- What PS3 and Xbox 360 can do that next-gen can't
Media streaming is a big one for me. PS3 is our main streaming device.
(tags: playstation xbox microsoft sony consoles )
- How to write about The North
(tags: uk funny prejudice media stereotypes )
- Same-sex weddings to begin in March (in England/Wales)
(tags: lgbt wedding marriage uk )
- Scotland to tie pay for MSPs to public sector wages.
(tags: pay scotland parliament government )
- 5000 year old female skeleton has an artificial eye - inlaid with gold!
(tags: history archeology gold viaMartinPage )
- US banks to be banned from trading using their own money
(tags: usa banking investment )
- Artificial sweetener aspartame continues to be totally safe
(tags: safety food )
- Human brain hard-wired for rural tranquillity
(tags: brains environment )
- Miraclement Recolouring Comparison (for the imminent reprints)
It's going to kill me to wait for the trades!
(tags: Miracleman comics colour )
- The VICE Albums of the Year 2013 (hilarious)
(tags: music funny )
- Life on Earth may have developed below rather than above ground
(tags: life )
- YouTube names 2013's top trends.
(tags: videos youtube )
- Uruguay legalises production and sale of cannabis
(tags: drugs marijuana legalisation Yay )
- The fourth wave of feminism: meet the rebel women
(tags: feminism )
- China says $3.7 trillion is enough - Will Mostly Stop Buying dollars to suppress appreciation of yuan
(tags: china usa currency economics )
- The death of the Almighty Johnsons (I loved the end of season three, but was hoping for a season four)
(tags: tv newzealand )
- Charles Stross audience-interview over on io9.
(tags: charlesstross interview )
- George Osborne's U-turn could add £200bn to energy bills
(tags: globalwarming uk )
- Madagascar village hit by bubonic plague
(tags: disease )
- Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram
(tags: science physics astronomy space )
- Europe Fisheries Vote Shows That the EU Can Be Reformed
(tags: europe fish libdem )
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
But topics exhaust themselves and, at the last, I myself brought the talk round to the Fourth Dimension. We were sauntering along the forgotten valley that lies between Hardves and Stelling Minnis; we had been silent for several minutes. For me, at least, the silence was pregnant with the undefinable emotions that, at times, run in currents between man and woman. The sun was getting low and it was shadowy in those shrouded hollows. I laughed at some thought, I forget what, and then began to badger her with questions. I tried to exhaust the possibilities of the Dimensionist idea, made grotesque suggestions. I said: And when a great many of you have been crowded out of the Dimension and invaded the earth you will do so and so? something preposterous and ironical. She coldly dissented, and at once the irony appeared as gross as the jocularity of a commercial traveller. Sometimes she signified: Yes, that is what we shall do; signified it without speaking?by some gesture perhaps, I hardly know what. There was something impressive?something almost regal?in this manner of hers; it was rather frightening in those lonely places, which were so forgotten, so gray, so closed in. There was something of the past world about the hanging woods, the little veils of unmoving mist?as if time did not exist in those furrows of the great world; and one was so absolutely alone; anything might have happened. I grew weary of the sound of my tongue. But when I wanted to cease, I found she had on me the effect of some incredible stimulant.
A $15-million lawsuit against the chair of the Canadian Mint, which turned up evidence that millions of dollars was moved through offshore havens in a "tax avoidance scheme" and much of it was never reported to tax authorities, ended with a pact not to alert the Canada Revenue Agency about the case, CBC News has learned.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sparked another controversy and the threat of legal action when he appeared to accuse a newspaper reporter of having pedophilic tendencies in a televised interview.
The Toronto Star journalist, Daniel Dale, denounced any such suggestion as "categorically false."
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
In retrospect, I should probably have stayed at a hotel closer to SFO on the night before and after the trip and used one of the "stay/park/fly" offers, as it would have been likely no more expensive than parking at SFO was and would have been somewhat easier on me, albeit that I would have had to move in and out of hotels a couple of extra times.
Anyway, I'm back in San Jose through Friday night and will be trying to get to sleep as soon as I can. At least I won't have to pack again until Saturday morning.
- Current Location:San Jose, California
- Current Mood: exhausted
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For [love] and for valour he rode through the land.
No charger have I, and no sword by my side,
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride,
Though back into storyland giants have fled,
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead.
Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed
'Gainst the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed;
And let me set free with the sword of my youth,
From the castle of darkness, the power of the truth.
When a Knight Won His Spurs is a children's hymn written by Jan Struther and set to a folk melody (Stowey) and harmonised by Ralph Vaughan Williams.The hymn first appeared in Songs of Praise in 1931.
Hear it beautifully done by my new favorite British folk duo, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker.
However, it's still a jolly good adventure story, with plucky young hero having the good fortune to save the day for his elders and betters on several occasions. Long John Silver is actually quite a fascinating character and successfully plays several games at once, deceiving absolutely everyone (except, possibly, his wife; in retrospect, it's clear that he is lying about his motivations for leaving Bristol). The shifting geography of power in the temporary human community of the island is well portrayed. I can see why this one has lasted.
