- Place:Santa Fe
- Random: 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 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?
- Place:Santa Fe
- Random: cheerful
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.
Wyrm Publishing has released CLARKESWORLD: YEAR FIVE in ePub and MOBI/Kindle editions. Trade paperback is coming later this month.
Since 2006, Clarkesworld Magazine has been entertaining science fiction and fantasy fans with their brand of unique science fiction and fantasy stories. Collected here are all of the original stories this Hugo Award-winning magazine published during their fifth year. Included in this volume are twenty-four stories by visionary writers of short fiction, including Ken Liu, Nnedi Okorafor, Robert Reed, N.K. Jemisin, Yoon Ha Lee, E. Lily Yu, and more!
Introduction by Neil Clarke
Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee
Perfect Lies by Gwendolyn Clare
Tying Knots by Ken Liu
Seeing by Genevieve Valentine
Salvaging Gods by Jacques Barcia
Laying the Ghost by Eric Brown
The Children of Main Street by A. C. Wise
Diving After the Moon by Rachel Swirsky
Three Oranges by D. Elizabeth Wasden
Matchmaker by Erin M. Hartshorn
Trickster by Mari Ness
The Book of Phoenix (Excerpted from The Great Book) by Nnedi Okorafor
The Architect of Heaven by Jason K. Chapman
Frozen Voice by An Owomoyela
Trois morceaux en forme de mechanika by Gord Sellar
Pack by Robert Reed
Semiramis by Genevieve Valentine
Whose Face This Is I Do Not Know by Cat Rambo
The Taxidermist's Other Wife by Kelly Barnhill
On the Banks of the River Lex by N. K. Jemisin
Signals in the Deep by Greg Mellor
The Fish of Lijiang by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu
Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee
The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu
Clarkesworld Citizens - Official Census
Trade Paperback Coming Soon
EBook Edition Now Available at:
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.
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 other day I read this article on Gawker about bad reviews, and smarm. It was inspired, to a degree, by a notice in the new books section on Buzzfeed saying they would not publish bad reviews.
I thought it was interesting, but sadly, nothing terribly new. For as long as I can remember, people have been caught in a debate about if its right to be negative or not. Some people believe that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say it. Despite the reference to Bambi that is tossed around – let me assure you that referencing Bambi doesn’t give you any authority in this matter – there is some merit to the thought. If you know the authors involved, you won’t upset them. If you are part of the industry, you won’t burn any bridges. And, sometimes, yes, sometimes, careers can be halted by a particularly bad review, or opinion that forms online (and off) about the work. Nice people get burned in real world ways when that happens. Still, others think otherwise. For some people, reviews ought to kick out, take no prisoners, be both good and bad, and push up the symbol of art, celebrate the superb and challenge weak craft. Some people even enjoy a good take down.
For myself, I have always been part of the latter group. The reason I do is not because I enjoy a good take down – though I do, just as I enjoy well argued praise – but because I recognise that reviews and criticism do not have anything to do with me, either as a person, or an artist. Whenever I see the Bambi line given, I always think that it is in response to a desire not to upset the artist, and the machine that is behind him or her. It is as if the review has stopped being about the work, and has instead become a tool to help advertise – part of the promotional machinery that speaks not to readers, but to this insider group that exists around the book. But a review or criticism is not about communicating with the author or publisher, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is about communicating with the reviewer’s own readers, about beginning a conversation that is born out of the interaction of the individual and the work.
What is often overlooked, I feel, is that a review is an independent piece of work, existing beside the – in this case – fiction that it rose from. It is not the property of the novelist, or the publisher, but rather the property of the novel, and the novel, once it is published, is no longer the property of one individual. It is a communal object, and as a communal object, it will be used in discussions, arguments, essays and whatever – and sometimes, they’re going to be positive, and sometimes they’re going to be bad. Whatever the outcome, the critical work of a novel, I feel, has more in common with film adaptions, cosplay, fan fiction, and whatever else a novel can give birth too, than the novelist and their relationship with the novel.
There’s a whole lot of things in criticism to unpack. You can argue if it is right for a reviewer to cultivate an audience, you can point out the inevitable personal relationships that come from interlinked scenes, and so on and so forth, until you have exhausted each avenue, and found even that some parts contradict others. But for me, I think there is more to be gained by putting aside the Bambi line, which is bad for children, anyway, since it promotes silence over honesty, and just encourage people say what they will say and to say it well.