Just Arrived

Just Arrived, 3/10/10

As noted earlier, I’m busy moving boxes and tearing down furniture all day long, so today’s Just Arrived bit will be even shorter than usual. Nevertheless, here’s what’s in the in door today:

* 2010 Nebula Awards Showcase, edited by Bill Fawcett (Roc): Nebula winning fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin, John Kessel, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and others, plus poetry (including from my pal Cat Valente) and essays by Robert Silverberg, David Drake, Mike Resnick and more. Lots of cool stuff in here. Out on April 6.

* WWW: Watch, by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace): The follow-up to Sawyer’s WWW:Wake, in which a woman who discovers a consciousness inside the Internet tries to keep it safe from those who are hunting it. This will be out May 18.

* Directive 51, by John Barnes (Ace): The end of the world is (probably) nigh! Is there a government protocol for that? Oh, you bet there is. You’ll find out more what it is on April 6.

* Ark, by Stephen Baxter (Roc): The follow up to Baxter very moist thriller Flood. This time around humans are looking to save themselves from watery inundation by traveling to a new planet… but our book’s heroine be one of the few who will be chosen to go? Out May 4.

* Destroyermen: Distant Thunders, by Taylor Anderson (Roc): The fourth book in the Destroyerman series, which features an alternate universe World War II. Out June 1.

* Shine, edited by Jetse de Vries: An anthology of optimistic science fiction. Because all your dystopias are just bringin’ us down, man! Editor de Vries will be doing a Big Idea to tell us more on the book at the beginning of April; the book itself will be out March 30.

* Imaginary Jesus, by Matt Mikalatos (Barna): In which our narrator (who has the same name as the author) goes on a quest to find the real Jesus, and meets a whole bunch of other Jesuses (Jesi?) along the way. Written by someone who is both a former missionary and a former comic book clerk, which is an interesting combination, I think. Out now.


My Office, In Handy Box Form

Well, some of it, anyway. There are some more plastic containers to the left of the picture edge which contain more books, and then up in my office there are another 20 or so boxes to shuttle down to the basement from the office, which I will do after lunchtime today, which incidentally I will be spending at Lowe’s, picking out paint for the walls. And then this evening Krissy and I will be breaking down the shelves and the desk and the loveseat, and pulling the art off the walls. So by the time we go to bed tonight my office will be almost totally bare.

What I really think when I see all these boxes is how the hell did I fit all this crap into my office in the first place? The topmost box there is at head height; there are a whole bunch of boxes you’re not seeing seeing here; I still have more stuff to bring down to the basement. My office is not that big. There may be some violations of physical laws here.

One thing which will be true is that much of the stuff that was in my office will not be making the return trip when the office is finished. The vast majority of the books will stay in the basement, not just for storage but also because we’re planning to make a more formal library there (someday…). The office furniture is going entirely; I’ve made the executive decision to graduate from particleboard shelving to something slightly more elegant, and I’ve also realized that having two massive wings on my desk just gives me an excuse to pile lots of crap on them, and I really shouldn’t give myself that excuse.

Beyond this, in a general sense I’ll be looking at everything and asking what it really adds to the feng shui. The fact of the matter is — and I know this will sound weird considering all the pictures you’ve seen of my office — at this point in time too much clutter starts being distracting for me when I write, and I am (alas) all too easily distractable. In one sense it would be lovely to have my office be a desk, a computer, a chair and then not a whole lot else. I don’t think I’ll actually make it that spartan in the end — I’m not that spartan a dude — but my office will be sporting a “less is more” philosophy moving forward. So, lots of stuff in the basement, on a more or less permanent basis. Well, that’s what basements are for.

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