Here are some things I need to finish:
You ain't gonna like what I have to tell you, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.
Patience and Fortitude
Nothing made Matthew hate himself more than waiting for the elevator.
Pewter scraped across the black wave-caps of the Atlantic on the morning Carl Hughes learned how his lover had died.
An Apprentice to Elves
Tin laced her fingers together across her gravid belly and frowned along her nose at the feeble human child.
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."
"This Chance Planet"
"It's not like I'd be selling my own liver."
Johnny Backus was a daywalker. Johnny Backus was a vampire. Johnny Backus was a friend of mine.
When Cecily was three years old, she announced that she was "stared of the scares," meaning the basement stairs. It stuck. Especially since Cecily wasn't scared--or stared--of almost anything else.
I loved you not.
There are no unremarkable worlds.
As the innate perversity of the universe would have it, Officer Jericho was up to her elbows in the guts of a roasted pumpkin as big as her chest when her pager shrilled.
The universe will always need plumbers.
"A Time to Reap"
Krissy paused in the wings stage left, in air thick with the smell of dust, imagining thunderous applause.
- Current Mood: lethargic
Until they start getting shut off.
(It was just the landline, and I had enough money in PayPal to fix the problem right away, but still, one more headache I didn't need.)
This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1316554.h
- Current Mood: discontent
Here's an example one (I'm not going to post them all, saving them for the book)...
Aries: 21st of March - 19th of April.
Sign: The Camper Van.
Most Compatible With: The 1976 Austin Allegro.
Best Jobs: Academic, barber, politician.
Power Drink: Um Bongo (typically consumed in De Congo).
Description: All Ariens are born with moustaches. It is partially because of this that they tend towards work in administrative roles, though they are also skilled pornographers and make deeply corrupt ombudsmen. Until the mid 1600s, it was thought that those born of this sign had a natural affinity to tweed. Closer scrutiny eventually revealed this to be their skin, which, owing to a common ancestor (thought to have been a Geography teacher) has a brownish hue, regardless of exposure to the sun.
Over 70% of Ariens are Canadian, due to complex climate-related issues and the obscure breeding rituals prevalent in Canada. In Bolivia, through the 1980s, there was only one child born under the sign of Aries.
Known as ‘Lucky Bob’, he is most commonly known as the inventor of under-water tromboning, for which he holds several world records.
Ariens tend toward being tall and middle-class, sexually depraved and keen philatelists. It is impossible to convince an Aries to enter a church (not because of any antipathy regarding religion, but due to a strong perceived link between Churches and the highly political musical work of Public Enemy).
Most Ariens have a small switch on their back which can be used to put them in ‘power saving mode’, during the operation of which, they will be unable to walk faster than a casual saunter, but can go for over three weeks on a single bag of Wotsits.
Likes: The classic Aries child will naturally gravitate toward collections of magazines about wood, carefully sorted piles of bark, photographs of Polish people, apes and Mardi Gras. Boiled sweets are often popular, and for holiday destinations, the Aries will almost always choose Dunstable.
Hates: Owing to a fundamental inability to tolerate hip-hop, most born of this sign display an intense allergic reaction when brought into contact with Flavour Flav and funk of any sort is known to be met with confused indifference. Ariens also exhibit dismay when exposed to football as they fear spheres which bring them near to tears.
Love: To woo an Aries, it is written that one must first coax them out of their nest by playing freestyle jazz and talking earnestly about the economy, Europe and caravans. Relationships with Ariens are long and tedious, leading more commonly to suicide than divorce.
Money: Frugal and ambivalent, the Aries is prone toward saving and extremely cautious in business. The only fiduciary blind-spot for people of this sign appears to be for polished oak dildos, which they are drawn to (often from extreme distances) and will immediately purchase and cherish.
Luck: Generally poor. If you spy an Aries placing a bet, a wise man would immediately place the opposite bet, then run away and hide under a large concrete hedgehog.
Famous Ariens: Belinda Carlisle. Sting. Gordon Brown. Chewbacca the Wookie. Dale Winton. Kent.
Comments of comment: Ed Meskys 12/06: Thanks. A good view of what SF is really about. I am also a Gilbert & Sullivan fan, and their parodies are of their current stuation, whether it be set in Japan (MIKADO) or the middle ages (PRINCESS IDA). So many stf writers see a future like ours. How many stories had an interstellar civilization continuing to fight a Soviet empire!
