February 6th, 2009

Ellen Ripley 1

A Tyranny of Commas, Apostrophes, and Misspellings.

This morning, stuck in a dream I genuinely do not want to remember, I'm listening to ABBA. The hope was that ABBA was absurd enough to dispel the dreamsickness. But, so far, it's only adding a surreal fucking soundtrack to my recollections of the nightmare. Having written "The Z Word," you'd think I'd know better.

Yesterday, we made it to page 249 of The Red Tree. I'm not good with tedium, not good at all. We very much need to finish with this round of line edits today, so I can begin to address the more substantive issues raised in the editorial letter, but my mind reels at the thought of forcing my way through five more chapters of the most minute mistakes possible. We still have 148 pages to go. Argh.

So, the book that will include my comments on Second Life as a tool for fiction writers is Jeff VanderMeer's forthcoming Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers (Tachyon Publications, September-October 2009). As to exactly what I said, you'll have to wait for the book's release. Though, I will admit here, I didn't pull any punches, and that I continue to view SL as an untapped resource for writers, and, perhaps, as an inherently untappable resource, given the reluctance and/or inability of most of the "inhabitants" of SL to engage in fully immersive, simulationist roleplay, the sort that has the potential to create the interactive stories I've tried to foster there. As it stands, SL is, sadly, very little more than just another social-networking/dating service.

I'm getting reports that some people who've pre-ordered A is for Alien from Amazon are encountering problems with their orders. I've been told that some in the U.S. are being informed their orders will not ship until the middle of March, though subpress is shipping the book now. I've gotten word from a reader in England who pre-ordered the book months ago, but says that Amazon is now refusing to ship it to the UK. I exchanged email with Bill Schafer about all this an hour or so ago, and I am told more copies of the book have been sent to Amazon. But it takes time for Amazon to process and ship them out to buyers. Hence the delay. As for the UK problem, I honestly have no idea what's up. But I will reiterate that supplies are running very low, and there are presently no plans for a reprinting, so you should order now, directly from Subterranean Press. I'm disheartened that people are having trouble with Amazon, and I do apologize for that (though, obviously, I have no control over what Amazon does).

Also, I thought I should repost the link for the "A is for Alien in 60 Seconds" article at Tor.com.

As I said yesterday, A is for Alien is very near to selling out. The limited edition is down to less than 25 copies, and 75% of the regular trade edition's printing has now sold. And my very grateful thanks to everyone who has ordered the book.

Last night, we watched Wes Anderson's Rushmore (1998), certainly one of the most brilliant psychonerd movies in the history of film. And Shaharrazad reached Level 60.

It's getting late, and the platypus is giving me the hairy eyeball. But I thought I'd leave you with one last image from Monday's trip to Moonstone Beach. Here we have proof positive that the seas do indeed harbour a heretofore undescribed family of iron squid:

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