Dec 30 2010



Check out the vintage electronics on this baby!

Slightly, blurry -- because I was so excited!

Blurry -- because I was so excited!

I was at the DayJob, taking one of my scheduled walk-around breaks (without which I would spend eight straight hours hunched over the keyboard and end the day looking and feeling like a gargoyle), when I came across the electronics-cleaning staff working on this. Instant nerd heaven!

Really, this tech is so old that it’s practically alien. Thus, my fascination at its weirdness. We Do Not Do It Like This Any More.

Still blurry, but you can see the essentials

Still blurry, but you can see the essentials

I should have included something for scale in the picture above, because what you cannot see is that these resistors are each about the size of your finger. This because they are from the days when electronics were, in effect, hand-rolled. Ranks and ranks of ’em, lined up like zipper teeth…

At least, I think they’re resistors, and not capacitors. Because I did not see any other object identifiable as a resistor.

One of you out there knows the answer to that — what say?

I do wish I’d gotten better pictures, but the item is no longer out on the premises.

This shot is better; you can see the tubes glowing! And that vague object to the right is vague not because I’m moving, but because it is. Because that’s what it does.

Justin St. Pierre's right hand provides scale.

Justin St. Pierre's right hand provides scale.

Because that component is a leslie.

Which makes this —

Old Hammond electric organ

Old Hammond electric organ

a Hammond.

I had been just strolling by, minding my own business, when I was struck blind by the beauty of the electronic innards on display. I didn’t even know it was an organ until I walked around to the front. Then: double dose of geekitude!

The cleaners were taken aback and nonplussed, watching me geek out over this lovely device. They had never seen me in that mode. To them, I’m just one of the girls in Accounting. (Yes, I said “girls”, because that’s what they say; that’s what everyone around here says. Even the women. All females are “girls” no matter what their age or station. It’s that kind of culture. Yes, I do feel like I’m on some other, less advanced, planet.)

The one guy who was on the same wavelength as me was Justin (he who also fixed my car), who is a true geek of the best 21st century sort. The Hammond was under his care, and he definitely appreciated what he was working on.

So I was going, “Whoa!” and “Sweet!” and “This is so freakin’ cool!”; and he was going, “Yeah, and look here!” and “Check this out!”

So we pulled out all the stops and made some noise.

the term STOPS left over from air-powered pump organs

the term "stops" left over from air-powered pump organs!

Alas, neither of us were keyboard players… that Hammond deserved, oh, maybe Billy Preston? Who was it who played organ for the Doors? Someone like that.

Feet pedals play bass notes!

Feet pedals play bass notes!

Seriously, I was so thrilled to see this.

And it got me thinking — exactly why was I that excited?

And I realized: it hit me on three of my geek points:


Three at once! Triple dose of gladness!

The only way it could be better would be if the organ also was:

Built by the Elves of Rivendell
Powered by steam from a DRAGON
Used for communicating with alien civilizations
In the process of achieving true independent consciousness

That would cover: science, tech, music, fantasy culture, fantasy zoology, SETI, cognitive sciences…

That would pretty much hit all my buttons at once. My head would probably explode…

No, hold on a minute…

There is something that hits all my geek points at once.

Yeah. My novels.

Well. That explains a lot.

Dec 26 2010

Someone else’s Xmas dinner.

Seen earlier today.

Seen near the bird feeder earlier today.

Dec 26 2010

And the snow rolls in…


I had a lovely Xmas, thank you, and hope you did, as well.

My lovely Xmas featured mainly focusing on writing. Sabine has gone up to cat-sit for some friends in New Hampshire, leaving me all on my own with the whole house to roam in, with no now-I’m-writing/now-I’m-not barriers whatsoever. This, to me , is heaven.

I got a lot done! Can’t discuss the details, of course. But I did default to my 8PM to 4AM favorite and most productive creative hours. Love it.

Alas, back to the DayJob tomorrow. But on the upside, on Thursday after work I drive up to New Hampshire myself where Sabine and I will do our gift-giving on New Year’s, with pals Brian and Mary Ann. At their amazing house equipped with rapscallion cat…

Rarely-seen sleep mode.

Rarely-seen sleep mode.

It’s like having two Christmases!

Meanwhile, back at Mondo Condo, the imminent snow has brought rarely seen visitors to the heated bird bath and the feeder.

Like the Red-Breasted Nuthatch, some sort of wren, and this gal:

I defend against all comers!

Yes, it’s a squirrel, but it’s a red squirrel. Being smaller and daintier than the honkin’ great gray squirrels. And weighing less. And thus not tripping the automatic shut-the-feeder bar. Allowing her to stretch out full length across the entire feeder, thus preventing everyone else from getting any food at all. Until I chased her away.

So everyone had an Xmas dinner that could not be beat.

I hope that your holiday was as peaceful, joyful, and delightful as mine.

Dec 18 2010

and I forgot to mention Jo Walton…


…in the list of authors I posted a few posts back.

I have no explanation for the omssion, other than that I was in a rush, and about to hurry off to the DayJob.

Anyway, it’s not too late to add Jo Walton books to your gift-shopping list!

Seriously, I just bought the Kindle version of Among Others. Even though it’s not out yet. Because sometimes the Kindle version comes out first, and I don’t want to wait. As soon as it’s released, zing right on to my Kindle reader.

I’m probably in no danger of having bought something for myself that someone else has bought me for Christmas, because if they buy it for me, they’ll probably buy the hardcover. Which I would be happy to have.