Jonathan Martin @jmartNYT Vintage @newtgingrich, pushing back w a history lesson at conservs who knocked him for praising Mandela > http://www.gingrichproductions.com/2
Marcus Chown @marcuschown Retweet if you think the NHS would be safer run by this baby owl in a knitted hat than by David Cameron pic.twitter.com/3xCWyvTiHy
Retweeted by Moonbootica
Al Jazeera America @ajam Judge says Denver bakery must sell wedding cakes to gay couples http://alj.am/1hF24YF
- Current Location:Minneapolis, Baja Manitoba
Had the day off work, partly because I have too much holiday left and need to burn it, partly because I really fancied it and partly because I was meant to be going to a day of talks about wearable technology.
Buttttttt while doing everything else in life, I didn't book my ticket. So. Day off, nothing to do.
So, the night before, I took the precaution of having a little drinky and doing some music. So at least today, I had a hangover, which made the day feel more useful. (There's some logic in there somewhere).
So much of the day was spent decadently lounging about in bed.
I did, however, write about 3,500 words for my Horrorscopes book, which is REALLY FUCKING CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED NOW, and is now well over 50,000 words - something I'm pleased about.
I also ended up doing a bunch of work from home regardless of being 'off'. Can never switch off. *sigh*
Lastly, I had been on my arse all day, so I got up and went for a run, then later, went for a big walk round the block and got in the 12,000 steps I'm trying to hit each day to keep fit. So despite being lazy as fuck, I've done exercise AND been productive! Hurrah!
So yeah, odd day, really.
How the devil have you been?
- Current Mood:okay!
stillsostrange and I survived the zombie run, despite bankruptcy (theirs), cold (Texas's), and insufficient packing (mine.)
I'm plugging away on Karen Memory, though I've hit that bit in the middle of the book where I have to stop and think about things. This is complicated by some reasonably scary family medical stuff that's causing me fairly significant anxiety. Still hoping to make my deadline, but it might be a near thing. Fortunately, scott_lynch will be coming out to visit me after his Exciting Toronto Book Tour! (He's signing at the beautiful Bakka Phoenix this weekend!) and that will help make everything better.
But the really exciting news is that Emma and Will and I have finally finished "Dark Leader." Or at least, nearly. It's got one scene left to be written, and then it goes to beta read, and there will be NEW MUCH-DELAYED SHADOW UNIT. And after that, three more episodes. 0.0
And I just got a bunch of other small projects cleared up. So all that's left is Karen, really. And some nonfiction stuff I need to do.
I need to get on this. 0.0 Augh, deadlines and life.
And here's my honeydew list now.
Thing for Boskone: 10 December 2013
"Covenant" line edits
Interview questions for JJA
Award reading and judging
Karen Memory: 6 January 2014
Cyborg story: 28 February 2014
Sekrit project: February or April 2014
Tiptree story: 30 June 2014
Apocalypse story: 30 June 2014
"A Time to Reap": 1 August 2014
Other apocalypse story: 31 December 2014
Book proposal: Eternal Sky 4-6
"Something's Gotta Eat T. rexes": ?
An Apprentice to Elves: ?
travel and appearances 2014:
MIT SFS: Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 10th at 6 pm. (with scott_lynch)
Boskone: Boston, Massachusetts, February 13-15, 2014
Tucson Festival of Books: Tucson, AZ, March 14-16, 2014
Vericon: Harvard Univerity, Cambridge MA, March 22-24, 2014
RavenCon: North Chesterfield, Virginia, April 25-27th, 2014 (Guest of Honor)
4th Street Fantasy: Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 20-23, 2014
ConVergence: Minneapolis, MN, July 3-7, 2014
Finncon: Jyväskylä, Finland, July 11-13, 2014 (Guest of Honor)
Worldcon: London, England, August 14-17, 2014
ICON: Iowa City, IA, October 31-November 2, 2014
Windycon: Lombard, IL, November 14-16, 2014
Weird West story: August 2015
- Current Mood: cranky
- Current Music:Shriekback - Mercy Dash (Ready for This)
Along with most of the rest of the country, we've been having a chilly week. Nothing on places like Madison and Minneapolis, with temperatures in single digits, but by local standards, damn' cold. Sleeping at night is complicated by the random pile of heat-seeking mammals weighting down the comforter making it tricky to roll over in bed, and pretty much impossible to pull the covers over whatever shoulder is exposed thereby. But by pulling out all the stops in my usual cold-weather layering routine I've been managing to keep reasonably warm. I hate to guess what the electric bill will be like for December, though. And I broke down and ordered a whole suite of Thermaskin long underwear from Land's End. Of course, by the time it arrives, the cold spell will have broken and the longies will be temporarily redundant. But I expect they'll come to some use later in the winter.
Also had a hot toddy for the first time this weekend. Hal and I had meant to get to get to Cederberg Tea House to try the South African tea that friend M. raves about, but in the event the tunnel on 99 was closed making traffic on any southerly approach to Queen Anne pretty well unspeakable, and so we gave up and retreated to dear old Hudson for something warm and consoling. It being too damn' cold to have a Bloody Mary (my usual at Hudson, because they are reDONKulously good there), I decided to try a hot toddy instead. Lovely. Really quite nice. I've been playing with recipes since and have decided that whole cloves are a mistake unless you spike them into the lemon peel because otherwise you just wind up with a mouth full of cloves on the first sip, but otherwise it's a gorgeous drink to curl up around when it's too friggin' cold to do much besides huddle under a blanket and a warm dog and watch The Good Wife.
