So recently we watched the film Le Week-End, in which a very English and very bickering couple played by Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan decide the take the train down to Paris for the weekend, as one is able to do when one lives in Europe, apparently.
Partway through the film they bump into Ian Malcolm Jeff Goldblum—forever known to my wife as “The Jurassic Park Guy“—who plays an old college friend of Jim Broadbent’s character who has now become a successful author. Jeff Goldblum invites the other two to a book launch party, or something, at his apartment, various things happen, and then, as Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan were leaving the apartment at the end of the evening, I suddenly had to pause the video and back it up a little.
Wife: “What are you doing?” Me: “I think I spotted something.”
So this week I was reading Range of Ghosts, an epic fantasy by Elizabeth Bear, which — unlike most epic fantasies I’ve read — is set in what appears to be an analogue of the Mongolian steppes rather than an analogue of Western Europe, which is enough all on its own to make it interesting. Fortunately I also enjoyed the story.
It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection (and some acceptance) letters, so this week I spun up random.org to have it tell me which folder I should reach into. It selected folder I-J, from which I pulled an old contract from Hard Shell Word Factory (now an imprint of Mundania Press, home of some oddly specific genre categorizations), for the eBook rights to Night Watchman. “Hard Shell Word Factory” doesn’t belong in the I-J folder, of course, but, you know, sometimes things get misfiled. But anyway, I picked it, so here it is. Rather than reproducing all umpteen pages of the eBook contract, I thought I would just pull a few selected sections from it, which may serve as an interesting illumination of how the eBook world has changed since the year 2000 (or, as we called it back in those panic-stricken days, “Y2K”).
So here we are, partway through the fourth season of “Breaking Bad”, which we started watching on Netflix back in January — obviously we are amateurs when it comes to binge-watching TV shows. At this point “Breaking Bad” has pretty much been enshrined as the Best Show Ever. Not only does it not put my wife to sleep (with the single exception of the episode “Fly“, which she characterized as “too ‘Breakfast Club’-ish”; despite being a card-carrying member of Generation X, she is not a fan of “The Breakfast Club”), but she actually tries to get me to stay awake for it. Shades of “Beasts of the Southern Wild“!
Still reading “Ghosts: The Complete Series” by Amy Cross. At this rate, I’ll be finishing it up just in time to become eligible to borrow another book from the Kindle Lending Library. After spending all my book money for, oh, the next year or so on car repairs last month, this is a good thing. Long books FTW!
“Just tell me,” I say. “Don’t say I can’t handle the truth.”
And in case you were wondering, she is not talking to Jack Nicholson.
And of course, here’s this week’s teaser from “The War of the Ravels”!
In effect, she would be using herself as the battery to power Daras-Drûm’s prison. That might work for a while, but the way everyone talked about this entity, she didn’t think she’d be able to contain it for very long; you didn’t get to be nicknamed “the death-wind” without having some kick.
Indeed, one way to get nicknamed “the death-wind” is to be a demonic entity with a group of necromantic priests as followers commanding legions of the dead; another is to be Tucker the Vizsla. Guess which one Daras-Drûm is …
Most of the readers of this blog are probably aware of my other, much-more-popular-than-this-one blog, Dennis’s Diary of Destruction, which features the antics and adventures of three dogs, an evil cat, ninja hedgehogs, a sarcastic field mouse, a stoner ex-DEA drug-sniffing dog, and various other bit players. When I discovered that Dragon Stones had hit the best-seller list on the Amazon.co.uk Kindle store, I put Dennis’s blog on hiatus so I could concentrate on finishing my next fantasy novel (which is not a sequel to Dragon Stones — but, due to popular demand, such a sequel will be coming eventually). This decision produced much sadness amongst Dennis’s nice readers. Fortunately, one of them, Mango Relentlessly Huge, has most thoughtfully provided an ending to my book so that I can get back to Dennis’s Diary that much faster. So here, for your reading pleasure, is the final chapter of my next novel, as written by Mango the mastiff. Enjoy!