SG:U Hulu Linkage Now Permanent

Look over there in the sidebar, right under the Big Idea. There’s your permanent link to the last five episodes of Stargate: Universe, courtesy of Hulu. Mind you, at the moment it’s just to the last two episodes, because only two episodes have aired. But when there are more than five, it’ll be to the last five episodes. Or something, man. Don’t ask me, I don’t run Hulu. The point is, if you missed an episode on TV, you can catch up by linking through. Because I’m all about helping you watch the show that pays me money.

Now, if you’re reading this via RSS, you won’t actually see the thing I’m talking about. Heck, you might not even have a sidebar. So, um, here, have a Hulu link. Seeing as you’re being difficult and all.

Reminder: Sci-Fi Writing Assignment Contest Through Wednesday

Just in case you have an itch to write something short and silly and some free time to do it in:

A reminder to y’all that I’m running a writing contest over on my AMC column, in which you can choose from ten “assignments,” based on SF movies, to write up in the comment thread. The one I like best gets a prize of the complete original series of The Prisoner. All entries need to be in by noon (eastern) on Wednesday, but heck, that’s still two days from this very moment. So get to it!

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: New Edition, Jan ’10

I’ve been sitting on this bit of news for a while now, but now is as good a time as any to announce it: Tor Books will be releasing a trade paperback edition of my Hugo-winning essay collection Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, this upcoming January. This is good news because the original hardcover release was limited to 1,000 copies, and is sold out, although some of the $250 lettered edition are still available. So this new version will be both cheaper (go trade paperback format!) and more plentiful, and a perfect way to spend those book store gift certificates you will have accrued during the holiday season.

(In point of fact the book’s release date is January 5, which means there’s a reasonably good chance you’ll see it on bookstore shelves in December, just as Old Man’s War leaked into stores well before its official January 1st release date back in 2005. So keep a look out.)

Pictured above, incidentally, is a proposed cover for the new edition of Hate Mail, which I love (the actual cover may be different, but hopefully not by much). The original devil cover has its charms, to be sure, but it’s an object example of a cover that’s intended for a limited audience (i.e., people who know me already). The above cover is I think really smart for people who may not be familiar with my essayist side, as among other things the quote in the artwork pretty much tells you what you’re getting into on the inside of the book. Well done, Tor art folks.

If you’re of a mind to pre-order this Tor Books version, here’s the Amazon page for it, although of course if you want to pre-order it from your local bookstore, I’m sure they would appreciate the commerce.

Let me also note how really thrilled I am Tor picked this up to bring it to a wider audience. Tor is primarily a fiction publisher, as most of you know, and while Hate Mail has some obvious genre appeal (what with the Hugo win and all), it’s still a vote of confidence in the book and its appeal to a wider market. I do appreciate that vote of confidence; it’s one reason I’m glad I’m published by Tor.

Standard Mail Blah Blah

As I was away for more than a week and mostly answered only critical business e-mail, I’ll be going through mail today and tomorrow to catch up. If you sent me mail in the last week and I wanted a response and didn’t get one, if I haven’t gotten back to you by Wednesday morning feel free to resend. Thanks.

And Now Have All My Travels Ended

Viable Paradise XIII is now but a memory, but it’s a good memory: The students were smart and engaged and pretty much all of them will be capable of professional-level work in short order, if in fact they’re not there already. I won’t go too much into detail about the week, since what happens on the island and stays on the island, but I will provide you with the quote of the week, which frankly is even more amusing without context: “Please do not explode into bees whilst you cup my balls.” Yes, you really had to be there for that, and no, it’s not quite as dirty a statement as you might think.

This was my second year teaching at VP and I enjoyed it a little more than the first, not for any external reason (the people in both years were excellent) but because last year was the first year I had ever been an instructor, and I had no idea if I was any good at it. This year I was aware of my particular set of pedagogic strengths and weaknesses and was able to relax a bit more into it. I do think a week is a good amount of time for me to be an instructor, and particularly a week in front of a group of adults self-selected to be interested in what I have to teach. Each time I do this my respect for people who teach full time, and in front of kids who may not be there of their own free will, goes up another notch. This stuff is work, even in the relatively small and easy dose I take it.

Travels yesterday, I’m happy to say, we’re exceedingly pleasant. My journey featured three legs, all tightly packed together and thus full of opportunities to be delayed and miss getting home. But twice I was able to take an earlier flight (from Martha’s Vineyard to Boston and then from Boston to DC) and in all cases flights left and arrived pretty much exactly when they were supposed to. All my travel should run so smoothly.

The really great news, for me, at least, is that all my really major travel is done for the year. I have a number of small trips over the next few weeks, but they’re day trips, and as far as I know the next time I have to be somewhere other than here is next April in Toronto. That hasn’t happened to me, in, like, years, and I hardly know what I will do with myself in the interim. Maybe write another novel? Hey, now, there’s an idea.

This is also a good time to remind folks that for 2010, my public appearance schedule is pretty minimal: I’m in Toronto in April and in Phoenix in May, and that’s pretty much it (Melbourne in September is still being decided). I may pop in to other conventions during the year, but if I do it’ll be as a civilian rather than as a guest or part of programming, which means I mostly intend to hang in the bar with friends. But in general I think 2010 will be a fine year to focus on work, and that’s what I intend to do, without having to worry where in the world I have to be next.

Anyway. Home! It’s a nice place to be.