Not long after I posted yesterday's entry, Bill Schafer called to say that Alabaster was sold out. He said he even had to turn some people away. What this means is that the collection is no longer available directly from the publisher. You may still purchase it from Amazon.com or other bookdealers, but probably only for another week or three. So, if you want a copy and don't have it yet, try a bookdealer, but don't wait too long to do so. Oh, and if anyone out there happens to have the issue of Locus (October '06, I think) with the full-page ad for Alabaster and could bear to part with it, I would love to have a copy for my files. I would send you some little token of my gratitude in exchange.
Yesterday was pretty evenly divided between e-mail (of which there was a veritable hillock) and The Dinosaurs of Mars. I'm trying to actually begin writing the novella, but I keep getting sucked into additional research. I spent a couple of hours yesterday reading the various crack-pot assertions posited by Richard C. Hoagland via his The Enterprise Mission website. I think I spent the most time on the pages devoted to "proving" his claim that Saturn's moon Iapetus is an artificial world. All this stuff is directly relevant to The Dinosaurs of Mars, but I still feel like a fool reading it. I actually find myself feeling sorry for Hoagland. It's obvious that he believes these things, and he believes them with passion, and they are wonderful fictions. If these things were true, if there was the science to back him up, what a wonderful lot of marvels we'd have. I can forgive his desire to believe, just not his sloppy logic, self-delusion, and endless ad hoc reasoning as he tries to dodge falsification. Also, it should be noted that Hoagland has abused the ellipse, both in print and online, as no other person writing in the English language has ever dared.
Perhaps today the first few sentences of The Dinosaurs of Mars will come to me, and then the flood of words will follow. Since I know this novella needs to be about 35,000 words long, I may use one of those goofy Zokutou word meters, mostly to keep me from letting the story sprawl over to 40,000 or 50,000 words. It's the sort of story that could easily do that. Sprawl. And having to go back and edit for length is worse even than having to write in the first place. Oh, I think I may try covering all the windows in the house with a film of orange-coloured acetate. Not only will this get rid of the wan autumn/winter light that tends to depress me, it will also give me nice orange Mars light. All the world is my holodeck.
Late yesterday, there was another trip to Emory, for yet more for research.
Sirenia Digest #11 will be along before too much longer. Vince is working on the illustration for "The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad #4)," which he has declared a "creepy" story. I should hope so!
Anyway, yeah, perhaps I'll do another entry later this afternoon or this evening, because there are a couple of films I'd like to talk about, and it's noon and I should be getting to work. I will leave you with the dazzling cover of Subterranean Magazine #6, which will include my new sf story, "Zero Summer" (formerly known as "Night"), behind the cut: