Aug 24 2012

Silent on the subject of Worldcon because…


I’ve been silent on the subject of the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago Labor Day weekend, because, alas, I’m not attending this year. The cost of getting there, staying there, and membership was just too steep for my current cashflow this time around.

I plan to take the 3-day weekend to write instead! Possibly whilst hiding out at some less-expensive nearby place.

But I seriously plan to attend next year’s Worldcon — Plus, if London wins its bid for the 2014 Worldcon, I will absolutely be there if I have to quit my job, sell my car, and trade my sister’s dog for a rowboat! I WILL GO TO LONDON.

Meanwhile, I’ll just be slightly jealous of my friends, acquaintances, and admired authors who are going to Worldcon this year.

People like:

Jo Walton

John Scalzi

Catherynne M. Valente

Eleanor Arnason

Joe Haldeman

George R. R. Martin

Robert Reed

Walter H. Hunt

Okay, that’s enough of me listing them — go ahead and look at the whole list.

Worldcons are wonderful fun, and inspiring, and enlightening, and goofy; and they are places where you make friends for life, or for an evening; where you learn about new writers, and hear the latest rumors, and see amazing art; and sometimes fall in love.

Oh, and you get to watch them give out the Hugo awards! In person!

You should go, if you can.

Aug 14 2012

Not a scene of carnage


Apparently, a scene of sunbathers.

Warm concrete below + warm sunshine above = toasty warm on both sides.

This was just the other day, when I happened to look out the back door of the breakroom at the DayJob, and spied what seemed to be dozens of pathetic barn swallow corpses strewn about the patio.

When I stepped outside to search for survivors, they all simultaneously startled, glared at me in indignation, and flew off.

But not very far:

possible pre-migration get-acquainted mixer

The skeleton of our wind-stripped event tent seems to be a popular hangout lately.

I think I can be excused for my error, considering that some of these birds were splayed out flat, wings spread, heads limply lolling to one side.


But all was well, after all. They just watched me from the tent-supports with great suspicion, until I went back inside, at which point they promptly flew down and splayed themselves out again.

except for one lookout

Aug 13 2012

Exactly one.


I’ve always considered the Perseids to be MY meteor shower, appearing, as they do every year, exactly on my birthday.

In recent years, there’s always been something interfering with my ability to get out in the wee small hours of the morning and enjoy the display — like last year, when the cruelly glaring full moon drowned out all lesser lights. But hey, it’s a waning crescent this time, perfect, right?


Of course, Connecticut is the Land of Light Pollution, and I’d have to drive an hour to get to any decent dark-sky location — but it’s Saturday night, so what the heck, I can sleep late the next day!

Perfect. So what’s to stop me?

How about: rain, rain, and then some more rain.

Oh, look! Here’s a link to, showing lots of photos by people who had better weather! How nice for them!


Sunday night’s weather promised to be clear and lovely, and yes it was. But alas: could not undertake a drive of an hour, viewing for about an hour, and a drive back getting home at, oh, 3 or 4 AM. So I went out on the back porch. In a condo complex. Well-lit, for safety. Really well lit.

The back porch was darker than the front parking lot, but not by much.

Still I saw one, hooray!

But just one. Alas.

And that was it.

What the heck. Here’s a neat photo from last year’s Perseids by astronaut Ron Garan. There’s only one meteor in the photo, true — but please note that it is photographed from above. Obviously the way to go.

Weather not actually a problem in this case.

(You should click to embiggen, because it’s gorgeous full-sized.)

Aug 11 2012




Aug 6 2012

Your shadow on Mars

You are what you do.  We did this.

You are what you do.

Yes, it’s your shadow.

Every made object is a crystallized thought. A human thinks it, builds it, and that thought is forever after an object in the world with mass, form — an idea made permanent.

And every machine is crystallized intention. We know what we want to do, what actions we want to take place; and we take raw matter, and teach to to enact — and there it stands, there it moves, there it goes, to Mars.

When our eyes can’t see far enough, we build new eyes.

When our bodies can’t travel the distance, we make new bodies, and fill them with our thoughts and intentions, give them new eyes, and new voices.

Our eyes, our voices, our curiosity.

That’s your shadow on Mars.

Aug 1 2012



I love the sound of rain.

So, most of my soundfiles on GoMixIt include rain.

It’s actually raining outside.

But I’m at Starbucks, where the conversation around me, and the music they pump in, makes it very hard for me to focus on my –Hello!– writing.

So I need something to cover up the noise.

Thus: earphones and my iPod.

On which I listen to my GoMixIt soundfiles.

Result: I am looking out the window at actual rain, while listening on my iPod to fake rain.

not that the music at starbucks is actually bad, it's just that I can't ignore music very easily...

Rain outside that door, there. Lots of it.

I make no apologies for this.