I just sold “The Countable,” the first of my “math stories,” to Asimov’s. Woohoo!
Writing tip of the day: if you give your characters gender-neutral names (or names that have masculine and feminine forms that are easily confused, like Rene and Renee), make sure that you give your reader some means of identifying the gender of the character early. Unless the ambiguity is intentional, this can really trip up readers.
What I had against me: the story is told in the first person, so there’s little opportunity for physical description that doesn’t seem intrusive; the story is set in a post-Singularity world, so physical descriptions are out in any event.
It’s also interesting how important a role gender plays in our ability to sink into a narrative. Uncertainty about the gender of a character is like a toothache, constantly pulling the reader out of the story. It does raise interesting questions about how gender identity will be handled in the post-Singularity world.
This is what I’m reading, as research for a story.
Reading the ePUB version on the iPad is quite pleasant, though I wish it were possible to download the file on the iPad and open it in iBooks. Right now, you have to go through your computer and iTunes.
It’s already taken me way too many hours to just put (some of) my published fiction back up. Recreating the entire site is simply not going to happen. There’s not enough time in a life to be a digital pack rat. The trick is to prioritize and triage.
On a positive note, this is an opportunity to force me to rethink what the site is about. A lot of cruft have grown up around the site over the years, and this is a chance to start anew. A lot of decisions will have to be made.