Typewriter Repair

For the past week, I’ve been carrying my typewriter around because I didn’t want to separate myself from my end-of-novel process. I took it with me to Two-Hour Transport in Seattle, and the next day I used it at Denny Park during a convivial lunch hour. On my way back to transit home, I was in the middle of the western crosswalk at 9th & Denny looking towards Westlake when I took a most unusual fall, an open shoe eyelet getting caught in laces. I couldn’t unstick my foot in time, and the momentum of the typewriter took me down in an ungraceful sprawl. I landed on my knuckles (looks like I punched X-Man Colossus, formerly of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, with a left hook), my knee (internally okay, just bruised, like I kneed Colossus), and the point of my chin (a dime-sized bruise, as though Colossus, a.k.a. Pyotr Nikolaivitch, barely got one little shot in) – and the typewriter flipped over and took a knock on its upper noggin, the outer front corner of its case.

To the everlasting credit of the city of Seattle, the three people on the nearest corner came immediately to my aid, helped me up, picked up my typewriter, even the tree-burr that I’d been carrying in my other hand, and brought me to the stairwell at the corner where I could sit and recuperate. One of them was wearing a Dark Horse lanyard.


That was probably the absolute safest spot for the typewriter to take an unfortunate landing. I’m actually a little upset I didn’t manage to land cradling it, but at least also the laptop in my backpack landed safely on top of me. Tris is still in all-keys-working condition, but has taken on a minor maladjustment that I really want to address. It’s something in the alignment of the space bar mechanism (grinding a gear when moving the carriage), and somehow also the margin indicator ribbon escaped its confinement. I feel as though nursing it during this time of novel midwifery is the least I can do in thanks for all the manuscript-churning it’s done.

At least I look like I won the fight.


Wednesday Night Special: Two-Hour Transport

I made it into Seattle for a first-time reading with the ongoing Two-Hour Transport science fiction fantasy feature & open mic. It’s a neat venue for airing and absorbing incipient stories of a wide variety. This is in fact the first public reading from the re-issue version of Book 1, and I’m happy to say that the book functions as intended – it has the words inside!


93 \ 181

“With what we have on board, we can manage a linkthrough at one of the remaining polygons, and that’s where we’re going. This is one of the last few, and our only option without having to dawdle about with sensitive cargo. Let’s look ahead to these coordinates.” Sturlusson fed them in, and his pilot Trosper interfaced them to the ship’s advanced viewers. An unexpected sight met them on the display.

Sturlusson cursed quietly and left the chamber. He returned leading the Princess to the cockpit ahead of him. “Can you identify that ship?” he asked, pointing. A very beefy vessel was floating next to a bizarre space object.

After Trosper obliged her better views of a few identifying areas, Princess Soleil replied, “It’s an official Vanguard vehicle.”

“Yes, it is,” Raev Sturlusson replied. “Anything more specific?” She shook her head no. His expression turned dark, yet he chuckled a bit through his glower. “Really, this is exactly what they should be doing.”

“Were you expecting this, Raev?”

“No, Verne – despite my eminent capabilities, I am not up to the minute on every corner of the universe. But in this case, we’ve caught up to the cutting edge of news; in fact, we’re making the next headline. I’m used to this. Aren’t you?” The last he directed to the Princess, still studying the data.

Soleil turned to face him directly. “Yes, but not as often in such a manner.” She again felt that the benefit of her position within the opposition would amount to little if interrupted at this point. Though she admired the valiance of the Vanguard, she did not wish them this situational victory.

“Well, it’s like this much of the time in my world. Then again, we give them every reason. They’ve got every reason right now. Secure everyone in the back,” said Sturlusson, dismissing Princess Soleil. “Verne, choose your path of approach.”

Derringer had been hustling along a clear (to him) trail, observing their speed as being inconspicuously reasonable. That was something he could keep up with, even catch up with a little. He stayed on target with light-intensity mini-readings, until he noticed a sudden tack that looked responsive. Gauging from experience, his prey was near an objective, and from the angle of the tack from the initial path, he guessed how near and in what direction. He took an opposite tack to complete a pincer movement. Chasing people down was a lot like cooperating with them. Thinking of it that way, he was actually quite the team player.

The view resolved, and Derringer moved up to a standoff. A government vehicle nicer than his was flashing a Stop-and-Search at a ship nicer than the government vehicle. There was no road here; nothing except for the giant dreamcatcher twice the size of its government neighbor.

This was a strange tableau. Anyone who could add would know that it didn’t add up. He was right on time to catch these two buckaroos twitching at each other, whoever they were. Things seemed on the verge of confrontational, and what but he should be right here, as though he were supposed to be.

The private investigator (did a secret government employer make him a detective?) ran another math problem. The fact that he’s been gambling on trouble, plus observing a fake wreck, plus tracking someone to a random point, plus this fast and expensive sport ship, plus a highly-equipped official, plus having powerful silent protection, plus having some of the best gear he’s ever been allowed to carry, plus that weird strategy-sized thingy… He absolutely simply had to get involved. Even if he didn’t have all the details.

If the Princess were on the government vehicle, his contract would already be over. So he knew which side to take, in case there was a Princess in the other one. A half-moment gear-up, and he dove in to grab the attention of the… was that a Vanguard?

“Is he one of ours? Yours?” Verne Trosper asked his friend of many years about the new arrival.

“You know, I’m not sure. I’m not in charge of everything,” replied Sturlusson, expressing an edge of exasperated humility.

Trosper nodded coolly. “Then let’s brunch first.” With rapid-stage multi-hold aiming, Trosper’s foil-beam salvo ended successfully as soon as it started. “Invitation sent. Accepted!” Vanguard totaled, peppy observer hobbled.

“Let’s pick them up,” said Raev Sturlusson, examining their new friend. “Hey, that ship’s government too, isn’t it.”

“It is, isn’t it. They weren’t acting like buddies.”

“I don’t think they are.” After a clearly understandable adoption procedure, Derringer stood inside of Trosper’s ship facing Sturlusson, who commented. “You’re an interesting person to have that kind of ship.”

“I’m a really interesting guy.” Soleil heard this as she appeared in the hatchway to the compartment where the greeting was happening, compelled to assess this transition herself. Derringer’s eyes caught her presence immediately. “Who’s looking for a really interesting gal.”

Hardcover Availability Overlap

Bones of Starlight 1: Fire Within is now available in beautiful ‘mystery’ hardcover (additional details to be added) over Amazon.com, and by request from your local bookstore.

fire within hc cover front

Meanwhile, there remains one week of availability for the previous version hardcover, Bones of Starlight 1: Fire On All Sides. Then there will be no more of them! Great thanks to all who bought this edition, including those at my first-ever book launch event.

Fire On All Sides hardcover

WorldCon 76 San Jose


San Jose, I’m on my way.
Some Thursday, Friday,
and a little bit of Saturday
is the gameplay.
Seems I couldn’t stay away.
Come what may,
for that’ll be the day.
I’ve found a way to the soiree.

Yes, I’ll be roving WorldCon for a stretch. Looking forward to your shining faces!

Additional thanks to Con-Or-Bust for their help sending under-represented minorities to conventions. It works, it helps, it’s possible, it matters.