I realize how tedious this is for you to hear, but -- I'm on the road again! Only, this time I'm going to Toronto, the City of Peace and a terrific place to visit. So much so that that I'm flying out there several days early for my SFContario guest of honor gig just so I can spend some time enjoying the city. I'm planning on having a terrific time.
SFContario premieres this weekend, November 19-21st, and its list of participants includes such stellar Canadian SF writers as Peter Watts, Jo Walton, Robert J. Sawyer, Karl Schroeder . . . and I'd better stop there before the list becomes long enough that those I leave off feel offended.
Thinking about the above writers -- and specific others who won't be in attendance -- it struck me that the long project to create a distinctly Canadian science fiction is beginning to bear fruit. Not that I could map out its distinctions for you, and granted that Jo Walton is an immigrant, and okay yes it's an extremely varied set of writers and fictions. But it's easy to think of Jo, Rob, Karl and (since I've never met him) Mr. Watts as being engaged on a common enterprise congruent with but distinct from that which we practice in the States.
I could be wrong, of course. It might be simply that I know these folks all know one another and trade ideas and influences. But I think that something positive is coalescing up in the North.
And the rather disappointing answer to my Friday teaser is . . .
There were a couple of responses to my Friday blog guessing as to why the stairs to my office are named the Dragon Staircase, and they were so much more interesting than the truth, that I'm rather sorry I brought it up.
But a promise is a promise, so . . .
When Marianne bought the house, two years before we were married, it was a fixer-upper. In our early years together, we replaced the ceiling in what is now my office (and, ripping out drywall, discovered the remains of a brick chimney), sledge-hammered the base of the shower in the downstairs bath and ripped out the rusted shower walls (a rumpled girlie magazine fell out from behind it), and steamed off five layers of wallpaper, each one uglier than the one before, so we could repaint the walls, and . . . Well, the list goes on and on. We made what felt like hundreds of repairs.
These included hiring carpenters to replace the stair treads. We left the traditional handful of coins inside the stairs and then I drew a small dragon on the bottom tread. It was meant as a kind of sign or pledge or even prayer that our lives would not be conventional ones,
And, God knows, we have kept that promise.