Friday, October 10, 2008

The Quiet War, Chapter 7

Macy immersed herself in her work, staying in her lab as much as possible so that she wouldn’t run into either Ursula Freye or Speller Twain, and tried to forget about what had happened. Tried to forget that Speller Twain could come back at any time and do whatever he wanted to her. Ursula Freye was protected by her consanguinity, but the security chief had demonstrated that Macy was just a grunt whose life and career were at the mercy of the whims of her superiors.

Home Alone

From the New Scientist:

A bug discovered deep in a goldmine and nicknamed "the bold traveller" has got astrobiologists buzzing with excitement. Its unique ability to live in complete isolation of any other living species suggests it could be the key to life on other planets.

Not only does this radically increase the odds for finding other life on the planets and moons of the Solar System, and elsewhere, but the solitary ecosystem of this little critter, which goes by the name of Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, is powered by radioactivity. Oh, and it's named after a Jules Verne novel.

They're no sand worms, and writing rip-roaring space operas about little colonies of bacteria that uses the radioactive decay of uranium to extract carbon and nitrogen from rocks isn't going to be easy, but the idea that life is tough and finds a niche definitely chimes with SF's defiant romance with the universe.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Quiet War, Chapter 6

It was all nonsense, Macy thought as she rode the tram through the night-time city back to the biome. She was angry and anxious and scared, and now that the ordeal was over, anger was winning out. It was all nonsense. All of it. There was no conspiracy. Manny Vargo had died because of some awful but unambiguous medical accident. There were a thousand reasons why his slate could have gone missing, from bureaucratic error to simple theft. And Ursula Freye had taken those two completely unrelated facts, her lover’s death and the missing slate, and had forced a connection, and had kept adding other connections, selecting what suited her and rejecting anything contradictory until she’d caged herself in a paranoid fantasy.

And she wants to put me in that cage, Macy thought. She and her fox-faced friend. Speller Twain and that devious little creep Loc Ifrahim. They all want to use me in this joint fantasy of theirs.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Dig It

It's a wet and miserable day outside, but this - a bunch of white English people performing the theme song of Shaft on ukuleles - cheered me up immensely.

More Dead Wood Promo

Fast Forward 2, an unthemed anthology of original shories, including one of mine, is out now. And there's free stuff on the interweb to promote it: editor Lou Anders' introduction, and 'Catherine Drew', Paul Cornell's dashing tale of derring-do in a Solar System dominated by the British Empire.

In other news, there's an early review of The Quiet War in the Guardian, Eternal Light is due to be republished in April 2009, as part of Gollancz's classic space opera series, and some of my other novels are slated for publication in uniform paperback editions later in the year. Hey.
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