Happy Little Machines

2 April 2001

This morning, Timprov and I went up to Concord to take care of some paperwork for him and to try to get me in with Dr. Bill to get my back fixed. Dr. Bill has this happy little machine that lives with him -- it's an ultrasound, but instead of trying to see anything with it, he's just using it to relax my back muscles. And then he cracks my back eight different ways, and then I feel better.

Only that didn't happen this morning because he wasn't there. So if my back still hurts tomorrow, I'll get an appointment for Wednesday, if I can. Dr. Bill is my hero. I feel like I should acknowledge him in any of the novels I've written or will write while we live out here.

It's too bad Bob Ross wasn't more of a technophile, or we'd have all sorts of happy little machines.

I'm amused by some of Locus Magazine's April Fools' articles. Some are lame, but I like the forthcoming books and the review of William Gibson's space opera. They're the best kind of in-jokes: the kind that are only being told to people who will not feel left out.

We found Pamela Dean's first YA novel at Bay Books. I know that she said in her interview with Mary Anne that she's getting her YAs reprinted, but I'm not sure when that'll be, so Timprov bought it for $2. I'm always interested in seeing what other "grown-up writers" have done with their YAs. And Pamela Dean is so cool. If you want to see what it was like to go to Gustavus, read Tam Lin. Take the evil Sidhe Classics professors with as much of a grain of salt as you wish.

I've been reading The Return of Count Electric from the library. I saw a $20 hardbound copy of Resume with Monsters at Bay Books. Did not buy it. Obviously but sadly. I'm having a problem with the stories in The Return of Count Electric. I think the problem is structure. (Yay, structure! I love structure. I'm all about structure. In fiction, I mean.) He has problem, problem, problem, problem, pithiness. New story. Note that "pithiness" is not synonymous with "solution," no matter what dictionary you're using. And, I mean. If I want lots of problems and no solutions, I have cynical, depressing "Gen X" friends I can talk to. I would like to have some reason for a story to end where it does, not just "hey, I could say some really cool stuff in this section." I really loved Zod Wallop, though, so maybe my expectations are unreasonably high.

Generation X makes no sense to me. But I think that assigning everyone who was born in a particular year to a particular generation is a mistake. Generations should be defined experientially. I also think that labeling times and generations and movements while we're in the middle of them is a big mistake (and probably the fault of the Baby Boomers, who had it done to them first[?]). What if it turns out that the older and younger halves of this so-called Generation X have totally different impacts on the world in general? But now we're stuck with it. Too bad, historians! We have journalists now!

Right, then. I think it's time for me to get back to work on the new novel. And then the edits on "Irena's Roses." And then, research, I'm thinking. Yeah. This job is good.

Back to Morphism.

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