Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

In the Undertow of the Heat Wave

Bull Spec magazine is a massive labor of love and care by editor Sam Montgomery-Blinn.  Issue 6 (Fall 2011) has just come out and in it is a poem of mine, Spacetime Geodesics.  Another one, Night Patrol, will appear in issue 7.

I also had two papers accepted within two months… it’s a good feeling, since I’ve been gathering the data for them over six years, through illness and lab moves and lack of money.  Who knows, their publication might even translate to grant funding!

As mentioned in my previous entry, my Readercon talk took an unexpected direction: it became a discussion of safe exoticism in SF/F.  I intend to post an expanded version of the talk in two parts: the first will focus on science, the second on culture.

By coincidence, yesterday I started reading a perfect example of safe exoticism, Jill Paton Walsh’s YA novel The Emperor’s Winding Sheet.  I say started because I had to stop halfway, something that happens extremely rarely — it was that unbearable. Purporting to tell the end of Byzantium from the POV of an innocent abroad, it’s a lifeless, clunky, contorted mess plastered with undigested descriptions from tourist guides and history textbooks.  The specific topic aside, it’s also awful by-the-numbers fiction: lazy plot devices, wet-cement characters, non-stop clichés.

Since I believe in giving people long ropes, I will read Walsh’s other Hellenic-based novel, Farewell, Great King, though at this point my expectations are, let’s say… modest.

14 Responses to “In the Undertow of the Heat Wave”

  1. Dylan Fox says:

    Congratulations on the publications!

    Looking forwards to reading the poems 🙂

  2. Athena says:

    Thank you, Dylan! They’re relatively short. I rarely write long poetry.

  3. Caliban says:

    Congratulations on the poems and especially on the papers! I look forward to reading the poems and the text version of your talks. They promise to be very interesting.

  4. Athena says:

    Thank you, Calvin! Actually, you may have seen early versions of one or both of these poems. As for the papers, you know how they make you feel. The second one is work that my lab is pretty much alone in doing. So this is a brick with a guild mark on it.

  5. Rose Lemberg says:

    Yay! Congrats on both poems and articles.

  6. Athena says:

    Thank you, na Re! The papers made me really happy. You know as well as I what validation they give us.

  7. delagar says:

    Congratulations — that’s excellent news!

  8. Athena says:

    Thank you, Kelly! Tiny things, really. Congratulations to you as well for the release of Broken Slate!

  9. Dan Campbell says:

    Thank you for the kind comment on Bull Spec! Congrats on the papers (fingers crossed for grant funding)! And please do post on safe exoticism in SF/F; I look forward to reading it.

  10. Athena says:

    Thank you for giving my poems a home, Dan!

  11. Asakiyume says:

    Very happy for both triumphs! Way to go!

  12. Athena says:

    Thank you, Francesca! *smile* Small victories keep us going.

  13. intrigued_scribe says:

    Congratulations on the articles and poems — wonderful news!

  14. Athena says:

    Thank you, Heather! Tiny stones in ponds, but something…