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[links] Link salad goes down, down in the basement

Steve Buchheit reviews The Sky That Wraps

A cruise for everyone: 7 themed sailings — In which Mary Robinette Kowal and I get name checked by CNN.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — Donnie Reynolds, the documentary filmmaker who’s currently working with me, fights fires. Literally.

Tribe Revives Language on Verge of Extinction — (Thanks to Dad.)

Untrustworthy spirits: Pat Robertson and EliphazSlacktivist Fred Clark is hilariously snarky about Pat Robertson’s relationship with God.

Ex-Idaho Sen. Craig says Minneapolis bathroom trip that led to arrest was official business — Because Republicans are always moral actors. Look! Bill Clinton! (Via [info]danjite.)

Romney Bemoans False Campaign Ads While Doubling Down On False Attack — More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency.

The hits keep coming: Romney demanded Kennedy release tax returns, then backpedaled eight years laterIt’s been largely forgotten, but in [Romney’s 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy], Romney demanded Kennedy release his tax returns, saying the veteran senator needed to “prove he [had] nothing to hide.” Also, later on, Romney lied about what he’d said. He’s like a crude cartoon of a GOP politician.

Romney’s “Recovery Plan” Could Bring On Another Recession — Ya think? The Supply Side Economics fairy might show up this time if we all just clap hard enough.

?otD: Do you hear the sounds of machines?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (Revisions on Other Me)
Body movement: 60 minute coastal walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski

[links] Link salad relaxes, needs some information first

I have two items on the Locus recommended reading list for 2010 — My collection from Subterranean Press, The Sky That Wraps, and my Sunspin short story from Is Anybody Out There?, “Permanent Fatal Errors“.

Optics of Thánatos — John Burridge on, among other things, talking to me about cancer and death.

Aerial ropeways: automatic cargo transport for a bargain — Courtesy of Low-tech Magazine. (Via corwynofamber.)

How Babies Know What Robots Are ThinkingNew research tells us something about infants’ theory of mind, as well as how to build robots humans instinctively recognize as sentient.

Scientists Discover Ancient Body Clock — Tick tick.

Motherlode of potential planets found: more than 1200 alien worlds![T]here could be a million Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

Egypt Stymies Republican Message MachineThe Republican strategy in the Senate this week was simple: force Democrats to consider a total repeal of President Obama’s health care law to draw attention to the fact that the president’s party still supports what Republicans believe is a wildly unpopular law. It worked like a charm, except for one problem: No one was watching. A “wildly unpopular” law that polls quite well if you ask people about what it actually does, rather than throwing out scare questions. And honestly, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of liars and political con men.

?otD: Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?

Writing time yesterday: 2.25 hours (3,000 new words on Sunspin book one, some WRPA.)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 252.0
Currently reading: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

[links] Link salad saw Elvis in the clouds over Seattle

A reader reviews The Sky That Wraps

America English Dialects — Linguistics neepery. (Via willyumtx.)

1948 Norman E. Timbs Buick Streamliner — Guh guh buh buh… Wow. (Via Dark Roasted Blend.)

Putting a number in its context — Ben Goldacre on the endless problem of humans misunderstanding risks and statistics.

The immediate aftermath of tragedy — Phil Plait on the Giffords shooting. I take his point, but we do live in a culture where discussion of “Second Amendment remedies” has become an accepted part of one party’s mainstream discourse. I have trouble believing that such rhetoric doesn’t help foster a climate where behaviors like the shooter’s come to seem appropriate rather than insane. Juan Cole addresses this question. Also, Digby touches on it as well. You are responsible for the consequences of your beliefs, something very few conservatives, or Second Amendment enthusiasts, are ever willing to take on.

?otD: Is there a little Elvis in your heart?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (2,500 words on Sunspin)
Body movement: n/a (raining, no indoor bike here)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a (no scale here)
Currently reading: Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar

[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.


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,’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.

[contests] The Sky That Wraps caption contest winner

The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake

A month or so ago I held a caption contest for The Sky That Wraps. Unfortunately, real life intervened and I was unable to process the poll in a timely manner. For this, I apologize. Herewith is the winning caption.


Jay laughing, Martinborough, NZ. © 2010, Shannon Page.

Creative Commons License

This work by Shannon Page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Alex J. Kane – If you’re going to do that, sir, the law prefers that you do so in the center of the city street with one hand on the arse of your horse, for the sake of balance.

Alex, please contact me to arrange shipping your prize, a personalized copy of The Sky That Wraps. I want to thank everyone else for playing.

[polls] The Sky That Wraps caption contest voting poll

The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake

Time for another caption contest voting poll, to celebrate the release of my new collction from Subterranean Press, The Sky That Wraps. I declared a caption contest on the following photo:


Jay laughing, Martinborough, NZ. © 2010, Shannon Page.

