Archive for July, 2005

7/31/05: Unhappy feet

Two days until we leave for Scotland. I just got word that the Aeon Award ceremony will be in the Dalmore Room of the Hilton Hotel at 9pm on Friday the 5th. Hope to see some of you there. I’m started to get nervous/excited about the award. I believe I have a good shot at it, but there are five other shortlisted stories that are equally worthy. Another thing that has me nervous, though not at all excited, is that I have an infected toe… again. I’ve had this problem two or three times before (same toe each time). The cause might be a bacterium or it might be a fungus, but whatever the reason it’s red and swollen and itchy and painful and it keeps me from sleeping and walking properly — not what I want going into either the Worldcon or touristing around the UK. I’m taking prescription drugs for it, but I’m not yet convinced it’s getting better. I’m not going to let this toe stop me from going to the Worldcon, but it’s almost certainly going to slow me down. I hope it gets better soon :-(

7/24/05: Miscellany

  • Kate and I just sent a new issue of our fanzine Bento off to the printer. We’ll have copies at the Worldcon, and mailed copies will be sent out shortly after we return. Promise!
  • I just got another rejection on my story “Interview with the Photographer.” It’s a 6100-word far-future SF tale that involves the construction of a Dyson sphere and the destruction of several planets. It’s now bounced from Cosmic Tales from the Far Future, Analog, Interzone , Asimov’s, F&SF, F&SF again after a rewrite,, Strange Horizons, Oceans of the Mind, and Aeon, and I’m at a loss where to send it next. I really like this one, it’s gotten very encouraging rejections, and think it deserves publication. But where?
  • I just sent off another of my irregular “David’s Writing News” emails. If you don’t get one and would like one (or, for that matter, if you got one and don’t want any more), drop me a note.
  • I hate my hair. I’m growing out the sides, and they are now long enough to fly out like wings but not yet long enough that I can pull them into the ponytail. This situation is going to get worse for another couple of months before it gets better, I think.

7/23/05: Yo en Español

The postman just dropped through the door a fat package containing a copy of the July/August 2005 issue of Asimov Ciencia Ficción, containing the Spanish translation of “Tk’Tk’Tk” by one David E. Levine. My first Spanish translation, and my first translation to appear on paper (“Tale of the Golden Eagle” was in an Israeli webzine in Hebrew). It’s got a cool illo and my name (almost) on the cover.

7/19/05: Worldcon programming schedule

Okay, here’s where I’ll be when at the Worldcon. I would really really really appreciate it if you would show up at my reading on Thursday at 5pm. I can promise you a good show. Thursday 5:00pm – Reading (0.5 hrs) Friday 3:30pm – Kaffeeklatsch (1.5 hrs) Friday 5:00pm – A Matter of Faith: How SF Television Treats Religion

The panel discusses how religion and spirituality is treated in science fiction television. Has it evolved since the original Star Trek?

Friday 7:00pm – Challenges For New Writers

Interruptions, interruptions, interruptions — how can new writers stay focussed? Are websites, blogs, and newsgroups helping or hindering new writers? What about writers workshops? When do you know you’re established and no longer new?

Saturday 2:00pm – Military vs. Civil Authority: Do You Trust Adama or Roslyn? (1.5 hrs)

The conflict between military and civilian authority can be seen in the world around us, and sometimes it is portrayed in SF. The panel examines this conflict, a key element in the new Battlestar Galactica.

Sunday 11:00am – Is Lost SF or Paranoid Realism?

(Warning: spoilers) Is Lost speculative or just a paranoid delusion? Is it truth or fantasy? What about Hurley, Locke, Walt and Claire?

Monday 11:00am – The Future of Malware

Viruses continue to proliferate and most email traffic is spam. Where are we going — and is it anywhere other than down? Are phishing and similar scams mind-hacks?

Monday 2:00pm – Fan Room Closing Ceremony

We summarise the entire convention for you, using the medium of interpretive dance. And we give out the Fan Room awards!

