The sound of wheezing: or what’s been keeping me busy

In the last few weeks, I’ve felt unusually busy, just barely able to keep up, in fact. So here is what has been keeping me busy besides my day job and family.

Nebula weekend

Next weekend is the Nebula Award weekend and I have a few tasks to perform during the course of the event which require a little preparation:

  • I am accepting an award on behalf of a nominee, in the event that nominee wins.
  • I am presenting an award that evening, as well, which both exciting and a little nerve-wracking for me. After all, I noticed that Michael Swanwick is presenting that evening as well. Michael is an extremely talented writer to say nothing of an excellent toastmaster and presenter. And I’m, well, lil’ ol’ me.

Interview prep

During the course of the Nebula weekend, I’ll be interviewing 3 fellow writers. Two of these interviews will be for the Hugo-nominated SF Signal. The other will be for InterGalactic Medicine Show. I’ve only done one interview (where I was the interviewer, as opposed to the one being interviewed) before and I want to make sure that I am well-prepared for each of them. That means reading, research and coming up with questions that I think will be interesting to the writer as well as the folks who will be reading the interview. Being well-prepared is hard work, as I am discovering, and time-consuming, too1.

Books reviews

As I announced a few weeks ago, I will be subbing for Alethea Kontis, writing the June and July book review columns for InterGalactic Medicine Show while she is on her book tour for her new novel, Enchanted. I’m trying to review a handful of books2 for each column, which means a lot of careful reading and note-taking, to say nothing of writing the columns.

Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 38

I am well into my reading of the August 1942 issue of Astounding for Episode 38 of my Vacation in the Golden Age. That Episode will show up late Sunday afternoon, as usual, and it’s a good thing it’s this Sunday. It means that the Nebula Weekend is an off-week for me as far as the Vacation goes and that is a good thing. I don’t know how I would have fit it all in if I had an Episode to do over the Nebula weekend.

Going paperless posts

The Going Paperless posts that I have been writing in my capacity as Evernote’s Paperless Lifestyle ambassador have been surprisingly well-received. And while I have a fairly good list of topics to cover from week-to-week, both the writing of the column and keeping up with all of the comments after it is posted has proven a bit time consuming. But it has been a lot of fun and I have been rather taken aback with the kind words I’ve received over these posts.

Writing group critiques

A small writer’s group that I belong to is getting ready for some critiques in June and I have been trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to keep up with the reading I need to do for that group. There is a novel up for critique this time around and so that means even more reading.

Reading for fun

I have been trying to read Robert Silverberg’s The Alien Years. I’ve managed to get through the first part and really, really enjoyed it. I’d like to finish it, but it’s getting crowded out at the moment by all of the other stuff I’ve got going on. Ditto the backlog of New Scientist, Scientific American, and Discover. (I will admit that I sneaked in some reading last night on the most recent issue of Rolling Stone.)


I have been writing a few words here and there on a new science fiction story.

The sound of wheezing

Isaac Asimov once wrote an essay (back in the 1950s) which he called “The Sound of Panting” which was the sound research scientists made in order to keep up with all of the literature in their subject area. Recently, I feel like I’ve gone a step beyond the sound of panting and entered the realm of wheezing. It can be difficult to keep up with all of this stuff, and a little stressful at times, but it is also fun. And besides, I stood on the sidelines of science fiction fandom for so long that I feel incredibly lucky to be able to participate both as a fan and as a writer and given how long it took me to get to this point, I hate to let opportunities like these go by.

I fully expect the load to lighten by the time June rolls around.

  1. No, I’m not going to tell you who I am interviewing yet. But they know who they are and it’s possible they are even reading this and can see my virtual wink in their direction.
  2. You’ll have to read the column to find out what books I’m reviewing and what I thought about them.


  1. I’ve really been enjoying your Going Paperless posts. Your science fiction writer / paperless guru / practical intersection makes for fresh reading.


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