2008, 2009

2008 was a horrible year for most humans, as I understand it, but it was pretty good for me. My family and I were happy and healthy, I won a Hugo and got on the New York Times bestseller list, the guy I voted for got elected president, and for the 39th consecutive year, I was not consumed by a bear. So overall it’s hard to complain.

As for 2009, here’s what’s up.

* First things first: The High Castle, the follow-up to The Android’s Dream, has been pushed back from its planned October release date. And you ask, well, who pushed it back, Mr. Let’s-Use-the-Ambiguous-Passive-Construction? The answer is: I did. I pushed it back because it’s not ready to be seen by people who are not me, and it wouldn’t have been ready by the deadline. So it’s off the schedule until it’s ready to be seen by people who aren’t me. And since it takes a while for something to get back on the schedule once it’s been taken off, it’ll probably be a while until you see it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all Chinese Democracy on you. I just think you deserve good, don’t you? Sure you do.

* So what’s on the schedule for 2009? That’s an interesting question. I have lots of stuff percolating at the moment but very little I can tell you about, some of it because I need to wait for other people to make announcements, some of it because deals have yet to be made, and some of it because I’m still thinking about it. I’m not trying to be ooooooh mysterious here. I’m merely a big believer in not talking about things until they are ready to be talked about. But suffice to say I’ll make mention of at least a couple of these upcoming things relatively soon.

* That said, here are two things I can talk to you about:

  • The paperback release of Zoe’s Tale, currently scheduled for 4/28/09;
  • A short story, “The Tale of the Wicked,” in the New Space Opera II anthology, scheduled for 6/30/09.

For those of you wondering why I have a story in an anthology when I’ve announced that I’m withdrawing from anthologies generally, the answer that this story was already commissioned and finished before the announcement.

* Speaking of which, there’s been some confusion as to whether I plan to write any short fiction at all, since I’ve done that anthology announcement. The answer is that yes, I plan to write more short fiction, just on my own schedule, not someone else’s. This is partly due to my schedule already being pretty well filled-out, as noted before, but also, I just don’t want to contribute to some poor bastard editor’s stress level by making him or her wonder if I’m going to get my story in on time. That’s no fun, either for the editor and for me, and at this point in time I’m not sure why I need to be doing things with my short fiction that aren’t fun.

* What’s the plan for Whatever? Oh, you know: whatever. I find that this place works best if I don’t think about it too hard, I just do it. So that’s the plan. The only thing I am planning to do is to write some stuff up early and have it pop in during morning hours, because I want to get better at keeping the 8am – 2:30pm time bloc (i.e., the “hey the kid’s at school and not bugging me” bloc) free for fiction and/or pay copy. One of the reasons I took a two-week mostly-break here was give my brain a little bit of time for retraining on that front. It’s working, since this was written in advance. We’ll see if it sticks.

* As for any larger, existential goal for 2009: Well, as hinted in the stuff about short fiction, the one goal I have for 2009 is to make sure I’m having fun. 2008 was an excellent year for me, but in a number of ways it was also a stressful year. More than a little of that was due to me stressing myself out for various reasons, none of which are anywhere near interesting enough to note here now. So for 2009, when presented with something, I’m going to ask myself: Am I going to have fun with this? If the answer is “yes,” groovy. If the answer is “no,” I’ll ask, Is there a reason why I need to do this anyway? If the answer is “no,” then I’m likely not to bother. It’s a nutty idea, but it just might work. It beats being consumed by bears.

So: Onward into 2009. Let’s hope it’s good, and ursine-free, for all of us.

36 Comments on “2008, 2009”

  1. As I understand it, it’s hard to complain *if* you’re unlucky to have been consumed by a bear as well. That said, 2009 looks shiney.

  2. the one goal I have for 2009 is to make sure I’m having fun.

    “Not being eaten by a bear” is a subset of “having fun,” I presume?

  3. More of a passive mode really. Sure it can be fun to not be eaten by a bear. However, there’s no obvious exclusion that I can think of; while the state “not eaten by bear” may be true it doesn’t exclude other states such as “not eaten by shark” or “not being audited by the IRS” becoming false. In these and many other cases one is not having fun.

  4. No bears yet – they’re still sleeping off winter but when we get them we really get them. Last summer I think we had about twenty blacks and a few browns. Very few grizzly bears on the island -they’ve only been spotted here in the last year or so but given the area I’m in they’ll surely be here soon. Avoiding being eaten becomes more important around about then…

  5. Looking forward to another year of awesome from Whatever. The fiction releases are just gravy, and gravy is goooood.

  6. Fun is good.

    I cannot help but wonder how often you’ve actually been at imminent risk of being eaten by a bear…

  7. 39 years and you remain bearry funny. You’re the only person I know who has an existential goal that goes “Whatever, let’s have fun.”

    Happy to see you back, John.

  8. What’s so hard about not getting eaten by Kodi? Just don’t let her get hungry. As for other bears, take Kodi with you, they’ll know you’re already claimed.

  9. The trick about not getting eaten by a bear is easy, always travel with someone you can outrun. Children work well for this.

  10. Re: stephbg @# 10:

    Of course the drop bears mostly come out at night. The daytime is when the hoop snakes are about, and even drop bears don’t mess with them.

  11. “If it’s not fun, why do it?”

    –Jerry Greenfield
    co-founder, Ben & Jerry’s

    Good philosophy. Just remember to have some fiber once in a while.

  12. It beats being consumed by bears. I find that a lot of things are better than being consumed by bears.

    Good luck on the “make 2009 more fun” plan, I hope it works.

  13. “More than a little of that was due to me stressing myself out for various reasons.”

    Well, nobody forced you to buy the new Journey CD, y’know?

  14. So John, what about the April 2009 nva hc release from Subterranean Press that Locus has had on their Forthcoming Books section for like FOREVER entitled…..should I say it or just use abbreviation? T.G.E.?

    Curiouser and curiouser

  15. You authors with your egos. We don’t want to eat you. It’s the Schadenfreude Pie we’re looking for.

  16. Welcome back, John. I’ve missed Whatever. Whatever = more fun than being eaten by bears.

  17. Oddly enough, one of my earliest school memories is of playing the littlest Pilgrim in a 2nd grade Thanksgiving play, and having my one line of dialogue be “Thank God that the bears didn’t eat me.”

    Thank God they didn’t eat you either, John. I’d hate to go through life thinking that, in addition to writing better than me, you taste better, too.

  18. Hurray for another not-eaten-by-a-bear year! I shamefacedly confess that I have not yet read The Android’s Dream yet, and now I have some time to read it, since I’d like to read it right before reading the next one.

    William 27: Are you serious? Axl spent a decade and a half putting something out, John uses that as a reference to say he’s not going to delay this novel forever, and you think it’s a “cheap shot”? I think that at the Winter Olympics some skater will do a double axel and some commenter will say “that’s THIRTY years, right?” And THAT won’t be a “cheap shot.”

  19. Welcome back, hope your break was free not only of Consumption By Bears but also even of Imminent Consumption By Bears.

    RE Your section

    What’s the plan for Whatever?

    One post category that I haven’t seen you do in quite a while that I for one always enjoy and sometimes even leads me to make purchasing decisions is the Recent Book Haul post. Just tossing that out there in case you find yourself simultaneously tripping over a pile of books and lost for a blog post topic or for a good way to procrastinate.

    Best wishes for 2009.

  20. “I’m not trying to be ooooooh mysterious here.”

    I vote for a media tie-in. How about a HALO novel? Look what it did for Mr. Buckell!

    Working title: “Old Man’s HALO”…


  21. Please don’t bring back the Book Haul John. It is possibly the single most aggravating thing to come across when reading authorblogs. Forget doing something you love, or being creative or not having to answer to anyone but you(and your editor), the ONE THING I want to be an author for is so I can sit in the comfort of my home and have the postman bring me boxes and boxes of books.

  22. Hey, perhaps you could focus less on cats on the blog and write some bear-friendly stuff this year. A bear that is a fan of yours would likely be less eager to eat you.

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