Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for January, 2007

The Fire

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

We aren’t used to major forest fires on Maui — after all, there just isn’t that much land, and most of the forests are rain forests — but there are also large areas in the mountains that are dense with imported eucalyptus trees, black wattle, and even redwoods. That’s what’s burning now. The fire started a few days ago, and seems to have gotten quickly out of hand. The photo at right shows only the northern end. 600 acres had been burned as of yesterday; a lot more has burned since then.

I’ll admit feeling a little nervous today when I looked from my deck to a distant ridge to see great pillars of flame at the edge of massive clouds of smoke. Everything seems calmer now. Several helicopter runs might have slowed the advance on the northern side, while at higher altitudes, it looks like the fire might have reached the edge of the forest, slowing down in the scrublands and volcanic barrens above 8000′. (It’s hard to see past the smoke and afternoon cloud cover.) The predicted weather calls for rain tomorrow afternoon. Let’s hope so.

A Book in French

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Good news from my agent, Howard Morhaim. LIMIT OF VISION has just been purchased for translation by the French publisher Bragelonne — which makes it my first sale in France. There is also a German version of this book which has been available for a few years, with an interesting title, as you can see from the cover…

Los Angeles

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I’ve lived on Maui a long time. I’m used to it. The resident population here is perhaps 140,000. It’s a small town compared to the 900,000-plus resident population of Honolulu — which in turn is small compared to the great assemblage that is Los Angeles — almost 10 million people in Los Angeles County according to the US Census Bureau.

This meditation on relative scale was inspired by a recent trip to Palm Springs via the Los Angeles airport. We hit the freeways in the late afternoon on a Friday — need I say more? There must have been more people in their cars, trying to get elsewhere, than exist on the entire island of Maui. (Did I used to call that little slow-down on the way into town “bad traffic”?)

My day job involves work on a tourist-oriented website, so the first thing that occurred to me was what a tiny percentage of Los Angeles-alone we would have to attract to be a raging success.

My next thought was what a tiny percentage of Los Angeles-alone an author, or even a genre, would have to attract to be a raging success. Anyone trying to sell anything must entertain the same thought. It’s the million dollar marketing question.

The Wired Blog

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

For the past three years I’ve been writing a heroic fantasy novel. I have not delved into science fiction in that time. In fact, I was quite ready to leave it behind – but the world has a way of catching up with you.

On December 22, Annalee Newitz posted a favorable review of my 1995 novel Tech-Heaven in the Wired blog “Table of Malcontents.”

Annalee has a very active readership – the traffic to my website jumped and a lot of people took a chance and purchased the set of nanotechnology novels, of which Tech-Heaven is one. In fact, I discovered to my surprise that I was basically sold out of the last in the set, Vast. At any rate, all this activity inspired me to go back and re-read three of the books (do other authors re-read their old work?).

At nearly the same time, I received an email from the Lifeboat Foundation, whose concern is seeking ways to inoculate the world against the dangers of advancing technology. It’s a fascinating website, with a critical goal – nanotech and genetic engineering, etc., are not just subjects for fiction.

Finally, I will soon be off to California, for a preliminary meeting on a project with a nanotechnology theme.

The technological world has caught up with me – but I’m not ready to leave Hahví behind. The challenge now is to live in two worlds at the same time.

On to the Next One

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007


After three years (three years! I thought it was only two!) of intermittent writing, The Fantasy Novel — title to be determined – went off to my agent Howard Morhaim in November. I enjoyed the writing of this novel more than any other I have done – especially the last half of it, most of which was written in the past six months. Whether this pleasure in the creative process reflects on the quality of the book I won’t venture to say, but writing has rarely been a pleasant process for me, so it’s worth a mention.

I felt I came to a new understanding of the book during the final weeks of writing it. By the time I sent it off, I was immensely pleased with it, and already flirting with ideas for a sequel.

Many weeks have passed since then, and now the whole experience has become distant. All the many intervening events – both fun and tedious – have driven away the sweet intensity – the delicious obsession. I want to start writing again – either a sequel or something new – but it’s going to take time to find a new direction.

Round 2

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Anyone familiar with my previous blog will naturally have doubts about the wisdom of my starting another. That first failed experiment took place at my science fiction website, My goal then was to record the process of writing a novel. Life and a lack of resolve (not to mention time) got in the way — but being a writer I laugh off failure (or pretend to, anyway). So here I am, ready to try blogging again.

My goal this time is more nebulous. I want to write about things that interest me, from the serious to the simply fun – and on the way, I would like to learn to write short and fast. My natural skills have always flowed in the other direction, which neatly explains why I am a novelist – but on to something new.

Why Hahví.net? It’s a place-name from the fantasy novel. I’ll write more on that subject in a later post, but for now, let it suffice to say that Hahví is an idyllic land that vanished over the horizon long ago.