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I hate this time of year. First off, it's tax time, so I have spent most of the last three days dealing with little bits of paper, to get things in order for my accountant. The process was less painful this year, since I had my valiant assistant, Ty Franck, to help with the process -- but that doesn't mean it was fun. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization, and I don't mind paying them, really I don't. It's just the bloody record keeping that drives me mad.

Ah, well. It's done now. Everything is in the hands of my accountant, and in a few weeks he'll get back to me and let me know how much I owe. (A lot. You guys buy a lot of books. Do keep that up, please).

Meanwhile, spring has come to Santa Fe. Flowers are popping up, leaves are appearing shyly on trees, grass is growing. Which means my allergies are popping up as well. That's the other thing I hate about this time of year. Sneezing, sniffing, watery eyes, popping pills.
Bah, humbug. 'Winter is coming' may sound ominous, but it's 'spring is here' that makes me blood run cold. Ah - CHOOO. sniff sniff sniff

There's cool news too. Awards and more awards.

Let's see. The audiobook of DREAMSONGS (vol 1), produced by Janet Stark and Random House Audio, and featuring a stellar cast of readers including Yours Truly, has been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award as the best science fiction audiobook of 2007. We're up against Frank Herbert, Larry Niven, Diana Paxson, and Jack Finney. For a full list of all the Audie nominations, visit http://www.theaudies.com/

And DREAMSONGS (vol 1) is also up for the Golden Chazzie. Actually, it's up for two Golden Chazzies -- one for Best Fiction, and one for Best Audiobook. To tell the truth, I don't know much about the Golden Chazzie. If you go to http://www.needcoffee.com/2007-chazzie-nominations/ you will know as much about the Chazzies as I do. It appears to be an award given by some guys who need coffee. Hey, if I win, I'll send them some! (Or would that be considered to be bribing the judges?) I hope it's made of real gold.

The Hugo nominations are also out. I was thrilled to see Daniel Abraham make the list in novelette, and very pleased that the novel list included Michael Chabon's novel. I liked the Campbell finalists as well.

Got to say, though, I was disappointed by some of the other categories... not so much because of who made the ballot, but because of who didn't. We missed our last chance to honor Ellen Asher for her long decades of great work as editor of the Science Fiction Book Club, and that's a shame. And the Best Fanzine nominators continue to ignore the growing importance of blogs and websites. One day a blogozine will win a place on the ballot, and one day John Howe and Alan Lee and the other deserving artists I wrote about last month will get some recognition... but not this year, it seems.

Oh, well. As the Brooklyn Dodger fans of my childhood were wont to say, "Wait'll Next Year."


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Excuse me, sir, but we can keep bying your books as long as you keep writing them.
we are really looking forward to read "dance with dragons"
Mar. 22nd, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Damn! Does this mean another Stark dies?
Mar. 24th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Dance
I believe it does...and damn it, I don't have that icon uploaded right now.
Mar. 22nd, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
I wonder if spring allergies are a problem on Westeros. Considering the length of the seasons, that would be a long time to be miserable, ne? Or are spring and autumn really short?
Mar. 23rd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
I would work under the assumption that the trees and such are multiple bearers in the long summer in Westeros, else the Summer could get just as nasty, foodwise, as the Winter. Each crop could do what a lot of crops in the Sacramento Valley do, which is bear one crop, have that harvested, and grow more— that works mostly with tomatoes, BTW. When that happens, though, you don't get one big overload of pollen but a more diffused sort of pollination, one that I would assume would be below the trigger threshold for most allergy sufferers.

Furthermore, there is a lot of increasing evidence that allergies are the body's parasite removal system going haywire in the absence of parasites. The best evidence for that is the distinct lack of allergies in parasite-heavy areas such as Southeast Asia, regardless of genetic origin. Basically the system is overreacting in the absence of a threat. One might assume from the fact that Westeros is far below the antiseptic standards of, say, antibacterial fanatics of the US that there is a greater chance of minor parasites in the life of a citizen of Westeros, and thus far less chance of allergies as we know them.

The really scary part of this reply is that I didn't have to look it up. That information just surged to the top of my brain when reading your post. :D
Mar. 23rd, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
One more thing— they've successfully controlled incapacitating allergies through application of tapeworms. As one of the relieved sufferers said, "I try not to think too hard about what's in that pill I'm swallowing."
Mar. 22nd, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Grass and flowers in March... I wish I lived in Santa Fe. Snow, dirt and -21 Centigrade at night is another reason to hate spring.
It is not as bad as it seems, at least you're not in Siberia. So cheer up)
Mar. 23rd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, in northern Michigan it's still around 20 Farenheit (-7 C), and it was snowing last night. It's looking like late April before we start seeing major thaws. It's no longer bitterly cold, but days above freezing are few, and what melts freezes again at night. We have a good two feet built up most places, so it will be a while before it's all melted.

The main problem I have with spring, apart from allergies, is MUD. EVERYWHERE.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I understand you so much. That mud is the worst thing ever. Especially when there is a big snowfall at night and in the morning all the snow is melting in the sun >_< Can't stand this
Hope it would be over soon with no snowfalls in May)))
Mar. 22nd, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so with you on the allergies. I love trees, but in April/May I want to chop down every bloody birch I can find in Germany (and those in Danmark, Netherlands and France as well to be on the safe side).
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Glad to see some of my favorites
I've tuned into Lynch, Abercrombe, Scalzi, and Abraham while waiting for the next installement of "It's a bad day to be a Stark." :) Glad to see these talented people on the 08 Hugo nomination list, as they've more than filled in my spare reading time lately!
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Spring in Santa Fe
I remember it well :)

Oddly enough, I used to look forward to going there to get away from hayfever. Whatever grows here (Sacramento valley, California) is far worse for me.

