Hotel Convention Bookings: A Cautionary Tale

tl;dr: Inadvertent double booking due to intermediaries (and missing that there were two bookings) resulted in attempts to overcharge us by £1350 (~$2250) for a five-night stay. On August 30, 2013, I booked a room for Loncon3 through Starwood’s reservation system for the Aloft London Excel (a Starwood hotel) at £279/night (not at the much […]

Reading Audiobooks

Note: for those reading on Tumblr, LiveJournal, or Dreamwidth, the version of this post has the WordPress-fu that expands the Twitter links. Mary Robinette notes some good things for the future of audio-first books: Woot! The motion to make audio books officially part of the Hugo fiction categories passed. Still needs to be ratified, […]

Hugo Awards, 2014 Edition

Cory Doctorow accepting the Best Graphic Story Hugo Award for Randall Munroe's "Time.". Photo by Jim C. Hines

First, congratulations to all the winners! Wow, what a rush. None of my four outlier recommendations made the ballot. Except one of them won in a different category, and I could just do jumping jacks about that. Campbell Award I’m entirely unsurprised that Sofia Samatar won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I remember […]

Falling Back in Love With One’s Own Book

Photo by Lizzy Gadd

While I’m guilty of most of the classic bad writerly habits save for drugs and alcohol, none of those bad habits per se are the cause of my greatest problems with word count. No, for things like spending too much time on Twitter, that typically means I’ll write fewer words (unless I’m on Twitter for […]

Worldcon: Day 1

We arrived in London on Wednesday afternoon, and our shared ride to the Aloft hotel took 2-1/2 hours due to road closures in central London for an event. It’s our first stay at an Aloft hotel, which is trendy and hipsterish without being too much so. The convention rate makes it affordable for a London […]

Problematic Topics and Catharsis

Photo by Björn Simon

In many ways, I’m a classic liberal: I don’t believe in censorship, even of works I feel are reprehensible. I think fiction, and well-written non-fiction, can be cathartic, and that catharsis is a good thing. Most of us have some sort of negative desire: something that, if fulfilled, would harm us or others. For most […]

Coping With Depression

Robin Williams died, apparently of suicide. He’d been through a recent rehab program; he struggled with both addiction and depression. For many years, I didn’t realize I struggled with depression. When I became involved in Scientology, the depression got worse, and the costs of admitting I had it rose. I left Scientology in 1989, but […]

Amazon, Invoking WW2 and Getting it Wrong

Amazon invokes World War II. (Do Not Linkified because why should they get all the Google juice?) Also, structure of email opening is remarkably similar to from @andrewtshaffer (which has full Orwell quote) — andrea vuleta (@alv65) August 9, 2014 Except, of course, they said “World War II” rather than 1939 because that carries […]