progress notes for 25 March 2005
New Words: 2539 (that's the longhand stuff too)
Total Words: 19,844
Reason for stopping: must go to lunch with boy
Mammalian Assistance: Marlowe on the manuscript. (Typing that always makes me want to sing "Oobleck in the bath-tub" There's Oobleck in the bath-tub/the con's not over yet/it's pleasantly disgusting/and it's thick, and white, and wet... )
Stimulants: Russian Samovar Blend, seltzer
Exercise: maybe a walk later. Maybe not.
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour: The flesh-adapted brain interprets this as air on scales, air tickling feathers.
Books in progress: Ed Sanders, Tales of Beatnik Glory; Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver
Interesting research fact of the day: The genus Gardenia is believed to have been named after Alexander Garden, a physician in Charleston, South Carolina, during colonial days.
Other writing-related work: Many many emails and much plotting
Also, I have the cover copy for WORLDWIRED. Hee. And collecting all those reviews pays off.
author of Scardown
“A talent to watch.”–David Brin
She may be plugged in, but she has a mind all her own.
[Bantam Spectra logo] Science Fiction WORLDWIRED Elizabeth Bear
Also by Elizabeth Bear
[sales info here]
As long as there’s an earth to defend, Jenny Casey has a job. But she may outlast the world she was custom-built to save…
Give Canada’s Master Warrant Officer Jenny Casey an inch and she’ll take a galaxy. That’s just the kind of person a world on the brink of destruction needs. The year is 2063 and the Earth has been brutalized. An asteroid, flung at Toronto by the PanChinese government, has killed tens of millions and left the equivalent of a nuclear explosion in its wake. Humanity must find another option...
Perched above the destruction in the starship Montreal, Jenny is still in the thick of the fray. Plugged into the worldwire, connected to a brilliant AI, her mind can be everywhere and anywhere at once. But it’s focused on the mysterious alien beings right outside of her ship.Are they here to help—or destroy? With the Earth a breeding ground for treason and betrayal as governments struggle to assign blame, Jenny holds the fate of humankind in her artificially reconstructed hand...
Visit Bantam’s website at www.bantamdell.com.
Praise for Elizabeth Bear’s HAMMERED:
“Hammered is a very exciting, very polished, very impressive debut novel.” — Mike Resnick
“Gritty, insightful, and daring—Elizabeth Bear is a talent to watch.”—David Brin, author of the Uplift novels and Kil’n People
“A gritty and painstakingly well-informed peek inside a future we’d all better hope we don't get, liberally seasoned with VR delights and enigmatically weird alien artifacts. Genevieve Casey is a pleasingly original female lead, fully equipped with the emotional life so often lacking in military SF yet tough and full of noir attitude; old enough by a couple of decades to know better but conflicted enough to engage with the sleazy dynamics of her situation regardless. Out of this basic contrast, Elizabeth Bear builds her future nightmare tale with style and conviction and a constant return to the twists of the human heart.” — Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon
“Hammered has it all. Drug wars, hired guns, corporate skullduggery, and bleeding-edge AI, all rolled into one of the best first novels I’ve seen in I don't know how long. This is the real dope!” — Chris Moriarty, author of Spin State
“A glorious hybrid: hard science, dystopian geopolitics, and wide-eyed sense-of-wonder seamlessly blended into a single book. I hate this woman. She makes the rest of us look like amateurs.” — Peter Watts, author of Starfish and Maelstrom
“Bear is talented.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Moves at warp speed, with terse ‘n’tough dialogue laced with irony, larger-than-life characters and the intrigue of a 3-D chess match. It’s a sharp critique of the military-industrial complex and geopolitics—with our normally nice neighbors to the north as the villains, to boot...a compelling, disquieting look at a future none of us ever wants to see.” — The Hartford Courant
“Bear skillfully constructs the ingredients for an exciting, futuristic, high-tech book.” — The Dallas Morning News
“Bear posits a violent, frightening future. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat this world, and harsh language and violence are prevalent throughout the narrative. But the author does a good job of balancing the bad parts with moments of humanity and goodness...One of this tale’s selling points is the marriage of some quite disparate bits of technology. Instead of dealing with prosthetic implants or virtual reality in isolation, the author finds connections and blends them believably. This more closely mirrors actual life, where many discoveries are derived from earlier ones, and thus the novel gets a vicarious air of the probable. Hammered is a hard-edged, intriguing look at a near-future Earth that paints technology in some quite unique ways.” — Davis Enterprise
“With Jenny Casey, author Elizabeth Bear delivers a kick-butt fighter who could easily hold her own against Kristine Smith’s Jani Killian or Elizabeth Moon’s Heris Serrano. Jenny is deadly but likable, someone readers can both relate to and root for. As she and her appealing cast of sidekicks skate close to the edge of disaster, the suspense of Hammered rises...What Bear has done in Hammered is create a world that is all too plausible, one wracked by environmental devastation and political chaos. Through Jenny Casey’s eyes, she conducts a tour of this society’s darker corners, offering an unnerving peek into a future humankind would be wise to avoid.” — SciFi.com
“Hammered is a tough, gritty novel sure to appeal to fans of Elizabeth Moon and David Weber... In Jenny Casey, Bear has created an admirably Chandler-esque character, street-smart and battle-scarred, tough talking and quick on the
