Monthly Archives: August 2009

I know nothing about that squee-thunk noise you just heard …

reposted from Eric Reynolds livejournal

Table of Contents for Destination: Future, to be published early 2010, eidted by Eric T. Reynolds and Z.S Adani.

“The Angel of Mars” by Michael Barretta
“When You Visit the Magoebaskloof Hotel Be Certain Not to Miss the Samango Monkeys” by Elizabeth Bear
“Memento Mori” by Sue Blalock
“Hope” by Michael A. Burstein
“Ambassador” by Thoraiya Dyer
“No Jubjub Birds Tonight” by Sara Genge
“Jade Flower” by C.E. Grayson
“The Gingerbread Man” by James Gunn
“Games” by Caren Gussoff
“Rubber Monkeys” by Kenneth Mark Hoover
“One Awake in All the World” by Robert T. Jeschonek
“Watching” by Sandra McDonald
“The Hangborn” by Frederick Obermeyer
“Dark Rendezvous” by Simon Petrie
“Encountering Evie” by Sherry D. Ramsey
“Monuments of Flesh and Stone” by Mike Resnick
“Mars Needs Baby Seals” by Lawrence M. Schoen
“Edge of the World” by Jonathan Shipley
“Alienation” by Katherine Sparrow
“The Light Stones” by Erin E. Stocks
“Embians” by K. D. Wentworth

Can’t get the “one of these things is not like the other,” song out of my head.
Anyway, very, very honored to be included in such company.


Posted by on August 29, 2009 in writing


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Living with a sci fi writer can be tough on the civilians.

a recent conversation that took place in my house:

my wife: No, I mean it’s good, but I just wonder if this story about a little girl dying of cancer on an alien world is appropriate for an anthology that wanted happy, positive sci-fi stories.

me: but it’s a happy story about a little girl dying of cancer on an alien world. Besides, the co-editor? I just read an awesome story of hers that ended with DETAILS OF ENDING DELETED TO AVOID SPOILERS.

my wife: wow … so I guess all of you scifi writer people are that dark. It’s not just you.

there should probably be a support group somewhere….

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Posted by on August 27, 2009 in life, writing


ahem …

Just got word that my short story, “Jadeflower,” has been selected to appear in the Anthology Destination:Future from Hadley-Rille books. This anthology is edited by Eric T. Reynolds and Z.S. Adani. Should be out sometime early-mid 2010.

that is all.

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Posted by on August 26, 2009 in writing


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Zen and the Art of Budget Grocery Shopping

I hate grocery shopping. There, I said it. I’m kind of not a fan of shopping in general (unless there’s something cool I really want and I have the money for — a rare, rare occurence these days) but grocery shopping for someone like me … there’s always a point, about halfway through, where I just sort of lose the will to live. This usually happens in the spice aisle, when I’m looking for some very specific ingredient my wife needs for a recipe off of food network. Fivespice? Really? Can’t I just, like, grab some randoms spices in the house and make my own.

I know, all of the foodies and chefs in the audience just cancelled their pre-orders for my upcoming cookbook, “A Geek’s guide to kitchen survival: 100 recipes using just hamburger, tortillas, and Worcester Sauce.”

I cook a lot, because I am the one who is home. But nothing complicated. And, at my wife’s request, nothing that involves the use of knives. If you have to wonder why, you have obviously not been paying attention.

Anyway, I have a very specific list and try not to wander far away from it. And in these times, when money is really tight, I have discovered the joy of store brands, and this little magic label below every shelf called “price per ounce.” I love the price per ounce label. And I make a game of everything, calculating the prices per ounce against the main brands we usually by, and the “value-difference,” which is what I know of the difference between how some things taste compared to the brand names. On most items, the value difference is 0. In some cases (store brand instant fruit and cream oatmeal mix), i actually like the store brand better. There’s really only been one thing that is better in the brand name, and that is Honey Nut Cheerios. Tried the bag variety. Not. As. Good.

So, I play this little math game, hum songs to myself, ignore my six-year-old grabbing things off the shelf to scan the prices (unless he accidentally trips an old person, which requires attention), and 2/3 of the way through the trip, a few aisles past the spice-search induced meltdown, can reach this calm, serene place that gets me through at least to the meat section, when I have to fight with the little plastic bags that always stick together, but which I require to protect myself from the chicken gunk that always congeals on the outside of the package. Seriously, what’s up with that stuff? It’s really, really gross.

