Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for the 'General' Category

Storybundle:
Women In Science Fiction

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Women in Science Fiction Storybundle

Storybundles are themed collections of ebooks, sold together at discount, and available only for a very short period of time. They’ve been popular with readers, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to participate in one. The newest bundle — Women in Science Fiction — was put together by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Why do a bundle of women science fiction writers? Here’s what Kris had to say:

I received a huge shock late last year when some younger writers told me that women didn’t write science fiction. “Present company excepted,” they said to me.

“But…but…what about…” and I listed wonderful writer after wonderful writer, whom these young writers had never heard of. I did some research and realized that even though women have written sf since the beginning of sf (in fact, you could argue that a woman started the genre. Hats off to you and your Frankenstein monster, Mary Shelley!), women and their fiction never received the press that their male counterparts did. That’s why those young writers had no idea women have always written science fiction.

So I decided to do a bunch of projects to rectify the publicity problem, including this StoryBundle.

So here we are!

(more…)

Some Thoughts On Quitting

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

It was Virgil’s private theory that in a world of six and a half billion people, only the hopelessly driven obsessive could out-hustle the masses of the sane—those who insisted on rounded lives, filled out with steady lovers, concerts, vacations, hobbies, pets, and even children. Sane people could not begin to compete with the crazies who lived and breathed their work, who fell asleep long after midnight with their farsights still on, only to waken at dawn and check results before coffee.

Limit of Vision (Tor, 2001)

I’m not a “hopelessly driven obsessive” as described above. I think that’s a good thing. But there is a tendency among writers to admire the “do or die” philosophy. On Twitter I’ll often see writers admonishing one another to “never quit!” — on the theory that your next project could be the successful one.

And it’s true that you never know when things will start to turn around, when rejections will start to become acceptances, and success will become noticed and… Well, who knows how far it could go?

A friend of mine used to describe each new novel as a lottery ticket, and I think that’s accurate.

The thing is, very very few people ever win the lottery. You could bankrupt yourself trying. Same thing with writing: You could bankrupt your health, your life, and your relationships with a single-minded devotion to “making it” as a writer. That’s why I feel very uncomfortable when I hear writers insisting that we should never quit!

Quit if you need to. That’s my advice. And I can say that without hypocrisy, because I did it. I quit. Not utterly, and certainly not irrevocably, but I basically walked away from the game for ten years. (more…)

Living Without Social Media

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

ranunculusInternet connectivity in New Zealand seemed to be a precious and limited resource. In the hotel we stayed at in Auckland, wifi came with the room, but I was limited to 200MB of data transfer per day before they started charging. In the hotel we stayed at in National Park I was able to purchase slow but unlimited wifi for $4/day. And of course the rate that Verizon would have charged was so absurdly high I turned off mobile data for the entire trip and kept my phone off except when using wifi to check email.

The result? I spent ten days without Twitter and Facebook and all the other, lesser variants of social media — and it was kind of nice. I got a lot more reading done than I usually manage. I was less worried about what people were saying, or if it was a conversation I should be involved in, or if anyone was talking about me or to me… The experience was relaxing, and it left me feeling less anxious and less scattered.

I’ve been online a lot since I got back, but that’s in large part because I’ve been writing blog posts like this one. Going forward, I want to spend far less time online, and more time writing, reading, and just living. I’ve got no intention of abandoning an online presence — there’s a lot to be learned and gained and given in online relationships — but there are also many other ways to make better use of my time. Hopefully, I won’t be hanging out quite so much on Twitter.

Global Selfie?!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

This sounds kind of fun and interesting. NASA is asking everyone, everywhere, to participate in #GlobalSelfie with NASA on Earth Day.

They’d like people to take a selfie, with friends or by yourself. Here’s the gist: “Tell us where you are in a sign, words written in the sand, spelled out with rocks — or by using the printable signs we’ve created.”

* Ahem *

/commence lecture mode/
As someone who has worked over the years as a volunteer at Haleakala National Park, and who has long been married to the former (now retired) chief of resource management at Haleakala, PLEASE DO NOT SPELL OUT YOUR LOCATION WITH ROCKS. And unless you are on a beach, don’t write in the sand either. Messages written in rocks are graffiti. In a natural environment, they are vandalism. And while it may seem harmless to scratch your name in a cinder field, I have seen marks linger in cinder fields for literal years.
/terminate lecture mode/

(Other than that, I think this is a cool project.)

So what are the photos for? The photos “will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth — a new “Blue Marble” built bit by bit with your photos.” That sounds like a fun, inclusive project, reminiscent of the day-in-the-life projects that used to be popular — only BIGGER.

Stop by NASA’s website for more information and to print out NASA’s predesigned sign.

The Book and the Break

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

As mentioned here before, almost two weeks ago I managed, with grace and style (not!), to fracture my jaw. The oral surgeon thought it minor enough that we could proceed with “no treatment” other than a liquid diet. But on a followup visit, he decided the teeth were not realigning on their own — so now I have a mouthful of metal. This isn’t quite a wired jaw. It’s called “elastics” because rubber bands are used to link the upper and lower teeth, instead of wire, and I get to take the elastics off a few times a day to eat drink and brush my teeth.

The whole incident is quite unpleasant as you can imagine. I’m not in pain right now, but the pressure on the jaw is uncomfortable, and talking while the rubber bands are in place is really hard. So far I’ve lost around six pounds, which in other circumstances might be a good thing, but I’m now under 120-pounds for the first time since some long-ago college finals week. I really don’t want to keep losing at that rate for another month, so I need to deal better with diet.

But on to the important part: How does this affect the release of The Red: Trials?

