Category Archives: Science fiction

Thursday after, during the current pandemic…

What a discombobulated day today has been. This is the fourth day of painting, the second day staying in a hotel, and the second day off work. All is in chaos, though that overstates it. The painting looks great, but smells less great. The mess is all-pervasive because there’s painting done here and there, and the re-ordering will go on for some time, but it’ll have been worth it. Especially if we can get phase 2 and 3 under way. That’ll be up to me and Marianne, because it involves both deciding on a patio option and hoping we can get it done before the summer, and deciding on colours and designs for the family room. Essential, though.

If we can do this, it’ll be a big step forward.  In the meantime, I’m not reading at all beyond a submission or two. I have done a pile of edits, which are good, but have paperwork to do, which is less good. And I’m hoping to steer us through to other side and to some relative calm.

All in all, the second year of the latest pandemic has been hard, but having set aside any plans at all for travel makes it easier to focus on other plans, I suppose. So it goes.

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.

World Fantasy Awards eligibility

With World Fantasy Awards nominations opening, I’ve been asked what I’ve worked on is eligible.  Here’s a quick overview:



Short fiction (under 10,000 wds)

  • Yuli, Daniel Abraham (The Book of Dragons)
  • Lucky’s Dragon, Kelly Barnhill (The Book of Dragons)
  • Except on Saturdays, Peter S. Beagle(The Book of Dragons)
  • Where the River Turns to Concrete, Brooke Bolander (The Book of Dragons)
  • Hikayat Sri Bujang, or, The Tale of The Naga Sage, Zen Cho (The Book of Dragons)
  • The Last Hunt, Aliette de Bodard(The Book of Dragons)
  • The Long Walk, Kate Elliott (The Book of Dragons)
  • We Don’t Talk About the Dragon, Sarah Gailey (The Book of Dragons)
  • Pox, Ellen Klages (The Book of Dragons)
  • The Nine Curves River, R.F. Kuang(The Book of Dragons)
  • We Continue, Anne Leckie & Rachel Swirsky (The Book of Dragons)
  • A Whisper of Blue, Ken Liu  (The Book of Dragons)
  • Anything Resembling Love,  S. Qiouyi Lu (
  • Maybe Just Go Up There And Talk To It, Scott Lynch (The Book of Dragons)
  • Small Bird’s Plea, Todd McCaffrey(The Book of Dragons)
  • Hoard, Seanan McGuire (The Book of Dragons)
  • Camouflage, Patricia A McKillip (The Book of Dragons)
  • Cut me another quill, Mister Fitz, Garth Nix (The Book of Dragons)
  • The Necessary Arthur, Garth Nix (
  • Habitat, KJ Parker (The Book of Dragons)
  • Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law, Lavie Tidhar (

Professional Achievement 

  • Jonathan Strahan (The Book of Dragons; Prosper’s Demons, The Tindalos Asset; The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water; stories)
  • The Coode Street Podcast [178episodes] [co-hosted with Gary K. Wolfe.]

I’d also recommend Rovina Cai for Artist for her work on The Book of Dragons.

I hope you’ll consider supporting the talented people that I’ve worked with during the year.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Volume 2 coming September!

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Volume 2
Cover art by Richard Yoo

The cover and table of contents for The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Volume 2 are out over at  It’s my only book for 2021 so I hope you’ll check it out. You can find the pre-order information for the book here.

The ToC is:

  • “50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know” by Ken Liu
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  • “A Mastery of German” by Marian Denise Moore
  • “Airbody” by Sameem Siddiqui
  • “An Important Failure” by Rebecca Campbell
  • “Beyond These Stars Other Tribulations of Love” by Usman T. Malik
  • “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A.T. Greenblatt
  • “Don’t Mind Me” by Suzanne Palmer
  • “Drones to Ploughshares” by Sarah Gailey
  • “Father” by Ray Nayler
  • “GO. NOW. FIX. “ by Timons Esaias
  • “How Quini the Squid Misplaced His Klobu?ar” by Rich Larson
  • “How to Pay Reparations: a Documentary” by Tochi Onyebuchi
  • “If You Take My Meaning” by Charlie Jane Anders
  • “It Came From Cruden Farm” by Max Barry
  • “Midstrathe Exploding” by Andy Dudak
  • “Polished Performance” by Alastair Reynolds
  • “Schrödinger’s Catastrophe” by Gene Doucette
  • “Sparklybits” by Nick Wolven
  • “The Bahrain Underground Bazaar” by Nadia Afifi
  • “The Final Performance of the Amazing Ralphie” by Pat Cadigan
  • “The Mermaid Astronaut” by Yoon Ha Lee
  • “The Pill” by Meg Elison
  • “The Search for [Flight X]” by Neon Yang
  • “The Suicide of Our Troubles” by Karl Schroeder
  • “The Transition of OSOOSI” by Ozzie M. Gartrell
  • “Yellow and the Perception of Reality” by Maureen McHugh