Monday, November 24, 2008

Odds & Ends

I haven't been posting much or answering most of my email over the last week because I've been pathetically feeble with a nasty cold and spending a lot of time in bed. By a nice coincidence (or not), when I woke this morning charged with a bit of energy for a change, it was straight out of the mother of all anxiety dreams. It had every cliche known to such dreams rolled into it, ranging from giving a dinner party for a dozen people (some of them wearing faces well known to habitues of this blog) and finding I had only one bottle of wine and no salad or dessert to serve them, to showing up at a seminar, unprepared to make the presentation I was scheduled to give, to suddenly being a graduate student-- albeit one who'd been taking graduate courses & teaching for years beyond count while not being registered and thus facing two more years of course work and exams to complete, to showing up at my health care institution to discover that my plastic patient card-- caked with dirt, riddled with cracks, obviously unused for years-- was no longer recognizable to the system... & so on. When finally I woke from this string of fiascoes, it was with the conviction that I'd been malingering. (Though perhaps my sense of guilt is, simply, the fruit of anxiety at everything that I failed to do over the last five days. The terrible irony is that the only time I ever sleep for many hours without waking is when I'm sick. And I've been sleeping wonderfully this last week. And even when I'm sick, several hours of unconsciousness is still a fabulous treat.)

Anyway, for those of you wondering where the hell I've been, rest assured, I've begun tackling my inbox and will (eventually) be getting back to you. And I hope to start posting more often again. Links, of course, have been piling up. So I thought I'd start first with them.

Charlie Jane Anders has posted A Rock Star with an Emotional Megaphone, a review of Kelley Eskridge's Dangerous Space at io9.

Strange Horizons has posted Hanna Strom-Martin's review of The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 2.

Over at Adventures in Reading, Joe Sherry has reviewed Plugged In by L. Timmel Duchamp and Maureen McHugh here, and Renegade by L. Timmel Duchamp here.

Offline, Mike Levy's review of The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 1 has appeared in the new issue of Science Fiction Studies. It's titled "Duchamp Does WisCon Proud" and spans a nicely commodious two pages. He characterizes the book as "a treasure trove" and says "Although the panel discussions occasionally offer brilliant insights into the current state of both science fiction and feminism, readers of this journal will find most interesting the essays (some of them academic, some of them decidedly not), the interviews, and the short story." And also: "The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 1, ends with 'No Man's Land,' an original short story by Australian writer Rosaleen Love. A variant on the trope of the exclusively female society that must suddenly deal with the arrival of men, Love's story stands on its own as an entertaining and thoughtful read while fitting nicely in the company of such classic works as Russ's 'When it Changed' (1972) and Tiptree's 'Houston, Houston, Do You Read?'."

Speaking of offline publications, a couple of months back Aqueduct received a copy of the quarterly Rattlesnake Review-- poetry with fangs!-- from Rattlesnake Press of Sacramento, California, which also publishes poetry chapbooks. In addition to poetry, this issue includes an interesting piece by Tom Goff about Ina Coolbrith (1841-1928), California's first poet laureate, accompanied by a couple of her poems. It also includes a few reviews by B.L. Kennedy, notably one of my collection, Love's Body, Dancing in Time (even though it is short fiction: "Here is a handful of SF tales that are rich in lyrical quality and narrative execution. The stories in Love's Body, Dancing in Time will draw the reader into worlds of undreamed dreams which manifest in pure poetry."). Do check out Rattlesnake's website and their blog, Medusa's Kitchen.

Another publication I recently received was the Swedish SF zine, Nova Science Fiction-- this time because my story, "Dance at the Edge," appears there in translation. I can't speak to the quality of the translation, since I don't read Swedish, but certainly the production values of the zine are high. Other stories appearing in the issue, in translation, are Kage Baker's "The Empress of Mars," James Patrick Kelly's "Undone," James Alan Gardner's "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream," and Alastair Reynolds' "Galactic North." An article by Nova's editor, John-Henri Holmberg, judging from its illustrations, seems to be a lengthy discussion of space opera from its origins to the present day.

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