Terry Pratchett has died, and I feel like there’s a big hole in the world. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew his books–I taught myself English (and puns on British life) with the Discworld (one of the very first books I bought when we moved to the UK was Hogfather, still a perennial favourite), and came to the fantasy and science fiction bookshelves of Waterstone’s because that was where you could find his books. His books followed me from teenager reader to adult writer of SF, and I always enjoyed reading the latest one (and I did the embarrassed fangirl thing at Interaction in Glasgow, too). It’s hard to state how much his writings have shaped me and what I write today.
My condolences to his family and friends. The world is a darker, hollower place without him.
I wrote a bunch of short fiction. I sold a bunch of it (and “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile” will be reprinted in Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction, which makes me very happy as it’s a story I’m very proud of). I finished 2014 with three pretty big sales (I don’t think I’m allowed to make announcements yet; I’ll do so when I have permission). I also sneaked in the completion of my Xuxa novella, “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, under the wire; and made a pretty big conceptual addition to the Xuxa universe (basically the local order of Bene Gesserits, which should be fun to write).
“Heaven Under Earth” was a Tiptree Honor nominee; and “The Waiting Stars” won a Nebula and was a Hugo and Locus Award finalist. I also had my first editorial gig, as a reprint curator for Strange Horizons, who published “Chambered Nautilus” by Elisabeth Vonarburg; and I published a print edition of “On a Red Station, Drifting”, which has been doing pretty well considering it’s an old book and a lot of people already have the ebook version.
I was a GoH at Mircon and had a lovely time (see my report here); I also had a lovely (but slightly more hectic) time at Loncon3 (aka, “we’re not taking a baby under a year old to a con ever again”); and a great writing retreat with friends in Brittany.
The snakelet turned one, and I learnt that a lot of infant life is running after the baby; and I got one of my recipes featured in the cooking section of The Guardian. I think that’s about it in terms of big events :p
I’m kind of writing this entire entry in a state of shock, to be honest. Thanks everyone for a great year, and see you in 2015.
(I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that it’s not all positive and that 2014 was in some ways a very sucky year. Friends left, way too early; and others got very bad news–and sometimes I did feel like I want to hit something very, very hard. Cancer in particular can go f%%% itself)
Today is the first day of the summer sales in Paris, so naturally I braved the crowd was foolish enough to drop by a baby clothes’ shop to pick up a hat for the snakelet. The following conversation is depressingly familiar when buying clothes:
Me: “Do you have this model in size 51?”
Saleswoman: “Let me look. It’s for a–” she peers at the hat I’m holding up (red with stripes)–“girl, right?”
Me, biting down on a desire to lecture her on gender essentialism, “Boy, actually.”
Saleswoman, turning to a bin where everything is some shade of blue, “Hum, I’m not too sure–”
Me, pointing to another bin where everything is a shade of pink or red, “Maybe in this bin?”
Saleswoman: “That’s for–”
Me: “I know. Do you have anything?”
She looks at me, at the hat, and at the bin again. “No, everything is pink, I’m sorry.”
At which point I gave up and went foraging into the darn bin for girls’ hats myself. They had another red hat, which was actually the right size for the snakelet–I snagged it immediately.
Seriously. This is for a baby who’s not yet a year old. I can predict some intense frustration as the snakelet grows up…
I’ve just discovered that there’s emails I haven’t answered to, so if you sent anything to me from 1st Sept to 10th Sept and are still waiting on an answer, would you mind poking me? I didn’t have email access while in hospital and obviously misplaced a couple things when we got home with the snakelet…
Just a quick note to inform those who don’t know already of the birth of the snakelet last week–which in turn explains my continued radio silence. We’re all well, but overwhelmed–as those things happen
Blog’s going dark for a while, though I may update with the occasional rant…
So, we have survived the move,–except that we live among a pile of boxes at the moment, and spare time is pretty scarce. There is an internet connection, but we’re busy unpacking and setting up. Hopefully more soon…
Just a heads-up that we’re moving this week, so from Sunday onwards (and quite possibly for 10 days after that), we’ll have no internet access (and no landline), so I very probably won’t be in a position to answer emails (of which I already have a backlog!).
Hopefully everything will be back to normal by mid-August.