Pictures, Postscripts, Performance, Pimpage, & Pus…

…Being not the name of the most unfortunately-named law firm in history, but rather a collection of reasons explaining my disappearance from the crawl this past month while we entered the second decade of the twenty-first century (still without personal jet-packs, I note with ongoing disgust).

When last we left the ‘crawl I was en route to Germany, where I ended up posing with Richard Morgan and a bouncer from the local fetish club:

I’m the guy in the center.

This was actually the first time I’d met Richard in the flesh; Crytek put us both up in Mordor’s finest hotel, where we ate and drank and tried to figure out how many Euros to feed the mass-transit system for a cross-town fare. If anything, Richard is more charming and eloquent in person than he is on paper; having been introduced to the man largely through the secret diaries of Takeshi Kovacs, I was half-expecting every second word out of his mouth to be “fuck”. That actually turned out to be me.

Upon my return I spent the whole bloody holiday getting moved into the new digs, where after four years I have a proper office again, not to mention a home for the pet scrambler Siri Keeton snuck back through customs on his way home.

I also discovered that “The Things” has now made it into four Best-of-Year anthologies: Gardner Dozois’s Best SF 28 and the third iteration of Allan Kaster’s audio series The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction, in addition to the two reprints I crowed about last month. That was nice.

Performance and Pimpage. This is kind of short notice I guess, but ChiZine — microgods of small-press speculative fiction, the same guys who held last fall’s SpecFic Colloquium and who seem to be congenitally incapable of releasing a bad product — are hosting the first instalment of their reading and workshop series, “Midwinter Tales” this coming Tuesday evening (i.e., January 11th) at Hart House [update/correction: Augusta House, not Hart.  On Augusta Avenue.  Apparently the lighting is crap.]  here in downtown TO. Three of us will be reading: Karin Lowachee, Caitlin Sweet, and myself. I cannot speak for Karin or Caitlin (although admittedly I frequently do speak for Caitlin, just to piss her off), but I myself might be trying something a bit more experimental this time around. You’ll just have to show up to find out what I mean; suffice to say, it’ll be something never read in public before (and, if it doesn’t go well, possibly never again afterwards).

I think there’s also some deal where you can have drinks with us for an hour beforehand if you’re a student. Or if you’re willing to sacrifice your left gonad on a platter. I’m not entirely sure of those details. You’ll have to check out their facebook page to get the deets on that.

What’s left, what’s left, what’s — oh, right. Pus.

Anybody know what this thing is?

It appeared on the inside of my right calf about a week ago. It’s kind of a teat that dispenses bloody pus instead of milk. At first I thought it might be a message from aliens, because it looks a little like the Trifid Nebula. But then other smaller copies started erupting on my other leg — so if it is aliens, they are very small and building a perimeter below the knees. Once they’ve established that beachhead, they’ll presumably advance up the body, rotting my flesh as they go. I hope to get laid at least one more time before that happens.

Suggestions to date include an infected furbuncle (whatever that is), lymphoma, or the bite of a brown recluse spider. Can’t really rule any of them out at this point except the whole spider thing (although I did play footsies with Scott Westerfeld a couple of months back, and as I recall he’s had some bad arachnoid experiences downunder. Maybe I picked up a hitchhiking larvae or something). The crimson corona might have receded a bit over the past day or so; or perhaps I’ve just gotten so used to it that it no longer jumps out at me when my legs glue themselves to the sheets overnight.  Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

Or maybe not.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Sunday January 09 2011at 01:01 pm , filed under Crytek/Crysis, misc, On the Road, public interface, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

43 Responses to “Pictures, Postscripts, Performance, Pimpage, & Pus…”

  1. Hi Peter-
    Your calf? Maybe MRSA. Did it start as a fairly small zit looking thing? Maybe even with some itching? Nothing 10 days of anti-b’s wont get rid of. (Went through this a few months ago.) Actually I let mine go on too long and it took 20 days to clear up. Good luck with it.

  2. See a doctor about that. MRSA was also on my list. also cellulitis but if you don’t have other symptoms, maybe not. Anyway, go see a doctor. yuck.

  3. I don’t think any choice of words would be quite as charming as ” teat that dispenses bloody pus instead of milk”

  4. Jesus. You’re in Canada, which I am told has universal health care. There is no excuse not to go to the doctor, unless you have a phobia or you think you’re indestructible. Please go.

  5. Oh, I’ve made an appointment. But it’s not until Thursday morning, and for all I know it’ll be gone by then. I was hoping for an ID prior.

