holiday…?

Yesterday we headed out and did a little post-Xmas shopping. I picked up a cheap copy of the dvd of Tomorrow When the War Began and the deluxe edition cd of Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, which I was happy enough to get. We then went to Toys ‘R’ Us so the girls could dispose of some holiday $$s, before heading to Sizzler for lunch. The girls were amazed there was a Sizzler inside the movie complex. After that we saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which I would a rate as adequate/pleasant enough viewing. We headed home, girls happy and relaxed having avoided most of the heat, before things went awry, with Sophie having the most terrible tantrum when she realised she didn’t like the doll she’d bought (something that will occupy them today).  I made it through to the evening, where Marianne and I enjoyed a couple eps. of season 2 of Fringe before bed.

Today the girls are going shopping and I have a load of stuff to do. There’s the Feb columns sitting around to edit for Locus, the short fiction recommended reading list still to complete as it was delayed again, the io9.com writing comp. entries to finish reading, the Locus year-in-review essay to write, and of course Eclipse Four to edit and deliver by Jan 15.

We also need to get ready for a New Year’s Eve party this week, which I’m looking forward to, and some other stuff.  Good thing this is my week off to relax, before heading back to the day job next Tuesday.

Christmas, or thereabouts…

Good morning, faithful blog readers.  Tis the day after Boxing Day, the sun is continuing to kick the heck out of sunny old Perth, Australia is on the mat in Melbourne, and we move on from Christmas (which went fairly well here at Merton Way) to New Year’s and my 47th birthday.

How did Christmas go, you ask? Well, it was ok. Christmas Eve was mostly spent quietly at home.  My dear friend and once-Eidolon compatriot Jeremy G. was in town visiting family, so he dropped by for a lovely chat over a few drinks. It happens far too rarely, so I’m looking forward to him coming back in April for Swancon.

The young ‘uns were abed by the time he left, so Marianne and I watched dumb lifestyle TV while wrapping presents.  Things drifted far too late, as there were iPods to be configured and other details to be managed.  Having been up too late, we were then dug out of bed by a very excited Jessica, who found incontrovertible proof of the existence of Santa in the almost finished glass of milk and plate of cookie crumbs on the kitchen table. Sophie wasn’t quite as convinced, but so it goes.

Presents were opened and were mostly very well received. I got season 2 of Fringe,  season 3 of Big Bang Theory, a James Taylor cd,  vols 2 & 3 of the Bloom County collected set,  a new wallet, and a wii golf game which was good. Esp. happy about Fringe, which Marianne and I just started watching.

After presents I got breakfast made,  we Skyped my sister and her partner in Melbourne for a bit, then kids dressed and we headed off to the Hilton for a family Christmas lunch with my mother and sister.  It was nicely set up and despite the girls being in a somewhat subdued mood, we seemed to have a good time. The magician put on by the hotel was fairly well received, but the Santa was a hit.  Presents were again exchanged and this time I made my big score, the Springsteen Darkness box, which is probably what I wanted the most. We then headed home for a detoxing after too much food and drink, with a brief stop at mums.

I confess, dear readers, I napped for a bit, but woke to chaos so a light dinner was made before packing the girls off to bed. Marianne and I then started into season 2 of Fringe, which already (we’re four eps in) is better than season 1.  We had originally planned to take the kids to the movies on Boxing Day, but my mother is a traditionalist and despite our having had a Christmas feast the day before, planned her own for Sunday, so we were headed there for the day. First though I grabbed breakfast, recorded the Super Mega Boxing Day Podcast (which was lots of fun to do), and helped get the girls martialled for the day. It was lovely, as it always is. My brother was there, as was my Aunt, who we see to rarely. The girls swam in the small paddling pool outside while we ate, drank and made merry. It was a little hot, but it was all in all, a lot of good fun, and probably better than Xmas Day.

Once we were home, the girls were off to bed after dinner so Marianne and I could watch the Dr Who Christmas Special. Frankly, while I don’t know if they would have enjoyed it, there’s no reason they couldn’t have watched it. It was delightful in parts (I loved the flying fish), but overall was oddly disappointing. Matt Smith’s Doctor has become a pointless fop, while Amy Pond, who now gives the series so much of its energy, was reduced to playing a pair of legs in a fetish outfit in the special, which was hugely disappointing. The play on a Christmas Carol was fun, but there was a lot of misogyny too, which also was disappointing. I think I’ve fallen out of love with Matt Smith, remain a Pond fan, and hope Season 6 will offset a sort of disappointing Special.

