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Briefly

I am still suspended head-down in a vat of boiling edits. The deadline is next Friday, so don't expect normal blogging to resume before then.

(The book in question, "Dark State", is tentatively due out from Tor in April 2016—assuming I can hit that deadline.)

31 Comments

1:

Good luck, Charlie!

I just finished the three-volume Merchant Princes. I'm looking forward to DS.

2:

Day ten, or is it day eleven. I'm losing count.

Finished redrafting chapter eight. Seven more to go, but they're long ones. Wading through thigh-deep snowdrifts, the icy deadline chill blinds me whenever I try to see where I'm going.

The wind outside howls around the tent, sets the snowflakes spinning in the draft. A few hours ago Captain Oates stepped out for a cigarette: "I may be some time," he said. I find I'm constantly hungry now. The cat is eyeing my ribs: I do not like the speculative light in her eyes.

Tomorrow I'm going to take chapter nine out, hit it between the eyes with a mallet, then saw its throat open while it's dazed and confused.

3:

DO NOT GO TO SLEEP in the FLUFFY WHITE SNOW PILLOWS OF Fluffy Snowy Whiteness...this is ever so importent!!

Also...you did do Basic Training for Visitors to the US of A ... WARDING OFF Polar Bears whilst armed only with an I PAD and where to Buy the Best Snow Shoes and so forth?

Your Publishers in Us of A can’t have omitted your basic Training...where to buy Snow Shoes, how to ward off Bears...they Are Not as CUTE as They LOOK!! .. And so on.


So, all right, there have been spending cuts in the major Publishing Houses...but still!! Do NOT GO TO SLEEP!!!!

4:

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY

...

Fuck it, pub time.

5:

Knowing what I knew from reading the six books of MP1.0, on this reread I was able to say: 'ooh, Miriam got this wrong,' or 'Colonel Smith was wrong when he thought this' and once 'Dr. James was wrong when he thought that X thought Y...'.

This was one of the themes of the books, IMO: how people with imperfect information can screw up in the most reasonable of ways.

I can't believe that it's 13 months to the next book! Enjoy your pub time.

6:

Time for a triple team hit by the Ghost of Deadlines Past (played by the ghost of Douglas Adams) the Ghost of Deadlines Present (played by George Martin) and the Ghost of Deadlines Future (Pratchett's Discworld Death, moonlighting)

7:

And with you suspended head-down, here I was, thinking Shelob was involved.

Wrong universe.

Continue the invocation, if you please...

8:

Even stuff like this is worth reading; I'm guessing that you read the same "stories of exploration" as me many many moons ago?

9:

" .. you read the same "stories of exploration" as me many many moons ago? "

Stories like...

“The Fate of Franklin ...a Narative of the Discovery of the fate of Sir John Franklin ..." and so forth ...I have that bound in leather, but also have ...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/277-0786074-0069860?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22%20The%20Fate%20of%20Franklin%20..a%20Narative%20of%20the%20Discovery%20of%20the%20fate%20of%20Sir%20John%20Franklin%20..%22

Is widely available beyond the Frozen Wastes of Amazon.

I do especialy recomend ...


“Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frozen-Time-Fate-Franklin-Expedition-ebook/dp/B009UX1Q2E/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425931348&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=%22+The+Fate+of+Franklin+...a+Narative+of+the+Discovery+of+the+fate+of+Sir+John+Franklin+..%22

“The Franklin expedition was not alone in suffering early and unexplained deaths. Indeed, both back (1837) and Ross (1849) suffered early onset of unaccountable "debility" aboard ship and Ross suffered greater fatalities during his single winter in the Arctic than did Franklin during his first. Both expeditions were forced to retreat because of the rapacious illness that stalked their ships.

Frozen in Time makes the case that this illness (starting with the Back expedition) was due to the crews' overwhelming reliance on a new technology, namely tinned foods. This not only exposed the seamen to lead, an insidious poison - as has been demonstrated in Franklin's case by Dr. Beattie's research - but it also left them vulnerable to scurvy, the ancient scourge of seafarers which had been thought to have been largely cured in the early years of the nineteenth century.

