Tag: starsong

Morning bleariness


The bleariness is mostly a ref. to doing Vietnamese early in the morning, which always makes me feel inadequate as a language learner (but offset by the fact that I think I’m getting somewhere with the latest short story brainstorming, yay!).

However… this is also offset by the fact that I’ve sold two short stories–one sale I think I can’t announce yet, and the other… Sheila Williams let me know she was taking “Starsong” for Asimov’s. Doing the Snoopy dance here. Many thanks to the November 2010 Villa Diodati crew for reading the first version of this (Ruth Nestvold, John Olsen, Jeff Spock, Steve Gaskell, Ben Rosenbaum, Nancy Fulda, and Christian Walker); and for my last-minute awesomely fast beta-readers (Mark Hünken, Tricia Sullivan, Chris Kastensmidt, and Kate Elliott [1]). You guys all rock.

This is the Xuya story with the Flower Wars in space (and, in a bit of an Easter egg, the origin story of the Minds, my ship-bound AIs borne in human wombs–though it will take many, many decades of work before the incident described in “Starsong” leads to the creation of Minds).

In other news, I just discovered I’m a little under halfway through the Vietnamese lesson book. I certainly don’t feel halfway proficient, but I have faith…

Back to brainstorming a story. See you guys later…

[1] The market I had in mind originally for this (and which set the punitive deadline) turned out not to be a match for the story, so I emailed it to Sheila.

Quick update


So, the weekend… part of it was spent looking for a crockery dresser, not entirely successfully (the H loved the place we dropped by first, but the prices are about 75% above what we’d be ready to pay for such a piece of furniture). Part of it was spent sorting out papers, using ye old method of “trash most of them, they’re not useful anymore”. I hadn’t realised until I got rid of stuff from my old workplace how liberating the entire process was 🙂 (I loved my old workplace–it had a great atmosphere–; but moving on did me a world of good).

And part of it was spent revising a short story that I wrote over a year ago, “Starsong”. I think I’m done now, though I managed to crash Scrivener rather badly and had to reinstall from scratch. Currently brainstorming for a new project I pitched to my agent–urban fantasy set in Paris, but which has a gaping hole where the words “magic system” should be.

Oh, and we also got a headstart on Xmas shopping–ordered present for 3 people (out of the 7 we have to deal with), checked out stuff for a fourth, and I made my mind about a fifth (the H).

Recent reads: working my way through David Gemmell. I read those when I was a teenager in London, and I was rather afraid that they would not hold up to another reading. But actually, they’re pretty good. I’m really glad that although they feature strong stereotyping (Chiatze=China, Gothir=Persia, Drenai=Greece or somewhere thereabouts, Nadir=Mongols), the author never takes swipes at the various nations: people come in all colours and alignments, and we have as many Nadir madmen as Drenai ones. Also, they’re fairly gender-typed (though there are a few women fighters), but Gemmell never denigrates what women do, and indeed his fighters often find themselves envying women, knowing that the greater courage is on their side. And his heroes are just impressive and memorable, and he never hides that they have terrible flaws, but can rise above them (it’s been rather a lot of years, but I can remember Tenaka and Druss and Ananais quite clearly). All in all, very entertaining and satisfying, and I’m glad I had those around when I was ~16. I’m really sorry I never got to meet Gemmell in person, and tell him how much his books meant to me when I was growing up.