Is anybody attempting to comment on marissalingen.com instead of on lj, and if so, are you getting error messages? I haven’t shown anybody attempting to comment since, oh, last summer, but I got an email report that there were too many comments in moderation. And I don’t know if it’s that that person has too many comments in moderation in this system elsewhere or what, but I show zero comments from anyone in moderation (and the person attempting to comment would have been approved on this blog, as they are well-known to management and a substantive and civil commenter). So…any problems from anyone else? I just assumed all conversation was happening on lj. Holler at my gmail (which is marissalingen) if you have troubles, worries, etc.
If you just like chatting on lj instead of on the marissalingen.com site, that’s totally fine, no worries.
Okay, another dialect question. Haven’t done one in awhile. Does your home dialect contain the phrase “a goin’ concern,” usually applied to small children? And if not, would you still have some sense of what “that child is a goin’ concern” might mean if someone else used it, or would you be completely in the dark?
(Sometimes when I’m talking to my grandmother things come out of my mouth that I never, ever say to my friends, and then I stop and realize that I have no idea if I don’t say them because it’s an old-fashioned phrase we just don’t really use or if I don’t say them because my friends would find me incomprehensible. And this is what the internet is for! Someone might have told you it was for porn. Someone nicer might have told you it was for kitten pictures. They were wrong, or rather, they were right but in the broader sense. It is for assuaging random curiosity. And I do have a most ‘satiable curtiosity.)
Also: if you are a person who says “a goin’ concern,” at what age does a person stop being a goin’ concern? Because I am now a little worried.
I have a friend who has developed an academic interest in what she terms neo-Victorian kids’ lit (/MG) and YA. I have asked, and she does not draw a firm line between that and steampunk. Recommendations, anti-recommendations, interesting works to discuss: go.
I’ll start: Chris Moriarty’s The Inquisitor’s Apprentice fills my heart with joy, and I only wish she would write another, or I only wish they would publish another, or something. (That is, however, Victorian era but US setting. Not sure if it matters. Friend can show up and say so if it does.)
I never met the man, but you can spot him at whatever age. Whether you’re watching the Weavers videos from 1951 or the concerts before the first Obama inauguration in January of 2009, Pete led with his grin. You can see immediately that it’s the same guy because he’s lifting his chin and grinning in the same way. With so many 94-year-olds, you’d say, well, he had a good run, or, I guess he was about done, it was time for a rest. But with Pete, no; with Pete there was still so much to do. There was always so much to do.
Because Pete Seeger was one of those people who appeared to honestly and truly believe in improving the world. All the way through. He was blacklisted and shut out for so many years after the HUAC testimony, and he kept on singing about making the world a better place, and he kept on making the world a better place. I’m a Gen Xer, the young end of Gen X; grunge and cynicism are my coming-of-age music. Also I am not a fan of the banjo. But in college I discovered Pete Seeger, and I just couldn’t resist. Fell in love with the Peteness right away. And when you hear him in person, as we did in 2011, when you hear him sing “We Shall Overcome”–not only do you believe for a minute that we shall, but for a minute you can even believe in we. Even if you’re a congenitally grumpy Xer. Because Pete.
Just last week, Timprov and I were driving home with four new tires and zero new photos (…long story), and I asked what he wanted on the CD player. And he said, “I don’t care…wait, have we got More Together Again?” And we did, so we put it in: Pete with his grandson Tao and Arlo Guthrie and other musicians they know and like. And we sang along all the way home, “Midnight Special” and “Abiyoyo” and “Guantanamera” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “This Land Is Your Land,” all of it, all of it, through the dark night home with Pete.
Edited to add: I realized the obvious thing to link. Here, have Precious Friend.
I got so wild and crazy today that I cut two thin slices of bread for my sandwich instead of one thick one like God and nature intended.
Don’t worry. It was all right but not so grand that I’ll do it again tomorrow.
You two-bread people, you are a strange lot.
Review copy provided by Tor Books (in eARC form).
Karl Schroeder is very good at doing SF that no one else is doing. In this case he’s combined lack of FTL travel with extensive robot presence and effective ubiquitous hibernation, so that colonies choose a ratio of months “wintering over” to months awake–common ratios including 360:1 and 270:1–so that their bots can harvest resources for humans providing much more limited drag on the system.
He does a really good job of not drawing attention to some of the questions that spring to mind most immediately as problems for me in this system, and one of the key skills of writing SF is drawing reader attention towards the things you find interesting and away from the things you do not. (In my case, the first few problems that sprang up were “what are these colonists doing–not their bots but them” and “how does human development work with hibernation, given that almost every long-hibernation creature we know of mature before hibernation/estivation.” There were not really characters shown doing serious high-level work or small-child characters.) He did show a little bit of raiding of the hibernating planets by those out of sync with them, so that was satisfying.
The main focus, though, was on family relations. The main family core of this book actually reacted to each other like family, which I found satisfying, and so did the secondary dynamic family. The resolution of the power dynamics relied very much on who they were in relation to each other, and I enjoyed that very much. I also found this to be a satisfying stand-alone, not the beginning of a series whose resolution is entirely unknown as yet.
The diversity of the “seventy thousand worlds” was a little more referred to than shown, and I was halfway through the book when I was clear on how things like linguistic drift were working over a fourteen-thousand year time-scale. I would like to see less of a unitary culture even with characters like Evayne working to keep it that way–but I was willing mostly to behave as though it was only that those were the worlds these characters cared about. (I did wish that Our Hero had been willing to run off to some worlds “no one” cared about, or at least to consider it as an option. There’s a lot of “no one” in the universe.) But even with those caveats: more like this but different. Yes. Definitely an interesting thought experiment.
Did you know–I did not, which is why I am telling you–that they sell little compressor dealies that will plug into the cell phone charger slot in your car? (It is not either the cigarette lighter. Ours never once came with a thing that would light cigarettes. It is the cell phone charger.) So that if you regularly go places that are so cold that a) your tires will deflate somewhat and b) the air hoses at gas stations will freeze, then you can just carry this solution along with you in the car, and it is a very small box and reads out the pressure for you so you can tell how long to run it?
Obviously this is not a solution if you have shredded a tire so badly that it is more of a tire fringe than a tire. Very few things are a solution to that, and you probably already know what they are. But if you have a slow leak, or if you are just in the cold conditions described above and your tires are fine, then you can have this lovely little gadget that will set your mind at ease about being stranded somewhere with mildly flat tires. Or if you worry about someone else you know who goes places where this might apply, then you can stop worrying about them. The nice-ish ones are $30. They sell even less-nice ones for less than that. It is a thing that should be known. So now you know it.
Yesterday Alec and I sold our short story, “Calm,” to Analog.
I am always relieved when I make my first sale of the year, even though I know that the turning of the year is entirely arbitrary. Still, just as my grade school friends and I would greet each other melodramatically in January (“I haven’t seen you all year!”), I have a bit of “I haven’t sold a story all year!” until I do. So now I have! Onwards.
(Also Alec and I have such fun writing these things together that it’s always nice when someone else enjoys them too.)
I saw “Mind Control” advertised on a website this morning. It seemed to be offering that you could learn to control your own mind, however, as opposed to the far more popular other people’s.
Controlling your own mind is work.
Maybe next ad.
I wrote a brief personal essay for Lightspeed’s Women Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter. You can read it here. Back to work!