Category Archives: Science fiction

Away!

We’ve been away for more than a day already.  Miss 12 and I were dropped at Perth International Airport at around 2pm, checked in quickly and easily, and then stopped for coffee and hot chocolate at the Alisa Krasnostein Memorial Dome (i.e. the coffee place we stopped at when going to Toronto).  We were excited and a bit restless.

We boarded the flight to Singapore at 5pm and were in the air quickly. The plane was an older Singapore plane but was comfy. We had a spare seat between us and, after some chatting, settled down to watching movies on the terrible quality in-flight screens. I watched Spiderman 2 and Miss 12 watched the Veronica Mars movie (a rematch to her).

The plane touched down at Changi Airport a little early, giving us time to wander around shops before heading to the gate for our 11.55pm departure. This time we got a big, new-ish A380 and another (!) empty seat between us. All seemed charmed. Miss 12 settled down to watch something or other, while I settled in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

All was going well. We ate. I fell asleep and then, about 6hrs into the flight, Miss 12 woke me to tell me she’d been sick. The poor girl had vomited all over herself.   It was either something she ate, or the remnants of a virus she’d had, but even after replacing the seat cushion and doing everything that could be done (the Singapore staff were lovely and helpful) she still had another seven hours of flight to get through. It wasn’t pretty.  We dozed and tried to pretend   we didn’t smell.

We arrived at Charles de Gualle at 7am,  cleared customs and had picked up our bags by 8am, before hopping on a shuttle to Terminal 2 to get the train to Rennes. The train station was ok, but nothing special. We were both pretty tired so conversation amounted to an occasional when do we leave or “We’re in France!”.

The train finally left at 9.50am (on time in fairness) and we were on our way to Rennes. Miss 12 dozed and read Divergent, while I watched my way through Suits. We did stop to admire the increasingly lovely countryside and small towns, as we approached our destination, but mostly we were tired.

We got to the Rennes train station at 12.50pm, wandered around a bit, then caught a cab to our hotel. It was only a 5 min walk away, but neither of us speak French, and we were tired.

There were showers etc, and then a wander around town looking for a patisserie (which failed), before  stopping for coffee and crepes (Miss 12s Chocolate Viennoise had TONS of cream on it). And then back to the hotel.  The idea was we’d rest till dinner, have an early meal then bed. Miss 12, though, slept 13hrs, and our day ended there.

We’re about to head off for breakfast, and then off to here! Between here and there, though, driving on the wrong side of the road in a manual vehicle in a place where we don’t speak or read the language. Wish us luck!

From here

It’s a public holiday today here in Perth. Who even knows why. I think it was the Queen’s Birthday holiday, though it’s now WA Day or something? Meh. Either way, I don’t have to go in to work today, so it’s just a juggle of who gets to make breakfast, what we’re going to do as a family activity, if I can get washing done, and editing commitments.

Yesterday was a lovely and very enjoyable celebration for mum’s birthday. She’s 76, and still the most vital and energetic of people, despite enough challenges to knock most of us into a spin. So lucky to have her be part of my life still.

Been discombobulated by circumstance, these past few months. I’m delighted to have two new books out from Solaris (Reach for Infinity and Best of the Year 8), but am also fairly happy to have some downtime between projects. The next book, Fearsome Magics, is due out in October, but it’s basically complete. I don’t have another book to work on until Best of the Year 9 next January, which is both nice and scary. Lots to read, though, and I’m considering some projects.

I’m reading a bit, but not as much as I should. Dipped into Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, which Miss 12 wants to read, and Nick Harkaway’s Tigerman, but haven’t really committed yet. There are a handful of books coming out later in the year I’m excited about and can’t wait to see, but nothing I have to hand yet.

Not listening to any new music at the moment due to medical issues, but have watched a movie or two. Don Jon was sweeter than expected, and Ender’s Game we turned off half way through. So it goes.

I am actively, or semi-actively, planning the final details for the Loncon/Paris/Normandy trip with Miss 12. Lots to look forward to. We need to pick up a French phrase book, decide if we’re driving in France, and save lots of money quickly. It should all be pretty awesome.

More soon.  Or soon-ish. Oh, and no Coode St next week.  Hiatus!

Happy birthday, Mary Anning

Karen Joy Fowler's The Secret of Herself
Karen Joy Fowler’s The Secret of Herself

Today is the 215th anniversary of the birth of the great British paleontologist Mary Anning, whose contribution to science was so great that the Royal Society named her as one of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

Anning’s contribution to science was based on the fossils she collected in and around Lyme Regis and was either overlooked during her lifetime or acknowledgement for her discoveries were simply stolen by others.  She should be much more famous than she is.

Recently Karen Joy Fowler wrote a wonderful piece about Anning , “The Science of Herself“, which I recommend strongly.

Sneak peek: Cover art for the Best SF/F 9

Cover art by Dominic Harman for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine
Cover art by Dominic Harman for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before because I don’t think I’ve ever been in this position before, but here’s a special sneak peek at the cover art for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year:  Volume Nine.  As I said in my post yesterday, I’m only reading for the book now, and it won’t be out till May 2015, but the incredible team at Solaris Books have had Dominic Harman on the job doing something special for the cover and I love what he’s come up with for the book.

Cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8

Dom also did the cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight, which should be hitting bookstore shelves any day now. It’s already getting some great reviews and I’m delighted with how it’s turned out.