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Time to pile up all the little things I've been meaning to put here:

First, if you're traveling to World Fantasy, make arrangements to absentee vote on November 4 (this message brought to you at the request of a certain politically responsible individual). I know there are good and reasonable arguments against voting at all (hell, Nick might write be writing a book about them!), but I like voting. When I vote, I feel I'm more entitled to bitch and moan about the state of things.

Mary Anne Mohanraj, that whirling vortex of literary energy (and maker of fine curries, I must add), is holding a contest to name a new SF/F arts foundation. I'm crap at coming up with names, so you won't be competing with me. Go forth. Do good. Win $50.

I assume you've seen the very stylish guidelines page for the upcoming Moles/Lake-edited All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories? You can bet I'll be submitting to that one as soon as the mailbox opens. Hell, I was planning on submitting back when I assumed Dave was going to be editing it out of his basement and paying contributors with carnival novelty tokens, just because it's such a neat project -- but it's actually going to pay cash monies! I'll have to finish my crazy Rangergirl/Gilles de Rais/Aaron Burr/blimp story, I guess.

As for other things... well, the Frog novel continues. I did a couple thousand more words last night, and will soon settle down to work on it tonight. It's running about 45,000 words now, probably a bit over halfway. Copies of Flytrap reached Mike in North Carolina safely, and he assures us that they look good (the other copies are crawling toward us at a slower and cheaper rate of delivery-speed), which is a relief, though I won't be really relieved until I've got a copy in my hand and can confirm personally that everything is where it should be. And of course, just looking over the proof, we noticed a couple of typos we missed. Gah.

I'm still reading Sturgeon. The other day I was talking to Jonathan, intrepid globe-trotting reviews editor (and various other kinds of editor as well) about the usefulness of "complete" collections. It's likely that an author's legacy is better served by a single big "Best Of" collection through which readers can discover the work of most enduring quality. After all, if someone doesn't know anything about Sturgeon, and they pick up The Ultimate Egoist, they're not going to be particularly impressed. There are twinklings of brilliance in those first stories, but they're just twinklings. Whereas someone who picks up older collections like Sturgeon Is Alive and Well or Caviar (as I did, many years ago) will be struck by the power of his writing at its best. And yet, speaking as a writer, I'm very happy to have access to these complete stories. I can see his development, and actually get a sense of how -- in a very technical sense -- his writing went from the merely clever to the competent to the accomplished to the brilliant. There were occasional duds in his later work, sure, but the quality of his writing is on a clear upward trend for most of his career. And, as I think I said a few entries back, in even his most minor stories, there's usually something remarkable. Still, I must agree that this is a series for people who are already devoted Sturgeon fans, and for writers who want this opportunity to see a career in its entirety. For experienced Sturgeon readers only. Or else you might wonder what all the fuss is about.

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