February 12th, 2012

Chiana 6

The Next To Last

Today, of course, is Darwin Day, and marks the 203rd anniversary of Darwin's birth. Viva la Evolución! To quote Carl Sagan:

The secrets of evolution are death and time — the deaths of enormous numbers of lifeforms that were imperfectly adapted to the envirnoment; and time for a long succession of small mutations that were by accident adaptive, time for the slow accumulation of patterns of favorable mutations. Part of the resistance to Darwin and Wallace derives from our difficulty in imagining the passage of the millennia, much less the aeons. What does seventy million years mean to beings who live only one-millionth as long? We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it forever.

We are briefly cognizant specks in an ever-shifting forever.

Yesterday, I wrote only 870 words on my story, "Iris," for the Joshi At the Mountains of Madness anthology. I hated every word of it, and at the end of the day, was furious, frustrated, and ready to erase the whole thing from my iMac. I didn't. I printed it. About 2:45 ayem, Spooky read it aloud to me. It was better than I thought, and she liked it and said I ought to finish the story. So, maybe I will. But, I'm coming to a place where, soon, it is probable (indeed, almost certain) that my short fiction will appear in Sirenia Digest and nowhere else. I have, I think, five or six more pieces commissioned for 2012, but I'm not accepting any additional invitations (unless the pay rate is exceptional). There simply isn't time. Not anymore. There isn't time for "Iris" and the other stories I've agreed to do this year. So, if you like my short fiction, and you're not a subscriber to the digest, you should consider subscribing (and if you can't, for financial reasons, you don't need to explain that here).

Spooky spent yesterday, and a chunk of last night, locked in a wrestling match with her new Epson R2880 printer, the one she'll be using for the ravens. It was sort of terrifying. I'm supposing she'll figure it out sooner or later.

Nobody reads the blog on Sunday. People hardly breathe on Sunday. Jesus (muttered blasphemies) and football and shit get bleeding Sunday. I'm surprised the sun is allowed to shine on Sunday. Good thing the final daily entry is being made tomorrow and not today.

No snow this weekend. The snow was a sham. The Great New England Snow Hoax of 2012. There's hardly been enough snow this winter to notice. Certainly not enough to smooth away the season's razor edges.

If you haven't preordered Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart (the limited, remember, comes with the free hardcover The Yellow Book, which contains a new short story, "Ex Libris," as well as "The Yellow Alphabet"), please order ASAP. And, if you can, it wouldn't hurt to preorder The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, though it will be released in only about three more weeks. It seems, these days, that publishers care about preorders more than anything. The received philosophy is: A book is a hit before it is published, or it's never going to be a hit. Or even raise an eyebrow. It's bullshit, but this is the psychology of the industry. Anyway, kittens, if you have or will be preordering, thank you. Oh, and it doesn't matter where you preorder from. Though, personal preference, those ebooks are more dangerous than cigarettes and heroin, and I'd stick to the paper, were I you.

My thanks to everyone who commented yesterday.

Last night was a blustery night. I had a go at Skyrim, and I am sad to see that Bethesda is still incapable of designing a game that doesn't look like ass. Someday, maybe they'll abandon the whole bullshit photorealistic, PVC action-figure approach to CGI and produce an aesthetically pleasing game, with fluid movement, shading that doesn't make my eyes bleed, and elves that don't look like Butthead. But I seriously doubt it. In the November 2011 JVP, I read "Aegyptocetus tarfa, n. gen. et sp. [Mammalia, Cetacea], from the middle Eocene of Egypt: clinorhynchy, olfaction, and hearing in a protocetid whale." When I finally got to bed last night, I read about the Transylvanian Cretaceous and Baron Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás, then drifted off to sleep watching Edward Ludwig's Wake of the Red Witch (1948) on Kermit.

That was yesterday.


Think the internet is a good way to archive information? Just go back through several years of blog entries and be astounded at the number of dead links, links to articles and images that have since been taken down for a myriad of reasons. The internet may, in fact, be the most transient form of information storage in history. Those cavewomen at Lascaux had it right. Some 17,300 years later, we can read their paintings just fine, while my three-year-old link to a CNN or Discovery.com news story is useless.

And on that note...

Waking Up,
Aunt Beast


Here's the cover for the review galleys of After, an anthology of YA post-apocalyptica, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. The book will be out in October, and includes my story of nanotech gone awry, "Fake Plastic Trees." Yes, named for the Radiohead song.