Two new short stories started that I hope to have finished soonest. Don’t worry, this is in addition to my work on DUST, which is moving along nicely. The first of these is THEY COME FROM THE EAST, which is for a science fiction anthology with a western theme. The challenge here is that it can’t be a western in space, which has been done plenty (FIREFLY was my favorite of these). It needs to take place in the Wild West but be science fiction. Imagine the challenges if you will. We know the history of that place, so you have to take extreme liberties or be quite clever. I’m bad at the latter, but I’m giving that route a shot anyway.
The other short is KILL SCREEN, which is for an anthology with a video game theme. I get asked to contribute to anthologies all the time, and usually have to decline due to time constraints. But I really enjoyed the pitch for these two collections, and I think I have stories that will only marginally be the worst of the bunch. Fingers crossed. One of these is due in two weeks!
(2,000+ words in DUST thus far today, so no hostilities in the comments!)
Jordan is in the sixth grade. He made the following book trailer for an English class project. Compare this with my first book trailer, which I made a few years ago. Yup, outdone by a sixth grader. The story of my life since third grade.
You know, I have no idea why people even want to write in a world I made up; it’s surreal to me. I certainly don’t ask anyone to or expect it. But I find it incredibly flattering that talented writers are exploring the silos, and I love that you all are supporting them. I just hope I can ask these authors to write blurbs for my books one day. I notice Jon Stewart’s books are slathered with far more famous names — those people who have gracefully left him in the dirt. Don’t forget about me, Patrice and Wes and Jason!
It appears Geoffrey K. Pullum agrees. This incredible refutation of the grammar of Strunk and White is a must-read for writers (I want to argue that everyone should read this, but I realize that many won’t care). Absolutely brilliant. Especially:
There is of course nothing wrong with writing passives and negatives and adjectives and adverbs. I’m not nitpicking the authors’ writing style. White, in particular, often wrote beautifully, and his old professor would have been proud of him. What’s wrong is that the grammatical advice proffered in Elements is so misplaced and inaccurate that counterexamples often show up in the authors’ own prose on the very same page.
It’s been a crazy-busy few months, with very little time spent at home, but my book tour has drawn to a close. Germany, London, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and over a dozen US cities . . . and now I’m back home in Jupiter. A huge thanks to everyone who came out to see me, and an equal thanks to those who have posted comments or emailed me with their encouragement and humor along the way. In every way imaginable, the release has exceeded my expectations, and I credit you all with that. Thanks a heap. Happy reading, whatever you’re digging into. And now, I’m going to get back to writing.
I’ve got a new website in the works, and I’m so excited about it that I had a dream last night that it was already live. It was so vivid that I had to check first thing this morning to see if it had already gone up. Instead, I found an email from Tim Grahl with an update on the site design. I love what they are coming up with.
Tim approached me as a fan a while back and asked if there was anything his company Out:think Group could do to give me a boost. I explained my biggest challenges these days, and he laughed at how Cro-Magnon my workflow was. While discussing plans, he suggested some website tweaks. And then he and his design team came up with a way to further your ability to interact with the site.
The Dow plummeted today on news that a bomb had gone off at the White House. The source of the news was a Tweet on the Associated Press account. Turns out the account had been hacked.
The reason the Dow took a hit was because automated trading programs scour news feeds for the first sign of trouble. In fractions of a second, they dump stocks ahead of an anticipated decline. Basically, we have artificial intelligence managing our markets. But with low IQ and a hair trigger.
My latest short story is now available to be read in full on Lightspeed Magazine’s website. Written at the height of the Fiscal Cliff debacle, it applies as easily to the recent failure to pass a gun law in the United States. The story deals with the suicidal indecisiveness of party politics. It received a coveted and rare “Recommend” from Locus Online’s Lois Stilton. You can read the full story here.
The accompanying art for the piece is by the incomparable and talented Galen Dara.
I have one public event in Auckland on Monday. It’s at Takapuna Library from 6:30 – 8:00. The library is at 1 The Strand, Takapauna. I’ll talk for a bit, take questions for even longer, and then sign books. Hope to see you there! Bring sheep! (But not really)
EDIT: Bumpy landing in a massive rainstorm last night. Woke up looking over the harbour here in Auckland. A bevy of interviews today before the event tonight. So excited to be here. It’s been on my wish-list for so long; hard to believe I’m really on the other side of the globe from my home.
Meeting Hugh Howey has turned me on to the existence of another Hugh. This one is a Hugh Howie (which is the correct spelling, btw). It turns out that he receives email meant for me. You can read all about it here.
I feel bad for Hugh’s inbox and the way Google mismanages search results. From what I understand, the Howeys and Howies come from the Howe clan. (I’m remembering this from when I was very young and could be confabulating). What I heard is that Howie is the original spelling and that we had a spate of illiteracy some time ago (many would argue it persists). I grew up around people with both variants. We even intermarried a while back. I like to say our family tree is shaped more like a vine.
I keep saying my five minutes should be running out right about . . . now. Hopefully for the sake of Hugh Howey and Hugh Howie, it strikes midnight soon. They both sound terribly annoyed to have fans throwing themselves at them.
No, I haven’t gotten celebrity-crazy and started referring to myself in third person. Tonight, I met Hugh Howey.
It feels weird to even write that. It was even weirder to endorse a book to him and then sign my name. I found out about Hugh several months ago. I believe he messaged me on Facebook to say that he was the real Hugh Howey. He had seen my name in relation to Wool (I think) and reached out to me. I inquired about his age. He said 34. The cries of “Imposter!” began immediately.