Though I never technically collected mail in New Mexico, I spent a lot of time there. My dad lived in Santa Fe for the last almost 40 years, until his death this past January 29th, and my little brothers still call it home.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Re: Spring in Santa Fe
Sacramento Valley is one of the worst pollen areas in the country. Willamette (rhymes with dammit) Valley in Oregon is as bad, if not worse.

I've lived in both, but it's my hometown of Sacramento that sets me off at two distinct times. I think you get sensitized to the local stuff. I'm just glad I'm not allergic to grass— it's grown for turf in both places.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Valley fever
Yeah, it's hell here some years. This year I'm not noticing it as much, only because I seemed to have become severally allergic to something in my house, so the sneezing goes on year 'round.

Just shoot me now. :-/
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
It was a better list than I feared it would be, although the absence of Black Man/Thirteen is still mystifying (although predicted by many). Brasyl should be the clear winner, although it's possible that Worldcon will give in and give Stross a prize after being nominated for what feels like the fiftieth year in a row. The Campbell I suspect will be a three-way-race between Durham, Lynch and Abercrombie but I suspect Abercrombie's superior release schedule (he'll have three books out to Durham's one and Lynch's two by the time of Worldcon) may see him pipping Lynch to the post.

No Alan Lee for the Children of Hurin artwork is totally unfathomable to me. What the hell does the guy have to do to be nominated?

I'm also not sure what's going with the dramatic presentations. BSG: Razor really should be in the Long Form section (as it's definitive version is nearly two hours long), Heroes: Season 1 seems like a bit of a cheat to me and the total absence of Sunshine - the most visually and aurally stunning SF movie since Blade Runner - is also a surprise. I also wouldn't be surprised if Doctor Who - which actually deserves to win this year for 'Blink' - had a surprise lose. If it wins though, that gives writer Steven Moffatt a hat trick, something even JMS failed to do back in the day.

As always, the Hugo nominations provoke good, healthy discussion about the genre if nothing else!
Mar. 23rd, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
New York Giants and Jets Draft
Are you looking forward to the draft? In the case of the Jet's they might be well served to draft Mcfadden if possible. Though they could also build by getting like a good tackle, or a defensive end. Though if they could get Glenn Dorsey.. I personally rate him at the top of the draft board.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
I don't mind paying a reasonable tax rate, either. It's the fidgety bits of paper that drive me wild. I am going to force myself to attack that stack of paperwork and receipts. Next weekend.

I'm buying the books in duplicate as gifts.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 08:14 am (UTC)
The Midwest is actually pretty bad for allergies too. At least where I live, every spring all the farmers start fertilizing fields and kicking up every fricking piece of pollen that manages to NOT remain in the air where I can breathe it in... I actually did not get spring allergies too badly until I was 18 (about 5 years ago). The first time I got them, I was getting such little sleep from burning eyes that I was passing out for the first time in my life from sleep deprivation. Not fun stuff!

What kind of pills do you take? I've been taking just Claritin D the past few years when it hasn't been so bad, but if it still drives you nuts I recommend getting a prescription for Allegra... that stuff works incredibly well.
Mar. 23rd, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
From speaking with friends, the pills really depend on the person. I'm fine with non-D Claritin; it doesn't really clear me up, but it keeps me clear if I take one every morning. It's a lot cheaper, too, and you don't have to deal with being treated like a criminal every time you buy it.

I recommend looking into a Neti pot. It sounds a bit weird, but... basically you pour warm saltwater through your nose to clear stuff out. The idea is that it has a similar temperature and salt content to your blood, so it isn't uncomfortable, and it washes out all the crud that builds up in your sinuses.
Mar. 24th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Mr. Martin: Thanks for the link to the Chazzies on our site. Just to give you some more info on the Chazzies: in actuality, you've already won two of them. One in 2004 for Best Audiobook for THRONES and one in 2005 for Best Fiction for CROWS. I discovered you and your work via the ICE AND FIRE audiobooks and I've infected the entire staff at the site with an appreciation for the books. So much so that we tried to distill the teachings of the series into an easily digestible list of bits (slight language warning). We try to contact as many nominees and winners as we can, but I see our previous efforts to get to you were unsuccessful, for which I apologize. I'd be glad to send you the reasonably spiffy certificates we created for the winners and even some celebratory coffee (though I appreciate the offer to send us some--you are a scholar and a gentleman) if I knew the right snail mail address to use. I fear we can't afford the actual *golden* statues yet, but one of these days. Anyway, just say the word, sir. Thanks for your work.
Mar. 24th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
I'm in Sydney, Australia, so we are in Autumn right now, but only theoretically. We have had more over 30 degrees celsius days in a row in March than we had all Summer. It's bizarre. The seasons are flipping over on themselves.

Congrats on the nominations!!!
Mar. 26th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
I just ordered two more of your books, the graphic novel versions of which I already owned. Hope you feel better!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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