trigger.... Bear shuttles effortlessly back and forth across time to weave her disparate cast of characters together in a tightly plotted page-turner. The noir universe she creates is as hard-edged as the people who inhabit it. The dialogue and descriptions are suitably spartan, but every one of her characters has their own recognizable voice. It takes no effort at all to imagine Hammered on the big screen.” — SFRevu
“A sobering projection of unchecked current social, political and environmental trends... Although a careless reader might be lulled by the presence of drugs, the hard-edged narration, and the run-down setting of the opening scene into thinking this novel is dystopian or even cyberpunk in nature, such expectations are quickly undercut by Bear... Without giving too much away, it can be said that the underlying theme of Bear's novel is salvage, in all its senses...Indeed, every character in Hammered, even the villainous, have their own powerful motives for their actions; and conversely, the hands of the "good" characters are never entirely clean, and they make fearful moral bargains and compromises simply
because they can't see any better way to do what they must. They all try to salvage what they can...[which] embodies the novel's central theme of how what we would choose to preserve and what we wish to discard are sometimes inextricable.” — Green Man Reviews
“[An] enjoyable dystopian thriller...The nicest thing about this novel is the rich characters... every character is identifiable and unique. It’s rare to find a book with so many characters you genuinely care about. It’s a rollercoaster of a good thriller, too. There’s plenty of intrigue and a few climactic gunfights and an intriguing love triangle involving Jenny and an old friend. Everyone involved seems to have genuine motives for all the things they do and aren’t just pawns in the author’s game. Jenny Casey is an excellent protagonist, reaching fifty, tired and crippled and liking it that way, unwilling to admit that she needs people. Elizabeth Bear manages to create an anti-heroine you still care about, despite her reluctance to take part in events. Plus she has an intriguing history that is occasionally delved into, along with that of the planet, that always leaves you wanting that little bit more...I,for one, will be looking forward to that next book. Elizabeth Bear has
carved herself out a fantastic little world with this first novel. Long may it continue.” — SF Crow’s Nest
“An enthralling roller-coaster ride through a dark and possible near future.” — Starlog
“Bear has done a bang-up job re-arranging a few squares of the here-and-now into a future that's guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of readers in the present. Sure, we all want heart-pounding suspense, and Bear offers that in spades.
But she also provides the kind of pressurizing prescience that doesn't exactly see the future so much as it re-paints the most unpleasant parts of the present into a portrait of a world that knows and loathes itself all too well...Bear is apparently so familiar with darkness that she can elucidate many shades of black, and peel them away in such a manner as to keep the reader intrigued but still in the dark. And though the novel stays firmly in rooms without proper lighting, the
plot and the science fiction eventually come out into the open...She manages to include a number of hoary ideas from the treasure troves of past science fiction writers, but unpacks them in such a way that they seem once again fresh and exciting. Having set the readers' expectations on earthly matters such as bad drugs and rundown prostheses, she shows no hesitation to go a good deal beyond them. And the gritty underpinnings she establishes make her flights of fancy all
the more believable.” — The Agony Column
“The language is taut, the characters deep and the scenes positively crackle with energy. Not to mention that this is real science fiction, with rescues from crippled starships and exploration of mysterious alien artifacts and international diplomatic brinksmanship between spacefaring powers China and Canada. Yes, Canada!” — James Patrick Kelly, author of Strange but not a Stranger and Think Like a Dinosaur
“Packed with a colorful panoply of characters, a memorable and likeable anti-heroine, and plenty of action and intrigue, Hammered is a superbly written novel that combines high tech, military industrial politics, and complex morality. There is much to look forward to in new writer Elizabeth Bear.” — Karin Lowachee, Campbell-award nominated author of Warchild
“Even in scenes where there is no violent action, or even much physical action at all, the thoughts and emotions of Ms. Bear’s characters, as well as the dynamic tensions of their relationships, create an impression of feverish activity going on below the surface and liable to erupt into plain view at any moment...The language is terse and vivid, punctuated by ironic asides whose casual brutality—sometimes amusing, sometimes shocking—speaks volumes about these people and their world...This is a superior piece of work by a writer of enviable talents. I look forward to reading more!” — Paul Witcover, author of Waking Beauty
“Hammered is one helluva good novel! Elizabeth Bear writes tight and tough and tender about grittily real people caught up in a highly inventive story of a wild and wooly tomorrow that grabs the reader from the get-go and will not let go.
Excitement, intrigue, intelligence—and a sense of wonder, too! Who could ask for anything more?” — James Stevens-Arce, author of Soulsaver, Best First Novel 2000 (Denver Rocky Mountain News)
“In this promising debut novel, Elizabeth Bear deftly weaves thought-provoking ideas into an entertaining and tight narrative.” — Dena Landon, author of Shapeshifter’s Quest (Dutton, Fall 2004)