The strains of John Darnelle’s Mountain Goats singing about Sax Rohmer (it always makes me think about Charles, who had all of the Fu Manchu novels), the girls sitting watching The Gilmore Girls (do they even get most of the humor? – lucky we’re still in season 2), an empty mail inbox, the vague feeling that some deadline is slipping by while I try to relax, and the knowledge that breakfast needs to be made shortly: such is my early Saturday morning.
I’m at the end of another week, faced with a hopefully relaxing long weekend.Â Today Jessica hasÂ her first real sleepover, Alisa’s coming over for coffee, and Sophie’s hoping for a ‘mom’n’dad’n’sophe’ day.Â Somewhere along the way I’ve got to try to find a suit for Howard’s dinner in San Jose (do not ask), perhaps do a little shopping, and generally just give my thoughts a chance to settle.Â Â I’ve been reading a lot of short fiction lately. Got to get on top of the year’s best stuff.Â BTW, did you notice that Kij Johnson is on a total tear right now, and that there doesn’t seem a lot of awesome hard SF this year?
What else? I seem to have fallen into a lengthy conversation offline about the merits and demerits of online publishing. I don’t see any material difference between putting a story on screen or onÂ a piece of paper. The thing is, from a career perspective, is it either/or?Â I don’t think so, but I need to ponder the best way forward from here.
2010’s priorities are on my mind.Â I’ll be mostly out of contract by Easter if all goes well. The year’s best is signed up, Eclipse is ongoing, so is Locus (of course), and there are a few projects bubbling away, but something new?Â Maybe.
John DeNardo just posted the first half of an new SF Signal Mindmeld, Behind the Scenes…How the Hottest Short Fiction Anthologies Are Created, and I’m included.Â Looks like a great posting, and I can’t wait to see what discussion arises.
Today also comes with GOOD news. Jason Fischer of Not If Your Were the Last Short Story on Earth has won 1st PrizeÂ in the latest round of Writers of the Future.Â Huge congrats to him.Â He’ll be at the big WotF shindig next year, which always looks like fun.
A mixed morning, good folk.Â Movement at last on the Godlike Machines front. For those of you who have been wondering, it looks like the book will now come out in January, 2010. I hope to see cover images and so on shortly. It’s going to be a joy to see this book published. I’m very proud of it. More as soon as I have it.
There was some unmitigated good news, too. Kage Baker has been nominated for the French Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for her novelette “Maelstrom” from The New Space Opera.
Other than that, I’m reading, reading, reading – and waiting for my Beatles box set to arrive!
I’m in the midst of my odd catch-up style of reading for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year. Today was stories from a Peter Beagle collection, a few magazine stories, and Tor.com. The highlight of the day’s reading was “Eros, Philia, Agape” by Rachel Swirsky. Swirsky is a terrific writer who’s been making a name for herself with a string of intelligent, perceptive stories that have appeared in Weird Tales, Subterranean and elsewhere.
“Eros, Philia, Agape” is a robot story. A rich, lonely and beautiful young woman, looking for a change in her life after the death of her abusive father decides to have a lover made, a robot to fill the personal void in her life. That decision leads to love, family and a search for awareness that is created beautifully and sensitively be Swirksy.
While Swirksy’s robot tale with a heart and soul runs perhaps a little long and undoubtedly won’t be the best thing she writes – she’s growing too much as a writer for that to be true – it’s definitely a highlight of the year.
Oh, and right now I’m reading Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound and Poe (I’m late getting to this one), Dann & Dozois’s The Dragon Book, Dozois & Martin’s Songs of the Dying Earth (I have to dip into this), issues of F&SF and Asimov’s,Â while also catching up on stories from Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and Subterranean. I almost never read anything consistently or cover-to-cover for short fiction. I tend to dip in an out, so I’m making sure I’ve not missed anything. That said, I’ve already picked the first handful of stories for year’s best 4 (which is due at the publisher in December).
I did read a novel – Citizen of the Galaxy by some Heinlein guy – the other month, but my novel reading’s been spotty of late.Â I do desperately want to find the time to read Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and to finish Pandemonium by Christopher Brookmyre.Â I’m woefully behind on my novel reading this year, as I have been the last couple.Â But then, who has enough reading time :)Â Â Onwards!