Unless my daughter is with me, and then she can open those bags.

I don’t really know what the point of this was, except to further illustrate the already well-established fact of my dorkitude, and expand it into yet another category. But I guess that is its own achievement.


Posted by on August 13, 2009 in life


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Guilty Pleasures #1(of a series)

Stupid movie of the Summer (meaning stupid movie of all the ones I watched this summer which did not include Transformers 2, which I have not seen and do not plan to): The Happening
Otherwise known as “Ooohhh, scary trees” which would have been a better title than what they came up with. The Happening. Really? That’s what you got? Something’s …. happening? Perhaps we can distract you from the awfulness of our title with this shot of wind through the trees? No? Well, how about this close up oon Zoey Deschanel’s eyes, looking like she’s ready to cry … ok now? Ok? Good …

The story is stupid. The trees want to kill us. And they do it by making us kill ourselves. M’k, I guess I can accept that as the plot of a B movie. At least the title told us that this movie was wearing the stupid as a hat, not trying to hide it. And the thing that really sells this movie is Mark Wahlberg’s “acting.” He’s ok running, ordering other people to run, and watching sad things, like people laying down in front of lawn mowers (yes, really). The talking? Um … obviously, he knew he was playing a science teacher, and he was channeling every too-hip-for-the-room high school teacher on network television in 1985.

Now, I like M. Night Shyalaman. I even liked The Village and Lady in the Water. This one? I actually kind of love it, but it is a really, really bad movie. At no point in this movie do you ever look at anything any of the characters do and think to yourself, “yeah, that makes sense.” Look, people, when nature’s trying to kill you, do not seek shelter by running away from the room into a forest-ringed meadow. That’s just asking for trouble. And please, if you know suicide is the major risk, you might want to make sure no one has a firearm, like, oh, the soldier who is carrying the firearm right in plain sight.

And when Betty Buckley shows up as the crazy lady who’s lived alone in a scary house for years with no contact with the outside world and does not know what is “happening?” It just goes waaay so far out the stupid end that it circles back around and ends up at awesome, which is an amazing feat, and I’m sure, not really what they were intending.

And that’s the thing. Shyalaman thinks he’s making a serious movie with an important point. I have the feeling Wahlberg does too. John Leguizamo is cashing a paycheck. Zoey Deschanel is … you know, Zoey is awesome no matter what she does so I am not even going to fault her, except to say I think perhaps her extreme vegan/no soy/gluten allergic diet may have started affecting her brain.

But it entertained me. And I am tempted to put it on my “to own someday” list. There’s a lot going wrong here, but I think enough went wrong that it all came together as something horrifically, gloriously, right.

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Posted by on August 10, 2009 in culture


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End of summer ramblings …

Just a couple of notes…

work proceeds apace. It’s not exactly a NANO pace, but my plan to have the novel finished by the end of August could actually be successful. This is an experiment. I am purposefly trying to right something short, plot-driven, and pulpy. Something just for fun. But I hope there’s “meat” in it too. It’s a quest-oriented space opera adventure called The Calculus of Hope and so far I’m really liking it. I’ll come to hate it in the editing process, but that’s normal.

We’re getting to that part of the summer where the return to work and school is looming and we all just settle in. It’s also the part of the summer where we run out of money, so settling in is really all we can afford to do. We read a lot and watch tv, my son continues his wii obsession with The Force Unleashed we have to cut him off and hide the disk after a couple of hours. And he is still not forgiven for over-writing my game).

It’s also the time when I get restless being home so much and start re-arranging the furniture a billion times. I will never get it just like I like it, but the constant novelty helps … well, it helps me.

Hope everyone else is having a nice summer. It’s going to be a mad dash for me, but I am not one of those people who writes because the like producing work, but doesn’t actually enjoy the writing process. I love the process, I love the physical act of moving my pen, love typing things up (don’t love editing, but who does?), love the actual work. And I guess that is it’s own blessing. One the days I take off because I force myself, I can’t wait to get back to it.


Posted by on August 2, 2009 in life, writing


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