A couple of nice happenings this week. The official preliminary Nebula ballot came out, and my story "Dance of the Yellow-Breasted Luddites" is there in the best novelette category. I also got my contributor's copies of the next issue of Realms of Fantasy, which contains my story "The Veil Beyond the Veil." Should hit newsstands February 1st or so. More info in missionaryman's journal.
Also, Laura and I had an absolutely lovely date yesterday afternoon and evening. First we hit the American Museum of Natural History. We have a dual membership to the museum so our admission is free, but special exhibits cost extra. Well, we only intended to bum around for a while, but a departing couple offered us their 4:30 tickets to the Butterfly Conservatory exhibit, which we gladly accepted. The Butterfly Conservatory is marvelous, a humid habitat for butterflies that visitors can walk through, and we were fortunate enough to be there during the four-day lifespan of the gorgeous Atlas moth, which has a wingspan of seven or eight inches. I counted five Atlas moths sleeping in various parts of the conservatory, and I could get right up close and examine the brilliant orange feathery antennae with a magnifying glass. We also hit the new exhibit on Hinduism on the way out, but had to leave before we could absorb it all. We'll be going back.
From the Museum, we sped downtown to Stuyvesant Street, where we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant adjoining the bar Angel's Share. (I forget the restaurant's name. Yaka-something Village?) We had what is basically the Japanese equivalent of tapassome edomame, some yakatori skewers, some pork and potato stew, some scallion pancakes with cheese and chicken and spicy sauce, some sake, some plum wine. Unfortunately our fried asparagus was very late coming, and we had to leave without it.
We walked over to the Quad Cinema on 13th Street to catch E-Dreams, the documentary about the rise and fall of Kozmo.com that had the misfortune of coming out in the wake of Startup.com. Both films are interesting but focus on the young CEOs of the companies without giving very much insight into what the companies are about or what it's like to work in the trenches of an Internet startup. The we-will-conquer-the-world hubris is fascinating in both movies, and it's sad that we laugh at those moments because those of us who worked in that world were certainly buying into that bullshit at the time. But neither movie was entirely satisfactory to me, perhaps because the directors rely on the vogue documentary technique of telling a story without narration, but don't have the skill to assemble a picture where the pictures fill in the important gaps in the story.