- Current Location:Santa Fe
- Current Mood: geeky
My contributor copy of Caledonia Dreamin' came in today. See?
It's a nice-looking volume. My story is "Drive the Warlike Angles Into the Sea!!!" and I hope people read it. It was a labor-of-love type story, in that I was eager to be in this book for, among other reasons, the chance to write some Yes propaganda (the book itself is neither for nor against). I also only got £20 for it. But these days, I feel that a lot of anthologies are fairly cynical, with themes designed either for Kickstart friendliness (e.g., Twenty Authors With Blogs!), or being created via mix'n'match—Steampunk Zombies! I liked that this one is focused closely on language and place, and was wide open as far as storytelling goes. Check it out.
Colin Wilson died last week—we wondered if it wasn't a hoax when only the Times (of London) had an obit. It took all weekend for the other papers to get their file obits together. The UK press is playing one last round of "Bash Colin" as well, as in this sort of concern trolling into the afterlife.
Haven't seen any US newspaper obits for Wilson yet at all. The New York Times wrote about him... back in 2005. Don't wear yourselves out, Gray Ladies!
We were particularly spooked by a visit to the Library, a new building completed only a few years before we took early retirement. One of our friends had a few photographs in an exhibition there that he wanted us to see. Now, we've both got very fond memories of the OU's old library, which had a vibrancy about it, always had lots of people milling around and was genuinely one of the hubs of the university. Imagine our surprise to wander into this new and revised library to find it seemingly deserted. Things like check-in desks had been done away with for self-scan devices, security seemed to have vanished, and all that was left was a big open space displaying OU texts and not much else. In the floors above there were the library stacks proper, but the place had the appearance and feel of a mausoleum for dead books. Disturbing.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood:Disturbed
- Current Music:Fun Loving Criminals : Come Find Yourself
We did tape the panel discussion, for all those who were not there, and hope to be able to upload it onto the internet sometime soon, after editing. And signed copies of DANGEROUS WOMEN -- and many other titles by the participating authors -- are available at the theatre, if you want to swing by. No, sorry, we are not yet able to offer the autographed books by mail order, but we hope to change that soon. Watch this space for an announcement.
Santa Feans (and those passing through) still have a couple of days to catch our three "Dangerous Women" films -- SCARLET STREET, ALIENS, and COFFY. (We may hold over ALIENS, but the other two will close on Thursday).
The films roll on, however, and come Friday we have two cool new offerings set to debut.
In a feature slot, we will have a brand new SF/ horror flick that's been creating quite a buzz at flim festivals, LAST DAYS ON MARS.
And for our late show -- Friday and Saturday only, at 11 -- we have CHRISTMAS WITH THE DEAD, based on a story by JOE R. LANSDALE and introduced by The Man His Own Self. We're looking forward to welcoming Joe to Santa Fe.
Zombies for Xmas. What could be better?
- Current Location:Santa Fe
- Current Mood: cheerful
Forgot to say: for those of you who have wads of cash lying around, for this fundraiser I'm attempting a first: a Tuckerization. My head usually doesn't work that way, but I think I could make it happen this time. Anyone who wants to be Tuckerized will end up a cackling bat!
Also, critique offer. That can include novel length.
Click the pic if your wallet is just too weighed down with simoleons, and you need to lighten the load!
My name has already been corrected. I am a happy puppy.
Now if my payment will finally get here...
This is the remaining shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you sometime in the months to come. 2013 is put neatly to bed, with a blanket of stars to pull over its head, and I'll see you so near, and I'll see you so far, and I hope that you're happy and warm where you are.
"Black as Blood," January 7 (website).
Half-Off Ragnarok, March 4.
"Jammed," April 1 (Weird World of Sports).
"We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War," April 8 (Robot Uprisings)
"Knit a Sweater Out of Sky," May 13 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"Stingers and Strangers," May 13 (Dead Man's Hand).
Sparrow Hill Road, June 3.
The Winter Long, September 2.
Symbiont, November 2014.
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
"The Happiest Place...," unknown.
"No Sooner Met," unknown.
Boskone 51, February 14-16, Boston MA.
FOGcon 4, March 7-9, Walnut Creek CA.
Norwescon 37, April 17-20, Seattle WA.
Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-18, London England.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:
"Oh Pretty Bird"
"White as a Raven's Wing"
"Carry Me Home"
"These Antique Fables"
"The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell"
Still Catch the Tide
Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.
Look at that list. It's so shiny!
- Current Mood: tired
- Current Music:Frozen, "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?"
That wouldn't be so bad.
