Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Six times May 1, part 6

Finally, today Interzone's email reading period of May has started. As if I wasn't busy enough already...;-).

Expect updates both on the Interzone forum and here.

A quick glimpse on gmail shows that already 46 submissions have come in, and the day isn't quite over yet...

Sheesh: the previous record was 42 submissions in a single day, and that was the first day of last September's email submission period. It's already been shattered.

On top of that, I will be out of the country from May 12 until May 28: giving a training in Hobart, Tasmania, while also using the opportunity to visit my sister in Melbourne. Actually, this was planned for the last two weeks of April -- after which I could attack the slushpile refreshed -- but the training got delayed.

So now I must read slush while roaming the coffeeshops, bars and restaurants of St. Kilda. Life is hard.

In any case, if you don't get my usual 'receive acknowledge' during May 12 -- May 28, then that's why. Curse your evil editor, and, while I'm at it, be warned: I will adopt Nick Mamatas's practice to put 'REJECTION' in the header of the email, as I agree that this saves a submitter some tension and grief.

You have been warned, although almost fifty of you have already submitted.

Six times May 1, part 5

Today my story "Qubit Conflicts" sees the light of day on Clarkesworld Magazine.


So check it out -- it's a mere 2100 words -- and do feel free to comment on it here, on the Clarkesworld Magazine forum, or on Nick's LJ. Do speak up, even if (or especially if) you think it's full of shit.

Thanks to Pete Tennant for proofreading it, Neil Clarke for publishing it, and Nick Mamatas for lifting it from his slushpile, and working with me on it. I love the nifty artwork by Sieg.

Now I need to wait six months before I can try Nick again...

Six times May 1, part 4

My essay on Blindsight -- the novel by Peter Watts -- is published in the May issue of the New York Review of Science Fiction. I haven't received the issue yet, but according to a friend accross the pond (Hi, David Rivera!) it has been released. Can't wait until it hits my doormat!

Quite happy with this publication, as it's the first time I actually set out to write a lengthy essay on a novel, and get it published.

Don't know if Peter Watts himself has seen it. If not, maybe I should email him a copy? We could -- if needed -- discuss it on his blog.

Six times May 1, part 3

This year, May 1 is the release date of Snakes & Arrows, the new Rush album. In ye olden days (a couple of years ago), I would have bought it in the local record shop. Since those are dying out, I have to order it online. I haven't seen it yet, and as a long-time Rush fan I always look forward to a new album from the guys.

Oh well.

Six times May 1, part 2

May 1 is Labour Day in most European countries, except in The Netherlands. Here we celebrate the Queen's birthday on April 30 (which was Queen Juliana's birthday. Beatrix -- our current Queen -- was born on January 31, but when she became Queen it was decided to keep celebrating Queen's Day on April 30, because January 31 would be too cold for most outdoor activities on this Dutch national holiday).

So we celebrate while the rest of Europe is working, then start working as (most of) the rest of Europe has a holiday. One of the many ironies in the EU.

Personally, I'd prefer to celebrate Labour Day, even though my mother was just decorated. I rather celebrate the achievements of workers than that of one of the richest royal families in Europe. Red above Orange!

Six times May 1, part 1

May 1 is my father's birthday. Jan de Vries would have turned 71 today, had he lived. Unfortunately, he died twenty-two years ago in Moscow from a ruptured aorta.

Among the many, many things I learned from him is the love of science fiction. My father was an avid reader, and he read many SF books (novels, collections, anthologies) as he travelled the world. He loved to travel and experience new cultures. He would have loved to be an astronaut, given half the chance (I also caught the travel bug from him, and a deep-rooted respect for the other).

I still miss him. It would have been great if he could have seen that his kids have gotten well on their own feet: I think he would have been inordinately proud of the documentary -- "Chasing God" -- that my sister Lenny made; he would have spoiled his two grandsons Boris and Jitte (although Grandma is doing an excellent job at that, right now), my brother Frans's kids; and I think he would have liked my venture in SF writing and publishing, as well.

And I think he would have greatly enjoyed the fall of the iron curtain and the subsequent era of d├ętente: he wasn't anti-communist (although not pro-, either), but he hated the Cold War and the nuclear sword of Damocles with a vengeance.

So this one's for my late father Jan.