Change and chassis, early Wednesday, same Pandemic

Well, it’s a week of upset and change here. We’ve basically neglected most basic change and maintenance at home since we moved in, way back in 2002, and it’s past time for that to end. So this week we have a painter in the house – just a bedroom, the bathroom, and some ceilings.

The “some ceilings” part seems to have necessitated a lot of crap being moved around and looked at a second time, which is good, but disruptive. Especially since, due to some small leaks (now patched), they need sealant and oil-based paint. So for the next couple of days, we’ll be doing our best to avoid paint fumes while Gwen-the-Cat takes  a break elsewhere.

This should disrupt the rest of the week, while I try to attend to edits, copyedits, and book pitches. Hopefully, we’ll get some carpet down in the painted bedroom too, then everything needs to be put back, and we move on the phase 2.

Yup, renos and upgrades are turning this into the MRU – Merton Renovation Universe. First, this painting and bedroom. Next, a new patio. Then a refit of the family room and hallway. Hopefully by December. And then on, next year, into bathroom and kitchen. Should see the house totally refreshed by this time next year, depending on our tolerance for chaos and near bankruptcy.

Still, needs to be done. Haven’t been reading this past few days and no idea if I will over the next few. Still, we’ll find out.

Early Monday morning, same pandemic

Well, it doesn’t look like blogging every day is a thing, though I am planning to keep to it. Another night’s poor sleep, after what was  a pretty good weekend.  Didn’t do much reading, but did pitch a new book, have wine and chat at Keira’s (which was a highlight of the weekend), see friends for spicy soup dinner at King Hotpot, catch up with the brother over at Sayer’s in Leederville for breakfast on Saturday, do some house stuff, get Jessica and me out to Yahava for our driveby,  and then see Russell (far too long) for hot chicken sandwiches at Drasko’s.

We also packed up Jessica’s room because this week is painting week. We’ll have a painter here and it’s going to be disruptive as heck, but it’s the first step. We risk lagging behind, but it should be followed by new patio, redecorated family room, and repainting elsewhere in the house. Hopefully, by 1 December that will all be done. We shall see. Oh and there was also an edit-drama, but that should be under control.

Like many, I’m watching and enjoying Jean Smart in Hacks and keeping up with other stuff. I’ll report in as the week goes on, but interesting times here. Hopefully some kind of path to better times.

Episode 560: Arkady Martine and Memories of Empire

A Desolation Called PeaceWelcome to episode 18 of Season 12 of The Coode Street Podcast. This time out, Jonathan and Gary are joined by the wonderful Arkady Martine, author of the Hugo-winning A Memory Called Empire and its equally remarkable sequel A Desolation Called Peace. We touch upon how her research as an academic historian helped shape her fiction, the various meanings of empire (and the comparative virtues of SF and fantasy in dealing with such concepts), growing up with a houseful of SF classics from Asimov to Zelazny, and her own current work—including the possibility of more stories set in the Teixcalaanli universe and a likely venture into near-future SF.

As always, our thanks to Arkady for making the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy the episode!

Underslept, early on a Thursday (not much later in), the same pandemic

I hurt my left foot a while ago. I thought it had healed up just find, but the last day or two – not great. And then sleeping. Sleeping these days is weird too. Had a terrible night’s sleep the night before last and a below par, though better, one last night. Hopefully heading in the right direction, though.

Another scare yesterday that had Perth wondering if there’d be a lockdown. It’s a strange thing seeing all of your colleagues at work going around saying “Mark’s doing a presser” and then grouped around desks, watching video to see what’s going to happen. It feels another lockdown at some point is inevitable before we’re done, and if it is we’ll cope, but glad it wasn’t today.

Watched the latest episode of the rather fabulous season 3 of Miracle Workers, which had a memorable musical performance from Daniel Radcliffe, and then tried to get some reading in before bed. I think I was flagging too much, though.

You’ll note no much talk of editing or proposals for new projects. The editing is happening – got some Locus and Tor stuff moved forward – but the proposals remain a bit stalled. Maybe this coming weekend.

For now, back to my book, and then off to the office for the day.

Reading again, early August…

Far from the Light of Heaven, Tade Thompson
Far from the Light of Heaven, Tade Thompson

Just a quick note. Should the question arise, I’m currently reading Tade Thompson’s fifth novel, Far from the Light of Heaven, his first book-length work since completing the Wormwood trilogy.

The publisher describes the book like this:

A tense and thrilling vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space from a rising giant in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson

The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having traveled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.

Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.

That seems pretty fair.  I’m about a quarter-way through it, and it’s terrific. I’ve pre-ordered my copy,  and have an advance reading copy from the publisher too. I think I’d recommend you consider grabbing it when it comes out, just based on what I’ve read so far.  It’s giving my favourite SF novel of 2021 so far, Arkady Martine’s A Desolation Called Peace a run for its money.

…unavoidable stuff from jonathan strahan…