After that, we watched Fringe, which was much better.  And for today – well, it’s 7am and the sun is literally burning my shoulders at the moment, so I’m heading inside in a minute. I think we may take the girls to the movies, though I’m not sure. There are also some post-Christmas sales, but I have an ocean of editing work to do and not much time to do it before I head back to work next week. I think it’s back to work time now.

Boxing Day Super Mega Podcast

Here in Australia the day after Christmas is a special one, dedicated to winding down after a day of feasting and gift giving, laughter and merriment. Things slow down – unless you have a taste for the mega-discount sales – and people tend to relax with family.

This morning, Perth time, at least, a bunch of participants in Australian podcasting joined together to record a Boxing Day Super Mega Podcast. Participating were:

It was seven people talking, in a fairly organised manner about their highlights of 2010 and what they’re looking forward to in 2011. We all hope you enjoy it, and that you check out the individual podcasts that will be coming out in future weeks and months.

2010 – Happy Holidays!!!

It says something about 2010 that I’ve been attempting (and failing) for almost a week to find something simple to say about it. It was the busiest year of my life. It was the most productive year of my life.  There were more family occasions in it, more times for special moments, but also more stress and pressure. It was rewarding, challenging, difficult, but mostly fun.

What did I do? Well, there’s so much that it’s a blur. I almost don’t remember which books I worked on during the year. The vagaries of publishing are such that there are often long delays before a book appears, so for example, while I write this on Christmas Eve a number of the books I’ll have out in 2011 are already finished and put to bed. Still, this year eleven books and one magazine  issue that I edited were published.   This was what came out:

  1. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 4 (Night Shade Books, March)
  2. Mirror Kingdoms: The Best of Peter S. Beagle (Subterranean Press, March)
  3. Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories (ed with Charles N. Brown) (Night Shade Books, April)
  4. The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories, Walter Jon Williams (Night Shade Books, April)
  5. Subterranean Online, Spring Issue (April)
  6. Hard Luck Diggings: The Early Jack Vance (ed. with Terry Dowling) (Subterranean Press, June)
  7. Legends of Australian Fantasy (ed. with Jack Dann) (HarperCollins Publishers Australia, July)
  8. Wings of Fire (ed. with Marianne S. Jablon) (Night Shade Books, May)
  9. Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery (ed. with Lou Anders) (Harper Eos, July)
  10. The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson (Night Shade Books, August)
  11. Godlike Machines (The Science Fiction Book Club, September)
  12. The Best of Larry Niven (Subterranean Press, December)

I don’t think I’ll ever have that many books out in a single year again, but I’m proud of each and every one of them in different ways, and would like to thank everyone at Eos, Voyager, Subterranean and Night Shade for being wonderful to work with, patient, and making the books themselves look so wonderful.

I also worked as reviews editor for Locus, working on my hundredth issue, and completing my thirteenth year with the magazine. The Locus team – Liza, Kirsten, Amelia, Fran, Tim, and Carolyn – are a fantastic group and it’s always great to work with them. One special thing in 2010 is that I got to share a little of my World Fantasy Award with them. It was presented ‘for editing anthologies and magazines’. Locus is the only magazine I did editorial work for during 2009, so the award is in part for them, which pleases me greatly.

The year wasn’t all about editing, though. I was busy at the day job, too, and owe Patrick, Drew and Garth my thanks there as well.  The family and I travelled to Dunsborough and Melbourne, and I had a surprisingly good time in Columbus. I made new friends, saw old ones, and it all spun dizzyingly past. Gary and I recorded thirty-one podcasts!! Oh, and there were awards. The Aurealis, Locus and World Fantasy Awards all came home this year, as did a number of awards nominations (Hugo, Ditmar etc). My thanks to everyone involved with those too.

I hope to say more about 2010 in coming days, but for now I just want to wish everyone I’ve worked with, met, seen, or talked to during the year a wonderful holiday season and a safe and successful new year!