As promised, I am returning on a more or less full-time basis for December. I hope you didn’t miss me too much.
Here’s what’s been going on.
Rough Guide to Science Fiction
Yes, I did quite a bit of writing on it. No, it’s not done. A good half of my November was given over to being sick in a way that basically sapped me of my will to live, and also to write. So writing did get done, just a lot slower than I would have preferred. I’ll be busy making up lost time this month. More I won’t say because I’m a bit aggravated with myself for not having got more done. Regardless, it will be done soon, if for no other reason than I have no choice to get it done, or die trying.
Old Man’s War
Lots of nice, positive developments here, including (as previously noted) a nice sales boost for the book via Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit last week (he also said nice things about it yesterday. Update 12/1: And today, too!). Folks have also begun chiming in on the Amazon page, which I’ve appreciated as well. Some early pro reviews have also begun to filter in, and they seem to be positive, including at least one fairly significant review which I’ve heard about from official sources but not seen, and must therefore be all mysterious-like about until I myself know more. The book is also beginning to make its way around movie studios from what I understand, although very clearly one needs to treat any stuff like that with a grain of salt the size of the Rock of Gibraltar — it’s one of those “I’ll believe it when I get my fat slab ‘o option money” things; one of the nice things about having been a movie critic for so many years is that I have a fairly clear understanding how the movie industry works. I won’t be looking for a Santa Monica bungalow anytime soon, is what I’m saying.
I’ve already started doing some press for Old Man’s War, and when some of that starts to appear in the world, I’ll certainly link to it. For now, here’s something: An interview for the Dragon Page radio talk show, based in Arizona but syndicated around the country. The page I just linked to has a schedule of when and where you can hear online streaming versions, although for a limited time you can also download an MP3 of the show for your Podcasting pleasure (that’s an 8.5MB download). My portion starts about five minutes into the show. We chat about the book, military science fiction and also a bit about blogging, so it’s a little of everything. Listening to it reminds me I need to curb the “ummms” and “aaaaahs” and make my interview voice more rich and manly — my excuse is that when I did the interview my lungs were still 90% phlegm and my throat still shredded — you can hear my voice crack in a couple of places.
In any event, things for this book are in the “so far, so good” territory of things, and that’s always nice for one’s debut novel.
Book of the Dumb 2
Out and seems to be doing well, although at the moment the first Book of the Dumb is outselling it, at least on Amazon. I’m not too terribly concerned about this since we haven’t done publicity on 2 yet and it’s still finding its way into the stores. And anyway, the more Book of the Dumb 1 sells, the more people will be primed for BotD2. I am pleased to see the first book selling so well a year after it was released; it seems to suggest these books could have a reasonably long shelf life. And I like that.
Other Writing Projects
In addition to wrapping up Science Fiction Film, I’ll be doing a project for a business client and doing some pieces for an upcoming Uncle John’s book on New Jersey, all of which will keep me busy for the first part of the month (this is why I said I’d be “more or less” back to full time). I’m pleased with all of this; it’s nice to keep busy and it’ll also end the year on something of a financial high note, and considering how much money we like everyone else hemorrhage over the holidays, this is definitely not a bad thing at all.
One of my big dreams is to take a month off where I do nothing except maybe update this and By the Way; I was planning that for December, but that was before the business gig kicked in. Now I’m thinking January (or perhaps the second half of January/first half of February). Point is, time off would be nice — time off that doesn’t involve sickness of some sort.
Life in General
Well, it’s fine. You know.
Thoughts About the Election and Other Political Stuff
Eh. Like everyone else who voted for Kerry, I was depressed for a day, and then I got over it because no matter how depressed I got, Bush was still going to be President until 2008. I’ll have more to say about it over time, I’m sure, but that’s a basic snapshot of my reaction to the election: I voted, the other guy won, let’s move on to doing what we can to minimize the damage. End of story.
I do admit to being deeply tired of hearing about the “red state, blue state” dichotomy, since as it’s been amply noted that if about 1% of Ohio voters had voted the other way, we’d be talking about who was going to be in Kerry Cabinet. Look, I voted for Kerry in a county where 70% of the voters (including, I suspect, all my neighbors) went for Bush. The day after the election, they were still the good neighbors I had the day before. I’m not pleased they voted for Bush, but I don’t imagine they’re pleased I voted for Kerry, and aside from that we get along well. I still live in a pretty good place, with pretty good people.
Anyway, I’m sort of fatigued at the idea of seeing 58 million of my fellow citizens as the enemy, and I would imagine many of them feel the same way. I’m for the old idea of disagreeing and still being civil. We all make mistakes; let’s hope in time Bush voters realize that they’ve made one (and that the rest of us don’t pay too heavily for it). Having said that, if by some unfathomable twist of fate Dubya ends up presiding over a happier, better America at the end of his second term, I’ll be happy to say that their vote wasn’t the worst thing they ever did. Four years is a long time and much can happen. It’s time to make it happen.