Creative Commons License

This work by Shannon Page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

The usual comment madness ensued: [ | LiveJournal ]

I have now embedded the comments into a voting poll. Unfortunately, some of the longer witticisms are truncated by the poll code. Usual rules apply. Prize after the voting poll will be an inscribed copy of The Sky That Wraps. Additional prizes may be awarded at the judge’s discretion.

Which caption best suits this photo of Jay laughing?

  • Alex J. Kane - If you're going to do that, sir, the law prefers that you do so in the center of the city street with one hand on the arse of your horse, for the sake of balance. (17%, 8 Votes)
  • markbourne - "Jay rolled his eyes, an action he usually avoided because putting them back in again tickled like the dickens." (13%, 6 Votes)
  • Gerry Huntman - Jay Lake, wearing on his shirt the extremely rare, but fragrant, Euphoric Daffodil, the only plant known to exude, even after picking, nitris oxide. (6%, 3 Votes)
  • H - "No really the view of the sheep is out of this world! Here, lemme lend you my eye." (6%, 3 Votes)
  • goulo - Because his cap is ribbed for extra pleasure. (6%, 3 Votes)
  • delkytlar - Jay's spirits get a lift when he learns that everyone at WorldCon actually thought his new hairstyle was a hat. (6%, 3 Votes)
  • elizaeffect - Wonka's new tomato-flavored chewing gum sounded disgusting at first, but was a surprise hit at the Lake compound - until the transformation began... (6%, 3 Votes)
  • ubiquitous_a - Wow, that squirting flower gag just never gets old! (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Don - SCHOLES…. Ken… Please put pants on! Man, I did not need to see THAT this early in the morning. (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Steve Buchheit - Jay Lake reads the Pledge for America. "Funniest piece of comedic fantasy this year," says Jay. (4%, 2 Votes)
  • catjuggling - "I sense a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror, when I farted." (4%, 2 Votes)
  • cjmarsicano - I don't need the silly turban and the sealed envelopes to do Johnny Carson's "Carnac The Magnificent" routine. (4%, 2 Votes)
  • deza - "You think a published author makes how much?" (4%, 2 Votes)
  • etcet - "Your attempt at enacting a remake of Scanners' definitive scene tickles. OH MY GOD, THERE IS A SPARKLEPONY DANCING IN MY SINUSES." (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Andrew Nicolle - Whereupon we witness, first hand, the after effects of Jay's little-known New Zealand clown allergy. (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Deven - Jay: "'Damn pleasure ta see ya, mate?'" Giggles. "Sorry for the TMI, I thought you said, 'Did'ya please yer mate?'" (2%, 1 Votes)
  • kimberlywade - "It's not cancer!" (2%, 1 Votes)
  • garyomaha - "Oopsie. Here I stand, all in a fit..." (2%, 1 Votes)
  • dsmoen - No, I'm sorry, you cannot do that with me AND the COLOSSAL SQUID! (2%, 1 Votes)
  • e_bourne - Could someone please ask the Klingon to put his pants back on? (0%, 0 Votes)
  • elizaeffect - You are thinking of...PFFFT! Seriously? AHAHAHAHAHA! You are thinking of a...*sporfle* HAHAHAHA! I can't even say it, I'm la...laughing too hard! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • dr_phil_physics - "I traveled halfway around the world to New Zealand and you call THAT a joke?" (0%, 0 Votes)
  • dbroussa - The CLAW!!!! Oh No, not the CLAAAWWWW!!!! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • daibheid - No, seriously...what the heck just squirted out of my eye! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • horace_hamster - Nobody can tell a better joke than a daffodil lapel pin. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • jennifer_brozek - "Wait! Wait! This always works at home. I will split the bottle with my mind." (0%, 0 Votes)
  • cuddlycthulhu - The kangaroo put what where? (0%, 0 Votes)
  • little_foxy - You were just given your first pair of velcro gloves! And then had to have it explained to you why you need them! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • John Gibbons - Ha! When you asked "How were things Down Under?", I thought you meant... (0%, 0 Votes)
  • skidspoppe - And now, using only the power of my mind, I will cause my facial hair to grow... (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Carmelo Rafala - Oh shit. Really…in my pants… (0%, 0 Votes)
  • voidampersand - The Colossal Squid! (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

Loading ... Loading ...

[links] Link salad has 300 children

Big old pile of reviews of my work — At Fantasy Literature.

That Jay Lake Fellow — A very nice plug from Lawrence M. Schoen for The Sky That Wraps.

Genre writers on their own works — I am included in SF Signal‘s latest Mind Meld.

The church and homosexuality — My friend daveraines asks about LGBT experiences of Christians. This one’s worth commenting on, I think, if you have something to say about this.

Mandates and Moral Calculus — Ta-Nehisi Coates with some interesting thoughts on the Tennessee fire story. (See also the substantial comment thread on this topic in yesterday’s link salad.)

Cantor On Gov Shutdown: ‘We Don’t Want To Be Seen As A Bunch Of Yahoos’ — Wow. Self-awareness from the GOP leadership. What’s next? World peace?

?otD: What’s your favorite story of yours? Or mine?

Writing time yesterday: 1 hour
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 4.5 hours (lousy)
This morning’s weigh-in: 241.2
Yesterday’s chemo/post-op stress index: 4/10 (post-op pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: The Exile Kiss by George Alec Effinger

[contests] The Sky That Wraps caption contest

Author copies of The Sky That Wraps have arrived. This is of course my gorgeous new short fiction collection from the delightful Subterranean Press. You can order it here, should you be so inclined.

The Sky That Wraps by Jay Lake

But we all know what author copies mean — a giveaway via caption contest! So I hereby declare another one of those suckers, based on a photo from the recent New Zealand trip. Your challenge is to write a caption that answers the question “Why is this man laughing so hard?”

First prize will be a personalized, signed copy of the book, additional prizes to be awarded at my discretion. Usual rules apply. I’ll collect captions in comments here (at both and until I get bored with it, then build a voting poll. Please try to limit the length of your entries or they may become truncated in the poll code.


Jay laughing, Martinborough, NZ. © 2010, Shannon Page.

Creative Commons License

This work by Shannon Page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[links] Link salad judges a book when it’s over

My collection from Subterranean Press, The Sky That Wraps, is shipping

Star Wars propaganda posters — Wow. (I may have linked these before, if so, my apologies for the re-run.)

Interstellar Archaeology on the Galactic Scale — Deep skiffy stuff. Absolutely a must-read if you’re a hard SF writer or fan.

The Stag: 1938Shorpy with a photo of historic Omaha. My usual hotel there is a tad nicer.

Pornography in hospitals — This is both serious and hilarious. Not exactly worksafe, though it is covering medical and social issues rather than prurience.

Stephen Colbert testifies before Congress, in character — Rep. Lamar Smith (R.-TX) thanks Colbert for his support of the Republican Pledge to America. How strange is this? We live in the Max Headroom future.

O’Donnell wonders why Monkeys aren’t still evolving into Humans — More conservative “thought”. And these people get elected…

?otD: What’s your favorite book cover art?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (post-op haze)
Body movement: Brief suburban walking (post-op haze)
Hours slept: 9.5 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: 235.4
Yesterday’s chemo/postiop stress index: 7/10 (post-op pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently reading: Deceiver by C.J. Cherryh

[links] Link salad flies to Oz today

arcaedia reminds us that today is the release date of my collection The Sky That Wraps — For some value of “today”, as I write this post on the other side of the International Date Line.

Steampunk Wallpaper — (jimvanpelt via lt260.)

Lady Clankington’s Cabinet of Carnal Curiosities — And via danjite, further steampunk curiosities. NSFW.

Is that my son wearing a dress?I’m a progressive, supportive dad. Why was I so troubled by the sight of my little boy dressed as Snow White? (Thanks to willyumtx.)

How to Remake LifeVenter Institute researchers have made the first viable cell with a synthetic genome. Cool stuff. I’m waiting for someone to do this ab initio.

Metrocontextual science map — This is seriously cool as well.

It’s Witch-Hunt Season — ‘Tis autumn and a conservative’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of impeachment and political harassment.

Beck, Christianity and Social Justice — Yeah, well…

?otD: Have you ever wrapped the sky?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (NZ tourism)
Body movement: airport walking to come
Hours slept: 9.0 (fitful, plus 90 minute nap as well)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Deliverer by C.J. Cherryh

[links] Link salad gets didactic

A glowing review for my new collection The Sky That Wraps

A profoundly negative review of my story, “The Speed of Time” — I continue to be baffled that people seem to think this is political fiction. Unless the absence of white male characters makes it “political”?

Educational Chemistry Crayons complete set of 48 crayons with labels — (Thanks to .)

The power of anecdotesBad Science on research, reporting and anecdotal evidence.

The right-wing, blinded by its own hysteriaYet right-wing commentators and politicians have twisted themselves in knots to portray the Park51 project as a grievous assault — and “the American people” as victims. Victims of what? Rauf’s sinister plot to despoil the city with a fitness center, a swimming pool and — shudder — a space for the performing arts? Hahaha.

?otD: How political is your fiction?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (convention time)
Body movement: urban walking to come
Hours slept: 8.5 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Deliverer by C.J. Cherryh

[links] Link salad eyes the fall publishing schedule

A rather nice review of Pinion in Analog 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?

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