    @Chris: Yes! Itchy small zit strikes it big! That’s exactly how it started. Although if this is MRSA, it’s way the hell out of its usual stomping ground (nose, respiratory tract according to Wikipedia). I had no open wounds on my legs to give it a foothold. Caitlin blames the tightness of my slimming Marks Work Warehouse Jeans, but she’s had it in for those dungarees ever since the French mocked me for a lack of fashion sense.

  6. ….. and you were looking so good … until the last pic 😉 Seriously, it’s free – go to a clinic – and stop picking at that thing. Oh and being mocked by the French is not a bad thing …. unless maybe you’re storming a castle.

  7. I used to get boils on my legs as a kid, and they looked a lot like that. I don’t think they even gave me antibiotics for them; I just had to have a bath in potassium permanganate.

    Other, possible 20-years-out-of-date advice: it’s easy to spread the infection, so boil all your towels constantly. If you squeeze it, it will drive the infection into your bones (or something) and you will die.

  8. It kind of looks like an infected nail hole. Misplaced stigmata, perhaps?

  9. Hi Peter-
    Yeah it looks just like mine did…BEFORE…(ominous music)..They say it likes to hang out in your nostrils..(the mrsa that is) But it really likes your knees and shins to break out in. I had it on my knee and a couple other spots like yours. They’ll give you a shitload o anti-b’s and some muriprocin to smear in your nose to kill it where it lives. Get there as soon as you can..Once it hits a certain gets worse and more painful quickly.

  10. My dad fell off a bike and got MRSA from a scratch on his knee, so it can happen away from the more typical areas. My brother also had an attack. Maybe it’s not, since my brother had to go to the emergency room within hours of noticing the pimple spot and it was definitely obvious that he needed to.

    Hopefully it is not MRSA, but watch yourself in case you need to go to the emergency room instead of waiting for an appointment.

  11. Speaking from an MRSA-free zone:

    Picked up Jonathan Strahans “Engineering Infinity” over the weekend. Thanks for “Malak”. Only read it twice so far; I’ll let it settle for a bit.

  12. Looks like a tic. Have you been doing any countryside style exercise recently as that’s where those little buggers reside.

  13. Nice author’s office! I dig the Theseus lamp…

  14. Could be just an ingrown hair! Think positive.

  15. Just promise us that if you get a case of haemorrhoids, you do not get the urge to share, at least not in a pictorial fashion.

  16. I hope your unfortunate welts stop bothering you soon, and not for terminal reasons because those jinni are listening and they love to misinterpret.

    That costume or statue is amazing. Not sure which.

    Your office looks cozy indeed.

    And dammit, how I wish I could be at that reading.

  17. @Val, maybe the chizine guys will podcast it?

    @Peter Watts, keep us posted so that we know you are not transforming in to a sort of Akira blob.

  18. I know they’re recording it, so they’ll probably podcast it. They threw all the SpecFic talks up on Youtube, at least, including Gods Jackboots and Rule 34.

    Blurp. Gloop.

  19. I’m leaning to “bot fly” myself. The youtube video of the bot fly’s exit strategy is especially interesting.

  20. Looks like the early stage of a case of firewitch. Been out to N’AmPac lately?

  21. So glad the Germans didn’t eat you! Although, it does seem they left a nice flesh-eating bacteria to remember them by. If it starts talking to you, go to the emergency room.

    In fact, you may want to go anyway. Seriously.

  22. Very nice office. I noticed that your computer is set up to work standing …
    This little vampire Staphylococcus aureus seems to be specialized on human blood cells:

  23. Hey Peter, ask Richard Morgan if he comes to Toronto if I can be his Mohawk love slave! And PS — it looks like MRSA, just like @Chris postulates. Had a bout of it the first time I was in the hospital. It’s nasty.

  24. Good God! Meeting you and Morgan in the same place would be kind of like… meeting you and Bear in the same place! I’d melt in a steaming pile of fanboy glee.

    Sorry about the leg. Get it looked at, will you?

  25. Hi Peter!

    Congrats on the office and anthologies, and wish you best of luck in dealing with the invasive little guys.

  26. I had an acquaintance who DIED from a brown recluse spider bite, and a nurse told me of a patient who lost his leg from a brown recluse. Get thee to the doctor!!

  27. Ooo, not good, my friend. It looks infected. If you were a diabetic, I’d tell you to go to the emergency room, if you couldn’t get to a doctor. But I’m all nervous about that sort of thing? I mean, you might need that leg for something later.

    New digs look awesome! Wish my office looked that inviting, and the blue fuzzy chairs rock.

  28. Don’t blame spiders: most cases of “spider bites” are something else – and can be serious.

    See, for example, “An approach to spider bites: erroneous attribution…”
    ( where the author starts with a list of brown recluse diagnoses in Canada, then points out that this spider doesn’t live in Canada. However, even in places where (non-recluse) spiders do bite, very few of those lead to lesions.

