Good morning and welcome to the all-new, low bandwidth ‘Other Side of the World’. It’s mid-June (this post seems to have a lot of’ ‘n’ dashes already, huh?), and I’m getting on with the year. Today is Jessica’s party for her friends. Ice-skating with nine-year-olds. Should be fun, I guess. I’ve been spinning my wheels for the past week, knocked off balance a bit by this sinus infection thing that’s kept me home from work and unproductive. I’m determined once we get into the week that’s coming that I’m going to focus (!) and get things done.
And I have a lot of things to get done. This isn’t a boring ‘to do’ post (I hope). When I say done, I mean things to organise and focus on for the rest of the year. Even though I’d happily change my flights if I could, I’m headed for the US and Canada in just over six weeks. While juggling a day job, before that time arrives I need to lose 10kgs, finish Eclipse Three, Conquering Swords, and the Special Issue. I also want to get proposals to my agent for the witches book and the space opera book, and get ideas worked out for both this loopy new book Lou just suggested and this other book idea that came up over drinks at girliejones house on Saturday night. I also have house stuff to take care of before 31 July (the take-off date) like getting the cooker fixed, the dumb light in the living room repaired, some guttering stuff and so on. Oh, and taxes. NOT going to the US with those undone.
I also plan to step up my reading (hi LSS guys!!). There’s some likelihood I may be doing a panel in Montreal on the best short fiction of 2009. If I’m going to do that I should read some. I started early, back in October last year, so I’ve gone through some stuff. Time to get moving. Oh, and I’ve read books – I mentioned that, yeah? I read Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold. I liked it a lot. Joe can do that hard-action fantasy thing as well as anyone out there, and Lou was completely right to recommend him. I also read, thanks to Patrick and Bill, Cherie Priest’s steampunk adventure, Boneshaker. It’s coming from Tor in November, and is terrific fun. She’s writing a sequel right now, which is the one reason I can forgive her for not being able to write a story for the short steampunk antho I’m doing for SubPress with Bill. More on that one soon too. And I’ve just started reading Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlett. Why? Mmm. Truthfully, because I met her at Scott and Justine’s place in 2006 and she was funny, and because they recommended her book. So far it’s terrific.
The giveaway that you’re reading a first draft ramble is that I start a lot of sentences with ‘And’. I should edit those out Anyhow. I also need to (a) chase up the intro for the ‘Best of Larry Niven’, (b) finalise the story order and texts for the ‘Best of Peter Beagle’, (c) assemble the final ms. for Walter’s collection, (d) order the books so I can get on with the ‘Best of Joe Haldeman’, and (e) get back to CHARLES about the ‘Best of Fritz Leiber’. Oh, and get started on the dragon book and on the ‘Best of KSR’.
I think that’s everything. I think. Oh, Eclipse. I spoke to the publisher yesterday. I think we’re on for Eclipse Four and so on, which is good news. I have a hard time letting go of things, and I can’t help but feeling the Eclipse is still in its birthing throes. Still, if it’s going to continue (as seems likely) I need to refine the whole project somewhat. I’m seriously interested in YOUR thoughts. Right now it’s an unthemed original anthology series of science fiction and fantasy stories. It usually features about 120,000 wds of stories, mostly in the 7.5k range. While I love the series and am happy with each volume, they aren’t consistent from book to book. If Eclipse is going to continue and find a readership I need to redefine it somewhat so that there is a consistent character from book to book. I don’t want it to be a themed book – I do enough of those – but it needs to be definitively itself. Not sure where to take it, though. Drop the slipstream stuff that’s crept in? Drop the fantasy and go SF only? Push it more definitively to the heart of the genre (something it’s drifted way from)? Not sure. Thoughts are welcome!
Well, more soon. We’re running late for breakfast.