Where are we at, August 2022

Hey folks.

Well, things have been pretty busy so this is just a random scrambling catch-up effort before I see what lovely content I lay on you next.

Heads up: it’s probably going to be more crazy indie sci-fi book reviews. Edpool is taking over and things have gotten out of hand.

First, I guess I should make it official and tell you that S. Tholin’s Iron Truth won the first ever SPSFC. Here’s Edpool’s review of it.

So, SPSFC #1 is behind us, and SPSFC2 is just kicking off because these bastards are year-long commitments and we launch straight from one to the next.

I have a whole additional post maybe on its way about the SPSFC and my experiences and the experiences of Team Space Lasagna, but for now I will just say my teammates have opted to take a break and focus on their own projects for now. I, however, am not quite right in the head and although I still hope to do some writing of my own as well, it’s going really slowly right now and so I signed on to judge again.

I was intending to be a solo judge, not part of a team. However, since the SPSFC Powers are concerned about single judges having too much influence (this concern is mostly being pushed by judges who … ahhh, let’s leave it for the Behind The Rayguns SPSFC Special), I was asked to make a team. So now I am collecting members for Team Space Leftovers. I have one intrepid taker this year. So far.

So aside from reading another huge mass of books and reviewing them, and trying to write a book of my own (the third ‘short story’ in my latest collection is sitting at 42,944 words and is already technically big enough to enter the SPSFC as a novel), I started a new day job a week and a half ago. And I have been furiously ramping up and onboarding and learning stuff ever since.

It seems like a really nice place – a couple of familiar faces, and I’m doing the work I love and am particularly good at, even if it is a new and baffling subject matter – and I mean nice. It’s a fast-growing and very enthusiastic (and very international!) sort of place, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s not leaving me a whole heck of a lot of time and energy for anything else right now, but that will settle down once I find my feet. I’ve done enough subcontracting work to know how the first few weeks on a new project go.

We’re watching Peaky Blinders, The Sandman, are currently looking forward to watching the new Predator movie Prey, and are also re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Wump and Toop. I also watched Don’t Look Up and Alien Covenant recently.

I don’t know if I will have a chance to review any of the above, but let me know your thoughts? Probably something will shake loose about at least one of them.

How are you all doing?

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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13 Responses to Where are we at, August 2022

  1. Hatboy says:

    (the third ‘short story’ in my latest collection is sitting at 42,944 words and is already technically big enough to enter the SPSFC as a novel)

    Me at 36,147 words in May: I’ve still got a lot of text before we get to The First Feast levels of word count (49,000 words)…

    Which means I have only written ~6,800 words in this story since May. Which – by my standards – suuuuuuucks. But I’m still relatively content.

    Wump was asking me last night when the next Alicorn book will be done, so at least someone’s asking. Heh.

    • Hatboy says:

      Me at 36,147 words in May: I’ve still got a lot of text before we get to The First Feast levels of word count (49,000 words)…

      Me at 50,664 words little over a week later: That’s more like it. And oops, we breezed past The First Feast a little bit, didn’t we?

      Which means I have only written ~6,800 words in this story since May. Which – by my standards – suuuuuuucks. But I’m still relatively content.

      On the other hand, ~7,700 words in this story since the 10th of August ain’t bad, although still not quite up to my usual standards. Still, I’ve been settling into a new job and it’s been hot and humid as fuck so I’m not going to beat myself up too much.

      Next question is, do I go ahead with the fourth story or just say “fuck it, we’re done” and publish The Clown God with three stories, one of which is something of a beast (it could breeze into SPSFC2 as a novel with 10K words to spare)?

      This would be easier if I wasn’t talking to myself.

  2. Toon says:

    Oh I’m listening! I just have no strong views on the matter. Ummm… I think fuck it and publish with three. 🤷‍♀️

    • Hatboy says:

      I appreciate the vote! It’s definitely at odds with my weird arbitrary sense of “evenness” regarding the books, but Panda Egg already messed with that so let’s see. This fourth story is super fun so I’m going to see how quickly it happens. I am impatient to get a darn book out.

      • Toon says:

        But three is a magic number.
        Yes it is, it’s a magic number
        Because 2 times 3 is 6
        And 3 times 6 is 18
        And the 18th letter of the alphabet is Rrrrr……..

      • Hatboy says:

        You make a compelling point.

