories legitimate. Listen to their rhetoric: conservatives see themselves as the aggrieved victims of liberal conspiracies to steal elections. They know perfectly well how much they have to manipulate voting rolls, turnout and polling to win, and cannot imagine Democrats doing anything different.

?otD: Have you been living underground, eating from a can?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 242.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)


[links] Link salad my friend, don't you start away uneasy

Audiobook review: METAtropolis, edited by John Scalzi — Cool.

Space Magic audiobook released! — David Levine brings a project to fruition.

What crashed through the roof at a South Park home?Police at the scene determined the piece of metal may have fallen from an "aircraft or a really big bird that had stolen a lead bar."

Counterfeit Food More Widespread Than Suspected

Details Of The Walking Dead Monopoly And Risk Games Rises From The Dead — Really? (Via my brother.)

Population boom might not have set off “human revolution”Human culture and departure from Africa may be unrelated to population levels.

First Person: Save a Language, Save a CultureGrassroots initiative seeks to revive threatened languages of Bangladesh.

Britain plans world's first go-ahead for '3-parent' IVF babiesBritain is planning to become the first country in the world to offer controversial "three-parent" fertility treatments to families who want to avoid passing on incurable diseases to their children. This is something that's really going to freak some people out. Which it really shouldn't.

Best SCOTUS tweets ever — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The scenario I really want to see play out — Oh, this is a very clever take on same sex marriage.

George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ — Yup. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

The Pope Song — Tim Minchin being extremely NSFW and very on target. (Thanks to Alyx Dellamonica.)

Senators: Student loan interest rates to double — Can't raise taxes on the wealthy, no, but let's punish the hell out of students, thus preventing future wealth.

Rick Perry Attacks Wendy Davis: ‘She Was A Teenage Mother Herself’ — Once again, conservatives seize the moral high ground.

WATCH: Rep. Tammy Duckworth Dresses Down IRS Contractor — (Via [info]lindadee.)

Ecuador Scraps Trade Pact Over U.S. Threats in Snowden CaseEcuador’s Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado, who called the trade preferences a “new instrument of blackmail,” said today the government is offering the U.S. $23 million, an amount similar to what the U.S. provides under ATPDEA, to provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy. Most Americans have no idea what we look like to the rest of the world. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Boring Massachusetts Senate Race and Why It Mattered — Political science versus narrative. Guess which party falls on which side of this divide.

QotD?: Can't you see it's only me?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA of various sorts)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (in hotel)
Weight: n/a (n hotel)
Number of FEMA troops on my block attempting to secure minority voting rights despite the recent Supreme Court ruling: 0

[writing] Current and future projects

State of the writing life, reduced chemo edition:

Just sold, and got paid for, a Cthulhu short for a forthcoming anthology. "Monsters in the Mountains at the Edge of the World", set in Samarkand ca. 2nd century A.D. at a historic meeting of the Roman and Chinese empires.

Just finished a first draft spec novella, "Hook Agonistes", which I will shelve until April then rewrite before market shopping with it.

Currently working on a collaboration with [info]the_child, working title "In the Land of Glass". I expect this to be a short, or possibly a novelette, when finished.

Currently working on a requested short for a charity anthology edited by [info]takelyn. No title yet.

Next project is an 8,000 word nonfiction commission from a prestigious publisher. I'll say more when I've been cleared to do so, but I'm pretty excited about that. This is due in late March.

At the end of March, I'll be writing two requested short stories for two fiction markets.

The stories for METAtropolis 3: Green Space are due at the end of March. I am editing this volume along with [info]kenscholes.

In April, barring someone else throwing money at me for something, I'll be working on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin, my magical Old West novel that I stopped writing some years ago because it got too complex for me at that stage of my craft development. This one has always deserved my very best attention. If I only have time to write one more book, this is the one I want to write. Note that I've published a handful of short stories in this continuity, including "The Dying Dream of Water", "Jefferson's West" and “The Hangman Isn't Hanging”.

And so I will go until my disease sucks me back into full treatment, probably some time later this year.


[awards|writing] The Audie Award arrives at Neuvo Rancho Lake

Yesterday, my friend and editor/publisher Steve Feldberg of Audible.com sent me this:


As some of you may remember, METAtropolis: Cascadia won the Audie award last spring for Best Original Work. The follow-on volume to the John Scalzi-edited METAtropolis, this was edited by me, and contains the warm prose stylings of Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes, and Karl Schroeder, as well as myself.

So this is pretty darned neat. I hadn't realized I'd eventually be getting a gorgeous doodad for my brag shelf. And such a gorgeous doodad it is, albeit hard to photograph. Also a nice little bit of ego boo, as well as additional incentive to finish the first draft of "Rock of Ages", my METAtropolis: Green Space story in progress. (Which, yes, I should be able to put the wrap on this coming week.)

