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[sale] Fiction to tor.com, Paper Golem Press

Found out today that tor.com will be publishing my short story, “A Water Matter”, this fall. It’s in continuity with Green, and they’ve commissioned Green cover artist Dan Dos Santos to do an additional illustration for the short piece.

Also, untangled my email enough today to realize I’d placed short story “Fingers From the Hand of God” with Paper Golem Press for a forthcoming chapbook in support of the anthology Alembical, wherein my novella “America, Such As She Is” will appear.

[travel] Lafayette, I am somewhere

Well, I seem to be in Omaha. At least that’s what the rental car contract says. The Hertz random upgrade program hath delivered unto me a brand new Chevrolet TrailBlazer, due to a “broken car wash.” Just the vehicle for these days of $4+ per gallon gas. Luckily, about half my meetings this week are literally across the street from the hotel.

On leaving Seattle this morning I had a lovely aerial view of four Cascade volcanos almost in alignment — Mt. Ranier, Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. And I’m enough of a Northwesterner now to identify them by their profiles as well as by their relative locations. I then kicked some serious butt on “In the Forests of the Night”, wrapping the first draft a bit over 18,000 words.

After that I did some crit, some contest judging, and some reading of Green. I have to a bit of audio work in the next day or two, otherwise I’m focused on Green, which has a no-shit deadline of the end of this month. (I actually finished the requested revisions back in June, on time, despite all my excellent cancer adventures, but the excellent and incomparable casacorona give me an month’s extension.)

garyomaha commented tonight that I seem more like my old self than he’s seen since the cancer bus ran me down. I think that’s true — for several hours today Classic Jay was in evidence. Completing a major story, having a clear head, I just am me. Of course, I’ve since cratered, and I still can’t do airline Sudoku (I tried), but, hey. One damned thing at time.

I’m happy.

[culture] The ethics of contact

I had the radio on briefly during my lunch break, and learned the startling (to me) information that there may be as many as 60 different “uncontacted tribes” in the upper Amazon Basin. Apparently about 45 are in Brazil, and 15 in Peru. The discussion was that Peru is more interested in opening resource exploitation than in cultural protection, while Brazil has an active, long-term policy to keep their “uncontacted tribes” safely isolated. Many of these tribes are thought to be the descendants of refugees and tribal elements fleeing violent contact in prior centuries, and virtually all of them discourage outsiders by violent and even fatal means. Some of them are referred to as “The People of the Arrow.”

The past 500 years of European history have drawn some stark lessons in the ethics of contact. At least part of the Brazilian policy is based on the abysmal healthcare consequences of contact — past tribal contacts have lead to epidemic deaths within weeks of first encounter not unlike the general decimation of tribes in the Americas in the early 16th century. (See 1491 by Charles C. Mann [ Amazon ] for more on this.)

I began turning over the ethics of contact in my head. European, and specifically Anglophone, history on this topic is staggeringly ugly, more so than most of us are willing to admit. Yet at the same time, I am bothered by the notion of leaving people without the opportunity to choose sanitation, healthcare, reduced infant mortality, education access, increased life expectancy, and the whole array of life choices attendant on modern culture when it is functioning correctly.

It is very hard for me to see what is right here. The question is essentially moot for me personally — I am highly unlikely to ever need to make a choice regarding an uncontacted tribe. At the same time, I can argue a number of sides of this question with equal passion. And I do appreciate the value of an extremely conservative, preservationist approach to the uncontacted tribes. Some mistakes can never be undone.

I believe I shall explore this in fiction. Your thoughts?

Bonus question: Would differing immune system requirements be one of the greatest dangers to a time traveller?

[links] Link salad for a Monday

“The Ides of February” — A story I wrote with Bruce Holland Rogers is now online at Aberrant Dreams.

A reader reacts to Logorrhea, ed. John Klima, Powell’s | Amazon ] — With some rather definite opinions.

Blogging–It’s Good for YouScientific American with an article about the therapeutic value of blogging. Note the comments about cancer, also about writers block and hypergraphia.

Watch that’s back from the seabed… And it’s still working, after 67 years — Weird.

The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject — Well, that answers that. (Thanks to lt260.)

Character and the Primaries of 2008 — The Project For Excellence in Journalism looks at claims of media bias in the Democratic primaries.

John McCain gets tax-free disability pension — Old news, but interesting. I believe Reagan was our last disabled president (Alzheimer’s, unacknowledged until after his retirement), FDR before him (mobility impairment, formally unacknowledged but widely understood).

The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind — A story Your Liberal Media seems to have stayed the hell away from. (This link is from a British paper.) I can certainly see why McCain is the candidate of the party that claims the mantle of family values!


6/9/08
Time in saddle: 0 minutes (still recovering from surgery)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 260.8
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]