I’m not so much posting just at present. I’ve gone on leave from Time to finish The Magician King, and it turns out that that has involved really decisively disconnecting https://ampills.com from the Internet and “social” order azithromycin for chlamydia “media” and really reality in general. That combined with the usual seasonal affective disaster has caused me to fall silent.
But fear not. I will rise and blather once again, as the ancient sages foretold.
Yes, I know what you’re going to say. It’s awkward so I’ll even say it for you: Lev, you didn’t publish any books in 2010. Not one. You can’t have a Hugo nomination. There’s nothing to nominate you for.
But I’ve thought of that.
(FWIW I did actually publish a short story in 2010. The first and only short story I’ve ever published in fact. I’m very happy with it — I wouldn’t have published it otherwise — but in general I’m crap at short stories. It’s because I don’t read them, or not much. It’s just a weakness of mine as a reader. I don’t like meeting a bunch of characters, and parsing a whole fictional world, and then being turfed out of it after like 20 pages. It’s like drinking in a bar that closes at 9 o’clock.)
But to return to my earlier point: you are correct. I didn’t publish any books in 2010. But — and here you have to imagine me talking like Hercule Poirot when he’s gathered all the suspects in the drawing room at the end of the book, and he’s preparing to spring the trap — not every Hugo Award is a Hugo Award. There is an award for which I am eligible. It’s not a Hugo, it’s merely Hugo-like. Hugo-esque.
And I’m declaring my eligibility for it. Fortunately you stay eligible for two years after your first SF/F publication, so 2009 books still qualify.
Yes: I was eligible for it last year too, and I wasn’t nominated. This may be because nobody thought I was the best new writer. But: it could also be because people didn’t realize I was eligible. I’m not sure which. So let’s find out!
Personally I’m really hoping it’s that second one.
I couldn’t say before, because it was secret secret secret, but for the past six weeks I’ve been busy writing a long story about how Mark Zuckerberg is Person of the Year.
The editors talked to me about writing this piece all the way back in August, and I figured subsequent events — like the midterm elections, maybe — might change their minds, but they didn’t, which led to a lot of secretive flying back and forth between New York and Palo Alto at odd hours to interview Zuckerberg and people who know him.
(In the process I lied about what I was doing to lots of people, including readers of this blog, and I feel bad about that. But I couldn’t think of another way to make it work.)
It was stressful but not unenjoyable. As a writer I’m really not a sprinter, I prefer the long haul, and I rarely get to do long-haul New Yorker-style features in Time. The magazine just isn’t built around them, and when it is they’re usually about war or politics or business, which the editors wisely do not let me write about. But Person of the Year (or P.O.Y. as they call it here) has a special aura around it. When you mention it the bar goes silent, a glass breaks, the editors cross themselves, and an old gypsy woman looks up from the corner and tells them they’d better give you extra pages, if they know what’s good for them.
And plus it was a good story. Zuckerberg is interesting, and Facebook is interesting.
But now I’m thoroughly burned out on my day job and ready for another crack at my night job. I haven’t looked at The Magician King in 6 weeks. I figure it’s probably let its down its guard by now.
In case you’re wondering what the silence means, it means this: I’m currently in San Francisco working on a special “Future” issue of Time that will come out in January. In practice this means ingesting massive amounts of information, and talking to people many multipliers smarter than myself, and turning all that into the lambent, accessible prose that has made Time a household name in utopian arcologies throughout the inner solar system.
Meanwhile I’m vetting and turning in chapters of The Magician King. I wouldn’t be surprised if — years from now, when I look back from a medium-security cell on one of the moons of Saturn, Titan probably — this will have been one of the most buy zithromax 500mg online stressful periods of my life.
The only consolation is that, as I mentioned on Twitter, Time‘s travel computer somehow booked me into a suite at the Four Seasons. So I’m going mad in comfort and style.
Housekeeping notes: nice review of The Magicians today in The Millions. Interesting to hear somebody talk about what stopped them from reading the book initially.
There’s more, but the nanobots have reached my brain, and the darkness is descending again … watch the skies …
I warned them in advance that my name notwithstanding I am not in fact Jewish (named after Tolstoy, mother is Anglican, etc.) but they were not daunted by this, so off we went. We met at Berry Park, which is this great bar in post-industrial Greenpoint — if you sit on the roof it’s like you’re looking out at a world that ended 50 years ago. Especially after a couple of pints on an empty stomach.
Anyway we had a great conversation. I think a lot of my critical preoccupations come out in it. And by the end I’m almost still speaking in complete sentences.
That is all my news. I’m on leave from Time right now, bashing out the sequel to The Magicians. It’s due fairly soon. Actually if you read my contract really closely, as some “lawyers” might be inclined to do, it’s due tomorrow.
I won’t make that deadline. But I’ll have a draft within the month. This I swear.
One of the secondary effects of this is that I will become even more crap at answering e-mail than I already was. It really, really weighs on me that I don’t answer all my e-mail. I just can’t. If I did I would do nothing but answer e-mail. But because I’m greedy I still read it all, and am totally grateful for it.
On Friday I’m going to a farm in upstate New York, near Jeffersonville, if you know where that is, which I don’t. The farm has a barn and cows. It does not have the Internet.
I thought if I somehow connected the barn and the cows with some kind of grass- or hay-based conduit it might be possible to access the Internet that way. But I’m not finding a lot of theoretical support for that approach.
Seriously it’s freaking me out a little. I usually set my anti-Internet software for like 45-minute bursts. A week? That’s … heavy.
There’s an “Internet” “cafe” in town, so I’ll cruise by there once in a while. Like maybe every 8 minutes or so. But I can’t promise any updates during the week.
Which shouldn’t disrupt your lives very much, given how crap I’ve been about updating. But The Magician King is due in October, and I plan on hitting that deadline. Also I might have some other interesting announcements soon. Or I might not, depending on how things shake out.
As soon as I get back I’ll be flying to Georgia for the Decatur Book Festival and DragonCon. Come visit if you’re in the area.
Lorin Stein at The Paris Review asked me and Laura Miller what we would give a non-literary 13-year-old to show them the kind of weird, excellent stuff novels can do.
(The short version of my answer is, Cat’s Cradle and The Once and Future King.)
I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con this year. I wasn’t sure I’d make it, because 1) new baby, and 2) after last year I swore a mighty oath never to return, because I feel that Comic-Con contributes to the runaway commercialization and dilution of the nerd culture that is pretty much all I have by way of an ethnic identity.
Then they said, wanna be on a panel with Amber Benson? And I was all, sure.
Principles: I used to have them. But seriously, if you’re going to Comic-Con, come say hi. To Amber Benson. You can just nod at me in passing, I’ll understand.
Also: next week The Magicians moves up to number 10 on the Times bestseller list. Thank you everybody for making this happen. I could make a joke, but actually I can’t. I’m just so proud and happy.