I started thinking, the story will likely begin a few centuries after the aliens have completed their clensing of the planet. The central character would be an unsuspecting human girl, a teenager who has been befriended by one of the aliens. The aliens would be something completely non-humanoid. insectile, perhaps. This girl lives on the African preserve where humans have been allowed to survive, co-existing with other wildlife and getting by with only the most rudimentary sort of tech (stone tools, at best). All memories of the World Before have been lost. It would seem to the reader, at first, as though we are looking at the Earth in the latest Pleistocene, not the Holocene. These would seem like pre-agricultural humans, hunter-gatherers surrounded by elephants and giraffes and zebra and so forth, who have been visited by an alien civilization. But then this girl is befriended, and the alien teaches her things, and she begins to learn about the purge. She is eventually given access to historical records. This way, it becomes more a novel about the consequences and cultural evolution and conflicts than a space opera about alien invasion. These are, of course, only the most initial ideas. All is yet in flux, back there in my head where stories slowly, slowly take shape. My agent will tell me that there's no money to be made these days in publishing "literary sf" (she's told me that before), but I might just write it, anyway. I feel like it's a book that I need to write, and these days I feel that need all too infrequently.
Today was my first productive day since Tuesday. It has been a black and futile week. An ugly week. The deep trough between the towering waves which bear we forward. Here I cannot afford to lose even a single day, and this morning I had to sit down and mark three full days L. I do not know for sure what dragged me down this time. I never do know for sure. I strongly suspect that proofing Low Red Moon — rearranging those deck chairs — played a role. But it "had" to be done, or I'd have just had to deal with all that nasty regret. Now, at least I know the book that comes out in August will be better than the version released in 2003. And I suspect the nightmares and insomnia played a large role, as well. On Monday, I go back on the damned Ambien. Anyway, I've already canceled plans to see my family in Alabama on the 23rd-24th, to help make up for those three lost days.
The most productive thing about yesterday was an hour or so I spent tinkering with Second Life. I couldn't get very far in my investigations, however, as my iBook's OS is too antiquated to run the requisite software. Once a certain publisher sees fit to finally pay me, there will be a new Mac in Casa de Kiernan y Pollnac, and I won't be limping along on OS 10.2.6 any longer. I can play with the big kids again. Anyway, the thing with Second Life, it's actually research for the piece I started writing today for Sirenia Digest 13 (December), an sf story called "The Path of Silence." Though I'm intrigued by these attempts at creating cyber-environments, I am appalled that they are all so goddamned obsessed with commerce. Linden dollars and the buying of virtual land, the paying of taxes on that virtual land. Shopping in virtual malls, even. What the frell? Isn't there enough tedium in the real world? Is this the best humans can do in their fantasies? Shop? Spend pretend money? Are the masses really that imagination deprived? I'm sure there's more to Second Life than that, but the commercial/capitalist aspect seems awfully front and goddamned center. That shit interests me about as much as fantasy football. Leave the mundane behind, people. It'll still be there when you have to come back.
I believe that the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky is adopting -H as it logo, in opposition of the singularitarian, transhumanist use of >H and H+.
I wrote 1,101 words this afternoon on "The Path of Silence." Spooky and I had a walk, as it was very warm and sunny, and I'd not set foot outside this dismal house since Wednesday. I read William Gibson's "The Winter Market," which is one of my very favourite sf stories.
All 274 copies of the numbered state of Tales from the Woeful Platypus have, at this point, sold out at Subterranean Press. But there are still copies of the cloth-bound trade hardcover ($20) available.
Also, please have a look at the eBay auctions. These are genuinely unique items. I know Xmas is not the best time to be eBaying (actually, Poppy says it's an excellent time for eBay), but I already explained about the belated check, etc. I really want to see the green-haired boy go to a good home. I'm going to try to list some other items tomorrow, once the writing's done.
As all the gloom began to lift last night, I did get in a couple hours of Final Fantasy XII. Fran, Penello, Ashe, and Co. made their way through the Stilshrine, found the lair of the beautiful Mateus the Corrupter, and kicked her butt. We'll, since she's sort of mermaid-like, maybe it would be more accurate to say we kicked her tail. Either way, we prevailed. Sure beats virtual shopping and paying virtual land taxes.