The manuscript was still with my editor, Judith Tarr, when this first happened. She sent her editorial letter and comments last Friday, and gave the novel a nice thumb’s up: “My biggest problem was finding myself reading breathlessly, in pure reader mode, racing from scene to scene, in classic ‘can’t put down’ fashion, when I needed to slow down and put on my editor hat.”

As with First Light, her editing is insightful and thorough, so there is work to be done, but mostly in clarifying and drawing out details — there won’t be any major remodeling. I’ve made a solid start on the revision and hope to get back to it today. The goal is for the novel to be released in late May, and I’m still hoping to accomplish that.

I should have cover art to share with you soon. In the meantime, once again, if you’ve read and enjoyed The Red: First Light, please consider writing a brief reader review at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble. There’s no need to say much — a line or two is fine — but reader reviews really do help with visibility. Thank you!

The World SF Tour

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The World SF TourLast year I had the privilege of being a guest on The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a weekly fan podcast run by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, “two science fiction and fantasy nuts.” 🙂 The show covers anything and everything related to the science fiction and fantasy genres. In my case, we talked about The Red: First Light. You can find the podcast here.

This year, “We’re All About World SF in 2014” is the theme.

What does this mean?

One of the things we care a great deal about on this show is diversity in SF/F… The World SF Tour will consist of discussions about World SF, the SF/F literary traditions in non-U.S. spaces, and related topics, along with interviews with SF/F authors from as many places as we can fit on a single season of the show. So far, we know we’re going to talk to South African, Japanese, Irish, Canadian, and Israeli authors, critics, translators, and publishers. That list of countries will get much longer (we’re working on authors and fans from the Middle East, Central and South America, other parts of the African continent, the Caribbean, and so much more)!

The Skiffy and Fanty Show had a heavy presence at last September’s Worldcon, hosting live walkby-and-chat sessions, recording interviews, and so on. They’d like to have a presence at this year’s Worldcon too, but that means traveling across the Atlantic — so they’re seeking some fundraising help. If you’re interested in helping out, visit their fundraising page at GoFundMe.

Click here to read more about The World SF Tour.

Skillz

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Stuff happens, right? You just never know when life is going to change direction. This past Wednesday, everything was going great. I had a Q&A at io9.com, which was a great publicity opportunity, and in the afternoon I went to the gym where I was able to run 3.5 miles on the treadmill in under thirty-two minutes, which is about peak condition for me, and something I haven’t been able to do in a while.

Then Thursday rolled around. As happens often, I heard feral chickens in the yard. They scratch the mulch out of my gardens, so I headed outside to chase them away. I trotted down the deck stairs, but as I reached the last step I somehow managed to trip. I was wearing old rubber slippers (probably better known to you as “flip flops”) that were too big for me. I’m not entirely clear on what happened, but I think I caught the toe of the slippers. At any rate, I went flying into the concrete, landed on my chin, and fractured my jaw. Such skillz! I have no idea what my hands were doing and why they didn’t instinctively reach out to break my fall. This is doubly strange because I have good reflexes. But it is what it is. (more…)

Summing Up 2013 on Twitter

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Facial Recognition

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Yesterday in the gym I saw someone who I’d not seen for several years and who I’d hoped never to see again—or anyway, I thought I saw this person. The resemblance was uncanny: the same, unusual body shape; the same facial structure; the same hair; the same mannerisms. The only two points of doubt from my observation post on the treadmill were that this person might have been a bit too tall and a bit too young. But I wasn’t sure. Only much later during my workout, when I happened to hear the subject speak, did I know for sure this was a different person.

For me, a voice can be a much more certain identifier.

Like a lot of people, I’m terrible at facial recognition. I admit that part of this is laziness. If I’m casually introduced to someone I don’t expect to meet again, the name and face will breeze right out of my memory as I walk away. But part of it is just an inherent problem with facial recognition. Take a person out of the context in which I casually know them, change their hair style or color, change their weight, dress them in different clothes—and odds are excellent I won’t recognize them. This is one reason Cloud Atlas was a total fail for me. Most of the time, the continuity of actors completely escaped me.

Some people have an astonishing ability to recognize and remember others. My husband is one. More than once I’ve been in the situation of demanding to know how in the world he recognized that-person-who-looked-totally-different-from-before and “how can you possibly remember that person you worked with for a few days fifteen years ago?”

Ah well, we all know that talent is not evenly distributed.

But this is one reason I find conventions very intimidating. I could be introduced to someone and an hour later be uncertain if that is a face I should know. Yes, everyone wears name tags, but things can still be difficult.

So bring on augmented reality! Google Glasses or better yet, contacts, with a facial recognition program running off of a personal database of who-is-who in my world, while also tapping into shared Internet resources with all the skill of the NSA and Facebook combined, to identify the people I encounter. Oh, and could we include a brief bio while we’re at it? And deliver the information via voice, since I don’t want my eyes looking shifty as I try to read names and bios.

Uh…privacy concerns? What do you mean privacy concerns? I just want to know if I know you!

The Long Week

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

It’s been a tragic, crazy week. Not for me personally — life has gone on here in my island sanctuary much as usual — but like the rest of the US and many other parts of the world I’ve watched the surreal unfolding of events in Boston and the tragedy in Texas, and it’s still April 20th of course, a notorious day in itself. Let’s hope it passes quietly.

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I was privileged to guest blog over at the website of Charles Stross. Charlie has many active and interesting commenters, and if you’re not already following his blog, you might want to start. Here are links to my posts, if you’re interested:

4/9: Why I Do Self-Publish

4/14: The Fumes of Mordor & Other World Building Models

4/18: The Curious Experience of Middle Age