Boy, did I have a memorable birthday yesterday. Really, I'm glad everyone turned out to celebrate, but I didn't mean for us all to take over the Queensborough Bridge like that....
I was at work in Manhattan when the lights went out. It was an odd thing -- they didn't snap off so much as slowly give up the ghost, occasionally reviving a bit, over the course of two or three minutes. I tried urging my officemates to leave almost immediately, but we dithered so much as a committee that we didn't pick our way down the fire stairs (pitch dark at some landings) until more than half an hour later. Our phone system relied on office electricity, and none of us could get a call out on our cell phones.
I work at Park and 32nd. I bent my course straight downtown to Union Square (Park and 17th, more or less), where Laura and I have arranged to meet in case of emergency. I walked with two officemates, one of whom was listening to a portable radio with headphones and issuing such reports as that power was out all the way to Ohio and Ottawa. A little disconcerting.
Laura was waiting at our prearranged spot, bless her soul, and the two of us walked across to 2nd Avenue and then uptown. At first we were salmon -- everyone seemed to be coming downtown. Some businesses were giving out water (though Laura and I had both filled bottles before leaving). Around 35th or 36th, we bought very soft ice cream cones from Baskin-Robbins.
Just a quick reminder that I will be appearing early Saturday morning on Jim Freund's program "Hour of the Wolf" on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City. While science fiction is the main focus of the show, we'll no doubt discuss my memoir Missionary Man as well.
The show runs from 5:00 am to 7:00 am EDT. If you don't live near enough to tune in, and you're a very early riser, you can catch the RealAudio stream at:
Well, apes, anyway:
I want to hire these guys. I do. Especially Cathleen. I'm a sucker for her value-pricing.
So I was asking the other day for confirmation of some calculations about centripetal acceleration. Well, in my usual overboard fashion, I created a little CGI script to help myself play around with different values for size, speed, and effective gravity for my station:
You provide two of the three values (ac , r, and/or Δt) and the script calculates the third. You can choose the units for input also; if they differ from G, meters, or seconds, respectively, the results are provided in both the default and specified units. You can also set the display units for the blank value.
The results print in a table that provides acceleration values for different levels of the station, moving closer to the hub.
The kitchen table doesn't usually look like this, but there's a list of relatives who always need a copy of the newest story. Plus one to my childhood pal Darin, who now lives in Alaska and was in the same college writing workshop where I wrote the first draft of "Pietro Coppino," way back in 1989....
To those who were waiting to hear, there are copies of the October Realms of Fantasy at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square in Manhattan.
Well, actually there aren't anymore because they mysteriously sold out during my visit. But that's neither here nor there. The point is, the magazine's out there. Godspeed.
That's what Laura's calling me this morning. Late last night I got home from a dismal movie with friends (Northforkpretentious, silly, and overrated, despite a good setup and some great moments) and brought the mail in. There were vicious thunderstorms in the city yesterday, and the mail was soaked. That included my subscription copy of the October 2003 issue of Realms of Fantasy.
I woke up Laura before carefully peeling back the wet "protective wrapper." And there was my name on the cover. My first cover.
My name wasn't as big as Harlan Ellison's, but (almost embarrassingly) it was above and bigger than Michaels Bishop and Swanwick. We stared at it for a couple of minutes before even opening the magazine.
The illustration inside was gorgeous.
I'll be making a return appearance as Jim Freund's guest on "Hour of the Wolf" this Saturday, August 9th, on WBAI 99.5 FM, from 5:00 am to 7:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time.
We'll certainly talk about my science fiction, including my recent story in Salon, but it's likely we'll discuss my memoir Missionary Man as well. I may even trot out an excerpt from the book to read on the air. Tune in an see what happens. (It's early, yes, but just think -- I have to be up earlier to get to the station than you do to listen!
WBAI serves the NYC metro area. If you can't pick up the station, you can still access the live stream on the Internet at: