Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad takes out its guitar and plays

A reader reacts to Escapement — And Pinion.

Adam Engst on iPad and ereaders — Interesting thoughts on the ebooks publishing process. (Via a mailing list I’m on.)

Language nudges ArtLanguage Log on linguistic gender and cheese. Mmm.

Similar quake due to hit Northwest — Home, sweet home.

A false color map of the Honshu earthquake’s tsunami wave height — One of the more frightening images I’ve ever seen, in a weird way. (Via Bad Astronomy.)

Japanese official says pumping system caused nuclear plant blast — I really feel for Japan already, but this is a twist that cuts deeply into a unique scar on their cultural psyche.

How Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Systems WorkThe world’s only earthquake warning system likely helped limit damage and loss of life. Government spending in action.

Coase Goes to War — Bribery as a precision guided munition.

New FAA Rule Turns Airplane Lavatories Into Deadly Traps — To quote [info]danjite “Number of terrorist attacks on US planes per year, average: 0 Number of legitimate deployments of oxygen masks per year: 40-50. FAA: Remove oxygen from toilets to prevent terrorism!”

[info]pecunium on how government regulation saves lives

Dumbing Deficits Down — Paul Krugman on deficits, healthcare and the disingenuousness of politicians.

?otD: Heavy metal or easy listening?


3/12/2011
Writing time yesterday: 2.75 hours (2,800 words on Sunspin, much WRPA)
Body movement: Urban hiking to come
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Esprit de Corps by Lawrence Durrell

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[awards] Nomination season is upon us

Nominations are open for the Nebula (through mid-February) and Hugo (through late March) awards.

For the record, here is a selected list of my own favorite work of this past year, should you be inclined to review it for award consideration in your own nominating process.

Novels
Pinion, Tor Books
Third volume in the Mainspring cycle, action-adventure in the clockwork Earth.

Novellas
The Baby Killers, PS Publishing
Alternate history politics, magic and spycraft, wherein I try to address the steampunk aesthetic at all levels of the work.

“The Bull Dancers”, Audible.com (audio presentation as part of METAtropolis: Cascadia)
Sequel to my piece in METAtropolis, about the ultimate fate of Green cities in a world beset by a soft apocalypse.

The Specific Gravity of Grief, Fairwood Press
My intensely personal study of a genre writer riddled with cancer. Arguably more appropriate for “Best Related Book”.

Novelettes
“Coming for Green”, The Sky That Wraps, Subterranean Press
An exploration of the Green universe from the perspective of a much put-upon secondary character.

Short Stories
The Starship Mechanic” with Ken Scholes, tor.com
Our joint project from a writer-in-the-window session at Borderlands Books, about an alien lost on Earth.

From the Countries of Her Dreams” with Shannon Page, Fantasy Magazine
A side tale from the Green universe from another perspective.

The Speed of Time“, tor.com
Structurally experimental view of the end of the universe.

“If This Were a Romance” with Shannon Page, Love and Rockets, DAW Books
Exactly what it says on the tin. A romance set on a generation ship.

“Torquing Vacuum”, Clarkesworld
Backstory on three important characters from my Sunspin space opera project.

Best Related Book
The Specific Gravity of Grief, Fairwood Press
My intensely personal study of a genre writer riddled with cancer.

Also, I am eligible for nomination as Best Fan Writer for this blog, and as Best Editor, Short Form, for METAtropolis: Cascadia.

If you are a SFWA member, you have access to all these works at the appropriate SFWA forum topic.

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[personal|writing] My 2010 Year in Review

2010 has been a very difficult year for me, but it’s also been a very accomplished year. The ironies of this are not lost upon me. And frankly, the leading indicators for 2011 are not much improved. We shall see.

Books

Pinion from Tor Books
The Specific Gravity of Grief from Fairwood Press
The Baby Killers from PS Publishing
The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press

Short Fiction

In short fiction, I had about twenty-five appearances, one jointly authored with Ken Scholes, several more with Shannon Page.

Other Activities

I was nominated for an Airship Award for the Mainspring cycle, sold French and German rights to various of my books, and edited METAtropolis: Cascadia, Audible.com’s followup to the highly successful METAtropolis audiobook.

I attended Rainforest Writers’ Village, Cascade Writers, New Zealand’s National Convention, Worldcon in Australia, Orycon and Steamcon.

Submissions and Sales

43 new fiction submissions in total
    22 sales, several with Shannon Page
    12 rejections

19 reprint submissions in total
    11 reprint sales
    18 reprint rejections

Writing Statistics

226,200 words of first draft (Kalimpura, twelve short stories, outlines to Kalimpura and Sunspin, several nonfiction items)

Revisions to Endurance

Approximately 1,000 blog posts

Personal Life

All of this while recovering from lung surgery, undergoing six months of chemotherapy, experiencing and recovering from liver surgery, holding down a full-time job, parenting, and spending the last three months of the year watching my primary relationship erode and vanish. So while the writing held up remarkably well (I accomplished more in 2010 than in 2009), the rest of the year sucked rocks and is totally fired.