I'll never understand readers who believe – fervently – that an author should never speak up in her own defense. Readers have the right to speak their minds about what I write, and I have the right to reply to their criticisms. There is no author/reader contract that protects them. The choice is mine, whether or not I answer my detractors. The choice is mine, whether or not I answer those who compliment me. That's just the way it works; no one is immune. If you seriously believe otherwise, you need to grow up.
If you haven't already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks!
The winter's off to a rough start. I'm trying to keep my eyes on May. In Alabama I would have said I'm trying to keep my eyes on March. But no relief, no real relief, comes to Rhode Island until sometime in May. Cold Spring holds sway. I blunder into every winter a little less stable than the winter before, it seems.
On Sunday I wrote nothing much. Sunday is sort of inexplicable, and so I'm will leave it with no attempt at explanation. I spent a lot of time reading over what I'd done on "The Mote[L] 2032." It all looked like crap. Everything I had liked about it seemed like a mistake, and I couldn't understand what virtue I'd found there. Finally, I forced myself to put the pages down and step away (yes, actual fucking pages; I edit on paper). I went back to the piece yesterday, on a far less inexplicable day. Yesterday was only shell shock, that numb, stunned feeling that comes on the underbelly of every now and then. Yesterday, I sort of "bounced back" and wrote 1,023, finishing the piece. It'll be in Sirenia Digest #94. I like it, and Sunday remains inexplicable.
My thanks to Mark West for getting my blog off Goodreads, where it was being mirrored illegally, i.e. without my consent.
And we watch stuff. The last two nights we plowed through the fifth and final season of Damages. I wasn't disappointed by the conclusion.
Little Lamb, smile
- Current Location:Zephyria Mensae
- Current Mood: confused
- Current Music:Bruce Springsteen, "Thunder Road"
Two of the other forest stewards and I were planning 2014 (the planning was fun and we’re looking forward to the activities), and the question of plant diversity came up. How much had we increased native plant diversity in North Beach Park? We had a couple plant lists handy, and were quickly able to come up with a pretty good idea. Other than the first order (made in 2011, before I barely knew anything), we’ve concentrated on ordering plants we knew to be under- or unrepresented in the park. Once I got home, I looked through previous lists and came up with a pretty definite figure.
But first, why does increased native plant diversity matter? It’s such a mantra for forest stewards the question deserves to be asked.
- It provides more food sources for the creatures that eat plants. That’s, basically, everything else. If a creature doesn’t eat plants directly, it eats things that eat plants. More insects eating plants means (we hope) more birds eating insects. Invasive plants don’t provide food for insects that eat plants, which is why native diversity is important.
- It also increases the length of the bloom season. Particularly helpful are plants that bloom early in spring or late in summer.
- The greater variety of food sources and extended bloom time are examples of functional redundancy. There isn’t just one plant blooming, but several, which serve different pollinators. And there isn’t just one genus of wetland plant filtering the water, but three or four.
- It improves the soil structure with a diversity of roots. Plants taking water from the soil and releasing it through their leaves (evapotranspiration) is important to soil stabilization. And a variety of root structures will make the soil more lively, which will feedback and make the soil better for the root structures.
- The Pacific Northwest forests need plants at every canopy level — from ground covering forbs and ferns up to the tallest Douglas fir trees. Because (see first item) there are things that eat plants at every level.
- Many of the forest types we target in our restoration have similar plant communities and associations, with the main difference being proportions between the plants. Planting with as wide a palette as possible provides the opportunity for the plants to sort themselves out a bit.
- Plant diversity also builds in resilience to disturbances, whether fire, flood, famine, or climate change. And given that we work in a ravine, we could well be creating a refuge for many plants to escape the worst effects of climate change.
I’m sure there are more reasons, but this is what I can think of off the top of my head.
Oh, the statistics. We — the people engaged in restoration in North Beach Park, whether EarthCorps, a crew contracted by the Parks Department, or people working with Friends of North Beach Park — have planted 63 different species of plant in the park. Of these, 39, or 62%, were unrepresented in the park. Note that these aren’t necessarily rare plants, they’re just unrepresented in North Beach Park. And I’m not saying we’ve increased the diversity by that much. That would need a complete survey of all the plants in the park, native and invasive. But it’s still a fairly good number.
Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.
"Red as Snow" is the story of what happens when Ryan gets introduced to Istas's family, whether he likes it or not. It's the first InCryptid story not to feature either the Price family or Rose Marshall, and I am very well-pleased with it.
You can see Tara's awesome cover for the story here. Enjoy!
This will also, as always, serve as your discussion post.
- Current Mood: sick
- Current Music:Frozen, "Frozen Heart."
I should be back in the office tomorrow, working there the rest of this week before heading home to work from there for the rest of the year through New Year's week.
- Current Location:Toronto, Ontario
- Current Mood: optimistic
Getting home from Omaha yesterday was an epic effort, but I made it. My luggage did not. My irreplaceable Mongolian camel fur hat apparently did not, though there's some hope I absent mindedly packed it into my luggage (which I never do on purpose).
