That Takes Me Back

Unearthed by Krissy today during one of her occasional purges of the house: A floppy disc! From the mid-90s! Which I used, if I recall correctly, to shuffle text documents between my computer at home and the one at America Online, where I worked at the time. None of my current computers has a floppy disc drive (basically for the same reason none of them have a way to accept data from cassettes), which is a shame because on this disc is MY LOST MASTERPIECE OF A NOVEL.

Or, various marketing documents I was working on circa 1996. One or the other. Really, it was hard to tell the difference back then. My marketing documents are just that good. But in any event there are no real worries as to me not having any of the stuff I wrote all the way back then, as I’m really rather OCD about squirreling away old creative endeavors in multiple places. So I pretty much have everything I’ve ever written, three or four times over, and again whenever a new storage medium comes along. Because when it comes to electronic storage media, eventually they all go the way of Mr. Shuttle Disc 1 here, don’t they.

(Also: No lost masterpieces. Sorry.)

The real irony of this disc is that the amount of memory you can write to it (1.44 MB, if memory — heh —  serves) isn’t enough to store the jpeg of the picture of it which came out of my camera (1.49 MB). That’s progress for you.


TGE Soon at Borders; Taos Toolbox; Freer’s “Dragons”

Some various notes of varying variosity:

* For those of you who have been saying to yourself “Why can’t I buy The God Engines in a brick-and-mortar store, as is right and proper?” I have some good news: Word has reached my far province that TGE will soon be shelves at select Borders locations. Which is awesome, because I’m personally a big fan of walking around in a store, going into the shelves and asking them “what have you got for me today?” As to which Borders they will be in, I can’t say, although remember that if you don’t see the book on the shelves, you can always go to the helpful clerks and get them to special order it for you (this works in real-world book stores other than Borders too, incidentally). Yes! Ask for it BY NAME.

Bear in mind that Borders is likely not the only place where you might find TGE on the shelves; specialty bookstores like Borderlands Books or Uncle Hugo’s or Mysterious Galaxy are also likely to have it as well, and of course I love them for it. But if you don’t have such a specialty store in your area and/or are doing more general bookstore shoppery, Borders is the place to go for TGE.

* Other good news for TGE: Subterranean Press tells me that it’s ordered a second printing of the trade edition, which makes me really very happy; it suggests the book is doing well. Thank you, folks. My mortgage rejoices. And while all currently existing orders (i.e., orders up to this point) should be processed out of the first printing, from this point forward if having a first edition is very important to you, I would suggest ordering directly from Subterranean Press.

* Moving away from me and talking about other folks for a bit, I have a note here from my esteemed colleague Walter Jon Williams that he is once again doing the Taos Toolbox, a two-week master class “designed to bring your science fiction and fantasy writing to the next level.” He writes:

This is not a workshop for beginners. We won’t teach you correct manuscript format or what an adverb is and why you shouldn’t use one, because we’ll assume that you already know. We want to concentrate on giving talented, burgeoning writers the information necessary to become professionals within the science fiction and fantasy field.

Though short fiction will be enthusiastically received, there will be an emphasis at Taos Toolbox on the craft of the novel, with attention given to such vital topics as plotting, pacing, and selling full-length works.

Accompanying Williams in the teaching will be Nancy Kress (who won a Hugo just this last year) and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn, who is coming in as a special lecturer, all of whom know just a little something about that whole “writing what works” thing. Check it out.

* Brought to my attention: Save the Dragons, by Dave Freer. Freer’s an sf/f writer formerly of South Africa, currently of Australia, who is trying to bring his pets to his new home but in a jam due to the expense of the quarantine requirement. To help with the costs, here’s what Freer’s doing:

The idea is simple and borrowed from Schezerade and her companions of ages past: I tell you all a story and at critical moments I pass the hat around. When you’ve given me enough money I continue.

In fact I’m modifying this slightly – the idea is to put up a chapter a week of my latest book “Save the Dragons” assuming that I’ve received enough donations. The book has 25 chapters plus an epilog. You get the first one free and then I collect $400 (US) per chapter (and per week).

If and when the book is published anyone who contributes more (in total) than $25 will get a personalized signed copy in Hardback posted to them (or if it doesn’t ever come out in hardback -all but my first book have done — in the next most expensive format). And no matter what all the money raised goes to keeping the Freer furry animals together with their servants –  that would be us  – as we head off in search of a new life.

The story has been in process for a while now — Freer’s at chapter 21 and within $2,000 of his goal — so this would be a fine time to help with him a late push. Hey, dude’s doing it for his pets. You gotta respect that.


A Mildly Cranky Note to Would-Be Interviewers

No, in fact, I would not like to be interviewed for your Web site when the “interview” in question consists of an e-mail full of several generic questions of the “what are your favorite books” stripe, none of which have anything to do with me or my work, or indeed show any evidence that you are aware of me or my work outside of a “hey, it appears this person might have written a book at some point” level. If you want to do an interview of me, please have it be an interview about me and my work. Otherwise you’re asking to waste my time, and I’m going to say “no” to that.

Also, I have information on how to set up an interview with me right here, linked on the front page of Whatever. Won’t you please use it? That’s why it’s there.

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