Dec 18 2010

The difference


Over in the comments, Jo Walton and Michael_gr reminded me of some issues that came up when The Steerswoman was first released.

One of which was: Market it as science fiction, or as fantasy?

I couldn’t help wondering, at that time: If people think it’s fantasy, then when those who prefer fantasy realize somewhere down the line that it’s realy science fiction, will they feel cheated? But on the other hand, if people assume it’s fantasy, those who prefer science fiction won’t even pick it up at all!

And won’t this totally screw my sales numbers?

It’s a good question to ask, all these years after the first release. I wonder how much effect that ambiguity did have…

But what happened was this: Del Rey came down on the side of “Market it as SF”:

cover art by Richard Hescox

cover art by Richard Hescox

(See the original on the Northern Arts website, here. Where it is for sale.)

And the British publisher, Pan, went for fantasy:

cover art by John Higgins

cover art by John Higgins

(See the version on Higgins’ website, where you’ll have to click it from a list on the left.)

When I asked Pan why they made that choice, they said that they believed that women would especially like the book, and “more women read fantasy”.

That’s what they said, folks.

Anyway, I like both covers, for different reasons.

Dec 16 2010

Much to my surprise…


Sabine: Hey, don’t you have some copies of the Brit edition of The Steerswoman? I bet people would want that, too.

Me: Um, pretty sure I only have a few copies left.

Sabine: I thought you had a bunch.

Me: Don’t think so… Wait a minute. (Goes into basement, looks at every box. Grumbles. Comes back.) No, I only have the handful of copies on my shelf.

Sabine: Oh, well. That’s too bad.

Me: Yeah.

Pal Brian in in comment queue: You might want to mention that you have a near infinite supply of the English edition “The Steerswoman”. There may be people out there who would like to have a copy.

Me, to self: But I don’t, I just checked! (Goes back into basement. Looks at every visible box again. Looks at very large standing fan. Thinks about very large standing fan. Moves very large standing fan. Finds box previously hidden behind fan.)

Me: Well… heck!

So, I seem to have on hand about a dozen copies of the British mass-market edition of the stand-alone version of The Steerswoman. (That’s the start of the series, which is otherwise only available as the first half of the very-expensive The Steerswoman’s Road.)

Brit Cover is oooeeee spooky

Seriously, I would have told you before, if I realized I had them. I thought I didn’t!

I blame Nyquil, Dayquil, and my DayJob, all working together in concert to Keep Rosemary Stupid Just Before Xmas.

But the copies are here, if anyone is interested.

I’ll charge $15, which will include Priority Shipping (two to three business days, meaning if I mail tomorrow, they arrive Tuesday or Wednesday because of the weekend) within the US and Canada — foreign shipping, or Express would cost more.

If you’re interested, drop me an email at:

Dec 14 2010

Apparently, that was a good idea.


There seems to be some actual interest in the copies of The Lost Steersman that I have on hand. Who knew?

As of tomorrow, copies will be winging their way across the country to various new homes.

Dec 13 2010

the Lost Steersman — out of print, but somewhat available…


The illustrious Skwid has pointed out in the comment thread that The Lost Steersman is out of print.

There are still copies available online, through Amazon, but they’re mostly second-hand.

However, I do have a number of copies, pristine and uncirculated, that I’m willing to sell. I’m figuring $20, which would include priority mail shipping.

Anyone who’s interested — email me at and we can work out the details.

hard to find!

Dec 13 2010

nine shopping days left


I have risen up from my cold/flu thingie long enough to remember that:

a) there are nine shopping days left before the most popular gift-giving holiday
b) sometimes people give books as gifts
c) I actually write books!

You’re here because you like my books; and you like your friends; so why not put them together?

Also: In general, the more of my books that get sold, the better I look to my publisher, and the more likely they are to buy & publish the next book in the series.

It’s win-win all around!

Plus: Several people have told me about the Amazon Associates Program, and yes I have signed up. (This means that if you click to Amazon from any link on my page and buy anything, not just my books but anything at all, Amazon pays me a small advertising fee. Which adds up, if enough people do it. Hint. Hello, trying to make a living, here!)

Frequently asked question: Hey, why does The Steerswoman’s Road cost twice as much as the other books? What’s up with that?

A: It’s two books in one. It’s twice as big. It’s The Steerswoman and The Outskirter’s Secret in one volume.

Q: Yeah, but I remember that it used to be the same price as the others!

A: True. When Del Rey first released this combined volume, they priced it the same as The Lost Steersman and The Language of Power
, and got it into stores just before those two books hit the stands. Thus to tempt readers, and get them hooked on the whole series. Alas, that time has passed. But when they increased the price, they did something else too: It’s a better edition. Seriously: better paper, larger size, nicer all around. I went and bought a copy myself, just to check, and it really is better.

Seriously, take a look:

old edition left, new edition right

old edition left, new edition right

Here's where you can see the diff

Here's where you can see the diff

new edition has brighter paper, too

new edition has brighter paper, too

So, there’s my obligatory mercenary post…

But I’d like to remind you, too, of the books not by me that have been mentioned here — these are all fine authors, so why not share them with your friends?

Authors like:

Catherynne M. Valente
Chad Orzel
Laurie J. Marks
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Geary Gravel
Delia Sherman
Ellen Kushner

Ack! I’m out of time — I’m doing this over lunch at work (yes, I dragged myself to work).


Dec 12 2010

Alas, still ill…


Nyquil ™ all night and Dayquil ™ all day. I should buy stock.

In lieu of actual content generated by me, I direct your attention to this:

There’s more here.