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02 January 2017 @ 06:30 pm
Well, another holiday season sputters out.  A pretty calm one.  Sixty-five people signed the guest book, plus a significant number who were too young to do so, or too confused, or had to protect their identity from galactic spies.  No music, I'm afraid.  It was too cold to use the porch comfortably.

(I didn't know more than half of the people who dropped by to eat and drink, and my normally suspicious nature does make me wonder how many saw a loud open party and just walked in.  Hey, look at all these hardback science fiction books.  They've got so many, they won't mind if we borrow a couple . . .  I've heard of this Jules Verne guy; here's a nice hardback with funny drawings . . . .)

Of possible historic interest:  For the first time in more than a half century, the smoking area outside was not used.  We haven't had smoking inside since my mother died, but the screened porch used to be a smokers' haven during parties.  Less and less used over the years, and this year none of the ashtrays were besmirched.  (I assume people smoking dope wandered farther into the yard.)

Another change, more regretted, is that I didn't set up a telescope outside.  I'm still not up to lifting any of the large scopes, and I'm not quite foolish enough to set up the lightweight Questar unsupervised on a night when hundreds of strangers are wandering around.  "Say, Jimmy," a rapscallion says while lifting the scope with one hand, "How much you think this thing might be worth?"

Lots of people brought covered dishes and bowls of goodies, and as usual we had a long night of noshing.  Even after the New Years' Day gathering, with a couple of dozen munchers, we still have enough for another pretty large party.

I made my traditional bacon feast on New Years' morning.   Gay was making an egg and sausage dish in the oven, so I stood and fried seven or eight pounds (eating perhaps a pound in the process).   The guests did a yeoman job on the leftovers, but we still have bits and pieces jamming the refrigerator.  They'll be gone before February, I hope.  Not counting fruitcake.

22 November 2016 @ 05:54 pm
THE FOREVER WAR comic will be reissued by Titan in February of 2017! http://comicsalliance.com/titan-joe-haldemans-forever-war-comics/
22 November 2016 @ 07:27 am
Mexico.  We got on the bus in Valencia around dawn and drove for hours.  One early-morning stop for coffee at Peniscola was a mild disaster for me.  I lost my balance on an uphill cobblestone road and wound up falling into a puddle of evaporated piss in front of a bar -- graceful as always! -- but another bar was open and I was able to clean up after a fashion.  Skinned my shin in two spots, which would be hard to do on a road that was not made of cobblestones.  I had a beer but decided not to add to the puddle, and used the strangely clean men's room there.  I guess they kept it clean by using the street.

Uneventful long bus ride.  Back in Barcelona about five in the afternoon.  Wandered around a bit, circling around, and stopped in front of our hotel, where the restaurant maintains a nice gas fire for people to sit and talk on the sidewalk.  I had a delicious and most welcome Campari on the rocks.  We made reservations for supper and came up to the room to check mail and rest.

Looks like it will be raining all tomorrow.  I'll write on Asa and maybe find a sheltered place to draw something.  Might find a museum somewhere in this culture-laden town.  But no bus!

09 November 2016 @ 03:54 pm
From Gay: Google will be running a special promotion called “Alien Invasion,” and they're offering Joe's book THE COMING. The promotion will run from 11/10 through 11/17 and the book will be downpriced to $1.99 during that time.
30 October 2016 @ 10:58 am
I thought this was kind of interesting, from California Public Radio station KPCC' s program about living in orbit.  Astronauts preferring  "pee water" to industrial "battery water."
============== <quote>
4. Recycle EVERY drop
Astronauts learn to use and reuse lots of things, and water is no exception.
On board the space station there is "regenerative system" that captures moisture in the air and processes it into drinkable water.
"Everything from your breath to your sweat," Dyson Caldwell said.
They also recycle urine water by purifying it until it is drinkable.
"It's not bad," she admitted.
In fact, she remembered when her crew did a taste test between water from fuel cells brought by a space shuttles and the recycled water from the ISS.
"Folks preferred the space station pee water."
============= <end quote>
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to foresee a future where water which has supposedly been reconstituted from orbiting personalities goes on the market.  It would be hard to prove that it wasn't.
(You read it here first.)  (Or maybe not.)
15 October 2016 @ 11:16 am
From Gay: Early Bird Books is offering FOREVER FREE, the sequel to THE FOREVER WAR, for $1.99, just today, Saturday. link.openroadmedia.com/view/5669d8f518ff430b5b8b471a4ny18.8g6/378db286
20 September 2016 @ 10:25 am
From Gay: The BookBub Newsletter is supposed to be featuring Joe's book 1968 today for only $1.99. BookBub.com
21 August 2016 @ 09:42 pm
Vala, I'll finish the new book, PHOBOS MEANS FEAR, soon; a lot of travel in the way -- like now, the Worldcon.  It will come out about a year after i finish it, unless they have some reason to rush it.

09 August 2016 @ 09:43 am
I guess every fiction writer slips into autobiography every now and then.  Yesterday I wrote (from the viewpoint of a middle-aged female character, whose mother died years before, at the beginning of the book)

"Sometimes I really wish I had my mother here, to laugh with me about the ways we torture time and space to bring it into alignment with the linear illusion that we inhabit.  Here in the provisional reality of cyberspace."

-- and in fact that is literally true.  My mother's been gone for more than twenty years now, but I still miss her presence, especially as an old woman when I was an adult myself.  So now I'm a couple of years older than she was ever allowed, and on this rainy morning I feel deprived of those decades I've traveled without her.  Far better, I think, than being relieved to be free of her, which I know is just as common.

30 July 2016 @ 08:57 am
I could use a bottle of that stuff myself.  Do they make it for computers?  (In sff.net, someone referred to "slippery" ink.)
Actually, there is a pronounced difference in the "slickness" of various fountain pen inks.  Like most people, I think, I prefer a brand with a little drag to it.  Especially with an italic nib.
You don't want to go zooming off onto the desk!
I'm off to studio this Saturday morning.  Hoping for a female model.  Perhaps an attractive one.
No, I should hope for an old man who resembles a toad.  See what haooens.