I haven’t mentioned this here yet, but I’ve been accepted into this year’s Novel Writers Workshop at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The novel I’m workshopping is a hard sf novel (tentatively) called Kismet. I’m excited and a bit nervous about it—I’ve never actually finished a novel before. (Not that there’s any guarantee I’ll finish this one, but I’d like to think this will make it substantially more likely.) I’ll be attending with a friend, Tim Susman, who’s finished a fair number of novels—and who met the workshop’s instructor, Kij Johnson, when she was teaching at the Clarion Workshop he attended a few years ago.
Assuming it goes anywhere I’ll talk more about Kismet later. I’ve realized that since college, though, I’ve been toying around with Big Ideas for stories involving humans and animal-like aliens. That started as a story called “Only With Thine Eyes” that was supposed to turn into a novel (it didn’t, but the story’s collected in Why Coyotes Howl). A later attempt made the aliens into genetically-engineered animal people in a novel called In Our Image that got roughly a third of the way through before collapsing under its own weight. This one… well, it’s not a reincarnation of Image, definitely, although it touches on some similar thematic points.
Meanwhile, I’m working on other various projects, both writing and not-so-writing, as well as engaging in the boring but necessary project of finding more stable employment. I’m in the unenviable yet somewhat amusing position of being in Silicon Valley in the middle of a frenzy for tech developers… and increasingly burned out on the whole endeavor. I don’t want to keep competing with developers who are twenty years younger than I am, better at the kinds of programming brain teasers that interviewers (who are also twenty years younger than I am) seem to love, and perfectly happy with hour-plus commutes (each way). I think I’m trying to aim for a tech writer or developer evangelist type position at this point; failing that I’ll settle for the kind of “boring” corporate programming position that twenty-somethings sneer at but that sound like they might be just fine for me.
Oh: as of this writing there’s still two more days to vote for the Ursa Major Awards!