Daily Archives: December 12, 2006

Leslie Harpold

Well, damn. Leslie Harpold, one of the bright stars of the early blogosphere, back when blogs were still known as online diaries, has died. I’m not entirely sure how, but this entry from a friend of hers seems to suggest it may have been related to chronic bronchitis.

Those of us who hung out online back in the day knew Leslie as smart and funny and one of the people who really seemed to get what the online world could be all about. She and I were friendly in the online way, both in the online diary world and as habitués of the alt.society.generation-x newsgroup. Leslie was still a big presence online right up until the last week, with her annual advent calendar a popular attraction online. In one of those coincidences, one of her final links out in the advent calendar was to me and this site. I am happy to think I was still on her radar after all this time.

This is just sad news, people. I’m at the age where I can reasonably expect my contemporaries to begin to leave, but it’s still startling when it happens, especially with someone who was as vital as Leslie, and someone who was a big part of my early days online — which don’t seem all that long ago, because they weren’t.

Goodbye, Leslie. Be well where you are. You are missed.

Fiddly Bits, 12/12/06

Busy day — I’ll be back at some point, but for now, some egocentric notes and links:

* First, I’m done with “The Sagan Diary,” although I’ll spend part of the afternoon formatting it and banging out an intro chapter. But the hard part, the part where I get inside Jane’s head, is completed. I’m going to talk about it in more depth soon, but for now I’ll have you know that this little novelette was really hard to write, and was possibly the most difficult piece of writing I’ve ever done. And yes, I’m very happy with it. As I said, I’ll talk about it more a little later.

* SFFWorld has a positive review of The Android’s Dream, which makes me happy (although I will note it features a plot spoiler, so be mindful):

Fans of Scalzi’s previous novels shouldn’t worry; the humor, storytelling, and skillful plotting that flavored those two novels flavors The Android’s Dream even more strongly. Three novels in such a short time from one writer is impressive, even more impressive is how John Scalzi is improving as a writer with each and delivering chock-full-of SF goodness that should appeal to readers across the genre.

Nifty. Although I most note for the sake of accuracy that Android was actually written before Ghost Brigades, so I guess I can’t take too much credit for smoothly progressing as a writer. I have noted before that I think structurally The Android’s Dream is the best constructed of my books — I think it’s just well put together. Mind you, I’m proud of TGB as well, and there are several things there I do better than I did in OMW or TAD, in my opinion. I do think I’m becoming a better writer as I go along.

* Also nice: Forbidden Planet International (based in the UK) is polling SF/F and Comics notables about the books, movies, graphic novels and etc they think are the best of the year. Old Man’s War shows up, which is gratifying, since at the moment it’s still only available as an import in the UK.

And, uh, that’s me for the moment. How are you?