Nobody's asked, so either you all got it, or nobody cared. ;-)
(Yeah, I'm not focusing on work very well today. I have Menstrual Incompetence, which really ought to be a clinically recognized syndrome--nevermind PMS: what drives me nuts is the sudden lack of focus, strength, attention span, balance, concentration, courage, stamina, and pain tolerance for three days out of the month. So of course I tried to climb last night, and sucked like a sucking thing. But I'm going to eat something now, and drink some coffee and take my vitamins, and then I am going to stop screwing around and actually get some work done, aren't I?)
For Immediate Release
2007 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced
The judges of the 2007 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society are pleased to announce seven nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:
GREY by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
UNDERTOW by Elizabeth Bear (Bantam Spectra)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF DR. BRAIN by Minister Faust (Del Rey)
NOVA SWING by M. John Harrison (Bantam Spectra)
GRADISIL by Adam Roberts (Pyr)
ALLY by Karen Traviss (Eos)
SATURN RETURNS by Sean Williams (Ace Books)
First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, March 21, 2008 at Norwescon 31 at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington.
I am still in something of a mood, and I really want to work, but none of these short stories are ripe, dammit. And trying to write them when they're not ripe only ends in tears and thrashing.
At least all thatemail is finally downloaded. Man, I have missed Eudora. Gmail is a lovely thing, but the user interface, I say after using it exclusively for two years, is ass.
Well, I see SFWA is embarrassing itself on the internets again. Come on, guys, you can do better than that.
So I guess my plan for the rest of the day, after spending ~3 hours dealing with post office bureaucratic incompetence this morning*, is to play guitar, read books, listen to too much Warren Zevon, and maybe do some math.
*I got not one but two "pick up your package" tags in my mailbox yesterday, one for each of my identities. So I forged my own signature on the "Elizabeth Bear" once, since her name doesn't actually appear on any of my ID, and trundled down to the post office to pick up the packages. Well, my local post office informed me that the tags were for the central Hartford PO, and to go there to get my package. I only had the vaguest idea of where to find it, but I eventually did (there was some driving in confusing parts of the city, and so forth, and did I mention is was hot and sunny and I had a headache?) and they looked at it and said, "You are not our zip code," and I said, "But this is your address on the card," and they went in back and looked. And found nothing. And sent me back to my post office.
So back I went (another 20 minutes driving in city traffic) and stood in line for twenty minutes for the third time, and made them go in back and look...
One (1) used compact disk. Which could have fit in my mailbox, or been left in the lobby, as the mail carrier NORMALLY does.
did I mention I was already stressed out and CRANKY?
krfsm claims he just bought a copy of Undertow, which means that it's probably available in fine brick-and-mortar stores many places, though the official release date is the 31st.
Woo! Froggie book!
Now I'm going to go read this book on game theory, I think.
And my first copies of Undertow just showed up. They came up with a much better tagline for the final cover.
Man, this is a pretty, pretty book. And only $8.99 Canadian ($6.99 US) .... Go, failing dollar!
Eee. Books. Real books! *Wallows in the new-book smell*
And now, some oatmeal, and then back to the word mines.
Somebody will no doubt write to tell me how implausible it is.
But I'm pretty sure that the bogosity index in certain elements of the quantum mechanics hack will sail right past.
just to prove I'm working, a snippet from Undertow:
The yellow sun rode behind haze, swarms of no-see-me's zooming among the tassles. Greene's World was better than Earth that way; about half of the local biting insectoid life had no use for mammal blood. The leeches, however, weren't so particular. And the ragweed equivalents could have choked an elephant.
The air felt primitive. The rich scent of fermenting vegetation bubbled from beneath the water, and Jean's salt stung his cracked lip and his eyes, dried itchy among his stubble. Even to the profusion of alien flowers--mauve and white silverling with its feet wet and its belled heads shaded beneath taller plants, parasitic cutthroat weed threading from reed to reed, its waxy paraorchids dripping treacle-sweet beads of sap with which to trap small unwary creatures--the New Nile delta could have been Earth in the Upper Cretaceous. He could imagine a Dryptosaurus slipping along the shallow waterways, barely ruffling a leaf in passing. Eyeing him like the also-extinct tiger from between concealing reeds.
His hands sweated inside his fingerless gloves as he dragged the pole from the sucking mud of the channel bed and swung it forward. The strain caught him first along the biceps and across the shoulders, and as he leaned into the push, he felt it in chest, triceps, latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, calves. He tugged the pole again, let the momentum of the skiff draw it from the bottom, swung it up. The name of the game was control. He glanced over his shoulder, as if a dinosaur might in fact be considering him for its supper, and almost missed the blue rag with the knot tied downwards that marked the next turn.
