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Xfire run a honking great chat system for gamers, with several million sign-ups and upwards of a million regular users.

Next week they're running a virtual SF convention (or "Sci-Fi Week" to use their quaint gamer argot), with Q&A chat sessions with SF authors, including Yours Truly.

Details here — I'm on the Monday slot with fellow Hugo nominees Peter Watts and Vernor Vinge, plus artist Michael Whelan. The chat session begins at 9pm, UK time (1pm PDT / 4pm EDT).




This excited me when I read it, yet I was disappointed when I went to XFire's website and found out that the client is windows only. Bad, bad, bad. Luckily there's a plugin for gaim that people can use to get on the xfire servers.

Hopefully there will be transcripts of the chats.


I hope to make it. I'd like to read what you have to say about that story. One issue is how some of your characters deal with their sexual identity in Glasshouse.



Guess I won't be making it. If I were a more devoted fan I would have read this post three days ago and then I probably would have received the chatroom address. But it looks like they wanted 24 hrs notice. Shame on me, I guess. Sorry to have missed it; I'm sure fielding questions from fans must be fun :) I hope none of them had any comments about things written in the past...you know, all that stuff you've moved away from, including(but probably not exclusive to)Acclerando. And once again, I'll try not to comment on your ancient art work.


That's okay, the transcripts are going to be archived there. (Alas, not many folks were asking searching questions about the books. Damn it, maybe I should set up my own IRC server and open for questions? Or run a SPOILER comment thread for folks with questions about specific books they've already read?)


Charlie, what's up? You seem to not like it when I ask questions about your books, but then you say "Alas..." Do you want questions, or don't you? If yes, then I'm all for your Spoiler comment thread idea. If no, then your post must be another example of British dry humor.

And if they didn't ask about your books, then what? "Mr. Stross, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Are you a visiter from the future sent here to warn us? Do you have a demon in your basement? Do you wear a kilt?"
Inquiring minds want to know.



Er - Jeff, I didn't make it to the chat. But what was it you asked?

To say I've "known" Mr S for a long time would be pushing it, but I've always found he's polite and quite willing to discuss or share his ideas.

I'm sorry I missed it - I couldn't seem to get connected, and I think it was probably my router playing siller buggers at just the right time.

Pop us that link to the transcripts when you get it Charlie


Will do. (Am being ill this week.)


His "politeness" was not directly questioned. He seems like an artist to me, like a human with depth of soul. I don't expect deep people to always be "on". Besides, Charles may be willing to discuss his ideas with everyone. Just not Accelerando. Because he's moved on and is dealing with more interesting concepts. This is not news at this point, but is now ancient history! (Four days old!)

Quite frankly, I can imagine that talking about your own stuff does get boring for the author. So wanting to move on to different subjects is understandable. My problem seems to be that I'm really only here for Stross Stuff, and for me that's mostly about the books, not so much the blog topics. Not that the blog topics aren't interesting, but rather that the books are that much more interesting.

This blog, just like Doctorow's, and any other author's is a modern way to promote one's self and one's books. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion, and it seems to be a requirement for a lot of writers. But this modern style of forum is in need of a few guidlines, perhaps. I for one think it's great being able to access a writer like C. Stross. It's like being able to sit in and listen to Plato, or Poe, Dickens or Hemmingway (name your fav writer). For a wannabe writer like myself, being able to ask questions of someone who's work I greatly admire is almost too great a temptation to resist.



Jeff: Quite frankly, I can imagine that talking about your own stuff does get boring for the author.

Yeah, that's exactly right. And I wrote the stories in Accelerando between early 1999 and early 2004. It's not merely yesterday's idea fixee to me, it's several ideas before that. And I've been interviewed to hell and gone about it for several years. (Just feet stross accelerando interview into google for a list as long as your arm.)

How about I run some topics specifically for "ask Charlie about X", where X is a book or an idea or something?

(NB: As I said upthread, I'm being ill this week -- working to a deadline then having to change blood pressure meds is just a wonderful combination -- so I may not be able to act on this for a little while. But it's an idea.)


Dude, do what you have to to stay healthy. Eat right, exercise daily, get your 7-8 hours of sleep, meditate...do drugs (I mean take your meds). Exercise is key. I am an active participant in several research groups that study exercise, one of which has been ongoing for the last 20 years at the Universtity of Michigan and Beaumont Hospitol(I work as a cardia rehab physiologist). Some of my "lab rats" have made amazing progress and no longer need their meds. Type II diabetes has been reduced by 80% in our group. Oh, and the "ask Charlie about his X" topic sounds good, for sponges like me.



Jeff: It's the meds that are the problem.

Short form: I'm hypertensive, but I'm stable on my current meds at about 135/75 resting, rather than the 230/130 I was at when I was diagnosed. (Yes, it's a whacky hereditary condition.)

Unfortunately, the free market being what it is, the several companies in the UK who sell branded and generic versions of a particular thiazide diuretic all tried to cut costs by outsourcing their manufacturing to the same subcontractor ... whose factory is currently shut down for repairs. It's not a common medication and isn't available outside the UK; it also happens to be the only thiazide loop diuretic I've tried so far that I don't have problems with.

My GP tried me on a different one late last week, and it didn't reduce my blood pressure -- instead I was bouncing as low as 100/58 and as high as 170/90 in the space of a couple of hours, with the full checklist of dramatic side-effects; I'm lucky I didn't end up back in hospital.

(I'm washing out now, trying to take it easy, and things are getting back to normal. Trouble is, I'm a week overdue on a book deadline and I'm off to Japan in 14 days and counting ...)


well, Charlie, if you don't want to run an IRC-server yourself, there would definitely be ppl willing to help out ... *hinthint* or maybe not even IRC but something cooler such as SILC (encrypted and all)


You're a week overdue? This is probably not helping your bp. No internet until you're done with your homework, young man. Just have your wife beat the ending out out of you. There's nothing a good beating or a good woman can't take care of!



Charlie @ 11:

I hope you're feeling better soon, and that the factory starts producing your meds again soon.


Best of luck, Mr. Stross. We continue with the show in progress.

Holmes: "I say, dash it all, Watson. If you can't scribble me a script for more 7% solution, then I'm just going to play a a gorgeous albeit somewhat anachronistic violin concerto by Milos Rozsa, someday to be adapted in the underrated Billy Wilder film 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes' and refuse to do a lick of work, or maybe you should just bugger off back to Afghanistan, or something, I mean, dash it all, Watson, are you a physician or not, I mean, a man's got to have his medication, right?"

Watson, sotto voce: "Nothing could exceed his energy when the working fit was upon him; but now and again a reaction would seize him, and for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night."

Narrator, prowling back and forth in the studio: During these moods, alternated "between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug and the fierce energy of his own keen nature", then an even blacker depression took him in reaction to the narcotics, from which he could only be rescued by a case

Holmes: My own powers became irksome when not in use: "My mind rebels at stagnation", and I chafed and brooded over "the insufferable fatigues of idleness."

Holmes: "My mind is like a racing engine, tearing itself to pieces because it is not connected up with the work for which it was built."

Holmes: "The man is nothing, the work everything"... "Work is the best antidote to sorrow"... "a change of work is the best rest."

For more, see: