Monday (Barely Still) Morning Update
Posted on January 24, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 27 Comments
Hope you survived the weekend without me. And if you didn’t, I don’t suppose you’re reading this anyway. And now, some quick updates of things and stuff:
* First, hey look at this:
At the moment, the German version of Metatropolis is the #1 science fiction book on Amazon Germany, and their #26 book overall. Why? Well, because it’s a fabulous book, I suppose. And also possibly because a very positive review of the book just popped up on Spiegel Online, Der Spiegel being the German equivalent of Time magazine. That doesn’t suck (here’s a Google Translate version of that page). It’s nice to see the book doing well in the world, or at the very least the German-speaking portion of it.
* Second, I had a lovely weekend as always at ConFusion, which for those of you not in the know, is a science fiction convention up in Troy, Michigan. I’ve mentioned before that I consider ConFusion to be my “home” convention since it was the first non-Worldcon convention I ever went to and also because I have so many personal friends who attend it. The guests of honor for the weekend included Paolo Bacigalupi and Cherie Priest, so it was nice to hang out with the two of them and all the other folks. The only sad thing about it was that Krissy wasn’t able to attend, because she and Athena were both ill (they’re both better now). But there’s always next year, and next year the Guests of Honor will include Patrick Rothfuss and Jim Hines.
Speaking of Pat, here’s a picture of him and me, taken by Cherie:
Some of you may wonder why it is Pat appears to be nibbling on my ear; others of you may be wondering why I’m wearing a crown. In both cases the answer is the same: Dude, you had to have been there. It made perfect sense at the time.
* Third, I’ve had a frustrating morning with technology. For the second time in the last couple of days Google Documents is falling down on the job for me, and both times in the same way, which is that it’s refusing to use the formatting settings I’ve applied to it. Combine that with a couple of other technical glitches (most notably, on the Cr-48 at least, the visual positioning of the cursor several spaces over from where it actually is, making editing a genuine pain in the ass), and a) I spent the morning fighting with software more than writing, which is annoying, and b) I’ve decided for the moment to port the current novel out of Google Docs and into Microsoft Word, which at the very least does not fight me when I want to indent a paragraph.
I don’t know that this means that novel writing on the Cr-48 is a totally failed experiment, because in fact I’ve gotten a very substantial chunk of the novel done using it, and I’ve also gotten over the “I need to be on my desktop to write novels” thing I had going. Both of these are good things. But it is a reminder that until “the cloud” — and the services that run on them — can get out of your way and just do things like resident programs and applications can, it and they are going to continue to be second-place solutions for seriously getting work done.
And because my morning productivity has been blown by fighting with tech, I’m now off to try to get a little of that creative writing done before my daughter gets home. See you all later this afternoon.
Saw the review this morning. The fact that you got name-checked several times says to me that your publisher thinks your name sells books. Go you. I’m also pleased to see that Google is a very long way from putting me out of a job.
Indeed. The Google Translate is good enough to have a basic idea of what’s being said, and a very good idea that what you’re reading isn’t the best way to say it.
If the computer you had from them is slowing your writing, I take back what I said regarding your situation to Bill. Kind of. Looks as if you had fun at the Con.
The link to the picture seems broken.
Yer picture isn’t showing. Amazon s3 is saying the link is expired.
LOL, the google translate version is confusing, but somehow also interesting enough to make me want to read your book. (I don’t know where it’ll fit in between jobs, baby and school, but I’d like to anyway.)
Oh well that’d be why; Amazon cloud links naturally expire after a few hours.
My apologies, and totally unrelated to the topic at hand, but I’m trying to figure out how to change the email address I’ve stored on your site, so that I continue to get Whatever emails at my new email address. I keep trying to simply backspace my old address out, and type in my new address, at the Leave A Reply section of your page, but when I refresh the page it goes right back to my old email, instead of saving my new email. How do I change it so the change “sticks”, and I keep getting the Whatever emails?
Jennifer R. Ewing
About that picture…
To my eyes, it appears that Mr. Rothfuss is holding a miniature African-American gentleman on his arm, like a ventriloquist’s puppet. Maybe it’s the lighting or the image quality or that a bunch of the things in the middle of the image are almost the same color. Or maybe you just had to be there.
Oh, and “congrats” on the #1 – well deserved!
You lasted longer on the CR-48 than I did. Google Docs failed for me for creative writing and everything else is just so slow or lacking in functionality that I’ve set it aside to collect dust for me.
Mr. Rothfuss looks vaguely like Zach Galifanikis in that picture. The Hangover 2? “Sorry fellas, turns out I’m the one who roofied us.”
That looks like Doselle Young behind you. We worked at the same Culver City comic book store together when we were children.
It is indeed Doselle!
“It is indeed Doselle!”
Aha! I knew he looked familiar. I could do for a reread of The Monarchy.
I feel your technology pain – I’ve been unable to access my main AOL email account since about noon UK time. I keep getting a ‘Down for Maintenance’ page. Frustrating!
It made perfect sense at the time
If that’s the case, then I’m not sure I really did want to be there. It appears that scary things were afoot.
Wait…Athena is at SCHOOL? But it’s winter!
Next time, maybe Jer’s beard won’t be with us, and we’ll be cool enough for the cool people’s table. ;)
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could switch the Cr-48 to the dev channel. They might have fixed that rather obnoxious bug with the cursor jumping around on you there.
I don’t write on it all that much, so I don’t remember if it’s done the cursor-jump for me since I upgraded.
No laser-toting spaceships on the front? Must be a good enough read in its own right not to require them! I got a copy at the weekend but it’s a hardbacked signed first, altogether too pretty to read, so I’ll grab a cheap paperback somewhere.
I was a twit and forgot to bring my copies of a book or two of yours for you to sign. Next year! If anyone mentioned the woman in the Cthulhu bra, that was me! My first time at that con, actually, and it was fabulous. Kudos to the folks responsible!
Whew! A close call on the Google Docs thing. Fortunately, you haven’t given in and my evil master plan to surreptitiously read the work of my favorite cloud-based authors as they write is still workable. … Oh, heck. Forget I said that.
[droning subliminal repetition: The Cloud is safe; the Cloud is secure; the Cloud is free; the Cloud is safe; the Cloud is secure…]
The Chang who is not Jack Tingle (there that should confuse them)
What a good article for my German class at work to translate. I often use Spiegel since the German is good and the articles can be relatively short. Since I also only give my students articles that I am interested in reading, this is an extra bonus.
I like how the title plays with my mind. I always read it “Metropolis”. Of course I always read Mtopeliors as “Metropolis” too, so who knows what’s going on up there?
I’m using Google Docs’ spreadsheet to outline a book, since my time is split between five different computers at the moment. So far so good, I guess. Not doing anything fancy like Indenting Paragraphs, though, Mr. Big-Shot Writer. (Some people are just never satisfied until they’ve got their minor feature included…)
I quite clearly recall that shortly before this moment, Rothfuss was smooching a baby. I think he’s running for office or something.
I’ve tried to use Google docs as a collaborative solution in the past, but, well, you put it correctly: the software just keeps getting in the way of me DOING things. Then there’s the fact that it keeps considering formatting to be this optional thing that doesn’t really count for much. Gah. I wrote my last novel (well, the first draft anyway) in Q10.
My co-author and I decided to use Google Docs for our current collaborative project, but we had to overcome initial difficulties. For instance, I had the same problem with a confusingly misplaced cursor, which only went away after trying out various browsers and eventually giving in and downloading Chrome.
It probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that Google’s browser is the only one that doesn’t make me want to throw my laptop out the window when I use Google Docs.