Also, don’t ever talk to me about not finding the time to write.

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[links] Link salad sits by the hearth

The Best Steampunk Releases of 2010 — Barnes and Noble Book Clubs hands out some literary love to a number of books, including Pinion.

Jonathan Swift reviews the new Gulliver’s Travels movie — Hilarious.

Gravity Emerges from Quantum Information, Say Physicists The new role that quantum information plays in gravity sets the scene for a dramatic unification of ideas in physics.

God’s little rabbits: Religious people out-reproduce secular ones by a landslide — There’s a lot of things wrong with this piece, but it’s also pretty interesting and pretty funny. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

US Army: Atheists Unfit To Serve — Ah, yes, more modern persecution of the Christians. I can really see what the conservative pundits are complaining about here. Hmm, sorry, the sarcasm bit got stuck in the “on” setting. (Thanks to shsilver.)

Inside The GOP’s Plan To Stifle Obama’s Executive Branch Power — Mmm. I can smell the bipartisanship from all the way over here. And of course, this is no worse than the treatment Bush got at the hands of Democrats. Right? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

?otD: Who do you chat with by the fireside?


12/28/2010
Writing time yesterday: 7.0 hours (4.0 hours of Sunspin outline development, 3.0 hours of WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 248.4
Currently reading: Between books

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[links] Link salad eyes the fall publishing schedule

A rather nice review of Pinion in Analog

io9.com includes my forthcoming collection The Sky That Wraps in their list of “All the books you’ll be lusting for this fall season”

Never Wake Up: The Meaning and Secret of Inception — Some interesting analysis here. Partially dovetails with the take that calendula_witch and I are developing. (Thanks to goulo.)

Pulsar Timing: An Outer System Tool — This is some seriously weird science. And cool as all get-out.

The End of ManagementCorporate bureaucracy is becoming obsolete. Why managers should act like venture capitalists.

Why do pundits think Bush regularly attended church? — He didn’t. Neither did that conservative saint, Ronald Reagan. Obviously Reagan was a secret Muslim!

Stewart: Fox Smears Owner Alwaleed bin Talal! — Hah!

Covert OperationsThe billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. And the Right gets its panties in a wad over George Soros… (Via danjite.)

What are the Republicans trying to hide behind the Ground Zero Mosque? — Not sure I buy this, but it’s an interesting argument, and not the least bit out of character for the party of Atwater, Ailes and Rove.

The GOP and the “Ground Zero” Mosque — The Cato Institute weighs on rank political opportunism by Republicans. See Competing Perspectives on the Mosque Controversy for more.

The GOP’s Long, Hot, Racist Summer — Ah yes, nothing like standing on your principles to make your point.

?otD: What forthcoming books are you lusting for?


8/24/2010
Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (WRPA, Kalimpura outline)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.25 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: 244.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Destroyer by C.J. Cherryh

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[links] Link salad visits the home by the sea

Don’t forget the new caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

Paul Kincaid at Strange Horizons reviews Pinion — Hmm. The story belongs to the reader…

Planet Stories covers — Mmm, pulp. (Via Erotic Mad Science.)

Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts — “Monkey-annoyance expert”: your job title for the future. (Via Ed Brayton’s blog.)

The terrible truth of Tetris — Hahaha. (Via David Goldman.)

Industrial Arts Occupations — More WPA art from Vintagraph.

Unsung Heroes: Vintage Garbage & Sanitation Trucks — Another feature from Dark Roasted Blend.

Computing at the Speed of LightReplacing metal wiring with fiber optics could change everything from supercomputers to laptops.

Why GOP reaction is muted as judge affirms gay marriage rightsGOP conservatives may not be itching for a culture war over a judge’s decision overturning California’s gay marriage ban. Economic issues, not cultural ones, are their focus heading into Election 2010.

?otD: Are you dreaming of the time when you were free?


8/8/2010
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (revisions, WRPA)
Body movement: beach walking later
Hours slept: 9.0 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, emotional distress)
Currently (re)reading: Inheritor by C.J. Cherryh

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[links] Link salad overhears song from the woods

A reader reviews Pinion — Not so much with the liking.

What steampunk means to me — A commentary. I agree with Callaway; as I’ve said before I see steampunk as ‘skin’ or an aesthetic, not a movement qua cyberpunk or New Weird. I wrote “The Baby Killers” in part to address this, to try to reach for steampunk themes. We shall see if I have succeeded.

Human heads found in boxes at Ark. airport — I always wanted to get ahead. (Thanks to .)

The Man In The Iron Mask — Ok, this is very strange. (Via Dark Roasted Blend.)

