The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, December 28, 2009

What I did in 2009

I've had a really good year as a Writer in Residence for the Genomics Forum: generous facilities, total creative freedom, friendly and helpful colleagues. Blog posts about my activities, and/or relevant (however tangentially) to the Forum's concerns, are grouped here. Although my half-time employment has come to an end, my residency (and Pippa's) hasn't, for which we're grateful. Until further notice we're free to use the office, and we'll continue to develop (and expand into other media- watch this space!) the Human Genre Project, and to promote and participate in events, such as Base Pairs and Couplets, the third of our Social Sessions - this one, on Jan 13, is on science and poetry, and we're privileged to have a very fine line-up indeed: Ron Butlin, Brian McCabe, Tracey S. Rosenberg, Kelley Swain and Ryan Van Winkle.

Finished one novel, The Restoration Game, due out March 2010. Well ahead of the curve of writing science fiction set in the nearer and nearer future, this novel is set in 2008 AD. Except for the flashbacks. From another viewpoint, though, it's set in AUC 2248, which makes it science fiction. (Classicists will notice that the Year of the City 2248 is not the equivalent of the Year of Our Lord 2008.)

Wrote three short stories: 'Death Knocks', for Geoff Ryman's anthology When It Changed: Science Into Fiction, 'Sidewinders', for Ian Watson and Ian Whates' anthology The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories, and 'A Tulip for Lucretius' (dissected here), for Subterranean. One flash fiction, 'Reflective Surfaces" for New Scientist's Sci-Fi Special.

I've just started writing my next novel, provisionally titled Sin Bio. Drawing heavily on the good old English traditions of the cosy catastrophe and the Aga saga, it's set in the near future and has a genomics theme.

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"I levelled the homemade railgun from the mitred kitchen window as Virginia stirred the soup and the heatpump beneath the Aga charged the main capacitor. Finally, the repurposed hearing aid let me hear the ready growl. Spung! The ten-legged hellkitten's skull burst in a red spray against the weird winterised tamarinds that were beginning to invade the empty swimming pool...the soup would be better tonight."

"...her tail swished against the Duchy Originals mustard jars."

Ken, I am very glad that you had such a sf- nal, social, and scientifically productive year, and that you and Pippa can retain your connections with the university. I am present on at least four blogs and fora. My activity on your blog is as rewarding as is my work for the others, and on certain subjects essentially more.
BY The way, my Comrade-in-arms, peace historian and activist Larry Wittner, suggested to me to tell you about the interesting site, History News Network. Larry is prominent there, It publishes reasonably short articles that are quite accessable to non-historians. I have used it several times. Well, Larry would like it if you would add it to your list of resources. Whatever, have a good New Year's eve and 2010,

great news Ken, looking foward to The Restoration Game

yorksranter, I'd read that book! (I think Peter Hamilton may have got there first.) It's not the one I'm writing, though.

David and George: thanks.

Stop writing so fast; you are making it way too hard for me to get caught up.

sounds like you had a very cool year :) can't wait to read your next book!

hope you have a fantastic 2010


I'm (im)patiently awaiting The Restoration Game!

My wife is currently reading The Star Fraction and I'm having great fun getting to discuss it with her along the way. (She's enjoying it too, of course).

Thanks for keeping your readers involved in all your activities!

Sorry, J.R., but I'm gonna have to write faster.

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