I threw out my back yesterday. I threw out my fucking back.
I’ve never done that before.
I was doing that thing where you pump the free weights over your head— what do they call that, Military Press? Grabbed them like I’ve done a thousand times before, and whump. It was like someone snapped a rubber band in my lower back. I had to crawl around on all fours to put away the equipment. And of course the pones had pile in the door from school just in time to mock me. Not a gram of empathy in either of those sociopathic little bodies.
I can’t even use the treadmill. I tried a couple of hoppy steps on the stairs this morning— I mean, it’s not like you need your lower back for running, right? You can do lots of things without your lower back. Turns out, not so much.
I don’t know how long healing will take. (It better heal— and by the way, where are all the transhumanists and NanoMed people when you need them, huh? Where’s the fucking Wolverine mutation?) The silver lining, I suppose, is that I now have six or seven extra hours this week freed up to finish this dumb story I’m supposed to hand in at the end of the year. (And to those who asked in the comments on last week’s fiblet: yes, this is another story set in the universe of “The Island”. I’m writing a series of those: Another one is supposedly coming out “Fall 2013″— although the anthology in which it’s slotted to appear still doesn’t even show up on Amazon yet, so who knows.)
I’ll console myself by rereading the recent reviews for Beyond the Rift, which have been pretty good. Publisher’s Weekly grudgingly admits that I have “skill as a writer”. SF Signal glows. Library Journal apparently recommends me to people who appreciate “a good SF short story”, although not being a subscriber I have to take Barnes & Noble’s word for it. Paul di Filippo, writing in another corner of B&N’s (apparently not-dead-yet) empire, describes BtR as a “knockout collection” while lamenting it as one of the year’s “overlooked” titles— although it wasn’t overlooked by the folks at the Milwaukie Journal Sentinel, who selected it as one of a dozen “Editor’s Picks” for 2013 (along with a Nora Ephron Sampler, a cultural history of “Fiddler on the Roof”, and a book about Norman Rockwell). Various bloggers are being almost suspiciously kind.
But my favorite pull quote has to come from Gary Wolfe, who — in addition to being perhaps the only reviewer to realize that “A Word for Heathens” is an alternate-history tale— wrote in his Locus review that my
“grimmest stories celebrate at least the possibility of survival, while his lightest ones touch upon things like the Holocaust…”
Ah yes. I am an author who, in his more light-hearted moments, takes a break from the usual grind to write stories about genocide. No wonder I can’t get any damn reader reviews on Amazon.
Still, I’ll take it. Just make sure, if you do get the book, that you read the Outtro. It puts things in perspective.
Sorry about all the tub-thumping. I miss the science posts too— but it takes a solid day to do a decent job on one of those, and right now I’m feeling guilty about spending a measly hour or two blogging when I have a story to finish and not many days to finish it. I still haven’t even figured out whether coronal hoops or solar eruptions are more likely to induce free will in the human brain…
Oh, and did I mention I threw out my back?