Archive for January 6th, 2012

Read two of my stories for free (HTML and EPUB)

The two stories of mine from last year that I’m proudest of are “The Tides of the Heart” (short story) from Realms of Fantasy and “Citizen-Astronaut” (novelette) from Analog. One is a fantasy, the other is hard SF, and both were published in the same month (June 2011), which tickles my fancy.

As an experiment, I’m making them available for free on my web site in HTML and EPUB format:

The HTML files are plain old web pages that you can read on any browser. The EPUB files are ebooks that you can download and read on your computer, phone, tablet, or ebook reader; they are completely free and unencumbered by DRM.

This is the first time I’ve done an ebook conversion, so if you have any feedback on the formatting, appearance, navigability, readability, or other quality of the ebook, please email me.


Language is a virus?

Word count: 4140 | Since last entry: 2382

We’re taking a trip to Guadalajara this month (in fact, we leave in less than a week, aiee) and we’ve been studying Spanish with the Pimsleur CDs since Thanksgiving. I’ve never studied Spanish before, but I do have a couple of years each of Latin and French and a little Italian under my belt… which helps in some ways (I’ve already been exposed to concepts like grammatical gender) and hinders in others (when I reach for a Spanish word, my brain rummages in the “Romance languages I kind of know” bag and hands me something which may or may not be correct). I feel rather overwhelmed, but my experience with Japanese tells me that even a little bit of the local language helps enormously.

Yesterday our Spanish lesson included phrases such as “Yo estoy enfermo” (I am sick) and “Necesito un médico” (I need a doctor). It’s sometimes kind of strange when a CD makes me lie in a foreign language (e.g. making me say “Me gusta la cerveza”), but as I was saying those things I realized that I was, in fact, feeling a bit of a scratchy throat coming on. It was as though I was actually getting sick from exposure to the concept in Spanish. Language is a virus, indeed. I took a bunch of vitamin C and sambucus before going to bed.

I felt somewhat better this morning, and I hope to be completely recovered in a day or two. But I don’t have a lot of energy.

The trip to Eugene to speak to the Wordos writing group went well. There were something over a dozen people present, including Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Jerry Oltion, and they seemed pleased with my talk about the various workshops and research trips I’ve taken for my writing and the Q&A afterwards. The trip also included several nice meals, a view of three volcanoes, and listening to Alan Cumming read Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan. Not too shabby a day, all told.