Where We’ve Been, What’s Going On Now, What’s Happening Next

I’m back. Over the last few days Krissy and I were in New York City, convincing skeptical friends that Krissy was not actually mythical and does indeed exist (the rumor of the mythical Krissy having sprung up through the fact that I’ve gone to two Worldcons solo and yet spoke of this mysterious offstage wife). Suffice to say that they are all suitably convinced. During our stay in NYC, we stayed at the palatial apartment of Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier, and very much enjoyed their hospitality; we of course extended an invitation to this marvelous couple to visit us in the rustic splendor of rural Ohio and then we all had a nice long giggle at the idea of the two of them tromping through the neighboring cornfields. Nevertheless, the offer still stands.

Aside from enjoying the pleasure of Scott and Justine’s company, we also visited other friends, saw the Blue Man Group (which was very touristy, but on the other hand was also a lot of fun, and hell, we were tourists), and swung by Tor for lunch with the Nielsen Haydens, and to pick up an Advance Readers’ Copy of Old Man’s War. I was very pleased the NHs made the time, as they were busy jamming through work prior to rocketing off to Arizona, and having lunch conversation with the two of them is always lots of fun.

Incidentally, PNH tells me that in fact Old Man’s War will be printed and on pallets by mid-November, which means it will almost certainly be in bookstores in time for the holidays. So please feel free to place it back on your lists of things to buy for Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice. Also, I see that OMW is ranked in the 34,000s on the Amazon rankings at the moment, so to the six of you who have already pre-ordered the book: Bless you, my friends.

Having a weekend in New York City to relax and enjoy the company of friends was a good thing, as I mentioned over at By The Way, because November is going to be hellacious. Here’s the deal: Because of various editorial reasons which need not be discussed here, I’ll be writing pretty much the entire Rough Guide to Science Fiction Film in November. That’s about 80,000 words. So all you people who are thinking of doing the National Novel Writing Month thingie in November: I’ve so got you beat. I’ll be using the rest of October to clear the decks of other projects and to watch lots and lots of science fiction movies; come November 1, I submerge into the inky depths and you won’t see much of me until December 1, when either the book will be off to the editors, or I will be off to intensive care for my ulcers.

What this means is that it is now official: I will be taking a hiatus from the Whatever through the entire month of November. I haven’t yet decided whether I will simply put up a “Come Back December 1” entry or if I will post “re-runs” of popular previous whatevers. Alternately, I may post a daily (or semi-daily) link to some music I’ve found online, ala the late, lamented IndieCrit, and leave the comment thread open for your thoughts on the music. If you have a preference please let me know.

Whatever I do, I guarantee it will not involve more than five minutes of my time on a daily basis, because I’ve got a couple thousand words to write daily in a book. My AOL Journal By The Way will of course be running more or less as usual, since I get paid for that. Yes, I know many of you would prefer I do the Whatever over By the Way. But one pays bills and the other doesn’t. You can’t give the bank an excuse to take your home.

The good news is that December looks rather a bit more relaxed. If I can get through the next five weeks, It’ll be smooth sailing until 2005. And I wouldn’t mind a month off.