Archive for February, 2010

Little paper children

I wrote 500 words yesterday, and 500 words the day before, which is the first fiction I’ve committed this year. Nearly two months of writing time sacrificed on the altar of Mars, but I think it’s a decent tradeoff given the learning and publicity I’ve gotten out of it. Still, it’s good to get back to the actual writing, though I don’t think I’ll be producing any words today.

Although I haven’t been writing much lately, my little paper children are still out there in the world working on my behalf. In summary:

“Babel Probe” wins Sacred Chalice of Glory!

I just received the following email from the folks at Drabblecast (

From: The Folks at Drabblecast
Date: February 25, 2010 12:26:38 AM PST
To: David D. Levine
Subject: Drabblecast People’s Choice Award 2009: Babel Probe by David D. Levine!

Not sure if you were even aware of this, but your story, Babel Probe made the top 5 in the Drabblecast People’s Choice Awards.  Out of all the stories we ran last year- listeners in our discussion forums voted for their favorites, and the top 5 were:
Clown Eggs by Jay Lake
Annabelle’s Alphabet by Tim Pratt
Teddy Bears and Tea Parties by S. Boyd Taylor
Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs by Leonard Richardson
and then your story.
Finally, our listeners had to narrow it down and vote for their favorite of those– and you won!  You won “Best Story of 2009” in our 2009 People’s Choice Awards.  Congrats!  We announced it on this week’s show.  It’s a big deal for us.  That story was fantastic and I’m really glad that it won.  Even though we ran it all the back in April, our listeners still remember it and gave it crazy love.
So we have a cup called the “Sacred Chalice of Glory” that we’re having your name engraved on and that we’d like to send you, if you can provide us with a mailing address.
Again, congratulations, and thanks for the phenomenal story.  Hope we keep getting submissions from you– clearly our listeners would love that.
Best, Norm

The winning Drabblecast is a most excellent audio performance of the story, with music and sound effects and everything, and you can hear it here.

This is the story for which thepussinboots drew this awesome picture (click to embiggen):

I am so thrilled!

What do you get the man who has everything?

Sunday was my 49th birthday. (Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes!) It was a quiet day, but I ate some of my favorite things and hung out with my sweetie, who gave me the new Mark Knopfler CD.

I am a very lucky guy. I’m retired, which means I pretty much get to do what I want every day, and I have enough money that I can pretty much get myself whatever I want when I want it. This makes it really hard to buy presents for me or to do something “special” to celebrate a birthday. That’s okay; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The day before my birthday, the TV interview I taped last week about my trip to Mars finally aired. I’m very pleased with how it came out, and you can see it below:

Today was the tech rehearsal for Ignite Portland, where I’ll be giving a 5-minute version of my Mars talk (at the Bagdad Theatre next Wednesday, March 3). I don’t feel quite ready but I’m sure it will go fine.

I have more news but this will have to do for now.

David’s trip to Mars in Portland media

I got an excellent interview in The Oregonian (Portland’s daily newspaper) on Monday, which took up half the front page of section B and continued within. The full text of the article can be found online.

I also had an interview with Willamette Week (Portland’s “alternative” newsweekly), which they published on their website but not in their print edition.

I am scheduled to appear on two local TV stations — tomorrow evening on Live @ 7, (KGW, channel 8, February 18, 7:00 PM PST) and next Friday on AM Northwest, (KATU, channel 2, February 26, 9:00 AM PST). If you’re not local or don’t have a TV, both are supposed to be available via live streaming at the given web pages, and selected segments should be available online after the program airs. This is live TV, so it’s subject to change.

AM Northwest appearance rescheduled to Feb 26

One of the hosts of the show, the one who is a space geek and really wanted to do this interview, had to have dental surgery, so my appearance has been rescheduled to February 26. Can’t say I’m completely surprised… in my experience, dealing with television means you have to be fast on your feet.

Meanwhile, I’ve had two interviews with local print media in the last two days. One of them may or may not publish the piece, depending on what the other one does and when. This process is fascinating to watch. I’ll let you know when and if either of these interviews bears fruit.

I also got the February Locus, with a big picture of me in my space suit in the People and Publishing section.

My fifteen minutes of fame are ticking away…

Big change in weekend plans

Well, the current East Coast Snowpocalypse has put the kibosh on our planned trip to Washington, DC for the ACDC square dance weekend. Poot.

The event is still going on, as they expect the weather to have cleared somewhat by Friday, but our plane tickets were for Wednesday and the airline canceled them today. We could have tried to reschedule, but given the number of stranded and desperate people who will be trying to rebook and the likely condition of the airports and roads, we decided with great reluctance to bag the whole thing. Because it’s a weather-related cancellation we can get all our money back from the airline, and ACDC will roll our registrations over to next year.

But, as they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining, and when one door shuts another opens, and three skinks are as good as a lemur: This weekend is also Radcon, a science fiction convention in Pasco, WA. Everyone’s been asking whether I’m going anyway, so since we no longer have any plans for the weekend we’re embracing serendipity and going to that. It’s also a chance to visit Kate’s folks in Kennewick.

The convention hotel’s sold out, but the amazing Radcon Bob has managed to scare us up a room, and he also says he’ll find a spot on the program for me to present my Mars talk. I might also be on some other programming. Whee!

In other news, I’m told there’s a display at Powell’s Cedar Hills of ten local SF writers’ recent books and their favorite books by other authors. I believe I’m represented by Space Magic and Iain M. Banks’s Consider Phlebas. Also, I’m getting a lot of media attention on the Mars thing and hope to have some news to share with you soon. I’m no longer worried about making it back from DC in time for my appearance on AM Northwest on Tuesday morning, so if you’re in Portland, set your TiVos for that!