Sunday, May 27, 2007

Suppose I ought to have posted this here ...

Got an email the other day saying Kate Nepveu had written an open letter to me -- I didn't know about it, since I've been offline and only a couple SF-related people even had my email. I've had about 30 emails since poking my head back up again -- I have to admit, it's touching to be remembered that clearly across the time that's passed with no work and not much word from me.

Anyway, I posted this at Kate Nepveu's livejournal blog (or journal, I guess):


Sorry I haven't responded to you previously -- I've been offline having a life for about two years and only a couple people had my e-mail. I put up a blog at -- just went live a couple days ago -- and got an email mentioning your "Open Letter." I don't see it in this thread and don't quite understand how to navigate livejournal, so I hope you don't mind my replying here.

AI War was done, once -- I tore it up years ago to rewrite and left it in a torn-up state. Still, it wouldn't take a lot of work to get clean. The last year I've been writing -- a crime series proposal, a tv pilot about the Revolt of the Angels -- both those proposals are done and ready to be shopped. The next thing I'll be working on is AI War.

Now ... the book is still under contract to Bantam. I doubt they want it, but who knows? I'm going to call Bantam in June and find out -- all the people I was unhappy with at Bantam have been gone over a decade; if Bantam still wants that book, I'll let them publish it. If they don't, I'll find out what they want to kick it free. In any event, AI War is the only thing I'll be working on this summer, and once it's clean, I'm going to roll into the concluding sequel -- it's been years since I've written SF, but I am going to publish AI War and its sequel, Crystal Wind, before the people who care about it succumb to Alzheimers.

Take care.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Intermittent Fasting & Steve Barnes --

If you're interested in life extension, you may want to take a look into intermittent fasting. If you've followed caloric restriction at all, you probably know that caloric restriction increases the maximum life span of mammals (and other classes of animals) by up to 50%, by holding them to a diet of about 60% of the calories a healthy animal would otherwise consume. You live longer, but you're fucking miserable the whole time -- not a great tradeoff.

Intermittent fasting seems to split this dilemma: you eat heavy one day, don't eat at all the next, get all the benefits of caloric restriction (and maybe then some) ... without getting skinny and losing muscle mass. I'm not going to drill down into the detail here -- if you're interested, go over to Steve Barnes blog, at -- he's all over this and one of his readers is going to do an actual clinical study.

One interesting thing about intermittent fasting is that it appears to do an astonishing job of protecting your brain. Animals on IF are less prone to neurological conditions such as alzheimers and parkinson's -- in one test, rats with severed spinal cords regained some control of their feet on IF, versus none for rats on a regular diet or on caloric restriction. Once again, there's too much here to go into -- but if, like me, you want to live a long time and be healthy, intermittent fasting apears to be the best bet based on what we currently know.

Also, pick up Steve Barnes latest book. I've always admired Steve as a man, as long as I've known him; he's one of the most remarkable people I know. But his early fiction never moved me much. It was well written -- the man can write and always could -- and he is, along with Matt Stover and John D. MacDonald, one of the 3 best action writers I've ever read. But the issues he was dealing with -- fatherless boy learning to be a man, mostly -- weren't the issues I was dealing with -- I had a father. My dad was who John Wayne would have been if Wayne had been just a little tougher. In any event, Barnes's early work didn't resonate with me the way I'm sure it did with others.

Which is a long way round to Great Sky Woman. Barnes is the only working black SF writer since Octavia Butler passed, and this is one of the best books I've read in forever, SF (sort of) written from a viewpoint well outside white mainstream SF. I've just about stopped reading SF/fantasy/horror -- the fantasies and fears of smart white people: got it. Nothing new for me there (barring rare works of brilliance from a few writers who transcend form) ... moving along. But GSW is one of those rare works of brilliance that transcend form. Unless you flat-out know for sure that anthropological SF set in pre-historical Africa is of no interest to you, you should give this a shot. Even if you do know that, read the first chapter, standing in the bookstore some day.

While I'm typing -- since her name came up, Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents is one of the other great works I've read in the last decade. I finished that book and told Amy I wanted to go have lunch with Octavia Butler and meet the woman who could have written this -- but I never made that call, and some months later she died. King of good timing, me.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Changed the comments permissions ...

Anyone can now post comments, though anonymous (or non-registered) posters will need to wait until I review their comments before they'll show up.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

First Post ...

I've been posting since 1980 or so various places, since the days of BBSs. It's annoying how many FatSams there are floating around the internet -- because I was the first FatSam online, anywhere in the world. I'm pretty sure I'm the first person to describe internet addiction in print -- not a joke, that, unless someone else got there prior to 1989.

If you don't know who I am, check my entry on Wikipedia:

It's a fair overview.

I've just started maintaing another blog, about horror writer Alan Rodgers. It's here: That'll be updated quite a bit for the immediate future, after which it'll probably get quieter.

This blog should be nicer than that one. :-)