      • Hatboy says:

        For reference, the three stories together total 110,757 words, which is a good chonky book … just not as big as any of the other three “anthologies”. Deadshepherd is 145,572 words, The First Feast is 164,614 words, and Panda Egg is a whopping 196,280 words. That last one is a bit too big, in my opinion, although I do like a thicc boocc. I think maybe I do need to throw The Completely Sane and Narratively Defensible Adventures of Crewman 1,449 into this latest collection.

        Yes, that is the working title of the novella.

  3. Toon says:

    I’m just astonished that the first book of yours I ever read was 196,280 words.
    That is about a third of the size of War and Peace.
    So out of curiosity, how many words in total is the Final Fall of Man series?

    • Hatboy says:

      My reference “Expanded Urverse” PDF, with all the books stuck into it, is 7060 pages. No clue how many words, but with an average of 300 words per page it’s about 2.1 million words?

      • Toon says:

        Looking at my bookshelf, I may potentially have read more words of yours than any other single author…. hard to tell over a lifetime where books by the same author may be read 30 years apart, but certainly within a couple of years….

  4. Damon Holston says:

    Hola (as they say in Spain) where I am gong to be living for the next five weeks.
    I guess I could do a quick bullet point catch-up since there is much to recap with my posting(s) spread so far apart.

    – How is the new job? You seem to enjoy it quite a bit more than the last one as far as I can tell. My part-time remodeling job is not really paying my bills and I am going to start looking at full-time work that pays somewhat better (blurgh!).

    -Re: your book. By all means add more stories, or not, we will read whatever you deem to be necessary. Is there a way to buy directly from you so Big Brother Amazone doesn’t get their cut? I would rather you got my money than them. Can we pay what we feel it is worth [after reading it, of course. Wouldn’t want to pay for a load of crap 🙂 kidding ]

    -Somehow we have had well below our share of disaster/heat/flood/tornado/plague/etc. in Minnesota. I mean, we have had little to no rain most of the summer which is bad, but it has been fairly cool, only a few days over 95F (35C) and low humidity too.

    -My wife and I are leaving for Malaga, Spain on Friday for vacation to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We rented an apartment there for a home base and plan to visit Seville, Cordoba, Madrid (we are going to the Madrid derby if anyone follows football/soccer) and probably Gibraltar. If time permits we may try and take the ferry to Tangier, though that seems to be a fairly low priority. We are also spending a week in a little town near Ronda. If you aren’t familiar with Ronda please take the time to look it up. It is a cliff-top city in Andalusia that straddles a gorge. It was one of the screensaver pictures on our TV and we always wanted to go there, but it was coincidence that it is within a couple hours of Malaga. It will be the first time I have traveled to Europe since 1998 when I spent three weeks backpacking with a couple friends. I am very much looking forward to good, cheap wine and delicious food. Our apartment has a kitchen so we can cook for ourselves and my wife will be working some of the time, we definitely are not so well off that we can afford over a month of no work. We are staying in the “old city” and there is a Picasso museum nearby as well as a 12th century kasbah that should be pretty interesting architecturally. Oh, and the beach is only a ten minute walk. I will do my best to share some of our adventures while we are there and I will also be posting on Instagram @trail_and_airoar
    Super excited!

    – I agree with Toom about most words by one author, though I think you are in second place to little Stevie King for me. Mostly because I have read the Dark Tower series at least five times all the way through and started reading his books thirty years ago. Since I discovered Bad Cow you are far, far, far in the lead between your published and blog work. Even though it is not a contest that is pretty good company to be in (for Steven, not you). You are not talking to yourself, we just aren’t all as prolifically loquacious as you. For the love of god, don’t stop posting/writing for the few of us that are around, even if it gets lonely sometimes.

    Cheers and all that stuff.
    D

    • Toon says:

      Have a great trip Damon!
      Great to hear from you.
      And for clarification, I did not count rereads of books in my author word count. If that was the case, the number of Enid Blyton words I had read by the age of 10 would STILL have absolutely obliterated every other author since….

    • Hatboy says:

      Damon’s back!

      Hola (as they say in Spain) where I am gong to be living for the next five weeks.

      ¡Nice!

      That’s all the Spanish I ever learned from Asterix in Spain.

      – How is the new job? You seem to enjoy it quite a bit more than the last one as far as I can tell.

      So far so good! The team is really friendly and the office and perks (and salary) are next-level scary nice. I’m still settling in (this is my fourth week) but at four weeks I am considered a veteran at this place and they’re just letting me run amok with my editing and opinions.

      My part-time remodeling job is not really paying my bills and I am going to start looking at full-time work that pays somewhat better (blurgh!).