  29. The new place looks nifty. The scrambler seems oddly fitting in it’s residence… *blink blink*

    And my first thought on seeing your leg was that it reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of the start of Necrotizing fasciitis from a documentary. Though likelihood of it actually being that is teeny. Glad you’ve got an appointment set though.

    On a sidenote, Gaiman just sent his twitter hordes to this:

    You’re at #11 right now, might want to send a troop so you can break the top 10. Only got until end of Friday =)

  30. In case there’s confusion, this is the link to vote at via comments:

  31. Kathryn from Sunnyvale – even here in the US in a subtropical zone, where I have been bitten by more spiders over my lifetime than I care to think about, the worst I have ever suffered is a hard lump of horrifying itchiness.

    Spiders get such a bad rap in the Americas, when bees and wasps are much more serious and those buggers will chase you down to sting you. Most spiders I have met are in flailing panic to get away from me, and I’ve never been chased by one.

  32. Dude, your leg is looking pretty funky! I hope you get to keep it! Let us know what the Doc. has to say, because it’s worrisome seeing THAT on a pal, okay? And thanks for the support.

  33. By the way, I just got done watching your talk on God, Jackboots, and Rule 34. We do tend to differ on our political views, which we can agree to disagree on, but I took away a new knowledge of certain responses I have had to recent situations in my life. Goodness, you’re one smart cookie, big guy!!!

  34. Hey! Peter’s back on the crawl!

    Let’s see, what have we got here…standing next to the Crysis suit, cool…more travel snapshots, ok….ah, Scrambler plushie, you never get old, and let me see here..what’s…

    oh. Oh my.

    Did not need to see that. You may want to mainline some ointment into that thing, stat.

  35. ^

    …or , you know. Maybe some salve. Perhaps a nice balm. A poultice.


  36. Oooh, a game of “guess that seeping pustule”. IMO it seems most likely to be an infected pore that most likely started out as an ingrown hair. I had something incredibly similar on my upper arm just recently. Keep the little bastard clean with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and hie the to a physician if it starts getting any worse.

    Also…could be German spy microbe colony. Or one of your many fans engineering your demise so they can take your place. Y’now…like some kind of spec-fic geek version of Highlander.

  37. […] Peter Watts and Richard Morgan flanking a Crysis nano-soldier […]

  38. Yep. I would suggest a wet warm compress with boiled water, [Povidone] Iodine and liquid soap. And then apply a dressing with Iodine. “Ubi pus, ibi evacua” (“if there’s pus about, let it out”).
    And if anybody wants to see something really bad, google for “diabetic foot” … today I had this topic at work (page layout).

  39. Hallo Peter—I noticed this several minutes ago. I hope the leg is getting better.

  40. Hmm. This could possibly be Lyme disease, which you would also not want to have, especially because of the potential neurological knock-on effects. A neighbor of mine had this two years ago and some effects still linger, although the facial palsy thankfully has gone away. You didn’t mention whether possibly you might have had a “bulls-eye rash” which is quie common with Borrelia infections. See the wikipedia article on Lyme disease, especially the co-infections section.

    Hopefully the doctor can clear this up, and hopefully it’s not something truly bizarre such as MRSA co-infecting with “flesh eating strep”. A necrotizing fascitis would not be good.

    I had something similar recently, though not so severe and colorful. Itched maddeningly and spread to the point where I almost thought I’d come down with adult chickenpox but didn’t have any of the other symptoms. Two weeks later, it’s pretty much over except for the scars. I treated it mostly with soap and rubbing alcohol, which are two things that work well together for anything non-weird affecting the skin. In between cleanings, tolnaftate (usually applied for athlete’s foot) and neosporin in alternating doses. I Am Not A Doctor, though, and hopefully yours will clear this up in short order.

  41. I’m sure it’s not what you want to hear, but my girlfriend had flesh-eating bacteria a while ago, and the symptoms were pretty much exactly the same as you show/describe ^^;

  42. Costume is awesome sauce. Pus dribbling alien thing eating your leg, awesome weird. Somebody tell them brain sucker aliens to maybe get an anatomy chart. The head’s up top. Having said that-what about a novel about an intelligent (but not concious?) viral colony organism-or have you already done that?
    Probably already have.

  43. Brycemeister, speaking of anatomy charts, don’t. you wonder how the facehuggers and their likedind the right body openings for lungs? I’ve though huh maybe CO2 like mosquitos, no? but with alien beasties they didn’t evolve with CO2 exhalers necessarily and maybe they didn’t even have prey with obvious orifices which in that case I guess they’d make one but when they get transplanted they might kill the delicate prey.