In Which Books Could Be Split But Aren't

27 February 2005

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is too heavy to read in bed. It's not too heavy to read on the bed, sprawled on my stomach with the book open in front of me. But in bed, under the covers and minimally propped on pillows? No. Entirely too big. Also too big for lying on my side; the book overbalances me.

And this, my dears, is why it is not always a bad thing to have a book split midway through. On the other hand, it's not always a necessary thing, either; I just picked up Anthony Price's A New Kind of War for reading in bed and finished Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell this morning.

I enjoyed it -- as some of you could probably predict, because I love Rebirth Of The Magic endings almost as much as I hate Death Of The Magic endings -- but I really don't understand why this book was considered acceptable for mainstream marketing when some other fantasy novels are not. It was, to my way of thinking, very thoroughly a fantasy novel. I can't see any way it isn't a fantasy novel. Awhile ago someone tried to convince me that Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow wasn't "really" a science fiction novel, and no, really, it is. I'd like to say I'll entertain arguments for why it isn't, but I haven't heard anything remotely convincing on this point, and many of the arguments boil down to "if it's good, it's not SF," and I don't really have time or patience for that. If you have good arguments for why it should work that way that don't boil down to "if it's good, it's not SF," do share.

Stella has more kinds of decaf (and, in many cases, never caffeinated in the first place) tea than anywhere I've ever seen outside a tea shop. I think I need some of the blueberry stuff she has; it tastes strongly of dried blueberries.

I finished writing the epilogue to Thermionic Night yesterday, and I also did the beginning of an Author's Note on source material etc. Not working sequentially means that the things that look like mile markers aren't, except that they kind of are: it's one less thing to do before the book goes to first-readers. One step closer. Well, in this case, two steps closer. Two fewer notecards. A good direction.

These Sundays off, they work all right. I start Mondays fairly eager to work, which is a good sign. I start many days fairly eager to work, though; it's a personality trait, that whole "morning person" thing. Still, not a bad way to go.

For some bizarre reason, we are entirely out of mailing labels for the first time in ages. We don't have any with anybody's name on them or any design, no matter how obnoxious. (For awhile I was cutting Ziggy off my return address labels. I do not like Ziggy and did not wish to be associated with Ziggy.) Mark's theory is that we gave people (charities) money and now they don't feel they have to woo us with free crap. My theory is that these things go in cycles, and we're in a light cycle of them. But I haven't had the energy to graph their arrival over time. I'm geek enough to spot the necessary data, but not geek enough to collect it.

Sometimes self-awareness of geekiness is useful.

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