The Way Things Are.

Packing for Frankfurt.  No time for thoughtful analysis of  the Mono Lake Arsenic Monster (although I did take pleasure in watching Keith Olbermann correct the NASA scientist who screwed up  the name of Star Trek’s Horta episode) beyond saying: Cool, but I actually think that the discovery of anaerobic metazoans has more profound implications when it comes to the search for extraterrestrial life.

I do have time, though, to pat myself on the back for the success with which I’ve stolen someone else’s take on extraterrestrial life.  “The Things” is now officially appearing in two Best-of-Year collections — Rich Horton‘s and Jonathan Strahan‘s — and is also apparently a finalist for the Black Quill Award in the “Darkest Scribble” category (assuming this announcement isn’t some kind of cruel hoax).   Don’t know much about the Black Quill, but they gotta have at least some credibility based on last year’s “Reader’s Choice” award for Best Collection

So if you happen to live in Frankfurt, this will be an excuse to look me up and buy me a beer.  That alone makes the accolades worthwhile.  I’m given to understand that these Frankfurters know a thing or two about that beverage…

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Friday December 03 2010at 08:12 am , filed under biochem, extraterrestrial life, On the Road, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

31 Responses to “The Way Things Are.”

  1. Make sure you check out the Christmas Market. Seriously, even if you hate Christmas, do it.

    I mean, cheerful public drunkenness!

  2. When exactly will you be staying in Frankfurt? Also, the town is know rather for its apple wine than its beer.

  3. Weihnachtsmarkt! Totally. Buy a mug of punch, pay 5 euros and you can keep the mug with a little design as a momento! I love that part.

    Sie haben recht, imho, clvrmnky – The Christmas market is a must-do part of the German experience for foreigners. Very festive and pleasing. And jolly and boozy, with lots of shiny things to buy.

  4. Apropos of nothing in particular: John Scalzi’s blog has a thread for authors to pimp their books leading up to the holidays:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/12/03/your-holiday-book-suggestion-list-from-authors/#comments

    Authors only, preferably with new books out. Wonder where we can find one of those around here?

  5. They have some wonderful beer gartens (might be too cold for that) and great beer halls (never too cold for those). You just have to make it through the nightmare called the Frankfurt airport. However, I did have a several hour layover on my way back from Cape Town and had a beer or three at seven in the morning. Now that is civilized.

  6. @Flanders, ha! I wanted to tell him to post there but wasn’t sure the blogs comments were the best place so I emailed him a very short email with the suggestion that he pimp Blindsight as a vampire romance comedy of errors.

  7. Vampire slipping on a banana peel. When he comes to an attractive medic is hooking him up to some plasma.

    The hard-science angle being that bananas really are alien lifeforms. This is true. The reason we are unaware is that ravenous research assistants always eat all the bananas before any test can be performed on them.

  8. dredging up memories of Frankfurt. Flew in and out of there when I went to Belgium with my parents in 2004.

    What I remember most vividly:
    *The trolley (which reminds me of the trolley in Helsinki)
    *Some interesting stonework on one building
    *How sort of boring the bits I was in looked
    *A huge cylindrical shiny building that looked like something out of Ryleh
    *Appleweiss — or rather, the apple wine Gyözö spoke of. And the very blurry picture I took of the beer hall where I had it, with frankfurters and rye bread and mustard. It tastes like apple juice a bit. I learned for the first time how embarassing it is to get blasted drunk in front of your parents. I must have had three or four glasses without noticing. Although you would probably get away with that amount, as I am notoriously lousy at metabolizing alcohol.

    Things I wish I had seen:
    http://www.frankfurt.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=5021811
    Museums.

  9. My only memories of Frankfurt come from a layover at the train station on the way from Berlin to Amsterdam. From what I saw of it, Frankfurt is wall-to-wall junkies and prostitutes.

  10. @Flanders: And bankers. Ah wait, that’s what you said…

  11. Welcome to Frankfurt, then!
    I had been thinking all the time that ßehemoth was way ahead of anything arsenic out there.
    If you ever make it to Berlin, let me know…

  12. Make a detour via Helsinki and I’ll buy you several beers. Can’t afford to come to Frankfurt unfortunately…

  13. Damn.
    Moved to Berlin in the meantime.

  14. Sorry to break in, but Holy Cow, look at this incredible portrait of Peter:

    http://welcome.icicommeailleurs.org/files/gimgs/12_peter-watts.jpg

    It’s a freaking work of art.

    Kewl.

  15. Gods, Jackboots and Rule 34 is up on YouTubes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP636p5mWwc

  16. You’ve probably seen articles about this by now, but maybe you’ve been too busy so I’ll post a good example anyway. There is some controversy re the arsenical microorganisms you references, or rather re the methodological rigor upon which the widely touted conclusions are based.

    Of course being a habitual cheerleader for alien life (even alien life native to Earth), I’m hoping the misgivings will be shortlived, but logic says we’d better hear from the nay-sayers just in case fate could possibly be cruel enough to make them right.

    This is a link to a good article with many links to other, related points of interest. The Slate piece (linked in the article) is good too: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/dec/08/2

    Enjoy Frankfurt dude!

  17. Hrm, I hope you do have some time at a later point for analysis. Very curious on what your thoughts are. Read a number of articles for and against it’s importance, but still not sure what to make on it. The anaerobics are nifty, but I categorise their area/type of importance differently in my mind.

    Think I’ll have to pick up Jonathan Strahan’s collection, lots of names I enjoy. That, and Sparth cover art is always excellent.

  18. I know this is totally off topic, but I saw this the other day…. and well…

    http://sircritter.com/design/sirsquid/

    I think Peter would want to know about this, with the Holiday Season coming up and all.

  19. Speaking of Sir Squid and the Holiday Season – here is a mix of Christmasy window displays (Saks 5th Ave.) and tentacles, with some Captain Nemoish-H.G. Wellish stuff afoot…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iQU7XR1Kts

  20. @keanani,

    I would like to send Sir Squid some cute socks with squid and octopus themes, or maybe some chocolate (I have a friend who has a truffle business), but I’m sure he gets stuff like that all the time (not to mention who do I send it to, his publisher? a bookstore in Toronto? hey, bookstore is probably a good idea).

  21. or maybe a bandana which he can use to blindfold the scrambler, ha ha I’m so funn^H^H^H^Hcorny.

  22. Hey, are you watching The Deep? It seems to have an “inspired by” feeling to it. I’m not saying they read the Rifters trilogy, but, well, I probably am.

  23. In the last 12 months, the average number of entries per month in this blog was 5.6, median 6.

    Average for the last five Decembers, beginning in 2005? 7

  24. I think the Germans got him.

  25. maybe his blog doesn’t scale and when he increased his post count by a large factor they fell on the floor and we only got the few we saw. he should use mongodb. :p

    or the Germans got him

  26. Did anyone check to see if the sofware company was in headquartered in a gingerbread house?

  27. Maybe he’d been too chatty and got forced to edit the previous blog entry. And then got arrested in the cellar … until the game will be released.

    Or he simply got struck in snow chaos at Frankfurt airport.

  28. ”The Things” is now officially appearing in two Best-of-Year collections

    Make that three: Gardner Dozois has announced the TOC of his Year’s Best.

    Congratulations!

  29. Ok, this is completely unrelated, just thought it’d be interesting:

    http://io9.com/5715516/another-humanoid-species-co+existed-with-early-humans-and-neanderthals

    Sarasti’s ancestors, perhaps?

  30. I *LOVE* “The Things”! If you wrote a novel continueing where it left off I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  31. Yep. Dutchies got ‘em.