I’m in the middle of one of those extended island writing retreats I’ve mentioned in the past: they didn’t stick me in the women’s washroom this time, but they did stick us in a room with a binary shower. Turn it left, you freeze: turn it right, you scald. Turn the tap in between those extremes and the flow shuts off entirely. To paraphrase Yoda, There is no warm.
The day starts with a run and a swim, in water which has somehow, miraculously, gone from borderline flammable to drinkable in a measly twenty years (that’s right: part of the environment actually getting better, right here on my front porch: who’d've thought?). It ends with the raucous nightly consumption of numerous bottles of wine in the commons area. What with the endless writing and reviewing and critiquing in between, there just hasn’t been time to weigh in here on preemptive homicide as a legitimate form of self-defense, or the fascinating way that the popular press — after their awestruck initial descriptions of James Holmes’s “best of the best” intellectual stature — have already begun to rewrite his history as that of a dolt and a hack, as though the premise of a genius-level mass murderer simply Will Not Stand here in the real world (Hannibal Lecter’s popularity notwithstanding in the fake one). Hopefully I’ll get there eventually.
At the moment, though, there’s no time for anything but a bullet list of upcoming appearances and recent nods, which are at least timely insofar as a couple of them have only just been made public by their respective organizers:
- We start with the pleasing discovery that Blindsight got a slot in Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010, a collection of essays thumbnailing what Damien Broderick, Paul di Filippo and David Pringle regard as, well, the best 101 SF books of the past quarter-century. They start off by describing Blindsight as “the mature fruit of the tree of Swanwick, Greg Bear, [and] Greg Egan”, but I don’t know how they finish because the Amazon preview feature blocks out those pages. Still. Nice to be in there.
- On the other hand, Crysis: Legion did not win the Scribe — that honor went to Joan D. Vinge’s Cowboys and Aliens novelization — but I really have nothing to complain about in that regard. The fact that C:L made the finals for an award of any type almost beggars belief.
- Appearances. I’m one of the GoHs at Kontrast over in Uppsala (Sweden) this coming Oct 5-71, which was actually announced a while back although I myself never really posted it before now.
- A few months later I’m going to be a GoH at FinConn, July 5-7 2013 (for some reason I seem to be trending in Scandinavia these days).
- In between those two I’ll be giving yet another lecture at the annual SpecFic Colloquium right here in TO. These guys have invited me every year since the event started running, and I’m a wee bit worried about overexposure— but I’m told they took that into account, and decided that the judicious and ongoing use of pornography in my slides was more than enough to make up for any audience fatigue. Not quite sure what I’ll be talking about this time around, although it’s shaping up to be a diatribe on Hive Minds, Mind Hives, and what a single neuron could possibly know about Beethoven. No promises, though.
- Finally, a couple of miscellaneous low-profile things. This November I’ll be attending World Fantasy for the first time ever this year, even though I don’t write fantasy, because at least it’s being held in my home province (albeit in much more northerly reaches than the website would have you believe; claiming that Richmond Hill is “Toronto” is a little like sending out tourist brochures describing Mordor as “The Shire”). And a very nice person on the SFContario concomm has almost convinced me to give SF Contario another chance, despite my misgivings over past missteps. Some new blood appears to be detoxifying the old. But I’m still not quite decided on that one.
Back to the apocalypse. See you next week.
The Post-Apocalyptic Survivors, almost all of whom happen to be writers.
My Post-Apocalyptic Wife, in the throes of incipient zombieism (note the lazy eye).
The Post-Apocalyptic Shower Control.
My Post-Apocalyptic Running Route
The Post-Apocalyptic Beach Path
The Post-Apocalyptic Swimming Beach.
The Pre-Apocalyptic Lighthouse cleverly constructed in an inland location that utterly conceals it from any viewpoint on the water.
Nature Reclaiming the Post-Apocalyptic ruins from which we have fled.
The Imminentest, Most Scary Apocalypse of All.