Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday Updates

 First of all, the first draft of Kyx is done. This week I've been dealing with beta responses on Wolfshead and will be talking to my editor.

I'm looking for a beta reader (ideally another author I can trade with as I haven't done a beta in a while ;)) for The Secret History of Victor Prince. I'm specifically looking for somebody who lives in, or used to live in/around New York City.

Other than that, life is going on right now, much as it usually does.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

More Weird Stuff on Venus

As a side note, I'm currently reading Derek Kunsken's The House of Styx, which is serialized in Analog but also available for purchase. Which also has some very strange things happening on Venus...which has been settled by French Canadians!

But the actual weird thing on Venus now is weather. Observers have found an atmospheric wave deep in the atmosphere that's just...circling the planet. And has been for years. It's like a front going around and around the Earth.

And we have no idea what's causing it. Venus' thick atmosphere may be acting almost more like a fluid than a gas. It could be a so-called Kelvin wave, which is a gravity wave trapped at the equator. We get those on Earth, but they don't last for decades.

It might have something to do with how Venus' atmosphere rotates so much faster than the planet.

Because Venus is just plain weird.

(Or maybe Earth is...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What in Space is a Blanet?

No, there shouldn't be a k in there.

"Blanet" is a proposed term for...a planet orbiting a black hole. It turns out that if we understand planetary formation correctly, planets could form out of the accretion disk of a black hole if it is large enough.

Like, say, the ones at the center of the galaxy.

The planets would form not in the radioactive "main" accretion disk, but in a second disk further out. Because of the scale, they would be rather larger than the planets we're familiar with, ranging from about the size of Neptune all the way up, for larger black holes, into brown dwarf territory.

They wouldn't exactly be prime real estate, though...they would probably be about as likely to host life as "rogue" planets.

But they would be interesting to study. Or, well...science fiction can find some interesting ways here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

A Sad Day for SF Fandom

Yesterday was a sad day for SF Fandom.

We lost both Harlan Ellison's widow, Susan, and Jerry Pournelle's widow, Roberta. I didn't know either woman at all, but there are older fans who are feeling it right now.

Unfortunately, time does indeed march on.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Hugo Results!

So, I didn't watch the livestream. Apparently, this was a good decision.

I'm not going to go into anything about that, but just go through my thoughts on the winners.

Novel: A Memory Called Empire. I am amazed after all the hype that Gideon the Ninth didn't win, but perhaps it was too subjective. Either way, A Memory Called Empire WAS my personal favorite of 2019, so I'm happy.

Novella: This Is How You Lose The Time War. No surprise here.

Novelette: Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin. This was a very strong category, but the winner was...uncomfortable and deep and beautiful.

Best Short Story: As The Last I May Know by S.L. Huang. I still preferred the Wilde.

Best Series; The Expanse. No argument here.

Best Related Work: 2019 John W. Campbell Acceptance Speech. I'm still not convinced speeches should be eligible. Sorry.

Best Graphic Story or Comic: LaGuardia. I wanted Wic+Div to win in its last chance, but I can't complain about this beautiful story about immigration, prejudice, and community. Okorafor is a better comic writer than she is a prose writer.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Good Omens. Apparently the only person surprised by this was Gaiman.

Best Dramatic Presentaion, Short Form: The Good Place: The Answer. Yeah, I never got into that show.

Best Editor, Short Form: Ellen Datlow

Best Editor, Long Form: Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist: John Picacio. Did he win for his art or his activism? (His art is quite deserving).

Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine. Really hard to call here.

Best Fanzine: The Book Smugglers. I still prefer fanzines that aren't just reviews, but can't argue with the quality.

Best Fancast: Our Opinions Are Correct. Yes. Absolutely. Chicon 8 made a great choice hiring these lovely ladies as the 2022 Toastmaster for the Hugos.

Best Fan Writer: Bogi Takacs. They deserve it.

Best Fan Artist: Elise Matthesen.

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: Catfishing on CatNet. I disagree, but my choice didn't even get nominated so what do I know? ;)

Astounding Award for the Best New Science Fiction Writer: R.F. Kuang. Not really a surprise, with the second year boost.

Congratulations to all the winners. Especially Arkady Martine...if we congratulate her enough she turns interesting colors!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Updates

Again, not much in the way of actual news.

The WorldCon 2022 site has been chosen. To nobody's surprise, it will be Chicago. The Hugos will be announced this evening. I'm excited!

Kyx is...coming along. After the first draft is done I plan on doing another pass on Wolfshead with the goal of getting it to my editor by mid August. I was hoping this would be a July release but apparently pandemics do not make for productivity.

So, as of right now I'm thinking Wolfshead will be early fall and The Secret History of Victor Prince late fall/Christmas-ish. But I'm not committing to anything because pandemic.

I have excerpts in two Prolific Works group giveaways: Summer Magic and Futuristic Worlds.

Other than that...not much to report.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

On the way to Mars!

The Perseverance rover was successfully launched this morning and is in its transfer orbit to Mars!

I missed the actual launch because I couldn't haul myself out of bed, but did get to see the separation (I wonder what NASA used for a camera satellite...a cubesat? It's not on the mission page).

Perseverance will be NASA's first sample return mission and the mission also carries the helicopter Ingenuity.

Oh, and look for its twitter account. NASA is being cute again ;).