Tuesday linkage

I don’t usually post lots of links or stuff here, largely because I sort of look at stuff online, go ‘uh huh’, and move on to what I have to do during my day. But a couple things did show up online that I thought were worth pointing to.

First, as everyone has noticed, Gollancz has signed Alastair Reynolds to a ten book deal for lots and lots of $$s. This genuinely delights me. I first met Al in San Jose when he was being interviewed by Locus.  I’d not long been appointed reviews editor of that journal, and had covered all of his books for the mag.  I’ve loved his work, and we’ve kept in touch since, sharing our love for the music of Springsteen and Mark E’s Eels., and he’s also written some wonderful stories for me (and will be again soon).  I can’t wait to see what the new deal will being, and am excited to get a chance to see his next one, Terminal World.

Second, venerable critic John Clute discusses Jay Lake’s novel Green over at Sci Fi Wire.  Clute is always an interesting critic and he has some typically sharp things to say about Lake’s novel (which has a beautiful opening).  I see Jay’s working on the sequel now, and look forward to talking to him about when we meet up for breakfast in Canada later this year.

Third, my very favorite poster on Tor.com, Jo Walton, discusses my very, very favorite Ian Banks novel, The Crow Road.  As Jo rightly points out, it starts with one of the greatest first lines ever (“It was the day my grandmother exploded.”) and only gets better from there.

Cafe working


Well, the girls are at grandma’s and Marianne’s off at BC, so I’m down in Mt Lawley at a cafe trying to work. Of course, this never works. The area is drenched in distractions, and the power on the laptop is unreliable. I’m hoping it’ll hold out for another half hour, but we’ll see. I have worked productively in cafes, but not often, so we’ll see.

Notes from Sunday… (mirrored post)

Rain finally came to Perth this weekend, and it brought wind, hail and (relative) cold along with it.  That affected some plans. Being soft and weak, [info]girliejones and I cancelled our plans for a long walk and instead (sensibly) drove to a nearby cafe for a chat and general catch up.  We discussed life, conventions, science fiction, and the finer points of flop.  I then headed home, where I gathered up the family and headed out for a shopping expedition.  It went well enough, with Jessica spending some birthday money and collecting her new spectacles, while they all checked out some bling. I then dropped them home, headed over to the mecca that is JB HiFi to do some completely unnecessary shopping, and then home via the local.

We had intended to have a few friends over on Saturday, but that didn’t quite eventuate. One was sick, one wanted to stay home, and the rest of us quietly rescheduled. This meant Family Movie Night (which had transformed into Family Movie Matinee) with Beverly Hills Chihuahua went ahead early.  The rain swept in, the skys darkened and so we did what made sense. Turned on the heaters, closed the curtains, dialled out for pizza, and hunkered down. All should have been good and quiet and nice, but girl trouble followed the movie, and it took awhile for girls to get to bed.

Sadly, they significantly harshed my mellow (which with the aid of a glass of a very nice Cock + Bull Merlot was very mellow indeed), so it took some time for the evening to settle down again. Marianne and I futzed around and eventually decided to watch Flashdance, which I’d seen when I was 19 yrs old and Marianne hadn’t seen at all. I think Marianne enjoyed it, but as part of my trawl through trashy movies of the 80s it was a fail.  I was bored, and after a while started chatting online rather than rely on it for entertainment.  I then headed to bed, having been unable to decide what else to watch.

And now, Sunday. It’s almost breakfast time. The girls have football today, and then are most likely going to their grandma’s house for a bit. Marianne has Barbie Club, so I should be home working (yes, this means you can drop in unannounced, if you read this).  What will I be doing? Well, the last 48 hours has dropped a new Elric novellete by Michael Moorcock into my inbox along with intros to two collections and a bunch of other stuff. I also need to push some contracts and copyedits out the door, so that’s a possibility,  Or, if it rains, I must just play some old Simon & Garfunkel albums and read Leviathan. We’ll just have to see.

PS: And yes, I couldn’t get to the real blog this morning, so here’s this.

ETA:  The server here was dead for a while, so this was posted at the LJ back up.

2009 Chesley Award nominees

The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists have announced the nominees for the 2009 Chesley Awards.  I am delighted to see Shaun Tan up for Best Artistic Achievement and for  Best Interior Illustration for Tales from Outer Suburbia. I was also thrilled to see two of my pals, co-editor Lou Anders and publisher/co-editor Bill Shafer up for Best Art Director.  Incredibly well-deserved.  Congratulations to all of the nominees of course, but extra good luck to these three.

Memory is a Harsh Mistress…

Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

The first book review I wrote, back in 1985, was of Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Magic. It ran in a bookstore newsletter and was signed pseudonymously as by  ‘Mycroft XXX’.  As everyone knew (and knows), Mycroft (or Mike) is the name of the computer in Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  It was first published in 1966, and went on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel the following year.

To say that Moon was one of my favorite novels of all time is almost an understatement. I first read it some time in the early 70s. I had a battered old New English Library edition with a fairly dull cover which I read and re-read, revisiting the adventures of Manual Garcia O’Kelly Davis, the one-armed computer tech who finds that a computer has become self-aware and gets caught up in a rebellion on the moon in 2075.

You can read all about the book on Wikipedia, but I loved Mannie, Mike, Wyoh, and the Baker St Irregulars.  Of course, like many of us, I’ve hit that age where I don’t read the old books anymore. You can’t trust that old memories hold true, and there’s always the fear that you can destroy and old love simply be revisiting it.  For that reason, I was interested to see that Charles Brown of Locus has just re-read the book, and still loves it.  He’s right to say that Heinlein’s reputation has waned over the twenty years since his death, and issues like his depiction of women, his politics and so on are real ones. But, maybe, I might go back. I’m certainly tempted to visit old friends again.