Sep 28 2016

Undisclosed location


Longtime followers of my blog will realize that “undisclosed location” means that I’m on some sort of retreat, and won’t be posting for the duration.   I also will only answer emergency or super-important emails, resist all temptation to look at my ebook sales reports, will not check Facebook or Twitter, will not go to my favorite blogs, and will stay away from the TV.  (Except, I did watch the debate last night.)  I’ve been in stuck in fried-brain mode since, basically, Worldcon in August, and I have got to  get my actual brain back, and get some work done!

This retreat is sadly very short, because I had determined that I must go away Now! Instantly! This very moment if possible!  Also, I had no money.  So a kind friend with a house going unused for five days graciously permitted me to camp out here until Saturday morning.

It’s not very far away, but it’s far-ish.  It’s not entirely isolated, but I can isolate myself by staying put.  I know no one in this town, and so I have no social obligations.   And there’s less light pollution here, so I can see more stars than at home, including (very dimly) the Andromeda galaxy (my unofficial guage of starry-sky quality).  Starry skies are especially uplifting.

It’s also my tradition during retreats to blog only photos, no words.   Yet, here I am chatting away Okay, time to shut up, now.  Catch you on the flip-side.

Look closely to the right of that trunk in the center...

There was a deer here, just before I snapped this picture.


step one: just put it all on the board.

step one: just put it all on the board.



Sep 23 2016

Because Mars.


Yep.  They can do this now.  A panning 360-degree panorama.  Of Mars.

Go full screen, and use your mouse to look around.  And if your mouse has a wheel, you can also zoom in and out!


Mars Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 1451


Oh, look, here’s another!

Mars Panorama – Curiosity rover

They actually have a whole bunch of these over at  (They allow you to post them for non-commercial purposes.)

I love seeing Mars as an actual place, and the pannable panoramas do give you that sense of being there.

But, want to see my favorite section the panorama?   It’s this:



Here we’re looking down at the ground, and you can see parts of the rover, and its shadow on the Martian sand.  And its very own name-tag.   On Mars.

That’s a thing that human beings made, that is now sitting right there on a planet that is not Earth.

We made it, we sent it there, it got there, it’s doing its job.    So lovely.

More later — I’ve got ton’s o’ chores to do in the next two days.   Still catching up from fighting-snakes mode.




Sep 16 2016

Meanwhile, in the wilds of Connecticut


Here’s a link to an excellent discussion of Cyberpunk, recently broadcast on my local radio station.

I’ve stopped being surprised by how cool Colin McEnroe’s show is.   I first knew of him as a Dave-Barry-esque humor columnist in the Hartford Courant in the Eighties.  But somehow, while I wasn’t looking (i.e. off living in Boston and New Hampshire)  he transformed into this crazily intelligent, erudite, nerdily-witty but deep-thinking radio talk-show host.     Who knew?

The guests on the Cyberpunk episode were Paul Di Filippo, John Shirley, Leigh Grossman, and  Willa Paskin (Slate’s TV critic).   (Bonus mention of Pat Cadigan, around 46:00.)

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can browse through McEnroe’s previous episodes, and zero in on whatever amuses, inspires, or sets  you off on therapeutically cathartic rant.  Also, there’s the podcast.

Okay, I’m off — must reread & analyze for the next meeting of the Fabulous Genrettes…


UPDATE:  Here’s that video that was mentioned in the show: Keiichi Masuda’s “Hyper-reality.”  You’ll want to go full-screen.




Sep 15 2016

News about people who are not me.


When we last left Our Intrepid Heroine, she had just got back from weeks away from home (including a cross-country drive accomplished while she and her stalwart Big Sister were both sick as dogs), and had endured an extra, post-trip week of massive cold/flu/whatever, and was finally attempting to get back in the groove by locking herself away from the entire rest of the world…

This lasted about two days, as the entire rest of the world had different plans.

Stuff had to be dealt with! Stuff that could be neither ignored nor postponed.  They existed on their own timelines.   They overlapped timelines!   They wrapped their timelines around each other into mutual strangleholds and battled each other like snakes!  It would have been exciting if it wasn’t exhausting.   Wait, no it wouldn’t.

I’d tell you more, but while I’m free to natter about my own life, I’m reluctant to provide details of other people’s lives.  So, we stay metaphorical and hypothetical.   More fun that way, anyway.  Feel free to insert assumptions of your own imagining, as a creative exercise.

Anyway, I have, like, a day and a half to catch my breath before diving into the cleanup and recovery phase of the events in question.

I could recap my trip, and Worldcon, and the wonderfulness of that (before the cross-country-plaguemobile part); but I only have a little bit of time available to write this blog post, so… I’ll eke that out over a few posts in a week or so from now.

But in the meantime, fortunately, I know cool people, who do cool things that I can tell you about.  Which helps both you and them.


Eternity's End (Star Rigger Universe) by [Carver, Jeffrey A.]

The ebook version of Jeff Carver’s Eternity’s End is currently on sale for 99 cents.   This is a great way to step into Jeff’s Starrigger Universe, and there’s plenty more where that came from.  Seriously, if you love SF that roams the wild space-ways, this is for you.  It’s available pretty much everywhere: Amazon,  Nook,  iBooks,  Kobo,  and Google Play.

Also, there’s this delightful thing:

The trailer only mentions Downpour, but the audiobook also available from Audible (free with trial membership, too) and iTunes.  The guy doing the narration, Stephan Rudnicki, is actually one of my favorite narrators.  I know his voice so well — it’s nice to see his face.

Other non-me news:

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by [Sherman, Delia]

Delia Sherman’s new Young Adult book The Evil Wizard Smallbone is out!  My sister has the hardcover, which has this brilliant wrap-around cover, and I got the Kindle version (for convenience, plus instant gratification)  and I do love it.  Come on, you know you read YA.  Admit it.  Okay, pretend you’re getting it for your nephew or niece or whatever.  But I see through you.

And finally:

The Sirens literary conference (October 20-23) has Laurie J. Marks as a Guest of Honor this year.   Laurie is the author of the acclaimed Elemental Logics series (among other works), and like Delia, is a member of my writing group.  The Sirens website has even  posted an interview with Laurie, which you can read here.

Must go now.   I have all day tomorrow free from snake-battling events.  Must grab it while I can.


UPDATED to include link to two battling snakes.

Sep 2 2016

Some things


Still on the home version of a writing retreat. Sort of like house arrest, but with writing.  Plus, at my office instead of at home.

Planning board. Post-it notes to come. Bonus writing advice.

Planning board. Post-it notes in waiting. Bonus writing advice. (Click to embiggen.)

No blogging, I am hard at work! But as consolation, here are Some Things possibly of interest:

1. Cool video! You should go full-screen.


2. Articles by Jo Walton on about her Thessaly Series.

The Baroque Inspiration

The Platonic Inspiration

The Original Inspiration

3. Couldn’t make it to WorldCon?  You can watch the entire Hugo Awards Ceremony on UStream.
Live Streaming Api (The Campbell award, with first bonus astronaut, is at 34:00.  Best Dramatic Presentation, long form, with second bonus astronaut, is at about 1:08.  Hey, I like astronauts. Fiction awards start at about 1:24.)

That’s it for now.  Must put post-its on whiteboard, draw connecting lines, and muse further.


Sep 1 2016

In contemplative mode…


I still owe a convention report — but I find that right now I must set all else aside to engage in deep thoughts.

Meanwhile, feel free to feed the fish in this koi pond, which I find soothing, and very conducive to useful musing.

Click to feed.
(Does not work on iPhones and iPads)

(aBowman’s website has more widgets like this.)