Still underwater over here, as I just got back from Readercon, am preparing a guest post on Dystopias that will run at Night Bazaar this weekend, and need to compress the 800 page manuscript of GHOST SPIN that I just handed in to 650 pages by the end of the week.
Readercon was fantabulocious. Details mostly to follow. But I can say now that the two personal highlights of the convention for me were:
- getting to meet Joan Slonczewski, one of my absolute favorite hard SF writers ever.
- sitting on a panel where Ellen Kushner asked us to name our personal “literary matriarch” (someone we both emulate and rebel against in our own work) and being able to utter the words: “Vernor Vinge is my mother.”
To be fair, I probably wouldn’t have said it if every single other person on the panel hadn’t listed Ursula K. LeGuin. But still … I didn’t say it for laughs. Not by a long shot. And there’s something there that I’m going to have to think about for a while before I get anywhere near the bottom of it…
… Which leads me to the next piece of news. While rummaging around the internet in preparation for the Night Bazaar Dystopia Post, I discovered that Vinge has a new book coming out this fall. And not just any book, but the long-awaited sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep. Do I have to say that I am a much happier person than I was when I woke up this morning?
My rummaging also turned up something else — a truly great SF classic that I’d almost forgotten reading, but that exploded back into life in my memory the moment I was reminded of it. The book is Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves. It has one of the most mind-blowing representations of an alien culture I can ever remember reading, and it’s also one of those Asimovian science fictional home runs that make you sit back and scratch your head and mutter things like, “How did he manage to write the best novel ever about climate change before anyone had ever even whispered the phrase ‘global warming?’”