I was awakened at about 7.15am on Sunday by the two balls of joy.Â Well, one.Â Jessica was up first. I used the early start to get organised for futbol practice. Breakfast was made, girls prepped etc, and then we picked up my mother, who was spending some time at our place while we were out.Â Futbol was fine, though I noted my own continued reluctance to refer to WorldCon or World Fantasy as science fiction conventions when talking to non-SF folk.Â They’re all “publishing conferences” or some such. I guess I just don’t want them picturing me in a Star Trek t-shirt or a propellor beanie, neither of which I own (or have any problem with).Â Something I need to think on.
After that, it was back to the house, pick up mum and Marianne and head off for dim sum.Â Jessica was in a odd mood – angry and aggressiveÂ – which was unpleasant and concerning. Something for parents to work on.Â We had a pleasant lunch, then home.Â I headed off and picked up Marianne’s re-tooled PC, along with Gordon, who helped install it.Â There’s still considerable network rationalisation to be done here at Merton Way, though I’m not sure when, and Marianne noted it was slower than her old PC, which was less than good. Still, we’re moving forward.Â Next steps: kids’ PC, network rationalisation, and such.
Once the PC was settled, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to read. I don’t really know why – perhaps because I was reading up about the well-intentioned but ill-fated ‘Virginia Edition’ of the collected works of Robert A. Heinlein – but I picked up Citizen of the Galaxy for the first time in 20 years, or more likely 30 years when I think on it.Â The story of Thorby Baslim picked me up in a way that re-trying Glory Road a few years back did not.Â There’s both a real driving narrative in place and a lack of datedness.Â There are a few things that seem ‘period’ – the types of technology mentioned etc – but this is a 52 year old book and it still seemed pretty fresh to me.Â I’m half way through, so I’ll see how it continues.
As to today: a return to the international repository of joy (aka ‘the day job’) is on the cards, and fine.Â For all the occasional grumbling, it’s a good job with a better bunch of people.
So, I’m having a little ‘alone’ time with Jessica and Sophie. Marianne is having a well-deserved and – if I’m honest – far too brief break this weekend and I’m ‘on deck’. This always seems to fill my mother with the belief that I’ll be overrun by the little beggars. Instead, one minor conflict so far, it’s been fine (though another is playing out as I type).
I took the darlings to Sizzler, which really isn’t fit for human consumption, but seemed to fit the bill. Had them home in bed and asleep by 7.45pm, and didn’t hear another peep until Sat. AM. That would have been perfect, except girliejones dropped over for a chat. We yacked away and had a fine old time and I finally kicked her out the door as the clock was pushing 1.00am. I got six hours sleep :)
Today has been pretty smooth. We headed out for breakfast, then picked up movies for tonight, bought shoes, picked up framed pictures, bought a DVD and a book, had lunch, went to a park, walked by a river, and headed home.
As I type, dinner is in the oven (I have the only kids in Australia who are unimpressed by ‘roast’), and the girls are playing happily. Tonight, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and then an early night. Tomorrow, football and dim sum. It’s all not too bad.
I need to blog about other stuff, if only to start to sort my head out.Â Did we talk about What Remains? It’s an awesome three story chapbook that Aqueduct Press published for Wiscon, and it features two new stories by Geoff Ryman and one by Ellen Klages.Â I read it a couple months back.Â Ellen’s story, “Echoes of Aurora” is one of my favorite stories of the year.Â She had a peach of a story in Firebirds Soaring and has contributed a delightful story for Eclipse Three, but I think “Echoes’ is my favorite for this year.Â There were only 150 copies of the chapbook done for Wiscon, but I think some might still be available.
What else? I loved Kij Johnson’s “The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles”, which was published on Tor.com a while back.Â You can read it online.Â Â I think Kij is going through a real golden patch at the moment, which is why I’ve asked her to write for Eclipse Four.Â Surely someone will do a collection of her stories sometime soon.
I also just read John C. Wright’s fantasy, “One Bright Star to Guide Them”.Â John’s got a bunch of interesting stories out this year, most notably I think in The New Space Opera 2, but this novelette was really impressive.Â When I was reading it I ended up wanting to research Carbonel, which I think is just a name he’s re-using.Â Oh, and I think Robert Charles Wilson’s story from Other Earths, “This Peaceable Land or the Unbearable Vision of Harriet Beecher Stowe”, is one of the year’s highlights.
What else?Â Hmnmm.Â Go find some Peter Watts to read.Â I remain disappointed that we couldn’t find a way to get his excellent novellete “The Things” into Eclipse Three.Â His “The Island” from The New Space Opera 2 is great, but I think this was possibly even better. The only reason you won’t be reading it later this year is because we were unsure about copyright conflicts with The Thing screenplay and “Who Goes There?”, but if those can ever be resolved you’re in for a treat.
More soon. I’m reading! As fast as I can.Â Oh, and I ask Nalo Hopkinson to write for Eclipse Four. Don’t know if she will – her schedule’s dominated by novel commitments, but I hope so.
So my good pal Nick Stathopoulos is working away on paintings for a new exhibition. The theme is supertoys, or something close to that. I saw a couple of the paintings when I was staying at his house last month and they were awesome.Â This is one of them.Â Beats the heck out of the official Astroboy movie posters.Â I’ll post details of the exhibition when I know them, but these are something to covet.
There’s an interesting interview with Eclipse Two author David Moles over at SF Signal. I adored his story, “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom”, and think he remains one of the writers out there who could really do something remarkable in the field. His novelette “Finisterra” is terrific, and I can’t wait for his new PS Publishing novella.