Blame Him.

So why have I been so silent lately? It’s not as though there’s been any recent shortage of events worthy of scorn. Sarah Palin brought home the Moron Vote— that most vital of American voting demographics— to the Republicans. The craven cocksucking cowards leading every major Canadian political party got together and decided to exclude the Green Party from pre-election debate, lest the whole country see them getting beaten up by a girl. And the Large Hadron Collider avoided blowing up the universe by the merest of margins. Why aren’t I commenting on any of this?

Blame this guy:


Note the dull, cunning hatred in the eyes. Note the sullen set of the mouth, the garish bling, the gangsta shirt that celebrates one of the most pernicious and addictive drugs on the planet. Notice how he refuses to meet your eyes, no matter how long you look at him.

Let’s call him “Ray”.

“Ray” “works” at the “car dealership” around the “corner” (at least, that’s his secret identity). I gave him a sneak peek at a story I’d just written for an upcoming space-opera anthology (if you visit the crawl with any regularity, you may remember the fiblets I’ve been dribbling out over the past several months). I wasn’t quite satisfied with it myself— seemed too talky, too motionless— but I knew I had nothing to worry about from this puppy. After all, “The Island” had been thoroughly vetted by not one, but two groups of published authors, whose expertise ranged from engineering to anime with a smattering of Mormonism in between; it had come through those gauntlets with pretty glowing reviews. What was an IT guy from Porsche gonna come up with?

“Ray” pointed out that the back half of the plot depended on one of the characters knowing stuff that the front half of the story had clearly established he didn’t know. Also that the front half of the story depended on the same character not knowing a bunch of stuff that the back half of the story established that he pretty much had to know. Neither I nor any of the 15 people who workshopped the story had noticed this.

“Ray” has destroyed the past two weeks of my “life”, as I scramble to do corrective surgery on a 13,000 word story due at the end of the month. There’s been no time to blog, answer e-mails, vet Israeli book contracts, or track down the source of the rancid cat-pee smell lingering in my bedroom. There is only the rewrite.

Which I should probably get back to. In the meantime, if you happen to be in downtown Toronto and run into “Ray”, do me a favor and buy him a drink.

Then, when he isn’t looking, hit him with a rock.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday September 10 2008at 08:09 am , filed under writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

11 Responses to “Blame Him.”

  1. I hope you defeat the wild story soon, Peter, and get back on track with finding the source of that smell.

  2. Is there any chance “Ray” is also responsible for the rancid cat pee smell? A villain that nefarious is surely capable of anything.

  3. I’d like to point out that he does have cats.

    Cats are usually responsible for cat piss smell.

  4. That’s exactly what they want you to think.

  5. Did you say “Israeli book contracts”…?
    I’ll plug http://www.icon.org.il/ , then… a few years ago we had as a guest the guy who wrote The Sandman series. I don’t promise anything, but I hear he was asked to sign on nubile chests.

    The beams in the LHC were injected only in one direction, so there were no collisions and no black holes (permanent or not) could have been formed.

  6. Well hell and damnation I was hoping that PW had been writing furiously but not rewriting. Oh well, I don’t blame Ray.

    I just wish I had more world class authors in my neck of the woods to get sneak peaks from every so often.

  7. If it makes you feel any better, the political parties/broadcaster consortium caved into common sense and decency, and Elizabeth May will be in the televized debates. Just saw the news today.

  8. *AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!*

    I guess if you aren’t suffering, it’s not art.

    *pats shoulder sympathetically*

  9. I clicked to the comments to write the exact bit cow_2001 did, Israeli book contracts, question mark. Except I wouldn’t have put in the bit about signing nubile breasts at ICon.
    Although, now that the topic has come up, I’ll add that you don’t need to be Gaiman to autograph anatomy: my friend had both Orson Scott Card and Guy Gavriel Kay sign her clavicle (Gaiman, she decided, would be too blasé about that).

  10. I’m surprised Orson Scott Card would touch on anywhere near the breastflesh of a lady not his wife. Was he talking about how hard he’s a Democrat but he loves Bush at the same time?

  11. The Lake Fever: I think as pieces of skin go, autographing a clavicle is pretty tame even for a Mormon republicrat such as Card.