I’m waiting for an email from Lawrence Person.  I figure I know what it’s going to say.  It’ll be something like ‘H’ard sez if you want to send him a email, print it, put a stamp on it, and mail it on over’.  For those in the know, Lawrence, who seems like a lovely guy, is friends with Howard Waldrop. Howard doesn’t do email, but Howard does have an email address. You’re just not supposed to use it.  I know this. But…. I was sending out the first standard follow-up email for Eclipse Two, writing to everyone to say hi, tell them that I just bought the first story for the book, and to quietly remind them that there’s this deadline thing going to happen next year some time, so maybe thinking about stories could be cool, and wishing everyone happy holidays and so on.  Anyway, Lawrence keeps an eye on Howard’s email address for him, and added it to the mailing group last night without thinking.  So, I’ll get the email, which is fine.  I’ve just got to remember to print it out and mail it tonight, so Howard gets it too.

I’ve also got to get some post-World Fantasy proposals out the front door and get a batch of columns edited.  Busy days.  In the meantime, you did read David Moles’ “Finisterra” from F&SF, didn’t you? If not, go get the December issue and check it out. Moles doesn’t write enough, but when he does write something it’s always worth reading.

Thursday morning coming down

Dear blog,

What an interesting two days it’s been since last I posted.   I did try writing yesterday, but the bandwidth I was stealing on someone’s unsecured network near the coffee shop where I was writing died partway through, and all of my witticisms were lost.   Alas.

Yesterday Jessica, who is seven and was home sick with some minor bug or other, killed my Rotel cd player.  She was trying to work something out about changing dvds, but got confused and forced the cd player’s drawer.  The drawer had been overextended by a child once before (about two years ago), and this was the last straw.  I’ve been assured it’s not repairable – they had to hand make a replacement part last time – so I now need to confront replacing the machine, or not.  This is something of a dilemma.  When you’re either single or wealthy you can justify buying redundant pieces of equipment. I bought the cd player, and it’s accompanying amplifiers and speakers, about eleven years ago.  I was single, and spending thousands of dollars didn’t phase me much.  Now, I have two kids, a mortgage, and I can play cds on my computer, and on the dvd player if I have to. It’s just that I can hear the difference.  sigh.  I already have a recommendation for a replacement from the indefatigable Gordon, but I’ll think on it a while, I guess.

Other than that, Christmas is coming up fast now.  This Friday we have an end of year school Christmas thing to go to, then Saturday night is Marianne’s band’s end of year, and then on Sunday Marianne and the girls have an all-day rehearsal for the kids big show.  That’s followed by a Wednesday night dress rehearsal, then two big performances on Friday and Saturday.  The show last three hours, but doesn’t seem quite that short.  The girls will be sweet, though.

The reading is coming along slowly. I seem more reluctant than I’d expected to climb back on the wagon, but it’ll come.  I’m even thinking about getting a reader to help me a bit with the year’s best reading.  I know others do it, and there’s so much stuff to cover that it might well make sense.  Not sure, though. I’m also still waiting on Iain Banks’s MATTER.  I’d hoped to read it before Christmas, but who knows now.  I’ve also got to chase up some e-copies of novels.  Hmmm.

There is one nice thing that’s happened, though.  I’ve found these mornings. Normally my mum and I have coffee every morning before I go to work.  It’s great, and I really enjoy the time with her. I’d expected to really miss it during the six weeks she’s unable to drive, but instead have found a quiet half hour when I can sit down, write or read, and have a coffee.  It’s a small grace that I’ll happily surrender when she’s back on board, but it’s been nice.

Yrs, as ever,



Cory Doctorow has some things to say about Facebook, which are pretty interesting.  I have a Facebook page thingie, but I’m not a big fan of it. I just removed all of my obviously personal information from it, and don’t intend to spend much time dealing with it from here.  Please don’t be offended if I don’t friend you back or something.  It’s me, not you.  If you need to contact me, or chat about something, this remains the place to do it. Oh, I’ve also discontinued all emails from Facebook, so if you send me a message there I’m unlikely to get it.  This is the place.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 2

Night Shade have posted the table of contents and cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Vol. 2 over on their website.  I’m pretty sure the cover’s going to change, but the list of stories is solid.  As always, there were three or four stories I really wanted to squeeze into the book, but given that I’m already overlength, I couldn’t make that happen. I’m pretty sure galleys will be going out soon-ish, and the book should be on the shelves in March, 2008.  Although I complain on the blog about the reading, it’s a joy and a privilege to be allowed to do the book, and I hope readers enjoy it.  I’m already reading for the third volume, which should come your way in March of 2009.

Time to get the party started

I have sitting on my computer desktop a draft call for submissions for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 3. It seems that, although I’ve read almost nothing during my time off from short fiction reading except for Kathleen Duey’s excellent Skin Hunger and the opening chapters of Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea (which I never finished as a child), it’s time to get moving. I have a handful of magazines and anthologies on hand already, and I feel like I should be reading them. I also have this overpowering feeling that I need to start tracking stories down as aggressively as possible.  The number of venues for short fiction is proliferating, and it seemed harder than ever to get everything considered at the end of 2007.

With that in mind, I’ll probably start reading Ellen’s The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Lou Anders’ Sidewise in Crime this week, and get on to chasing down other things soon.  I also need to get on with Eclipse Two. The first book has done well, and I’ve just received the first submission for the second book (which is excellent).  I’d also draw your attention to the first book from Golden Gryphon for 2008.  They’re publishing a new collection from Nancy Kress – Nano Comes to Clifford Falls – which looks great.