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Metal Bay
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Very sad to hear about Jack Williamson's death. That was a hell of an obituary to write. The man published his first story in the '20s -- when science fiction was still "scientifiction" -- and published his final novel last year. As a kid his family moved to New Mexico via covered wagon. The guy's life damn near encompassed the 20th century. But he had a good run, lived 98 years without losing his faculties, died surrounded by a loving family, respected for his contributions to the field he loved... we should all be so lucky. He should have a good send-off in the next issue of A Certain Magazine (which also has lengthy write-ups on Nelson Bond and artist Stanley Meltzoff -- it's been a bummer of a busy week at work). I remember reading Williamson's first story "The Metal Man" in The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces, one of the two big fat anthologies that I read and re-read as a little kid, which turned me into a lifelong SF reader (the other was The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural).

I'm shifting my day off next week from Wednesday up to Monday (whoo, three-day weekend!). The magazine goes to press next Friday, a few days early because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday pushing everything up, so it's better for me to be there later in the week. (Heather had remarkably little sympathy when I said "I have to work four days in a row! How barbaric!")

Tonight we're going to a Night Shade Books party in the city, which should be fun. I haven't seen their new digs. I'm told they have a corrected copy of Hart & Boot & Other Stories for me to take home and go over, so that'll take most of my Monday (apart from the regular pr0n reviewing -- I may review Porn Wars: Episode 1, because really, can it be any worse than Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace? I'm just crossing my fingers that there's a character named Darth Vulva, though if there isn't, well, I can always make that joke in my review). It'll be nice. I can take the manuscript, park myself in a nice café somewhere, and read all day. I find going through novel manuscripts tedious, because I tend to get really sick of my novels around read-through number five, but it's better with short stories; some of these are so old I haven't read them in years, so reading them can actually be pleasant.

Today we'll stroll down to the farmer's market (it's gray outside, but not raining), and have breakfast and maybe take in a matinee of Stranger than Fiction. Heather's been excited about seeing it, and I was skeptical, but the reviews are good, so now I'm optimistic. Tomorrow, of course, we have our reading at Borderlands, at 3 p.m. I'll read a bit of "Robots and Falling Hearts," the collaboration I did with Greg van Eekhout. Maybe I'll just read the sections he wrote, so he can be there in spirit. If I can remember who wrote what... And today at 3 p.m. Ellen Klages is reading at Borderlands, from her first novel The Green Glass Sea! I'd go, if I didn't have to be in the city tonight and tomorrow, but three trips in one weekend is a little too much bay-crossing for my taste.

It's a busy weekend, but unlike most busy weekends, I'm not annoyed by the interruptions of my sitting-around time. I'm looking forward to every bit of it. Something about writing obituaries all week long makes even short-sighted, self-centered me remember to step back and appreciate all the good things about life and being alive, for a little while, at least.



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