I had five different flight itineraries yesterday. That is to say, at different points in the process, I was booked on five different flights out of Omaha before I finally managed to leave. American cancelled my original route through DFW on Sunday, the day before I was to fly, due to extreme weather in DFW more or less crashing their operations. I was rescheduled to a Monday flight through ORD.
When I got to the airport in Omaha early, they rescheduled me again at the check-in desk to an earlier flight through ORD, to help me make my connection to PDX. That flight began posting later and later, until was both later than the flight that came after it which I had been previously scheduled on, and late enough to make me miss my connection at ORD. It was also clear the later flight was going to be postponed.
I went to the American Airlines counter agent and said, "Look, I'm a terminal cancer patient. I have two oncology appointments tomorrow. I have to get home tonight. Can you reschedule me through Denver on another airline, since both Dallas and Chicago are such a mess?"
They're not really supposed to do that when they still have available seats in their own system, but he poked around and was very helpful, placing me on a set of Frontier Airlines flights that went OMA-DEN, then DEN-PDX. Since I'd already checked in, he called down to the American baggage room and had my bag transferred to Frontier.
The earlier Frontier flight was full, so I wasn't leaving til that evening. Then Lisa Costello texted me that the evening flight had posted a two-hour delay, which would again make me miss my PDX connection, stranding me in DEN. I went up to the Frontier gate agent and told him the same thing I'd told the American agent. He put me on stand-by, then got me on the plane in their 'stretch seating', which is what Frontier has instead of First Class. I'm pretty sure they're not really supposed to do that, either, especially since I wasn't even a Frontier customer in the first place.
I finally got on a plane leaving Omaha, my fifth scheduled flight out. I have no idea what happened to my bag at that point. My connection in Denver going to Portland was almost two hours late, but I got out of Denver and home last night. Frontier has no idea where my bag is, because I do not have a Frontier Airlines bag check tag, due to the interairline transfer back in Omaha, and they can't trace it through the American Airlines bag check tag. We're hoping it came in overnight from Omaha via Denver, but given the other delays, it may still be languishing in Omaha or in Denver. As me getting home was the critical issue, I am not grumpy about this. I would like to see my bag again sooner or later.
At any rate, on a day when well over a 1,000 flights were cancelled, thanks to the flexibility of two gate agents, one for American Airlines and one for Frontier Airlines, I got home. My first oncology appointment is at 8 am this morning, my second is this afternoon. I will make them.
So my thanks to both airlines.
Now I'm off this morning for some bloodwork preparatory to tomorrow's monthly consultation with my medical oncologist. This afternoon I have a screening and intake appointment for one of the clinical trials I am trying to engage with. Overnight has brought the Portland area radically unseasonal snow and ice, which will make getting around today a lot more exciting than it should be.
But I'm here, and I can make it in to my appointments. Thank you American, and thank you Frontier.
So I had a post burbling today on George Zimmerman’s girlfriend – who, after she called 911 to say that George Zimmerman had stuck a gun in her face, recanted and dropped the charges. And I was writing a post about abusers, and how people are manipulated by abusers, and how the stress of breaking free of an abusive relationship and having everyone knowing what a mess you’re in often makes people want to drop everything and revert back to those simpler days when they didn’t have to self-identify to all their loved ones as “an abused person.”
But that’s a high-wire post, there. Slip a bit to one side and you’re making it seem like Zimmerman’s somehow justified. Slip a little to the other side and you’re implying that the abuse is all the victim’s fault, and a little more gumption would have gotten them out of any bad situation.
Slip a little to yet another side and people are going to miss this very fine distinction that while I understand all the good reasons someone has not to report an abuser, and that I would never blame you if you didn’t want to go through this frustrating and oft-unfruitful bureaucratic PR nightmare, it’s still better if enough people can fight past the system to put assholes like this away. And they’ll accuse me of victim-blaming, when what I’m trying to do is generate sympathy for the terrible plight a victim is in.
And no matter what I did, the comments would be filled with hateful stuff from people who make snap-judgments, saying things like, “Well, why the hell was she dating Zimmerman in the first place? What a dumb bitch!” Which would hurt my heart, because my first instinct is to always go, “There but for the grace of God go I.” And others would debate all the facts of the Zimmerman abuse case, which would require me to come rapidly up to speed on how all this works so I could be sure I was correct.
And everyone would make everything seem simple: When you’re abused, here’s what you do, and if you don’t do it, you’re stupid! When you’re dealing with the cops, here’s what you do, there’s only one right way! And I’d be fighting both sides in an attempt to argue, once again, that the world is full of moral complexities, and goddammit your need to convert a million shades of gray into black and white is not helping.
Between all the flame wars I would need to quash and the danger that someone would misinterpret me, I think of all the effort this blog post would take me. And I’ve got a big project at work to do, and not enough time to manage comments, and so I put this post on the backburner and see if one day I feel it’s worth the energy it would take to shape and manage it properly.
This happens about three times a week.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/359548.h
A couple of pix, the inimitable Anton Diffring featuring in the upper one:
- Current Music:Lera Auerbach - Eterniday
Here’s what my friends at the Clayton fund have to say about themselves:
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draw on our money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.
The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.
As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often qualify for matching donations from employers.
Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund's Web site (http://www.osfci.org/clayton) or mailed to:
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228
Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you a letter acknowledging your donation.
I’ll be donating from my surplusage from this year’s fund raising for my benefit. If you’ve got a few extra bucks this season looking for a tax deduction, why not join me? It’s an excellent cause helping writers who often have run out of financial lifelines. It's an organization that has been of great help to me personally. That's two fantastic reasons right there.
The first was Be Our Guest in the expanded section of fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. It's a inexpensive counter service restaurant, and you have to wait in line for at least half an hour or so to get in if you don't have reservations, but it was completely worth it.
It's in a new Beauty and the Beast area. There's a square with a fountain, a little shop, and another small counter service place called Gaston's Tavern (which serves pork shank and cinnamon rolls as big as your head -- Disney does food well), and all of it looks like real-life versions from the movie. Then to the left of that is a castle wall, with a long bridge across a moat that looks like it's cut through a forested hillside, with a waterfall. Then at the end of the bridge is a mountain, and on top of the mountain is a castle. It's all forced perspective, so it looks like it's full size, just further away than it actually is. You walk through the mountain entrance to get into the castle, which has three large dining rooms, one the castle hall, one the castle ballroom, and one the scary West Wing that Belle wasn't supposed to go into. (It was almost too dark to eat in there.) One end of the hall has frosted glass windows looking "outside" and because it was December it occasionally snowed behind them. (It was 80 degrees in the real outside.) In the West Wing there is the portrait of the beast, and the rose in a glass jar, both of which periodically do all the things they did in the movie. (The rose in the jar was particularly impressive. It wasn't animated -- it looked like a three dimensional hovering magical rose that was magically losing petals due to a curse, and it was only a few feet away from you. They do really, really cool things with projections onto objects.)
They cut off the line at a certain point and don't allow anyone else to line up for a certain period (I think it was an hour and forty-five minutes) so the restaurant was full, but not chaotic or crowded, and there was plenty of room for everyone to find a table, and also lots of room between the tables for people to walk around and see everything in all the rooms, like the portraits, statues, intermittent snow, moving rose, etc. (One of my friends accidentally walked into the kitchen at one point, because it's not labeled.) You order on touch screens as you come in, then go sit down, and they bring you the food in rolling glass and wood carts that look like something from a fancy la belle epoque Paris restaurant. (To find you, they either give you a rose token (a small electronic device shaped like a rose) or you use the Disney "magic band" that comes with the meal plan, and they actually track that to your table. (Fortunately, we realized we needed to leave our bands on the table while we got our drinks.) The food was not expensive and very delicious. I got a roast beef sandwich with green beans. The deserts were these various wonderful cupcake-size things of different kinds with beautiful decorations, and were also delicious.
Even though you have to get there early and stand in line, it was totally worth it. I'll try to post som pictures as soon as I get copies.
* I'm on the the Coffee with Kenobi podcast: http://www.coffeewithkenobi.com/cof
* My co-writer on Blade Singer, Aaron de Orive, has a post on SF Signal about the kickstarter: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2013/1
* Athena's Daughters has a Kickstarter - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103
* The Book Fair for Ballou SR high school library has started: http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/201
ETA: and here are the photos: http://marthawells.livejournal.com/5775
Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Mars lake 'much like early Earth' — The ancient lake environment found in Mars' Gale Crater could have supported microbes called chemolithoautotrophs - if they had been present. Remember when the question of whether there had ever been open water on Mars was highly debatable? I love science.
“Its (sic) not bigorty (sic), its (sic) biology” — Ah, conservatives. Incompetent as well as bigoted.
Oregon Campaign For Gay Marriage Hits Signature Goal — Another breath of sanity against the winds of conservative religious bigotry.
The NSA Has Been Spying On World Of Warcraft — Wow, do I feel safer. And this without Moat GunZ!!!™ even.
South Carolina Sheriff Deletes Facebook Post About Refusing To Lower Flags For Mandela — Huh. Wonder why he backed down. It’s not like Republican officials in the American south ever pay any kind of penalty for their racism. The opposite, really.
There’s Now A Coloring Book To Teach Your Children To Love Ted Cruz — Wow. Just wow. I guess stunting their children’s (and everyone else’s children’s) minds with evolution denial and a refusal to teach critical thinking isn’t good enough for conservatives. Now this cult of personality shit?
Washington Doomsday Prophecy — Hahahah.
Republican to-do list — Hahahah. Yeah.
