Double negatives

Why do double negatives sometimes seem more elegantly precise than a straight forward positive statement?  For example, in the previous post it seemed more emotionally accurate to say it had been a not dissatisfying day, rather than simply saying it was a satisfying day.  There’s shading in there that’s lost when you remove the double negative.

Deceptive peace…

Quietish day spent ‘working’ at home.  Contributed to a space opera discussion at SF Mind Meld, which will be online sometime soon. Drafted the introduction to Godlike Machines.  Next story notes for the Reynolds, Egan, Baxter, and Doctorow stories, and I should probably email about cover art. The manuscript is due in New York on April 30, so we’ll have to see how that bit of tightrope walking goes.  Got the contracts in the email for New Space Opera 2, which the contract says will be a July 2009 book. Can that be right?  Anyhow, two stories in the door for that, one already bought.  Also did some work on Wild Thyme, Green Magic: Selected Stories, which is the tentative title for the third Jack Vance book that Terry Dowling and I are collaborating on for Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press.  Still trying to come up with a new project to do with Bill, just because I like working with him. What else? Had a brief chat with Jason at the Shade about publishing and its assorted joys, and a longer one with Gary Wolfe about reviewing, Locus and life.  I also ducked out to pick up the mail, which had catalogues and bills in it, but no interesting books.  David Hartwell has emailed that Gene Wolfe’s new novel, described as ‘Lovecraft meets Bladerunner”!!, is on its way. I’m really eager to see what it’s like.

What didn’t I do? Well, not so much reading yet, though I did just pick up Stephen Baxter’s new novel Flood, which arrived in an evidence bag(!), and opens really well. If I get a quiet evening, then I hope to make some real progress on it.  I also didn’t get four story contracts out the door, so I guess that’ll be tomorrow. I also need to set myself a deadline, and get through the last 30 Eclipse 2 subs.

What am I going to do? Well, Elvis Costello is singing about useless beauty.  I feel dozy, but the girls will be home in minutes, so I’ll get up shortly and start dinner. Roast chicken, which is simple. For some reason, roasting is my job, though I don’t know why. Maybe I’ll get Marianne to do the dishes .  All in all, a not dissatisfying day.

Eclipse and the year’s best fantasy and horror

I am a bad editor.  I don’t keep track of some things the way that I should.  I don’t have folders filled with reviews for each project.  I don’t keep track of reprints and awards and all that – no matter how pleased they make me feel.  However, it was nice to see the announcement of the ToC for Ellen, Gavin and Kelly’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. They’re reprinting three very fine stories from Eclipse One, ones by Eileen Gunn, Terry Dowling, and Jeffrey Ford.  I’m delighted. Of course, the astute amongst you will notice this only comprises about 1/10th of their book and 1/5th of mine. The best solution, the only smart solution, is to buy both.