Just got through reading through the editor’s version of my prose version of The Stars Came Back. Or at least, the first half of it. Pretty darn good. A modest but very effective rearrangement of the end parts. It needs a few tweaks is all, but they are really pretty small. Cover Art is getting titled, so it should be out soon. Second half also done soon. The sequel, “Insanity’s Children” is aiming at six weeks-ish.

No word on the YA prequel, but it’s shorter and I’d had more practice when writing it, so I hoping it might be getting done this year.

Later Edit: To be clear, the series will be called “The Stars Came Back.”
Book one: Back From the Dead                 (first ~half of the original screenplay format book)
Book two: War on the Edge                   (second ~half of the original screenplay format book)
Book Three: Insanity’s Children           (Sequel, all new material)

Book Beats-the-heck-out-of-me: Komenagen: Slog    (all new YA prequel) No release date set.

Book 0.0492(?): Lost Crew (maybe?)     A novella: Early Armadillo mission, similar to “Shakedown Cruise” in Riding The Red Horse. Title not certain. No release date set. But totally written.

Alien minds

One aspect of Sci-Fi is the idea of exploring different ways of thinking and looking at the universe, or even looking at each other. It’s always been tough to convincingly write utterly alien brains or societies, and most merely reflect common aspects of humans. Star Trek’s Vulcans are nothing more than smart and logical humans, Klingons the emotional and savage warrior (human), Romulans just the Machiavellian manipulator (again, human). Few writers have really good and totally alien minds/cultures. Continue reading Alien minds

Sasquan Approaches

I’m debating what day to head for Spokane. Officially, Sasquan starts on Wednesday, the award ceremony is Saturday, and business meetings and closing ceremony are Sunday. I see a lot of things I’m not particularly interested in attending/watching/going to, or will only need a brief walk-by to check out. I’m debating what days to attend. I’ve not heard about any planned rabid or sad puppy meetup officially or not, I’m not going with anyone at this point, and it’s been ~30 years since I’ve been to a con of any sort.

As I do not own a cell phone I’m likely not the best person to organize a puppy meeting, but if anyone knows of one and can send me an email about it, I’d appreciate it.

UPDATE: I’ll be driving over Thursday morning. Maybe go to the business meeting. Go to a few of the panels, like the 1PM mil SF thing, 2PM “Violence, Sex, and Teen Readers”, then hit Burnside’s “ken ruins space opera” panel at 8 PM.

Friday I’ll hit the Prometheus Award at 1PM, grab a bite at the lobby concession afterwords, and maybe watch the Masquerade  at 8PM. Otherwise, still looking.

Saturday: I may go to the 10MA WorldCon orientation if I don’t have a pretty good feel for it all yet. Maybe I’ll see if I can sign up for the Scalzi Kaffee Klatche :-).  Perhaps noon I’ll go to the “future of the economy.” Other than that, the afternoon/evening from ~2 or so on will be Hugo/Campbell award ceremony related “stuff.” Practice, meeting, reception, possibly a short podcast interview, etc. I’m sure I’ll find out more when I get there, and it won’t take ALL that time, but I’ll see what’s what when I get there.



I took the kids up to visit family in Alaska (and chase a few halibut – got three). I did, of course, take the Kindle because the daughter is a bookworm and flying takes a while. I teased her about the number of paper books she was taking when I’ve got a lot of them on the Kindle. While in AK we visited the Friends of the Library bookstore (great place) and got out with less than $20 in damage for our two large stacks of books we picked up. That evening, the on/off button on the Kindle died. The flight back was delayed due to mechanical problems with the plane. We ended up spending more time than expected in the airport. I ended up starting the 1943 edition of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations on the flight back. In, obviously, very dead tree format.

After doing some testing, I’ve pretty much confirmed that my old Kindle Touch is (a) out of warranty, and (b) the power button is dead, and (c) while it’s technically fixable I can buy a new kindle for more than the cost of a “proper” repair because the switch is an integrated part of a larger sub-assembly and cannot be replaced standalone. (BTW, some cell phone repair places work on Kindles, too). I can plug it into a computer’s USB (not just a power-only USB to recharge it) and when I unplug it or eject it on the computer it will turn on, then function normally. I cannot turn it off, however, nor can I adjust the time-out before it auto-turns off. So, it’s awkward to do, but it’s still “sort of” usable.

Score one for the old-school paper books, may they never truly go away.

Young Adult beta-readers needed

The prototype dust-jacket description is “16 year old Skaffington White has problems – not understood at home, stifled at school – and he didn’t think things could get worse than being suspended for a fight he didn’t start. He was wrong. Very wrong. But the darkest thunderclouds throw the brightest lightning to illuminate the path… if he can survive the storm.”

I’ve pretty much finished another book, called Komenagen: Slog. It’s a “Young Adult” (YA) SF book targeted at boys 12-18, and it takes place in the same universe at The Stars Came Back. It’s somewhat in the same vein as Heinlein’s Tunnel in the sky.  I’d like to get some feedback about it from actual 12-18 yo boys. If any of you readers out there are such, or have such a beast in your household and would like to give it a read -on the condition that you give some substantive feedback and write a review when it’s finally published – I can email you a copy in MS Word format. You can convert it e-reader format with Calibri and provide feedback in paragraph form, or have the sprout read it as-is and provide feedback using the review feature in word and add comments or corrections in-line. If you want to read it, email me or make a comment to this post.

Also, a bleg from any YA readers: after reading this book, suggestions for other Komenagen challenges to write about in future books are most welcome.

Casting votes

Time is nearly up for casting your Campbell votes for best new SF writer. As I said to Vox, just being on the ballot is kind of funny, and while I think winning would be pretty cool, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a loooooonnnnnggggg shot. Anything above “No Award” would be fantastic, but below that is quite a conversation piece, too.

“So, how did you manage to come in 6th of two when five were nominated?”
“Well, it’s like this, you see….”

And good times were had by all. If you vote for me at Sasquan, thanks, I’m honored, I truly do appreciate it, and it’s good to know my work was not for nothing. If you didn’t, as long as you voted honestly and not politically or “strategically,” then thanks for your consideration.  I hope to see a few of you in Spokane – I plan on being there.

Speaking of, being the unemployed sort that I am – anyone living in/near Spokane have a couch or spare bed I could crash on for a few nights in mid/late August, so I can avoid the hotel expense if possible?

BBQ cupcakes

That was different.

It’s been hot and dry here. Maybe not the near-biblical hot and dry of a Texas drought, but pretty darn close for the PNW. As my neighbor said, looking at the wast-high brown on the unmowed part of the lawn, “that’s late August grass, not early July grass.” So cooking inside seems like a bad idea. My daughter, though, wanted to bake something. Turning on the stove wasn’t an option. Indoor heat generators are a Bad Thing when the AC already can’t keep up. So she asked if we could cook them outside on the grill. Well, we’re already planning of grilling steak for dinner. Hmmmm… Maybe…. Continue reading BBQ cupcakes