Friday, January 25, 2008

Us and Them

I'm not going to dwell on the The Big Paris-Hilton Scale moment that's been all over the science blogs for the past day or two, since let's face it, Venter's new artificial genome is really just another incremental step on the path, and besides, I already mentioned that guy recently. So instead, a potpourri of peteresque and popcultural pointers:

Us.

A few developments on the writing front:
  • Recorded Books is going to release an audio rendition of Blindsight (which is especially cool since evidently these guys put out the only single-voice English language narration of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy officially approved by the Tolkien Estate). If I'm lucky, they can get Andy Serkis for the performance.
  • Heyne, the German publisher putting out the translations of Butt Plug and Down Hill, have made an offer on Maelstrom. After a bit of haggling over money and my insistence that the book's title should be an easy target of juvenile humour once translated, I accepted. (I suspect we even got more for it than Tor did for the Heyne edition of Starfish, although I don't know because Tor still hasn't told me how much that was.) (Yes, I've asked.) This almost makes up for the those one-star Amazon reader review reviews that just shot Blind Flug down from the heady days of unanimous approval it had enjoyed only yesterday (although the sales rank seems to be doing pretty well over there regardless — the book's grazed the five-hundreds a couple of times, which even accounting for the difference in national populations is probably better than it ever did over here).
  • It also looks as though a Czech edition of Blindsight is in the works from Triton Books. (On the down side, that Russian deal I mentioned a while back might be a bit shakier than I'd thought — at least, they keep telling me that the deal's still on but I haven't seen a penny of an advance that was due well before the end of last year. I'd probably push them harder if the memory of Cronenberg's Eastern Promises wasn't still so fresh in my mind...)
  • Oh yeah, and some doofus over on Futurismic says I'm all in favour of torture and everything. I'm not saying he's wrong, but jeez.

Them.

I don't usually serve up link salads, since they'd generally point to far more popular blogs than mine and thus it would probably be old news to you all anyway. But today I'm making an exception, because the following links lead to things that made me grin broadly, and that doesn't happen as often as I'd like. Also it proves that sometimes I can still "get" popular culture, which also doesn’t happen as often as I'd like:
I'm going to go work now. I'm actually writing prose these days. Some day, if you behave badly, I may share some of it with you.

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14 Comments:

OpenID bec-87rb said...

Is this that famous tool-making naive female Caledonian corvid we've heard so much about?

January 25, 2008 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

this was a triumph.
I'm making a note here...

January 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger dystonia ek said...

HUGE SUCCESS.

January 25, 2008 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 25, 2008 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

Awesome. I still think my favorite tool-making story in recent time was that of the chimpanzees in Senegal

In other news, I have managed to bring your word to yet another individual. Jared, who runs the blog Puppy Buckets (which I am now writing for) has stated:

"By the way, not sure if you remember this, but you recommended that I read Starfish a while back, and I read it a few weeks ago. It was awesome to the point that I'm going to read it again before opening up the sequel."

So there you go - a blog review if you will.

(By the way, I was planning on pointing some of our readers your way with the hope of opening their eyes, just wanted to let you know your word is spreading...)

January 25, 2008 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Puppy Buckets.

I'm not sure that phrase evokes the mental image you want it to. If it does, you're a sick bastard. Either that or I know too much about fish processing plants.

January 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

Heh, well....

The sad truth is "For the name, [Jared] used the classic (and awful) method of combining two random words to create something that makes no sense and confuses people."

It was pretty disturbing in my mind too. I had my suspicions that Jared was secretly running a underground smuggling/carry-out Chinese chain akin to Kentucky Fried Chicken...

I'll be writing reviews on the site for you books soon. They likely won't be too in-depth, but just to get more people reading your stuff. Also, we should be adding your blog to our list of "Blogs worth visiting," hopefully I'll be converting them by the bushels...

Jared would kill me if I didn't ask (and remain the blog to "Alehkhs Buckets"), but maybe you could add our blog to your page as well... sorry to seem parasitic, but hey, Behemoth got off pretty well...

January 26, 2008 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Julie K said...

Just how badly do we have to behave in order to get samples of what you're writing?

And when can I begin?

January 26, 2008 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

Just posted a review of Starfish on Puppy Buckets.

Oh, and here's a video I thought might be good after the show of intelligence in birds. I always have a laugh at the ignorance of the last line, "I probably ought not traumatize the fish this way," "Oh come on, their brain is the size of a pea."

Famous last words if I've ever heard them...

January 27, 2008 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous splittersturm said...

ad Blindflug reviews: thats what you get with Harry Potter fans and ten year olds reviewing your books. one complaining that the future potrayed is "unbearably bleak", that the characters seem "almost un-human" and that he cant identify with the main character. oh my.

January 28, 2008 at 7:36 AM  
OpenID bec-87rb said...

If you didn't click the link, alehkhs' chimps are making pointy sticks, gorking sleeping bush-babys in their hidey-holes, and then dining upon their primate cousins.

Liked this quote from the article, "...the authors of the paper in Current Biology said females, particularly adolescent females, and young chimps in general were seen exhibiting this behaviour more frequently than adult males.
It's classic in primates that when there is a new innovation, particularly in terms of tool use, the younger generations pick it up very quickly. The last ones to pick up are adults, mainly the males," said Dr Pruetz, who led the National Geographic Society-funded project.

January 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Alehkhs said...

Jared would kill me if I didn't ask (and remain the blog to "Alehkhs Buckets"), but maybe you could add our blog to your page as well... sorry to seem parasitic, but hey, Behemoth got off pretty well...

Can't say I'm too keen on your choice of role models there, but I'll certainly be linking when I throw up the next batch of writing-related stuff. More than that may take a bit longer. Gotta keep my eye on you for a bit, make sure you don't start hyping The Discovery Institute or Scientology when no one's looking...

Julie K said...

Just how badly do we have to behave in order to get samples of what you're writing? And when can I begin?

Not wanting to come across as any creepier than I already do, I am going to show enormous restraint and not rise to the obvious and tempting innuendo-bait. But if you look ahead a couple of entries, you'll see it's asked and answered.

splittersturm said...

Blindflug reviews: thats what you get with Harry Potter fans and ten year olds reviewing your books. one complaining that the future potrayed is "unbearably bleak", that the characters seem "almost un-human" and that he cant identify with the main character. oh my.

Well, gotta admit the book's not for everyone. But the two consecutive thumbs-downs did seem to take the wind out of those glorious three-digit rankings. I'm just happy someone else weighed in afterwards.

bec-87rb said...

If you didn't click the link, alehkhs' chimps are making pointy sticks, gorking sleeping bush-babys in their hidey-holes, and then dining upon their primate cousins.

Yeah, I remember that one. Blogged it over on the old crawl, in fact.

February 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

I wouldn't worry about us preaching, not like Hollywood needs any help with that (Damn you, I am Legend, and your Scientologist star!).

As for Puppy Buckets, my first dozen or so posts will be about your Rifters Trilogy among a spattering of ALife, something that I had gotten into shortly before reading Starfish, and again, another interest that should have been squashed out for the sake of my attempts at actually receiving a Marine Biology degree, let alone graduating, thanks a ton for fostering that distraction!. In fact, I already had posted something awhile back about "Electric Sheep," and yes, it is related to Philip K. Dick.

After ALife, I think I'll post about Blindsight among some freeform space games of old. Did you ever happen to play Elite?

February 1, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
OpenID Branko Collin said...

"my insistence that the book's title should be an easy target of juvenile humour once translated [into German]"

Might I suggest "Zwei peanuts ver valking down der strasse"?

February 22, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

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