Wednesday, July 29. 2009
It's convention season. This weekend, I shall be at Constitution,the combined Unicon/filkcon/British Role-Playing Games con, at Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall), Cambridge. Details are here: http://www.constitution-con.org.uk/
And next weekend, I shall be in Montreal, Canada, for Anticipation, the World SF con. My first worldcon as a professional writer: I don't know whether to be more pleased or scared.I shall be writing about it on my regular LiveJournal blog: http://users.livejournal.com/la_marquise_de_/
Sunday, July 12. 2009
Middle cat, Iskander, has been having to stay inside for the last three weeks due to an injury. He managed to get a deep puncture wound in the middle toe of his right back paw, and as a result has been indoors, on antibiotics and in a buster collar through all the recent weather, hot and otherwise. He was heavy bandaged for the first two weeks of this, too, and it's safe to say that he is not a happy cat. Not one bit. There have been protests, both vocal and physical. There have been sulks. There have been guerilla raids on both doors and most of the windows. The other cats are also less than happy. Mooncat is used to being the centre of attention during most of the day, as she tends to be the most indoor-staying of the three. Now there is a loud and stompy Ish in her way and she is Not Best Pleased. She's taken to glowering at him and bringing in as much of the hedge as she can. (She has long fluff. Most summers, she embarks on a serious attempt to help the local grasses spread their seeds. Yes, I have eco-cat.) Horus is baffled, because his best friend is grumpy and seems to be wearing a lampshade. It's been a rather stressful three weeks.
So today, in the interests of reducing just how fed-up and frustrated Ish is -- and with the rather more selfish motive of hoping it would reduce the amount of spraying he's been doing -- I put him on the cat lead and took him for a walk. I've been taking him out for a short stroll in the garden on most dry days, which he likes. But today we went beyond, down to the end of our (very short) cul-de-sac and then round the garage block, which is one of his particular hang-outs. Many fascinating scents have been located and investigated. Places have been marked very firmly. Bushes have been put in their place, grass has been chewed and Moon has been sneered at through a hedge. On coming in, he had his foot washed (bad) and was given his pill (very bad), his supper (good) and a treat (very good). Now he's dozing.
Going for a walk with a cat is something I am known to do from time to time, though not usually with a cat on a lead in a lampshade. Ish will often trot round the nature reserve with me and Phil and others, and has to be discouraged firmly from following us on other occasions. Moon will follow for short distances, too. And Horus will walk with me, but not with anyone else. This means that some nights, on fetching them in, I come off the nature reserve with a train of cats. My neighbours find this amusing, and I can't really blame them. I'm the neighbourhood mad cat woman. There's no escaping it.
Thursday, July 2. 2009
Gardner Dozois has listed my short story 'Seaborne' in the Honourable Mention list in The Year's Best Science Fiction 2008. I am highly honoured: I write very few shorts and this is not something I expected. The story picks up on Thiercelin and Gracielis some time after Living with Ghosts, and appeared in the anthology Myth/Understandings, ed. Ian Whates (NewCon Press 2008)
Also, earlier this week, I attended a two-day colloquium on Physics and SF at Imperial College, London. Concentrating on astrophysics and astornomy, it was a fascinating series of talks about aspects of space science from leading academics (Prof. Andrew Jaffe, Dr Roberto Trotta, Dr Mark Thompson, Dr Catriona Jackman and Dr Dave Clements). It was organised by my friend Dave Clements, astronomer and writer. I learnt a lot and I can see some very interesting ideas and possibilities... I also had the pleasure of spending time with some very interesting people, both writers and researchers -- Jaine Fenn, Liz Williams, Geoff Ryman, Steven Baxter, Molly Brown, Alistair Reynolds, Paul McAuley, Farah Mendlesohn... A wonderful idea and a wonderful experience and I'm very grateful to Dave for orgainsing it and for including me.
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Photo credit: Phil Nanson
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