No soul-searching for Virginia GOP after losses — Mullins mocked post-election analysis that said Cuccinelli was too conservative for a changing state. “This is false narrative by false prophets,” he said. Because, uh, yeah. You know what? Keep it up, GOP. Your Angry White Men are dying out, and pretty much everyone who isn’t an older white man or a member of some deeply politicized church is soooo done with you. All the better for the entire country, your party members included, if you hurtle into irrelevancy guns ablazing.
The Punishment Cure — Now, the G.O.P.’s desire to punish the unemployed doesn’t arise solely from bad economics; it’s part of a general pattern of afflicting the afflicted while comforting the comfortable (no to food stamps, yes to farm subsidies). That’s actually an excellent précis of most of the Republican party platform. Which arises logically enough from their Angry White Men strategy, itself an impassioned, no-compromise defense of established privilege (or at least perception of established privilege), proudly and self-consciously at the expense of the rights and opportunities of others. (Not to mention more subtly at the expense of their own rights and opportunities.)
?otD: Got oncology?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
The Daily Deals keep expanding:
The Deal of the Day is on Rosetta Stone Level 1-5 Sets for 52% off. I don't know anyone who's ever used this software, but it does border on ubiquitous.
The other (and more tempting) DotD is on The Dark Knight Trilogy for 62% off ($19.99 on Blu-Ray, $14.99 on DVD). That's like nineteen hours of Christian Bale's strained voice, and about six hours of Tom Hardy incomprehensible one.
The third DotD is on the NETGEAR N750 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router for $79.99 (60% off, about $20 off other sellers).
And the fourth DotD is on the Philips AEA7100/17 StarMaker Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker & Wireless Karaoke Microphone for $64.95 (64% off, and about $100 off other deals).
The Kindle Daily Deal offers a bunch of YA novels for $2.99 or less. Notable choices here include Eleanor and Park and Transcendence. There's also a daily deal on Starcraft novels at $1.99 a pop, including kradical's Ghost: Nova.
Also cheap on Kindle: Lawrence Block's The Burglar in the Rye and Jackie Robinson's I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson are $1.99 each. Ditto Susan Lucci's All My Life.
In DVDs, the first 11 seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (AKA CSI: The Good One) are on sale for at least 50% off, with some down to $9.99. Of course, the two most recent with Ted Danson have reinvigorated the show, and aren't on sale yet, alas.
In video games, DMC: Devil May Cry for the Xbox 360 is $14.99 (50% off, about $5 off in real life, though), while Zumba Fitness World Party for the XBone is $39.99 (20% off). LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is $49.99 (17% off) for the XBone and $39.99 (20% off) for the Xbox 360. There are discounts on almost every system on that last one, although it's largely out of stock (but the Vita download code at $29.99 is a nice one).
Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition is also $14.99 (50% off) for the Xbox 360.
You can pre-order Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy for the 2/3DS for $29.99 (25% off).
In board games, the DC Comics Deck Building Game is $26.37 (41% off), and the Star Trek Deck Building Game: Next Phase Edition is $9.74 (76% off). King of Tokyo is $26.90 (40% off), or you can save $1.50 on a backordered version under "more buying choices." And Love Letter (which gets some rave reviews) is $7.49 (38% off).
In MP3s, 100 Must-Have Classical Christmas Concertos can be had for only $1.09. Since you must have them, you might as well have them at this price. That same price also nabs you 100 Must-Have Angel Christmas Voices and 99 Must-Have Chillout Christmas Classics. For only $.99, throw in 111 Amazing Classical: Christmas (although you'd better like your Handel and Tchaikovsky for that one; it's not high on variety).
In kitchen stuff, the Waring Pro TCO650 Digital Convection Oven is $59.99 (66% off, about $30 below other deals).
In magazines, you can nab six-month "all access" (digital and print) subscriptions to Self, Lucky, Glamour, and Allure for $3 each. For $6 a pop, you can grab Golf Digest, Vogue, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveller, or GQ. Six months of Wired, meanwhile, goes for $5.
And finally, for those with something to grind, the 36-inch Fiskars Splitting Axe is $38.51 (30% off, about $12 off other deals).
The idea has been simmering away waiting for an excuse to start it, but with everything else going on, kept receding like a mirage, until I got an invitation to submit something to a proposed anthology called Athena's Daughters.
I really liked this interesting bunch of women and their publishing group, Silence in the Library. (One of them is a jet pilot in the military, how cool is that?) I liked the project, and since mine met the requirements--strong women, magic . . . I wrote the beginning of the novel as a short story. (Well, short for me, at 8k words). The story doesn't get much into Hera, who I always thought one of the most interesting of the mythological figures, conflicted as the stories are about her, but my key bats are definitely in it, getting a start to their new careers as superheroes.
If you've hit the link, you'll see that it's a fundraiser, so that we and the artists will get paid. As fundraisers go, it's pretty modest. I hope anyone interested with a few bucks to throw into the kitty will check it out, and be sure to watch the vid, shot in Washington D.C.