1. Sorry I’ve been so silent here lately. Part of that has been due to technology: my beloved but ailing eMac finally became unusable, so I took part of my advance for Blood of Ambrose and bought a new iMac; several evenings in the past week have been devoted to data recovery, transfer and
playing with the new toy acquainting myself with the specifics of this very serious work-related hardware. Then there was the post mortem on the old computer. I feel that it may have been defeated by illogic, as I understand from Star Trek that this is the way most computers bite the dust. My son thinks there was something wrong with the cooling system, pointing to several components that seem to have been scorched. I observed that really persistent illogic has a scorching effect, often causing logic-based entities to emit smoke and sparks. I was gratified to see my son displaying exactly these symptoms, but his cooling system, fortunately, is in perfect order and the damage in his case doesn’t seem to be permanent.
2. I’ve been having a weird series of dreams involving cars. A few nights ago I had a very intricate black-and-white dream like a 1940s noir movie featuring two private detectives who didn’t get along very well and were both engaged in some complicated mix of shadow-job and con-game with the same target. I badly wanted to see how that one worked out, but my alarm woke me up. Last night I dreamed that I was hitchhiking in a brightly colored, rather futuristic Minneapolis. John Scalzi (no, I’ve never met him) drove by and offered me a ride. I told him I needed to go to the Foshay Tower, but we ended up at Como Park, which was much seedier than I remember it and full of homeless people. I’m not sure what this means, but I suspect that it has something to do with general anxiety about my writing career and the chaotic financial markets. (Foshay went broke and lost his property in the Great Depression.)
3. I’ve been slowly becoming a Neal Stephenson fan. I think this guy is up to something interesting, and he might really be going places in this little sf genre. I was on the fence about whether I was going to get Anathem, but the following useful dictionary entry tipped me over into the “buy early and often” category.