Fully revised, Frozen in Time will update the research outlined in the original edition, and will introduce independent confirmation of Dr. Beattie's lead hypothesis, along with corroboration of his discovery of physical evidence for both scurvy and cannibalism. In addition, the book includes a new introduction written by Margaret Atwood, who has long been fascinated by the role of the Franklin Expedition in Canada's literary conscience, and has made a pilgrimage to the site of the Franklin Expedition graves on Beechey Island. "

Note, in present context -and after Our Gracious Hosts Dread Warning!! - ' overwhelming reliance on a new technology’

We are a little too reliant on...It WILL is ALL Right on the DAY thanks to...NEW STUFF POWERED BY SUNLIGHT AND FAIRY DUST!! As approved by The Green Party.

Oh, and you might also like ...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Labrador-Papers-Captain-George-Cartwright/dp/0773542892/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425931898&sr=8-1&keywords=captain+cartwright+and+his+labrador+journey

10:

Death march, day 15:

WE CAN'T STOP HERE! THIS IS BAT COUNTRY!!!

(1-2 days to go then I can hit "send" and collapse in an exanimate heap. Then eventually resume blogging.)

11:

As your attorney, I would advise you to slow down to 70(mph), given what we've got in the trunk.

12:

I'm sorry, I couldn't overlook that comment :)

13:

"Bat Country"? Don night vision goggles, badminton rackets ready!

14:

Re the Franklin expedition, I very much enjoyed "The Terror" by Dan Simmons:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Terror-Novel-Dan-Simmons/dp/0316008079

"The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape..."

Perfect winter reading!

15:

Not sure that night-vision goggles help much when the drugs begin to take hold. Might make things worse.

16:

In the book, that happened about 2PM (based on when they left LA and being about an hour past Barstow) so NVGs would be worse than useless.

17:

* Keels over, waves arms and legs in the air *

I think this draft is done, but I'll go back and have another look tomorrow; it might just be the exhaustion talking.

Meanwhile, normal blogging should resume in a day or so. Once I recover.

18:

Take a break!

Can you explain bat country? Damnation Alley, This Immortal
or something else?

19:

"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

20:

"head-down in a vat of boiling edits"?

I think of it more as being strapped to a rotiserie spit, with 'helpful' due date reminders basting on the turn and the fires searing nightmares into glued-open eyelids on the downside.

21:

Hopefully beer and kittens are in your near future.

22:

That's a remarkably accurate (if unhelpful) alternative vision!

23:

Thanks very much. I have not read that one of his.

Being old-fashioned, I would recommend beer and skittles,
but I suppose that beer and kittens is all right, provided
that you don't confuse the two!

24:

Recommended, particularly if you already know that you enjoy HJT.

Also, skittles isn't a common pub game anywhere in Scotland, and it's notable by its complete absence in any pub I've been in within about 3 miles of Charlie's place.

25:

I am not a fan of his, actually, though I found The Ron Diary
fairly readable.

Skittles isn't a common pub game ANYWHERE, as far as I know!
Even in the south in the 1960s, the most common form was one
of the the table forms, because of space, though it was more
common at fairs, sales etc. As is common, the term long
outlasted what it described.

26:

Sheep's Heid in Duddingston - within your three-mile skittle exclusion zone, I think :)

27:

Re the Franklin expedition, there's also The Discovery of Slowness (Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit) by the German author Sten Nadolny. It's a largely fictionalized account of Franklin's life, culminating in his expedition. I think it was written before the archeological findings, so the canned food aspect doesn't feature.

28:

Charlie -- when you get back to reality, let us know what you think of the new 12" Retina MacBook. Based on your previous thoughts on ultra-portable computing, it strikes me that you just might love this thing...

29:

Note the in any pub I've been in caveat.

30:

Oh, I'll be getting one. Shorter version: ultralightweight travel machine. The iPhone 6+ can do most of the stuff I want an iPad to do, but the iPad isn't quite powerful enough to sub for a real Mac on the road. I need a retina screen (aged eyeballs), and the Macbook looks like the ideal combo of size and capability for travel.

Also, it charges over USB (from chargers that support the 3.1 spec). All I'll need is a beefy multiport USB charger with several outputs and I'll be set. (Chargers are a not-insignificant weight component of my travel kit these days and I'm trying to reduce them to a single device; USB for everything -- including the laptop -- would be perfect.)

31:

I hope Anker get going with an adaptor. I like the current multi-port USB chargers they already do (so nice to only have one plug adaptor to worry about when travelling with multiple tablets and phones), but they need to step up a gear to work with that much higher power.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on March 6, 2015 10:31 PM.

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