7/17/05: Colonyhouse

Just back from a relaxing writing weekend at the Colonyhouse on the Oregon coast, with Jay Lake, Aurora Lemieux, Ken and Jen Scholes, Brian Wade, Amanda Clark, and my dear Kate. Fine weather and good companionship all weekend. On Saturday afternoon I awoke from a nap to the roar of the waves and the crackle of the fire — no, wait, that’s the clatter of laptop keys… This was the first opportunity I have had to spend much time with Ken, and he’s a nice guy and a heck of a guitarist. He was working on a story that he originally started for Bones of the World, which coincidentally was where Jay and I both made our first sales back in 2001. But I had Ken beat in the “old story” department, because I was revising a story I originally wrote at Clarion (2000) and never got around to submitting. Finished it, too, and put it in the mail tonight. (It’s the Bigfoot story, for those who have read it, and it’s off to F&SF.) I also started another story, which is going to be short and funny but structurally complex, with three to five intertwined scenes spread across a century of time. But it wasn’t a very intensive writing weekend. A lot of the time was spent sitting around talking, taking walks on the beach in twos and threes (for some reason there was an enormous number of dead crabs on the beach, with their legs and bodies washed up here and their upper shells washed up over there), and eating way too much. Jay did all the cooking, for which much thanks, and provided us all with about ten billion percent of our recommended daily allowance of lipids. Yum. We tried to get up a game of 1000 Blank White Cards but it didn’t come together. Note to self for next time: remember to pack long-sleeve shirts, pillow, towel, sleeping bag, long cord for iBook power adapter, hat, picnic cooler. Saturday night Ken brought out his guitar and gave us his interpretations of some favorite songs, a real treat. One of the most… interesting… of these was his impersonation of Queen Elizabeth II and Dylan doing U2. It actually sounded a bit more like Ken Scholes doing ((Julia Child doing the Queen) and (Cartman doing Dylan)) doing U2. Then he started to do “Puff the Magic Dragon,” but Jen asked him not to because the ending always makes her cry. She asked him instead to sing “American Pie,” and promised not to sing the wrong words. This led to the following exchange: Ken: A long long time ago…
Jen: …in a galaxy far away…
Ken: PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON… Okay, maybe you had to be there, but I about fell off my chair laughing. And Amanda will never live down the sheath-cleaning jokes. When I got home from the beach, I learned I can now announce that my story “I Hold My Father’s Paws” has been shortlisted for the Aeon Award. The winner of the award receives 1000 Euros, and all six shortlisted stories will appear in the Irish magazine Albedo One. The winner will be announced at the Worldcon in Glasgow. I’ll be there!

6/30/05: Allen keys, the History Mouse, and Year’s Best Fantasy

I’m in Santa Clara for the annual gay square dance convention. On the way here I had to have part of my baggage hand-searched because the X-ray showed… an allen wrench. But when it turned out to be the little key to reset the combination on a combination lock, they let me keep it. “So,” says Kate, “it would have been a problem if it were hexagonal, but it’s okay because it’s round?” Do you feel safer? The convention doesn’t start until tomorrow, so today we went to the Winchester Mystery House (or, as I always call it, the Winchester History Mouse). I hadn’t expected it to be so intimately surrounded by the same boring malls and office parks that make up the rest of Santa Clara (plus the cool triple-dome movie theatre next door). I was also surprised at the mix of completed, under-construction, and fallen down in disrepair… many perfectly complete rooms adjoined hallways with bare lath and no plaster, and vice versa, while one entire group of 30 rooms was boarded up and never repaired after the 1906 earthquake. A natural consequence, I should have realized, of the building’s history of continuous renovation. Another surprise was that Sarah Winchester left no journal or other indication of why she built and built as she did, so the well-known statement that it was to appease, or distract, the ghosts of those slain by the Winchester rifle is only a theory. Maybe it was just a hobby (some people build model trains, some tie flies… Sarah Winchester had a lot of money). In writing news, Year’s Best Fantasy #5, edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer and including my story “Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely,” is now available at your local independent bookstore, Powell’s,, and Enjoy!