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Nuclear Deterrence in a Blood Magic World

February 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

Man, I am going crazy with the guest blogging this week.  The irony is not lost on me, by the way, that I'm seemingly unable to keep my own blog up to date.  Somehow if somebody invites me to write for a different site, suddenly I'm all over that.  But when I remind myself to update my own blog I often tell myself to go jump in a lake.  Whatever.

Anyway, today's guest post is over at the Orbit Books blog.  It's a follow-up rumination on some of the topics that arose—too briefly—during my recent conversation with Charlie Stross about the Laundry novels.

Speaking of Stross, I had a particularly disturbing dream last night, partially inspired by reading a Laundry novel right before going to sleep last night.

I dreamed of a creepy feral child playing an accursed violin by strumming the bow across iron shackles containing the bloody severed hands of her parents.

(This image brought to you courtesy of Mo's violin.)


Mike February 22, 2013 at 10:54 am
Which was the terrifying bit? A creepy feral child playing an accursed violin by strumming the bow across iron shackles containing the bloody severed hands of her parents (got to love the detail there), or the creepy feral child's playing *of* the violin. Personally, there is little else on Earth more horrible than a child practicing the violin. Although the recorder comes a close second. Mime is right up there too.
Alex February 23, 2013 at 11:26 am
I now fully expect a short story about an evil child violinist. Get to it, mister. It's not like you have anything else to do with your time.
Steve Halter February 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm
That's quite an image Ian.
Ian February 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm
The dream was actually even weirder than that. It was a semi-lucid dream where I was in the dream, but also aware, in a meta sense, of the way in which the dreamstory was unfolding and how it was orchestrated. So the part of me that was IN the dream kept hearing the same violin chord played over and over again, like a little blip of a horror-movie sound track on an endless loop. But IN the dream it wasn't soundtrack but a realtime environmental sound coming from the violin. But meanwhile, another part of me recognized how the scene was constructed like something from a horror movie. So after the third or fourth time the same "surprise!" chord played on the "soundtrack", the semi-lucid part of me said -- and this is a quote directly from the dream -- "Oh, just do the reveal, for God's sake." At which point the non-meta-observer Ian peeked under the bed and discovered the feral child with violin, shackles, and severed hands. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW MY SUBCONSCIOUS ROLLS. My girlfriend gave me a very weird and concerned look when I told her about this dream. Who's a silver-tongued charmer? I AM.
Joe March 15, 2013 at 3:16 am
Just thought you might like to know. I ordered a copy of the new book this week, from my favourite SF bookshop. The paperback, though. I have the first two in hardcover, but the first one is the first edition of the HC. I'm going to have a series where none of the volumes match each other! If you write a fourth Milkweed book, you're going to have to do something different again, coverwise or formatwise.
Ian April 6, 2013 at 10:33 am
Hi, Joe. Please accept my apology for the weeks your comment spent in moderation purgatory. There's a glitch in the notification system, so if I don't remember to manually look for new comments now and then (and I never do), things tend to get stuck in limbo. Anyway-- thank you for preordering the forthcoming Milkweed book. I am grateful! It is sort of strange that the U.S. editions of the Milkweed series will end up being a motley collection. I'm not sure if this was finalized, but it's possible that the U.S. paperback of The Coldest War will be trade paper rather than mass market, meaning it will be a different size from the Bitter Seeds pb. We do this just to be contrary.
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