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What I did on my holidays

Work. Nah, that’s not strictly true. I had two weeks (mostly) away from my main place of work when I got to get taxes done, finish up last year’s books, play with my kids, and get a little reading done. The best things about the time off were not getting up at 5.30 every morning, playing with the kids a lot, meeting Tim and Serena Powers, getting to catch up with Stephanie and everyone at Swancon, finding out that Karen and my year’s best SF is already in its second printing, and clearing the decks a little.

That, of course, doesn’t mean things are slowing down. I’m in the middle of talking to two possible new reviewers for Locus, which hopefully will work out. I’ve got to write up three new proposals for a publisher, and I didn’t get to anywhere near enough short fiction on my break. Oh, and I broke my finger, which still kinda hurts.

I did get to read Bruce Sterling’s new novel The Zenith Angle, which I have mixed feelings about. I think it’s a great book, but a not very good novel. It jumps all over the place like someone with Asperger’s and reads more than a little like a series of metafictional Hunter S. Thompson articles on cyberwarfare as written for Wired, than a traditional narrative, and the ending is silly. But, it’s also cool.

Speaking of cool, I’m half-way through Minister Faust’s The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad. I hated the opening chapter or two, which just bugged me, but it really picked up after that, and so far is pretty terrific. It is a geeky nerd-fest with Egyptian stuff thrown in. I don’t know how it will end or what people will make of it, but so far it looks like a darn fine debut.

More soon, and apologies for being away…

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Progress
Well, it’s 10.35pm on Sunday night and I’ve just finished the corrections to the US edition of the Locus Awards anthology, which I started 7.30pm Thursday. That’s 200,000 words. Whew. Now I’ve got to transpose the corrections from the US edition on to the galley of the Australian edition, send the US pages back, and start in on checking the Australian copy. Whew. I also have to get some proofing done on Locus over the next few days. And when that’s done…ah, what the heck. There’s more stuff. Still I’m getting some stuff done.

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Well…
that last post sounds cheery, doesn’t it? Things aren’t quite that bad – it’s just they look that way at almost 1am when you’ve been doing taxes for too long. Saw the accountant today, which sucked a little, but not a lot, and what more can you hope for . I’m still waiting for the proofing to show, but I’ve got some time off coming up, so I guess that’s what I’m going to be doing. I do need to catch up on some reading and other work though, which I had planned to do on my time off (hmmmm). Hopefully that’ll work.

There is one thing I want to rave about though. I was lucky enough to just read Scott Westerfeld’s second Midnighters book, and it’s damn fine. Westerfeld definitely has the touch when it comes to YA fantasy, the idea’s cool, the characters are good and you basically get sucked in. I’ll write about it properly soon, but if you haven’t you should check out the first book, Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour.

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Crazy times (as always)…

I am the worst planner in the world and the second worst business organiser in the world, and every now and again the world decides to remind me of this. With the help of Marianne and Jeremy, I’ve just seen 200,000 words of proofreading on the “Best Novellas” out the front door. Joy. Then I got email telling me that another 400,000 words of proofs should be coming in this week for the Locus book. Yay! And I just confronted the long delayed taxes, which look like I will owe the tax man enough money to be a bit uncomfortable. Yay. I now dream of quiet days when nothing happens and hardly anyone even speaks to me. A dream underpinned by the quiet mantra “Must get organised, must get organised”.

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My friend Russell…

…asked me if I’d be mentioning his Ticonderoga Online webzine, which has just launched its first issue in this blog. Apparently the issue features fiction by Martin Livings, Jay Caselberg, Sean Williams, Stephen Dedman, Chris Lawson and Grant Watson, so I thought I would. Check it out.

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