November 2nd, 2006

bear by san

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Yesterday, jaylake gave myself and bravado111 a brief driving tour of Austin. Then there was food with a local writing group, the Slug Tribe, and then... Le Goff. We hit eighties night at Elysium and danced until they threw us out. Man, the club funk may never come out of my vinyl boots.

This morning brings good news. Whiskey & Water is listed on Amazon, though not yet available for pre-order (you can wish-list it, or, yanno, armed with the ISBN, pre-order at your local independent book retailer, should you have one of those.) It's that much closer to being a real book.

Anne my editor has agreed to give me another couple of months to work up a proposal for Dust, so it's due after Christmas. This is vital not so much because of the writing workload of the last year (which has been my lightest year yet) but because of all the Other Stuff that has worn me the heck out--the move, the traveling, the brief flirtation with full-time employment, the... yeah. All that stuff. Also, the book informed me that none of the preliminary work I'd done is any good, and we're starting over from scratch with much cooler and grander worldbuilding. La. *g*

And in even more good news...

A Booklist starred review for Carnival. (thanks to Bill my editor for the heads-up.) This is my first starred review of anything, anywhere, and getting one for a MMPB is making me a little giddy.

Despite the scandal that clouded their last job together, AIs Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones and Vincent Katherinessen have been reunited for a diplomatic mission to New Amazonia. Their ostensibly peaceful mission involves returning priceless art to previous owners, but they've also been sent to find out the secret of New Amazonia's seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy. One of them is planning to ensure failure, which will be a blow to the Coalition and also the terrible assessments of the AI governors. New Amazonia challenges them, for while its gynocentric society, though not completely beloved by all, makes their maleness a handicap, their relationship, which is illegal back on Earth, is the only thing that allows them to be diplomats on New Amazonia. More than human politics are in play here, though, for the city, which was left behind by an unknown nonhuman intelligence, has secrets to hide. Bear's exploration of gender stereotypes and the characters' reactions to the rigid expectations of a world of strict gender roles proves fascinating, as does her exploration of political systems gone too far in more than one direction. Her sense of pacing and skill with multifaceted characters prone to all sorts of confused motivations and actions also enrich this action-packed, thought-provoking story.

(N.B. Angelo and Vincent are not AIs. *g* They work for AIs. I suspect an editorial slip-up.)

*has a moment of they like me. they really like me*

Also, I read one and two halves books on the airplane: finished Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; read Changeling, and started a very snarky and amusing biography: Aleister Crowley: the Beast Demystified, which will serve as part of my eventual backgroudn reading for Patience & Fortitude, Rag & Bone, and Balm & Oil.

I liked both SCtT,SLT and Changeling Rather A Lot. More discussion later, maybe, weather permitting.

*
bear by san

it came up at dinner last night...

...the old argument of whether one should save up one's best ideas for when one is a better writer.

I'm agin it, personally. I'm a big believer in pushing as hard as you can, as often as you can, working at the edge of your ability, grabbing for things that hover out of reach. A man's reach should exceed his grasp, and all that. In fact, I'm a proponent of only using your best ideas. There's enough mediocre fiction in the world.

Besides, how else do you find out how far you can reach, unless you are stretching outside your comfort zone? Every book I've ever written, more or less, was a book I didn't yet feel capable of writing.

Another thing is that hopefully, as you use up old ideas, new ideas will grow to take their place. And it's my experience, at least, that ideas get cooler as you build on old ideas.

Which is not, you know, to say that I'm for writing things before they are ripe. They certainly need cooking time. (For some writers--truepenny, frex--a lot of that cooking time is on the page. For me, it's in my head. I've got to let the subconscious do the work before I sit down to write.

But the other way is valid too, and don't let anybody tell you it's not. It's like the old don't-tell-people-your-ideas bugaboo. That totally doesn't work for me. I have a hell of a time writing unless I can tell people my ideas, and keeping my cards close to my chest just gets me stuck. I need to hothouse them with other plants to get them to bloom.

Man, I need a nap already. *g* stillsostrange is younger'n me.