April 6th, 2006

bear by san

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In case you missed it buried in the muck last night, by the way, the cover art for Carnival is in. And, giving me an excuse to repost, so is the cover art for The Chains That You Refuse.

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I think I definitely won the cover lottery on these two. Also, how geeked am I that, although his face is mostly concealed behind the mask, the millimeter or so of Michelangelo that's visible is definitely melanistic?

bear by san

They will call him brave.

...and I just got a lovely letter from jedediah, letting me know that Strange Horizons will be buying my story "Sounding."

This is my second sale to SH, and considering how well the first one worked out, and that "Sounding" is my Current Favorite Story, I am rather excited about the whole thing.

It's what stillsostrange would call a Maudlin Ocean Story. Although it's not really maudlin.

It's also one of my two Dorothy Parker stories. (It was inspired, in part, by her poem "Penelope." The other Dorothy Parker story is Carnival, which is all about her sonnet "Fair Weather." "They sicken of the calm that knew the storm.")

The other halves of the inspiration (like Car Talk, my stories have many halves) are: a whale watching trip I went on over a decade ago, that resulted in a close personal acquaintanceship with a pair of fin whales, too much Billy Joel and Jethro Tull in college, and growing up in New England during the decline of the fishing industry.

It's about a woman and a man, and a boat and a whale, and the things people choose, to take care of their children.

And so to London. See you tonight!
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bear by san

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Whew. I'm going to have a beer and a sitdown now.

Today, actually, wasn't a big day. I walked around outside St. Paul's (I didn't feel like paying the 9 pound to get inside, and mostly I just wanted to walk around the churchyard anyway.) And I went to the Museum of London, which is quite a lot of fun. Saw various paintings of the Great Fire, a model of the OLD St. Paul's, the Rose Theatre artifacts, and bought a wall map of Tudor London, which I wish I'd had in 2003, lemme tell ya. It would have saved a lot of wear and tear on the spines of my reference books--and also on my eyes as I tried to decipher very small reproductions.

Also had a very nice lunch with oursin at a lovely little vegetarian Indian hole in the wall buffet place. Yum. Dinner was a sandwich on the train, but it filled the hole. (I also met a delightful pink-haired life coach named Dawn who kept me quite entertained.)

I think I will have cheese and apples later.

Also, I made a Carnival icon, which pleases me greatly.

Tomorrow, the Tower of London and the Forbidden Planet signing. I think I am getting overstimulated. And about hitting my capacity for walking around looking at stuff in London.

Thank God Monday's Canterbury, and then I'm done with the research portion of the journey.

ETA: Oh, and Walker's Salt & Vinegar crisps? Thumbs up. The lamb and mint ones, surprisingly, weren't bad either.

ETA2: Oh, and thank you for the congratulationses and comments, those that offered them. I am too tired to thank everybody individually, and it gets boring anyway. *g*
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can't sleep books will eat me

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book #35, Daniel Silva, Prince of Fire.

Silva has a clean, almost turgid style that I really admire. He's occasionally a little heavyhanded for my taste, making explicit what I would have left implied, but his use of a near-objective omniscient POV is deft enough that I don't mind a bit. It's thriller-omni, but without the pitfalls of thriller omni. Actually, it's a bit Dashiell Hammett at its best. (This is the week I compare writers to Hammett, apparently.)  And it's a great POV for keeping secrets.

Which is really the opposite of my usual misdirection technique, which is to bury the reader under so much information that he can't figure out what's important.

Anyway, his plots aren't particularly tricky, as thrillers go, and his characterizations are quiet and underplayed, but it works better in his books than in most--perhaps because he has a knack for *showing* details of character, rather than telling them. Everything in his books, even the most horrific bits, are told with this newsy detachment that actually brings home a kind of sense of shock. It's a bit one-note, but effective.

And a lot of readers don't like all that messy emotion, anyway.

He has got a couple of rather bad tics, though. Case in point: if I hear one more time about Gabriel Allon's gray temples, I will scream.

Guess it's back to Dhalgren tomorrow.