matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")

While we're on the subject of the Doctor it occurs to me that Doctor Who is the only work of science fiction of which I am aware other than Justin Leiber's Beyond Rejection and (ahem) my own books that deals with the plain and medically evident fact that human cognition and identity and personality is based at least as much in the meat and its physical structures as it in in the electrical impulses imposed thereon.



matociquala: (tea)
Yesterday, I went to Logee's with friends. (Logee's, for those of your unfamiliar with it, is a southern New England institution, especially in wintertime. It's a nursery... but it's a nurdery that has allowed its greenhouses to be absolutely overrun with giant plants. Here's my flickr set, most of which is from last year's visit. [livejournal.com profile] batwrangler has much more awesome photos. I love that place.)

We saw many amusing and fascinating plants, but the one that occasioned the greatest comment from all was this alien creature: 

2011 04 02 Logees 002 
(We had a long discussion over what color it was, exactly: cyan? turquoise? teal?)

This house, which is very dark, has been the death of almost all of the plants that flourished in the sourh-facing windows of my old apartment. Determined to have at least a few shade-tolerant pieces of foliage around the place, I came home with a couple of begonias, an African violet of a positively intense shade of, well, violet (the photo does not do it justice) and...

...a plant apparently imported from Fortune/Grail:

2011 04 03 flora

Yes, it really is black. Not dark purple, not dark maroon, but black. It's a Colocasia esculenta, which is to say a taro. And this particular individual is a genetic sport. It's supposed to have green leaves speckled in black, but this specimen (and several others on the shelf with it, which I assume were clones) had this striking coloring.

Of course I brought it home. It's research!

I promised to report back on [livejournal.com profile] thatpotteryguy's bread pan. Verdict? Very good bread, but I need to do two things next time: (1) bake the bread longer, because the pottery shields the lower half of the loaf from the oven heat, so the crust was a little light, and (2) grease the sides of the pan. The bottom released just fine (I made sure there was cornmeal in the bottom of the pan) but I had to pry the sides loose with fork and knife, terrified the whole time I was going to break the pan.

2011 04 02 Our Daily Bread 001  2011 04 02 Our Daily Bread 003

2011 04 02 Our Daily Bread 005

In conclusion, yum. (It's an all-white sourdough loaf, and normally I would have divided it into two loaves, but it seemed like the pan would hold it.)

And now it's the next morning, and time for tea.

Tea today: Upton's Berry Herb
Teacup today: Green stoneware

2011 04 03 daily commute 002  2011 04 03 Daily Commute
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
Suvudu has an interview with me, and a Jacob's Ladder giveaway.
matociquala: (writing dust rengeek shakespeare)
Books on a dog February 2011 002

Buy these books or this dog starves.

(Never has any animal been so tormented)
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
It's Book Day!

I shall be signing at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge (MA) tonight at 7, and if you can I'd love to have you meet me there. If you can't, Grail is available all over the internet, and from most local retailers.

And since it is book day, here is your Grail spoiler thread.



(No photo on a dog, since I don't have my copies yet!)

Now my headcold and I are going to make tea and see if we can accomplish some yoga.
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)
1) Bm, even the cheater version, is farther away than I think it is. Also, the non-cheater version of F (which I am finally attempting to learn for reals this time after many abortive efforts) is extra hard when you have crooked fingers.

Barre chords, still the devil.

2) There was just a thunderstorm. This really is Fimbulwinter.

3) I sucked roc eggs climbing today. No strength in my mantling muscles at all.

4) First Grails sighted in the wild! Free excerpt here!

5) And, alas, I figured out that the first two chapters of May Mazer and the Ghost Ship are totally wrong, and I have to take them apart completely and write something different. The good news is, it's also something better. So yay with that!
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)
1) Bm, even the cheater version, is farther away than I think it is. Also, the non-cheater version of F (which I am finally attempting to learn for reals this time after many abortive efforts) is extra hard when you have crooked fingers.

Barre chords, still the devil.

2) There was just a thunderstorm. This really is Fimbulwinter.

3) I sucked roc eggs climbing today. No strength in my mantling muscles at all.

4) First Grails sighted in the wild! Free excerpt here!