      Ugh, capitalism am I right? I guess at least you got your nice sabbatical though, so you’re relatively relaxed and fresh?

      -Re: your book. By all means add more stories, or not, we will read whatever you deem to be necessary.

      Well this is very kind of you to say. I did end up deciding to work on the fourth story, just because I am a little bit OCD and want them all to match (aside from Panda Egg, which had its own funky internally consistent numbering game going on). I’m excited about the story though, and might post some here! Or something else, some stuff that is probably not going to make it in.

      At least it’ll cut through the mass of reviews I will likely once again be doing.

      Is there a way to buy directly from you so Big Brother Amazone doesn’t get their cut? I would rather you got my money than them. Can we pay what we feel it is worth [after reading it, of course. Wouldn’t want to pay for a load of crap 🙂 kidding ]

      Hah, well, I don’t know. Amazon is my complete publishing solution, so everything begins and ends with them and they will get their cut. At least it’s only 30% off the top which is better than a trad publisher, but then again with a trad publisher I’d be getting more than one sale a month so the larger cut might be worth it.

      The only alternative is to go fully off-book like Toon and I have, where I post her paperbacks and she posts me candy. Or I could send you my IBAN or put up a donation button again, and you could pay me what you feel is fair (I mean the e-books are like $4-$5 so there’s your zone) and I could accidentally turn my back on an .epub when it’s sitting in my outbox with your email address in the recipient bar, and what happens when I put my coffee cup down on the Send button is completely out of my control.

      But those are the options for self-pubbers. Even other shops that sell my paperbacks are getting them from Amazon first, because they’re the printers.

      -Somehow we have had well below our share of disaster/heat/flood/tornado/plague/etc. in Minnesota. I mean, we have had little to no rain most of the summer which is bad, but it has been fairly cool, only a few days over 95F (35C) and low humidity too.

      Nice! It’s been thundery here without thunder for way too long.

      -My wife and I are leaving for Malaga, Spain on Friday for vacation to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We rented an apartment there for a home base and plan to visit Seville, Cordoba, Madrid (we are going to the Madrid derby if anyone follows football/soccer) and probably Gibraltar. If time permits we may try and take the ferry to Tangier, though that seems to be a fairly low priority. We are also spending a week in a little town near Ronda. If you aren’t familiar with Ronda please take the time to look it up. It is a cliff-top city in Andalusia that straddles a gorge. It was one of the screensaver pictures on our TV and we always wanted to go there, but it was coincidence that it is within a couple hours of Malaga. It will be the first time I have traveled to Europe since 1998 when I spent three weeks backpacking with a couple friends. I am very much looking forward to good, cheap wine and delicious food. Our apartment has a kitchen so we can cook for ourselves and my wife will be working some of the time, we definitely are not so well off that we can afford over a month of no work. We are staying in the “old city” and there is a Picasso museum nearby as well as a 12th century kasbah that should be pretty interesting architecturally. Oh, and the beach is only a ten minute walk. I will do my best to share some of our adventures while we are there and I will also be posting on Instagram @trail_and_airoar
      Super excited!

      Dang, that sounds glorious. My new workplace offers trips around Europe by way of Christmas / Summer vacation gifts, I could very nearly have crashed your anniversary. But congratulations and enjoy!

      – I agree with Toom about most words by one author, though I think you are in second place to little Stevie King for me. Mostly because I have read the Dark Tower series at least five times all the way through and started reading his books thirty years ago. Since I discovered Bad Cow you are far, far, far in the lead between your published and blog work. Even though it is not a contest that is pretty good company to be in (for Steven, not you).

      And this is also very touching, thank you.

      I recently bought myself a self-indulgent little gift, by the way, to celebrate my new job, our mortgage being paid off, and the fact that I will never realistically be able to afford a proper midlife crisis:

      Aaron figured it out with very little prompting, but he makes two people (including me) who got it. I feel at least mildly confident you, Damon, will make three and Toon may even make four. But to be honest it was entirely for myself and the fun of it, and because I sometimes like to have fire in my pocketses.

      You are not talking to yourself, we just aren’t all as prolifically loquacious as you. For the love of god, don’t stop posting/writing for the few of us that are around, even if it gets lonely sometimes.

      I appreciate that too, very complimentarily put. The truth is I was really just feeling mildly self-pitying and like I said, I have been (and will be) writing a whole ton of book reviews that might not necessarily be conversation-worthy so the opportunities to stick your head in and say howdy will be limited anyway. But you are all always welcome.

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