Can’t believe it’s been almost a month since Boskone in Boston. That was a great con and I hope everyone who worked to put it on feels really good about what they accomplished. They should! It may be a while before we can have a con like that again, and here I’m referring to COVID19, which is hanging over everything these days like the sword of Damocles. I have registered for Heliosphere in Tarrytown and the Nebulas out in LA, but I wonder if either will happen this year. We don’t have it in Maine yet, but the operative word is ‘yet’. Sitting here looking at the advancing numbers and listening to the steady stream of closings and states of emergency makes it feel like that scene in “On The Beach” where the characters are discussing the advance of the radiation. Granted, that’s a bit extreme (and morbid) and COVID19 is not in that category – thankfully – but it does capture the mood.
It does make it a good time for reading. Liked Jack McDevitt’s “Octavia Gone”. Good plot and mystery and the story moves briskly. Some of the characters were a bit thin, though, and some of the devices have appeared in previous books in the series. Actually, some of the AI characters seemed more three-dimensional than some of the people. In the non-science fiction world, I read Neville’s biography of Anna Komnene, a fascinating re-visiting of an historical figure. Neville shows beautifully how much of what Anna Komnene did was to fit into the expectations/requirements for a high-born woman of the Byzantine Empire and how that has been completely misinterpreted by later historians viewing her actions through more modern lenses. Of course, from a novelist perspective, Anna is a more interesting character as the schemer to tried to grab the throne (as she has been seen) rather than the fairly apolitical, top intellectual of her time (as she more accurately was). Anyway, worth the read!
This is also a good time for writing, which is what I have been spending much of mine doing. I have a habit of generating most of my Really Dirty First Draft in ink (actual ink out of a pen). Since I do not write from the beginning of a book to its end, but get a scene in mind, write that, go to another scene that may come before it, and often come up with elaborations on scenes later on, this creates a pile of paper that has to be sorted out and then massaged into a continuous electronic document that I call a first draft. That’s the stage I’m in now and probably will be there for the next month. All good, though (I hope).