This also makes me reflective. Thanks to my illness, my career as it has been constituted is effectively over. None of my books ever caught fire enough to keep me on the upward growth trajectory required to maintain shelf space in trade publishing these days. Cancer has kept me too sick to do a redirect in a timely fashion. My ability to write more books — in any genre or sub-genre ‐ is significantly at risk, given my treatment courses and life expectancy. More to the point, my ability to deliver them in a contracted, timely fashion is significantly at risk.

At this point, unless I make a full recovery from cancer and can take half a dozen years to make a serious run at a restart, the writing career I'd dreamed of and was at least somewhat on track for a serious attempt at is gone. I'm not finished, not by any stretch. I'll continue to at least produce short fiction until I'm too sick to do even that. I have books in my head, some of which may get written collaboratively. And I've already done a hell of a lot. Six novels from Tor, four independent novels, more short stories than I can count, dozens of Year's Best appearances. Won the Campbell Award. Won the Audie Award. Been nominated for a boatload of stuff from the topline down. Hosted both the Hugo Awards and the World Fantasy Awards. (If I could toastmaster the Nebulas, that would be the trifecta.)

It's really hard to complain. I regret nothing, except for the future that is being stolen from me week by week, month by month, cell by cell.

I want to live. I want to watch my daughter grow up. I want to write more and be read. Those things are slowly becoming too much to ask.

Still, I am proud of myself and what I've accomplished. Thank you, Steve Feldberg and Audible.com, for sending me this bit of memory.

Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


[writing] Pleasing progress on several fronts

An unexpected foreign rights check in the mail this week, as well as an expected-but-no-idea-when contract and a hoped-for-but-unexpected contract. This business is so weird. I made more writing money in three days than I've made in months. In order, Mainspring earned out in Germany in its first reporting period (or first year, I'm actually not completely clear on this) and paid a decent royalty besides, I got the METAtropolis: Green Space contract, and the Green novelette I just wrote, "A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura", was accepted. I'll formally announce the market for that acceptance when the editor blesses me to do so.

Pleased writer is pleased.

Speaking of METAtropolis: Green Space, yesterday I wrote 2,800 more words on "Rock of Ages" yesterday, to 14,000 words. I'd originally estimated this at 15-18,000 words, but the shape of the plot is heading more to 20-24,000 words. It's unusual for me to be this uncertain of length, but some of my best work has come out this way, so I'm not going to complain.

I'm glad to have been writing. Chemo will shut me down today, and I won't write again for at least a week, maybe longer. I really hope to finish this novella in my next cycle, because I'm not too far from the long-term dissolution of my writing brain as a chemo side effect. Once that grinds to a halt, based on prior experience, I won't lay down new wordage until May or June of next year.

Some WIP:
He wound up seated – with a strap to keep him there against microgravity – in a semicircle of chairs facing a large virteo monitor in a small and otherwise featureless room. The woman who’d met him was there, along with a hard-bitten, whipcord thin Asian man who could almost have been Bashar’s age, and a much younger and doughier man with pink eyes and brittle hair who seemed to be suffering from a metabolic disorder.

“I’m Cherie,” said his host. “That’s Lu,” she pointed at the Asian man, “and Bibendum.”

“I’m Credence,” Bashar said. It was the name he’d used to get into Schaadt’s Shack, and thus – at least in a sense – was a verifiable identity. These people might be strangely naïve about physical security, but he’d bet every Euro he’d ever had that they were at the razor’s edge on data security.

“Where’s Feeney?”

“Dead.” His voice freighted with the conviction of a truly bald-faced lie, Bashar went on. “Killed in a dope grower’s cross-fire two days ago. I knew he had the meet up at Schaadt’s Shack, and so I went to keep it.”

“Hmm.” She glanced at Lu and Bibendum, then back at Bashar. “You got the maps?”

“Depends. Which maps do you need?”

“We can handle the blast distribution and hydrological calculations. We need the locations.”


[links] Link salad is back home

Presenting the Legendary Licked Book of Epic Confusion

FREE Audiobook – METAtropolis: Cascadia

The success of failure: Pulitzer winner's surprising road to the topA very interesting article at CNN on the relationship between creativity, failure and success. (Via [info]jimvanpelt.)

McDonald's proposal divides healthy Loma LindaThe chain wants to open a fast-food restaurant in the Adventist community, a spiritual enclave where liquor is not sold and cigarettes are not smoked. Not sure how I feel about this story, myself.

Russia Says It Is Planning Moon Base With NASA And ESA

The GOP’s South Carolina nightmareNewt Gingrich just made life miserable for Mitt Romney – and for his party. Hah hah.

Newt Gingrich, Back From the Dead — Zombie Newt!

Analysis: Romney's Southern discomfort — I can't decide which is worse, Newt's arrogant vindictiveness or Romeny's flaccid pandering.

?otd: Are you home?

Writing time yesterday: 2.75 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 5.75 (solid)
Weight: 224.6
Currently reading: The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross; Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

[links] Link salad wonders if it should have been born a Cancer instead of a Gemini

Don't forget to enter the new Endurance caption contest: [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] — I'll probably be closing it this evening and constructing the voting poll.

A reader reacts to Mainspring — Much with the liking.