If it ripens.
Progress notes for 27 July 2006:
Revised: 114 pages of 404
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: Sick. Bed.
114 / 404
This is a deceptive seeming of progress, because it's the last hundred pages that are actually hosed. In other words, this is the easy bit.
Stimulants: green tea milkshake
Exercise: nose blowing
Mammalian assistance: Mebd sitting on my head, my leg, my keyboard....
princejvstin offers a not terribly enthusiastic but generally positive review of B&I. The "I guess I sort of liked it"s are starting to filter in!
Jerry-rigging: Gonna have to figure out what to do with this cop.
Books in progress: Still working on the hambly. Or, more precisely, it's sitting in my backpack ignored.
the glamour!: My nose is dripping. :-P
Revised: 62 pages of 404
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: Sleepy
62 / 404
Stimulants: Limeade. Also a challah-and-bacon sandwich, for which I am sure I am going to Hell. By the way, don't give up liquor until Worldcon as part of project less-of-oneself just as one begins revising a novel that's more or less busted.
Exercise: Gym. Ski machine, core, pull ups, treadmill, stretching
Mammalian assistance: Mebd has discovered that she can sit on the back of the futon while I write.
Mail: Two more brief blogviews of B&I.
That second one is spoileriffical.
Other writing-related work: sent out a submission.
Books in progress: Barbara Hambly, Days of the Dead
Things I'm glad I didn't go to my grave without: athenais got a very cute photo of me and Dave Keck at Comicon
Eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. 71% humidity.
Still better than Las Vegas.
I've got the AC on and I'm writing the end of the book to Roxette. Because that's just what says "tree-climbing in a hurricane."
And yes, one does say "Undertoad!" with exactly the same diction that one would say "Underdog!" How clever of you to notice.
Progress notes for 11 July 2006:
New Words: 2,567
Total Words: 87,611 / 100,000
Deadline: August 1
Words per day to meet deadline: 0
Scenes left / scenes myrtilized (notecards, if I were using notecards this book): 0
Reason for stopping:
Admittedly, the last 100 pages need to be rewritten, revised, and generally banged on with a hammer before being given three coats of bondo, a good sanding, and two coats of paint, and there are places where I really probably should write the scene where they save the world rather than dispensing with it in a one-paragraph flashback... but I have ten thousand words of wiggle room. It's broken. But it can be fixed. And I even think I know how.
And my ceremonial week off guilt-free from writing any fiction starts now.
Life is good.
Stimulants: carrot juice, olive bread with olive cream cheese, raspberries, grocery store sushi. That wasabi Wild Oats uses? That stuff is nas-tay. Fortunately I had some ungross wasabi in my fridge.
Exercise: none, unless carrying three reams of paper and some groceries upstairs in the disgusting heat counts. Well, and I stretched a little and did some squats, for I am sore from the wobble board yestereve.
Mail: There is a mystery package coming from Random House. I wonder What It Can Be? Also, Roc sent me a couple of copies of their giveaway paranormal romance sampler, which features, among five other titles--Blood & Iron. (Cover Copy:
Undead Love, And
A Twist of Faerie Magic...
)Oh dear. I hope no-one who buys it based on this advertising is too terribly shocked when the only vaguely alpha males are the dying werewolf prince and his would-be successor. And I think the characters who can be described as femme are some secondary characters, a villain, and a lesbian.
Ah well, two out of four ain't bad....
Also, gwyneira liked Blood & Iron.
AND I hear a rumor that SOMEBODY on my reading list got a starred, boxed, illustrated, flashing red ASCII review from Booklist.
Today's words Word don't know: luff
Mean Things: Blew up many things.
Tyop du jour: clamped to nearby tree limps
Darling du jour: Blood, fatigue, and rainwater did not blur his sight.
Phrases I spent fifteen minutes trying to work out a way to avoid: "How thin it had grown."
Jerry-rigging: This new thing where I have to write a sentence, stop, and stare at it, and then revise it--it slows me down a lot, But it does turn sentences like "There was a lot implied in Jean's silence," to "Jean's silence implied much." So I'll live with it.
There's always one more quirk in the character: Jean caved to expedience. Poor Jean.
Other writing-related work: none
Books in progress: Martin Cruz Smith, Stallion Gate; Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice;
Man, have you seen these Army recruitment ads that are all about setting parents up as the adversary for a bright young man who wants to sign up?