5) And, alas, I figured out that the first two chapters of May Mazer and the Ghost Ship are totally wrong, and I have to take them apart completely and write something different. The good news is, it's also something better. So yay with that!
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
Those lovely folks at Suvudu have posted the first fifty pages of my far-future SF novel Dust, with a nice little note from my lovely editor, Anne Groell Keck.

Since book two of the Jacob's Ladder trilogy, Chill, has just been nominated for the Dick Award (that never, ever gets old) and book three, Grail, comes out on the 22nd of this month, this is a really great time to read the trilogy. Which is, you know, the sort of thing you might like if you like that sort of a thing.



Just answered a bunch of interview questions, and I still haven't figured out how to write this scene. Maybe the answer is in a nice bowl of leftover pho and some minty hot chocolate.
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
Those lovely folks at Suvudu have posted the first fifty pages of my far-future SF novel Dust, with a nice little note from my lovely editor, Anne Groell Keck.

Since book two of the Jacob's Ladder trilogy, Chill, has just been nominated for the Dick Award (that never, ever gets old) and book three, Grail, comes out on the 22nd of this month, this is a really great time to read the trilogy. Which is, you know, the sort of thing you might like if you like that sort of a thing.



Just answered a bunch of interview questions, and I still haven't figured out how to write this scene. Maybe the answer is in a nice bowl of leftover pho and some minty hot chocolate.
matociquala: (criminal minds bad shirt brigade)
Publishers Weekly loves me:

Grail

Elizabeth Bear, Spectra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-59109-5
This deftly told story completes the Jacob's Ladder trilogy begun in Dust and Chill. The Conns and the other inhabitants of an ancient wandering spaceship face their last and greatest challenge. They've finally found a habitable planet, but others beat them to it: "right-minded" humans, surgically altered to achieve emotional balance, and more alien to the Jacobites than extraterrestrials would be. Leaders on both ship and planet are willing to fight and kill to keep the two cultures from interacting, while old enemies aboard the Jacob's Ladder re-emerge to wreak destruction. The story is poised on a knife's edge, with the Jacobites facing both possible annihilation and inner demons just as they're closing in on their goal. Bear's talent for portraying cultural divergence and conflict is especially apparent in this intense wrapup. (Mar.)

Also, view from C concourse of McCarran still gorgeous at sunset. (Sorry, Vegas Peeps, only here long enough to have my plane delayed.)

Also, man that's a long flight. I don't miss it.
matociquala: (writing sf starwars wookiee stet)
I bring you so many good things today (and one sad one)! As if the universe is joining me in celebrating sending back the last few corrections on Grail (found an embarrassing continuity error at the last minute; hope I didn't break anything else fixing it, since I broke the continuity fixing something else) I have cover art for two other books in my hand

Oh, and of course, I've started to think of all the cool things I should have found a way to get into Range of Ghosts. Well, it's got at least one full revision coming--

First off, cover art for The Sea Thy Mistress--in my hot little hands.



Okay, Cahey's hair looks a little funny, and I'm not sure where the cloak comes from, but that's probably a universal signature of This Is Fantasy. I'm dead pleased that he's on the cover, though, and that he's sufficiently brown. No idea where the Celtic spirals are coming from, but hey, Norse, Celtic, it's all the same, and it looks pretty... *g*

February 11th is our chance to prove that fantasy novels with brown people on them sell just fine, right? (This was a very hard book for me to write, for personal reasons, and I'm very neurotic about people reading it. But it's not written until its read, as they say. And it's full of things I felt like I needed to say, and possibly work through for myself. Hopefully it will help others who have been through similar adventures in their lives.)

Anyway, it's an eye-catcher, and I'm very happy.

Additionally, we have cover art for METAtropolis II: Electric Boogaloo Cascadia, which is pretty nice, if I do say so myself.



That one drops Nov 16th. Available in audio format only for now, from Audible and other sources. (Like iTunes, I think).

Now for the not-so-great news. Realms of Fantasy is shutting down its presses. I will continue reviewing books at Tor.com and Ideomancer, which does absolutely nothing to lessen my sorrow at seeing another bastion of the genre fail.
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
A good C.E. is a joy forever.

That is all.
matociquala: (criminal minds boom)

Whew. A bunch of work on Range of Ghosts this morning, a mid-day filled with errands and chores and pleasant social obligations, and then got to page 250 on the wolves in the rewrite. It's not the easiest revision I've ever done--that was Scardown, which I did in two hours snatched from the middle of a gaming convention--but really, I guess we did okay. I found a couple of continuity errors and fixed those, and I've been vacuuming some word rep, but other than that we're doing very well.

Word is that the Grail copy-edited manuscript lands tomorrow. I think I will put that off until I get through this pass of An Amphibrach* of Men, because I think I can only hold two novels in my head at one time and do either one justice.

Range of Ghosts is still mostly cooperating.

Oh, and I just agreed to pinch-hit a short story for an anthology that's coming in short. By year's end.

Where's that other shoe?



*What, you're surprised that I'm a nerd?

matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
Yesterday, I wrote about 3,000 words of Range of Ghosts. Today, I have no clue how much I'm going to write, but it would be nice if it too were a good big chunk. (3000 words a day is about the most I can do sustainably, and I cannot always even manage that.)

Anyway, yesterday Samarkar whipped out higher mathematics at a crime scene, and my love for her crystallized. I have a serious kink for science!wizards. As you may have noticed.

Today, if I am virtuous, I may make it to the tiger. TIGER! 

This book is being very good about both keeping the cool coming, and providing me with enough ideas for the next day's writing without having to stare into space and make snuffling noises for long periods of the day. It's kind of a romp, really.

Meanwhile, I have Inside Information that the copy-edited manuscript for Grail is coming back to me soon, as apparently Spike, my illustrious copyeditor [livejournal.com profile] baron_elric's polymorphously polydactyl cat, is done with it.



Spike is something of a character, as you can see here:



And now, once I wash my hair, back to the word mines.
matociquala: (writing dust rengeek shakespeare)
And I just heard from Anne-my-editor-Anne: Grail has gone to production.

Strength to your arm, little novel. It's out of my hands now.
matociquala: (criminal minds garcia plan b)
One of the annoying things about having an agent who is also a pretty good editor (tm) is that she points out exactly the things you knew were wrong in the book all along, and had no idea how to fix within the constraints of the story.

Oh, well.

"A novel is a work of fiction longer than a short story, and flawed."
matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
Attempts to head off the hypomania via a midnight canning frenzy have not worked.

I guess I am working on Grail tonight.

Forgive me, Father, for I am murdering darlings.

And right now, killing a whole bunch of lovely, meditative exposition that [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia rightly thinks slows the book down a lot.

Including this bit that I really like, so you get to read it here:

When Perceval allowed herself to rise toward the surface, she slid through schools of creatures no larger than the palm of her hand, while in the dimmer depths lurked armored freshwater Chinook like sleekly legless hippopotami.

Perceval dove to swim beside one, sucked along in its wake, each slow oscillation of its powerful tail stirring swirls of debris and organic matter from the River's bed. It massed four or five times what she did; when she reached out and brushed its titanium-laced battleship plating with her hand, it took no more notice of her than she might of the wings of a passing butterfly.

Bye bye, pretty self-indulgent synbiotic salmon. Write if you get work.
matociquala: (criminal minds boom)
Well, got through Anne's line edits on Grail (I hear a rumor Jenn's notes are arriving tomorrow) and am now contemplating starting work on some of the queries.

If I am brave and lucky, and Jenn's comments aren't too heavy, I could even have this done by the end of the weekend.
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")


Cover art! And a publication date!

(Next February, if you were curious.)

Yeah, I'm pretty geeked. Oh, my.




ETA: Oh, and I just found out the mass market paperback of By the Mountain Bound will be out August 31st. With a spiffy somewhat redesigned cover:

matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
Score! Really wonderful and complementary review of Chill by Russell Letson in this month's Locus. Not only did he like it, he seems to have gotten it, which makes a writer's heart glad. 

Quote:

"But even with all the slow revelation and sight-seeing, there is still a rising-action-and-climax structure, and it comes on with an unexpected bang and a rush of revelation in an aptly-titled final chapter. The pleasures of the trilogy include those of the epic narrative married to those of the travelogue and the fictive history. Bear is exploiting all of these quite thoroughly."

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