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Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Stargate Monuments

Stuff About Me

It's been a kind of rushed, busy December. I've been working on the editorial revision of The Harbors of the Sun, the last Raksura novel, which is coming out this July. There wasn't anything structural to do, just a few notes, but I'd written parts of it so fast and out of order that I found a lot of clean-up to do. Because of deadline scheduling, I ended up finishing the last read-through on Sunday, send it off to the editor Monday morning and starting immediately on the copy edit for The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red (coming out in May) and then getting it sent off so I could do a quick read of the edits for "Birthright," the short story I have in Mech: Age of Steel. Normally these things don't all happen at once.

But basically I got it all done. Now I need to get a Raksura Patreon story done for this week.

Yesterday seemed to be the day to get bad news about people we know, too. It's been a hugely stressful couple of months for a lot of people.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I started having pain in first one hand, then the other, which was getting continually worse and I was afraid it was arthritis. (Actually I was afraid it was anything from fibromyalgia to leprosy, I was hoping it was arthritis.) But I got sent to the orthopedist to get shots in my hands, which are painful and done with huge needles, but which really, really helped.

Oh, and we saw Hidden Figures on Friday and it was fabulous. I highly recommend it.

I did get to see the cover for The Murderbot Diaries this morning, which is awesome and I can't wait to show it to people. This is my first SF novella for Tor.com, and it'll be coming out in ebook and a tiny adorable paperback. (It's up for preorder in various places, but the paperback in cheapest on Barnes & Noble. The ebook is only $2.99 everywhere.)

Here's the description again: A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that blends HBO's Westworld with Iain M. Banks' Culture books.

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid -- a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

So that's what I've been doing in between anxiety attacks about politics, basically.

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Hidden Figures looks amazing, even beyond the Oscar-bait quality and into the "this looks like a seriously wonderful movie I'll still be watching in 20 years" zone, but I have to admit, I hate all this "gee, wasn't it awful back then?" stuff you see in the media and comment sections of reviews. We haven't progressed nearly enough to be able to look at the events of that movie and sigh with relief that we're all so much smarter and more evolved than society was back then.

I kind of love how the PR guys are linking your book to HBO's popular Westworld series! ;) It's like Roddenberry plugging Star Trek as "Wagon Train to the Stars!" I hope it works as well as it worked on the NBC execs.

Man, I remember lo these many years when you mentioned having pains in your hands when trying to type out the last chapters of Raiders of the 7 Systems. I'm so sorry that hasn't cleared up over time and you still aren't quite sure how to fix this permanently... idiopathic diseases are so freakin' frustrating. I'm relieved the Giant Needles (TM) are doing their job, however. For what it's worth, my mom had an autoimmune disease that expressed itself in hand (& foot) pain, in fact she had massively gnarled "old crone" rheumatoid arthritic fingers. She went to a nutritionist with a radio show who had offices in Manhattan (we all mocked her, I'm afraid) and he tested her blood, told her she had antibodies for milk protein in her blood, and that if she cut cow juice and all the products made from & with it from her diet, she'd lose the pain in 8 months to a year. She was pretty draconian and cut milk out of her diet, no sneaking a little taste of ice cream or anything, and 8 months later, her gnarled fingers (& feet) were no longer in pain. She was arthritis-free until the day she died, which was 20+ years later.

I didn't take the hint that it might be hereditary, and continued to consume cheese, milk and ice cream for years until I got a diagnosis of Hashimoto's Disease, another delightful autoimmune disease, from my GP, and was told by my own endocrinologist/dietician that I had antibodies for milk protein in my blood, plus gluten antibodies just to make things more fun. (My mom had to pay several hundred dollars for her blood tests as insurance didn't cover such foolishness back then; my insurance covered my blood tests! Progress!) I've been off cow milk (& gluten) for 2 years now and am able to have goat and sheep milk products in my diet, as well as gluten-free breads and cookies. I haven't felt this healthy in a very long time, lost 20 lbs slowly over the past 2 years, and wish I'd gotten this diagnosis years ago. So if you ever do get a diagnosis that your hand pain might be autoimmune-caused rather than related to repetitive action, I hope you will consider finding an endocrinologist with a line in nutrition and have your blood tested for various antibodies. Good luck and here's to no pain!

(Sorry for being a busybody and dropping these medical anecdotes on you. One is allowed to do this in moderation once past 55, you know! AARP says so!)

/busybody comment

The hand pain is an off and on thing. I've had tendinitis, mild carpal tunnel, etc. This last round seems to be pretty clearly from an injury, where I lifted something too heavy and strained the ligaments to the point where they started to get swollen and painful. The shots seemed to have mostly taken care of it, I just need to be careful for a while.

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