And the winner is Commander Chris Hadfield. Again.
Some of my friends have a Friday night cocktail tradition, where you mix up something tasty and share the recipe. I’m not so good at the mixology, so I rely on my wonderful local bartender at Fuji & Jade. I didn’t even drink this on Friday, but instead on Saturday, with some friends who are moving to town.
This lovely lavender concoction is a GMLTV. That’s “Give My Love to Violet.” The menu description:
The name harkens back to the days of the telegraph, when commonly accepted shorthand would be used to transmit messages more efficiently. As for the drink, essentially it’s a Ciroc vodka gimlet (vodka, fresh lime + sugar) tweaked by swapping out the sugar for Creme de Violette (violet blossom liqueur) and a spritz of rosewater.
Floral, citrusy, not too sweet. It was a lovely springish pre-dinner cocktail, though not really suited to go with food.
Writing fiction is an odd activity: I’m very happy about a rejection letter I received today.
Yup, rejection. Why? Because it’s a good rejection!
This is what appeared in my inbox:
Thank you for letting me see “[Story X].” The story is intriguing, but I’m afraid it’s not quite right for me. I look forward to your next one, though.
Sheila Williams, editor
Asimov’s Science Fiction
That? Is not the standard Asimov’s form letter. I know this, because the standard rejection looks like this, and is very upfront about being a form letter (which I appreciate):
Thank you very much for letting us see “[Story Y].” We appreciate your taking the time to send it in for our consideration. Although it does not suit the needs of the magazine at this time, we wish you luck with placing it elsewhere.
Please excuse this form letter. The volume of work has unfortunately made it impossible for us to respond to each submission individually, much as we’d like to do so.
Sheila Williams, Editor
Asimov’s Science Fiction
Which means I’m improving. A personalized rejection. From Asimov’s. Asking for more stories!
Things to do: Send [Story X] somewhere else, since it appears to not suck.
Write more stories, better than [Story X], and send them to Asimov’s and elsewhere.
Celebrate my rejection. (Told you writing was a strange business.)
(Incidentally, I did sell [Story Y] eventually.)
After consulting with the internet and my To Be Read pile, I am reading BOTH:
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (reread)
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.
They are nearly as different as spec fic books can get, and both very different from the Bear and Kay.
I’m also reminded that I’ve gone exactly nowhere with the Reading the Masterworks idea, by which I mean I’ve read several and reviewed none.
I finished Shattered Pillars this morning, a wonderful second-world fantasy by Elizabeth Bear. I reviewed first book, Range of Ghosts, briefly (is there any other way?) on twitter: “Is ‘one of the top three books I read last year’ enough, or would you like specifics? Incredibly well-developed world, realistic interactions among fully-realized characters, emotional resonance. Second-world fantasy with not-Mongols, not-Islamic empire, not-Chinese empire. Magic, monsters, many horses.” Shattered Pillars is a middle book, so there’s neither the thrill of new worlds nor the resolution of a final book, but it nonetheless carried me along as the characters did perfectly reasonable (to them) things that I never would have thought of. One of Bear’s strengths is getting inside the heads of people whose worldviews are utterly unlike our own: not just worldbuilding, but how it affects the way the characters perceive their surroundings.
I’m very much looking forward to River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay, the sequel to Under Heaven, out today. But I think reading those two books back to back might kill me.
So internets: what should I read next?
I like cooking. This… may not be safe for work, especially without headphones.
I like cooking so much I need to watch this again.
I’ll be in my bunk.
(via Chaz Brenchley)
I have four stories out right now, one of them brand-new. That’s a personal record. One is a story I feel strongly about, one is a story Nick feels strongly about, one is perfect for the venue I sent it to (in my admittedly biased opinion), one I’m not sure about but Nick likes. Submitting is the part I can control; publication is out of my hands.
Let the rejections begin!
If only I had four journal articles out right now… those take inordinately more time, but pay a whole lot better. (Salary, that is, nothing for the article itself, and often quite a lot of money in page charges. Academic publishing is almost entirely unlike fiction publishing.)
Edit: Yep, I now have three stories out. Nice rejection letter, though. (Enjoyed it, but can’t use it; please send more.)
Edit: Back up to four stories out, subtitled, or what’s a late lunch break for?