METAtropolis reviewed in Romanian — Not so much with the liking of my novella, "In the Forests of the Night".

Fantasy Literature reviews Green — Not so much with the liking here either, I am afraid.

Scientists predict rare 'hibernation' of sunspots — (Thanks to [info]lillypond.)

How to Have Fun Like Monkeys, Whales and Foxes — I've been on dates like that.

How to Switch Off Friction In NanomachinesA new technique could reduce friction with the mere flick of a switch, say physicists. I've been on dates like that. Also, I have to ask, what is a "one dimensional surface"?

Deep sewer diving under New York — Wow... (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

Are All Gay Girls Secretly Men? — Julia Rios blogs at The Outer Alliance on this difficult and disturbing story of appropriation.

Tea Party Summer Camp: The Experience of a Lifetime — Freaky. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Five myths about the American flag — Ah, reality. If this were a Wikipedia article, Palinites would be editing it right now to remove those biased facts in favor of conservative "truths".

Why Do Republicans Hate Clean Water? — The EPA does a lot of really good things for every American, regardless of political affiliation. And free market corporate self-regulation didn't exactly keep our rivers and air clean. In fact, forming the EPA was one of Richard Nixon's better moves.

The New Religion of Global Warming — Conservative ideological resistance to reality is observably hardening. As I've said before, no one comes to global warming denial on the merits of the data. They start there for ideological reasons, then look for data to support their beliefs. It's a lot like Christian apologia.

The G.O.P. DebateEventually, the winner of the Republican nomination will move away from the Tea Party’s anger to try to appeal to a broader electorate that has higher priorities than interfering with laws on same-sex marriage and upending Congress’s decision to welcome openly gay and lesbian soldiers. I know! Let's put the GOP back in power to fix the economy they ruined in the last decade!

?otD: What do you get if you multiply your blood type by your zodiacal sign?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (Dad time instead)
Body movement: 30-minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 234.4
Currently (re)reading: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin


[links] Link salad wakes up in Nevada, wonders what happened

A reader reacts to METAtropolis: Cascadia

A German review of Mainspring

Abi Sutherland on taboos

Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 — A badass classic photo.

Herding Swarms of MicrorobotsTiny robots self-assemble with a single command.

Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda — Juan Cole with some pretty extensive thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden.

?otD: Did you catch a show last night?

Writing time yesterday: 2.75 hours (revisions to Kalimpura)
Body movement: 65 minute urban walk (the Vegas Strip)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea


[links] Link salad is horrified to discover morning comes every day

Tales for Canterbury — I am a contributor to a NZ charity antho in support of the recent earthquake there, with a reprint of my short story "Eggs For Breakfast".

Fantasy Literature reviews Black Gate issue 14 — Including a very favorable mention of the collaborative story by Mike Jasper and me, "Devil on the Wind".

METAtropolis: Cascadia reviewed in Turkish — I think they liked it, if Google's language tools can be trusted.

Another Comment on the Eisler Decision — Dean Wesley Smith on an interesting development in publishing.

Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like SchoolNew research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Coercive Sterilization? Think of the Children! — Some peculiar and discomfiting reading.

A Clever End Run Around the Movie-Streaming Gremlins — A strangely retrograde approach to movie streaming. (Thanks to my Dad.)

Equatorial Rains on Titan — The sirens they bathe in streaming starlight, wrapped by wind and wave.

Three inventions that will change the world — Shirley, Goodness and Mercy?

A take on nuclear power — Tobias Buckell on the costs of various power generation schemes.

xkcd radiatesBad Astronomy on xkcd on a rational assessment of the dangers of radiation from various sources.

After the earthquake: A long, hot summer — A fascinating description of Japan's real problem regarding the power plants. (Via [info]nojay.)

100 Years of Air StrikesThe world’s first aerial bombing mission took place 100 years ago, over Libya. (Via [info]danjite.)

Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003 — Hmmm.

?otD: How tiny are your Gashlycrumbs?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (took the day off to recover)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Weight: 252.4
Currently reading: A Bard's Eye View, ed. Michael A. Ventrella; Honeyed Words by J.A. Pitts


[links] Link salad flies back to the West Coast

A rather nice review of METAtropolis

Feat of Plaster: 1924 — A rather strange image from the always-interesting Shorpy.

The Kalinin K-7 prototype, circa 1933 — An extremely improbable looking bit of pre-WW II Soviet aviation courtesy of x planes. I especially like the Flintstones' landing gear.

In case you missed it, NASA announces a very strange terrestrial life form with interesting implications for exobiologyxkcd comments on this as well.

Yet Another Example of Someone Pretending the "Internet" Makes Normal Economic Laws New and Special — Andrew Wheeler is hilariously sarcastic.

Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy; "To destroy this invisible government"

?otD: Bacon?

Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA, no word count)
Body movement: airport walking to come
Hours slept: 5.5 hours (interrupted)
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday's chemo/post-op stress index: 3/10 (peripheral neuropathy, emotional distress)
Currently reading: Between books