Thursday, January 29, 2009

The shoe-storms seem to have passed. And all the shoes on the ground have melted. There may never be another shoe-storm again. By the time the weather is right for it, Elaine will probably have learned to pronounce "snow" correctly. Alas, no more pointing at the sky and joyously shouting "shoe! shoe!"

On the Beyond Centauri front: I found the second half of the issue equally engaging. The "Rusty the Robot" adventure was cute, and "She Came To Sing" by Susan Hanniford Crowley really stood out. However, more than any individual piece, the overall magazine pulled together into an experience that was optimistic, adventurous, and fun. Most of the stories featured characters with a drive to figure things out: how did I get here? how can we fix our spaceship? how can we save our planet? or, simply, how can I get home? It gave me a very warm and collegial feeling to read my story among so many others that felt so right to me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My contributor's copy of Beyond Centauri came yesterday. I've been eagerly checking the mail for it all month. So far, I've read about halfway through the issue, and I'm finding it surprisingly delightful and engaging. I particularly like the SpaceMonkey Adventure by MonkeyJohn and "A Planet Called Cheese" by Judith Kelvin Miller. It's usually quite hard to find science-fiction featuring talking animals, and it's by far my favorite genre. So I'm very happy to find two stories about animals flying spaceships (monkeys in one, mice in the other) inside one cover.

Although... I suppose, based on which story of mine they bought, I shouldn't be so surprised...

Friday, January 16, 2009

I was making progress towards catching up on Battlestar Galactica. Less than a season behind... But, now we're canceling cable. Most of the shows I watch are available on the internet, and $100 a month is crazy expensive. Given the number of shows I watch, it'll be significantly cheaper to wait and buy them on dvd. Besides, I seem to enjoy shows more if I watch large chunks of them all at once.

In other news, the tiny diplomat is still alive! I'm constantly delighted and surprised to find him still swimming about, above my monitor.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Having never had one before, I wasn't completely sure I would like a pet fish. I had two kinds of caged animals as a child: rats and walking sticks. The walking sticks lasted less than a week before I realized they were simply too alien and creepy for me. We gave them back to my third grade teacher who supplied them in the first place. The rats lasted several years... But I never trained them to do anything, and, when I thought about them, which wasn't that often, I felt guilty for not giving them any attention beyond basic, necessary maintenance. In the end, I decided that if you're going to go to the trouble of having a pet, it might as well be a cat or dog.

Now I find that I must amend that conclusion: if you're going to go to the trouble of having a fuzzy, house pet (it's important to leave room for things like goats and horses here -- just in case), then it might as well be a cat or dog.

A pet fish is really more akin to a potted plant than to other pets. (Though, my cats eat potted plants. Ironically, they've shown no interest in Emmett.) And, while Emmett is every bit as alien as a walking stick, I find him very peaceful. He lives in an entirely different atmosphere than the rest of us. Maintaining him is like keeping a miniature dignitary from a world of methane-breathers on my desk. The walking sticks were less like dignitaries and more like miniature savage warlords. Very creepy. If I'm going to keep a tiny representative of an alien race on my desk, it may as well come from a world with which I keep peaceful relations.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I went fishing today and caught an Emmett. He's green with red fins. But he's not a cyborg. He seems much happier in his new tank than he was when I caught him. And he swims around a lot more than I expected.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The cyborgs have been out in force. And a snowstorm met us in Seattle. It's a little surreal, after a week of sunny California, to have a three inch blanket of white on the ground and fluffy flakes filling the air. I hope it doesn't keep the cyborgs away.