Charlie's Diary

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Fri, 12 Mar 2004

Progress update

I've been ill. Either it's the gut problem I'm seeing a consultant for, or it was a recurrence of the hideous cold/bronchitis bug from Boston, but something put me in a high fever on Sunday night and I was unable to work again until Tuesday. Luckily whatever it was went into retreat rapidly and I'm more or less back to normal, albeit a bit shaken and a bit behind schedule. Ick. If there's just one killer argument in favour of the whole mind-uploading robot body posthuman cyborg shtick, it's the deficiencies of the human immune system.

Ailments aside, I've just sent in the page proofs to the second novel of 2004, "Iron Sunrise". And I've gotten back to work on the latest novel for Tor, managing to push this draft up to 80,000 words. Which is good. I'm now on the narrative path leading up to the climax of the story, with maybe 10-12,000 words to go and everything planned out in nauseating blow-by-blow detail -- the rest of the novel should go on autopilot. If anything the excessive outlining might make it harder to write -- because the work isjust leg-work, like painting by numbers. Normally I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, allowing room for big plot twists to introduce themselves at the last minute. But this one is on a tight deadline, and it probably helps that there won't be any more rude surprises. On current form (3000 words a day) there are 3-4 days work to do before I have a rough'n'ready first draft. I probably won't be working on Saturday, but that means I'm looking to Tuesday or Wednesday next week to finish it.

Which leaves me -- I can barely believe this -- one week from completion of the first draft of my sixth novel under an actual real publishing contract. The first drafts of numbers seven and eight are already finished, thanks to the vagaries of my schedule. I still can't get used to this! I spent years writing, dreaming that maybe I'd get to sell a book one day -- and suddenly I'm a week away from having completed eight. If I get this one in the can, I don't actually need to start writing any more novels for ... oh, close to two years.

(Not that I'm about to take two years off. You know me better than that, right? But given that I'm feeling run down and having health issues, being ahead of schedule with both my publishers means that I've got the luxury of being able to take sufficient time off to rest up and relax, without blowing through deadlines -- which tends to fill me with very un-relaxing angst.)

Oh yeah. I mentioned the first drafts of #7 and #8 being finished: in the case of #7, that's because Asimov's SF have accepted the final, ninth story in the sequence called "Accelerando", which is going to mutate into Accelerando: the novel, by some time this summer. And that will be another weight off my mind. That project has been a millstone around my neck ever since I began it in the summer of 1999. You know you've bitten off more than you can chew when you feel as if you've turned into a deep-sea nightmare like this Gulper Eel. "Accelerando" did weird things to my head. I'll have to try to describe it -- later, when I've recovered a bit more.

Still. One week, and the pressure-cooker deadline is over. All I have to do then for the rest of 2004 is polish, and polish, and polish the glittering chrome some more. And try to get my energy back.

[Discuss writing]

posted at: 00:47 | path: /writing | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Missile Gap
Via Subterranean Press (US HC -- due Jan, 2007)

The Jennifer Morgue
Via Golden Gryphon (US HC -- due Nov, 2006)

Via (US HC -- due June 30, 2006)

The Clan Corporate
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Via (US PB -- due June 27, 2006)
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Free download

The Hidden Family
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The Family Trade
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Iron Sunrise
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The Atrocity Archives
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Singularity Sky
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Some webby stuff I'm reading:

Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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