Because You Need to Know

And before you ask, yes, I’ve seen this.

Meanwhile, in China

In the mail today, copies of the Chinese versions of Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades, both of which appear to include an introduction from me, which first struck me as a bit odd, since I didn’t remember writing an introduction. But then I remembered that a version of OMW appeared a couple of years ago in Science Fiction World, the Chinese SF magazine whose circulation (between 300 and 500 thousand, depending on whose numbers you use) utterly dwarfs anything here in the Western world, and I wrote an into piece for that. So there you have it.

Given SFW’s readership, there’s a significant chance that more people have read OMW in Chinese than in English, which is an interesting thought if you think about it. I hope the translation was good. Regardless, these editions of the books look pretty cool.

A Trip to the Vet

Ghlaghghee and Zeus went to the vet today, and while it’s probably not accurate to say a good time was had by all, because cats are strangely resistant to calling getting a set of shots a “good time,” nevertheless a necessary time was had by some, namely, the cats. Those of you expecting bloodletting on my part will be disappointed to know that the cats were very well behaved. Hardly anyone’s corneas were clawed off in feline rage.

Zeus, who showed up at our house exactly a year ago today, was in for some booster shots for his various vaccinations. Ghlaghghee, however, was in for another matter entirely. Although she’s been a trooper about it and hasn’t mentioned it on her Twitter page, she’s had an ulcerated lip for a while now, which you can see here in this picture. When we first saw it, we thought she might have been in a scuffle, and waited for it to heal, but when it didn’t it was time to check it out with the vet.

The vet’s prognosis: Feline Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex, which sounds like death, but which is a fancy way of saying “hey, your cat’s got an ulcer.” FEGC ulcers on cat lips are in fact relatively common, and can apparently be treated with a combination of corticosteriods (which Ghlaghghee got a shot of) and antibiotics (which I’ll be jamming down her throat twice daily, thanks for asking). This is a relief because while Ghlaghghee didn’t appear to be in any sort of pain from it, it was still worrying, and I was concerned that we might have to a lipectomy or something. Fortunately not. In other news, cats verifiably have lips, which is a little weird.

The good news is that by and large both cats are healthy, fit and likely to be around for years to come. Which is what you like to hear.

Pseudo Science Fiction

This week’s AMC column is about science fiction films that aren’t — that is, films that are arguably science fictional but which, for whatever reason, might not be considered science fiction films (for example, the latest Indiana Jones flick). We had a lot of these films last year, and some of them were the biggest box office draws of 2008. Come find out which ones I think qualify as actual science fiction, and which ones, well, not so much. As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments there.

Also, for the record: I thought Indy crawling into a lead-lined fridge to survive a nuclear blast was funny. Realistic? No. But I can think of a lot more egregious ways the Indy series has played fast and loose with reality, can’t you? Getting on them about a fridge seems a little silly.