The birthday celebrations have been going on all week of course, but yesterday was pretty spectacular. In the morning Steven Gould — whose birthday it actually was — had released the theme ingredient for the Iron Chef Battle we had planned. [1. Originally we were going to do it today, but decided to move it to yesterday because a couple of the guests had flights out today.] Welcome to Iron Chef Pear!
We all trouped over to Grandma’s church for her 104th birthday party and then went straight from there to shop for Iron Chef. At first we were going to shop separately, but then thought, what? We’ll see each other in the store and be shocked that, “OMG! You’re buying pears!”
Back home the two teams — headed by Alethea Kontis and me — began cooking. There are two kitchens at Mom and Dad’s which is part of why I wanted to try an Iron Chef battle in real time. You know, because we could. I took the kitchen in the other house so we’d both be in unfamiliar kitchens and we gave ourselves two hours to compensate for not having Kitchen Stadium.
My grandmother is 104 years old today. She is just as sharp and together as always. She’s cracking jokes and having a grand old time today. My cousin called from Badgdad, which I think is farther away than any of her other birthday wishes.
For those of you who read Born in 1905, yes, that’s my grandma.
Jay Lake sent me this link to the Guardian today, so you know, I clicked through out of curiosity.Â The headline was “The next generation of SF Writers” and then there’s a photo of a spiral arm galaxy, the caption of which is, “In a galaxy far, far away â€¦ Hill, Kowal or Scholes?”
The science fiction and fantasy community likes to honour the writers in its ranks, and no honour comes higher for new writers than the John W Campbell award. Previous winners include Orson Scott Card, Stephen Donaldson and Cory Doctorow, so it’s certainly worth watching. This year, Mary Robinette Kowal beat a strong shortlist to scoop the award on the basis of a clutch of well-crafted short stories that showcase her emotional deftness while still telling strange and exhilarating stories in the SF tradition.
Thanks Mr. Walter!Â This is an excellent pre-birthday present.
Here, let me offer a party favor! Â This is an audio version of “Evil Robot Monkey” from the 2008 edition of the Solaris New Book of Science Fiction.
The last of our guests arrived today bringing us to ten plus my folks to make an even dozen. I have to say that this was a brilliant idea to throw this house party/writing retreat. While I’m a little distracted because I’m working on the show remotely, mostly I’m hunkering down and getting writing done, which feels great.
I’m also getting to cook, which I very much enjoy. The routine goes like this: Breakfast consists of cereal, toast, fruit and yogurt. Folks are on their own for that. Then writing happens.
Sometime around noon, we all get hungry so there are sandwich fixings and leftovers from the night before. (Mushroom Quinoa Risotto, Vegetable Soup and Broccoli) Today I also cooked some bacon for BLTs.
More writing happens.
Around six I started cooking dinner. Tonight’s menu:
North Carolina Red Trout with garlic, oregano and lemon zest.
Steamed Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese
Green salad with Balsamic Vinegrette
Dessert: Mom’s Blueberry Cobbler
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]