Protecting the Lunar Farside — Some crunchy science with SFnal implications from Centauri Dreams.

Death by toxic goose. Amazing waterfowl facts part II — Some weird stuff here.

Burn the scientists![Italian] seismologists are now being indicted and investigated for manslaughter, on account of their failure to warn the population that an earthquake was coming. WTF?

No, Really, Palin Has No Political Future — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison (a self-identified ‘paleocon’) on Sarah Palin and the politics of the 2012 presidential election.

?otD: Kitchen prose or gutter rhymes?


6/19/2010
Writing time yesterday: n/a
Body movement: n/a
Hours slept: 8.5 (interrupted, nightmares)
This morning’s weigh-in: 232.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 9/10 (infusion)
Currently (re)reading: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

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[links] Link salad is offended by Surfing Samurai Robots

On Measuring The Specific Gravity of Grief — GeekDad reviews my new single-title novella at Wired.com. A thoughtful, interesting review. If you’re interested, you can buy the book here from Fairwood Press.

Zombies, Steampunk, or Historical Fantasy – Help Me Pick the Next Novel to Read — This may be the funniest pre-review of one of my books I’ve ever received. Pinion is the conclusion of a trilogy that sounds fantastic to me. But I don’t want to read the first two books; their existence offends me. Huh?

Ozymandias — Art guru James Gurney with a very cool post about one of his Dinotopia paintings.

Complex Reactions on TitanCentauri Dreams on the increasingly real possibilities of life on Titan.

A Softer World on honesty, empathy and tact — Ah, the marvels of Internet discourse.

SMBC explains the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Non Sequitur is hilariously political

It Will Happen AgainBush admits torturing KSM and says he’d do it again. Gee, what a shock.

Hatch’s Partisan Military Service Bill — This just in: Republican senator caught out in mendacious hypocrisy. But I repeat myself. (Source is Rachel Maddow, in case you think she’s a liberal hack not worth watching. A well-sourced liberal hack, admittedly.)

?otD: Does the existence of any particular book offend you?


6/5/2010
Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo exhaustion)
Body movement: Short suburban walk later (on the pump)
Hours slept: 8.5 (badly interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (forgot)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 9/10 (on the pump)
Currently (re)reading: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

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[links] Link salad is glad than kanly isn’t real

J.A> Pitts is having a contest to celebrate the release of Black Blade Blues — Go check it out.

Only the Best Sciencet Fiction and Fantasy is giving away a copy of Pinion

Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ holds timely – and timeless – appeal — A brief history of Dune. My favorite bit: Another early version [of the Dune movie adaptation] would’ve enlisted Orson Welles, Salvador Dalí, Gloria Swanson, Hervé Villechaize and Alain Delon in a 10-hour epic. ZOMG. I so want this to be real.

Who’s More Likely to Fake It in the Bedroom? — Hmm….

An Archaeological Approach to SETICentauri Dreams with an interesting article that lies pretty close to one of the core concepts I have for Sunspin.

A Softer World nail the difference between ebooks and print book — Especially important if you’re a conservative.

Diversity Is Work — Ta-Nehisi Coates with one of the smartest commentaries on racism and diversity I’ve seen in a long time.

Having no use for religion — What he says.

GA Woman To State Judiciary Committee: DoD Implanted A Microchip Inside Me — Ah, conservatives. This story pretty much speaks for itself. If they didn’t have political power, this would be sad-but-funny.

Tea Party speaker gay-baits Lindsey Graham — The story itself is par for the course; there’s nothing surprising about the ugly undercurrents (and overcurrents) of bigtory in the Tea Party. But I’m fascinated by the term “herrenvolk democracy”, which is a surprisingly useful description of contemporary conservative politics.

The Lost State of Jefferson — Secessionism by a slightly different flavor, from Strange Maps. Confidentlal to Tea Party in America: No, secession is still not patriotic. It wasn’t in 1861, it wasn’t in 1941, and it’s not now.

Un-Christian Delusions — Daniel Larison writing about the sheer folly Christianist worldviews in foreign and military policy.

Why I’m Passing On Tea — Andrew Sullivan on the tea party. Most of the rational tea-partiers accept that the GOP has been as bad – if not worse – than the Democrats on spending, borrowing and the size and scope of government in recent years. They repressed this anger during the Bush years out of partisan loyalty. Now, they’re taking it all out on the newbie. What, all three of them? Seriously, that’s the biggest issue I have with the Tea Party’s stated goals (ignoring their cultural baggage). Where were you under Bush? Why was it okay then but not now?

?otD: Ever seen the mythical 12-hour version of Dune?


4/21/2010
Writing time yesterday: none (family disruption)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (scale is out of batteries)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, GI distress)
Currently (re)reading: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

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[books] The Pinion reading

PINION images by M Lake

Art, by my sister.

© 2010 M. Lake. Used with permission.

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