Something old, something new…
For a while, now, I’ve been meaning to mention that two of my stories are currently available online. One is a reprint and the other is an original set in the Milkweed universe.
Additionally, I’ve just discovered a second case of real-world circumstances reflecting something that I thought I had conjured from my imagination.
Something old â€¦
One of my favorite stories has just been republished by the good folks over at Snackreads. (Which, by the way, if you’re not already familiar with Snackreads, they’re worth a look. They’re putting together a nice little catalog of stories by terrific authors like Daniel Abraham, Jane Linskold, and Fred Saberhagen.) Come Dancefight, My Beloved Enemy is an eminently silly tale of retired spies and mechanical sharks, told entirely in that literary abomination known as second-person narration. And yet, for all that, I’m fond of the piece. I wrote it as an exercise for myself at the end of Clarion (which is going back a few years now, come to think of it). No story is perfect, true, but somehowâ€”in spite of the deliberately over-the-top weirdness, or perhaps because of itâ€”it worked out better than I had expected. So I’m happy that it’s available again.
Dancefight is one of my earlier stories, though. Much newer, as in brand-new, is What Doctor Ivanovich Saw, which has been published in the current issue of Subterranean Press Magazine. It’s a standalone story set in the world of the Milkweed Triptych novels Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War, and Necessary Evil. It takes place during the long gap between the first and second books. It’s also, as one might infer from the title, a companion piece to What Doctor Gottlieb Saw, which takes place just prior to the first chapter of Bitter Seeds. Though the stories are independent of one another.
Something conjured from the depths of a fevered imaginationâ€¦
(Isn’t that how the rhyme goes?)
Anyway. Speaking of Doctor Gottlieb, here’s an interesting headline that came across my Twitter feed this morning: Dell Users: Latitude 6430u Laptops ‘Smell of Cat Urine’.
This amuses me to no end because it reads (to me) like a confluence of tiny details plucked from the Milkweed books and the Doctor Gottlieb story. Early in Bitter Seeds, the batteries that fuel the superhuman feats of the GÃ¶tterelektrongruppe are described as rechargeable lithium-ion packs. I wrote that with modern laptop batteries in mind, to try to hint at the idea that the technology developed at the Farm was far ahead of its time. Later in the series, and also in the Gottlieb story, I describe the innards of the batteriesâ€”and the laboratory where they’re assembled, and the technicians who work on themâ€”as carrying the strong ammonia stink of cat piss.
So I fully expect the source of that strange odor will be traced to the batteries in those Dell laptops.
First, it was Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation. Now it’s the smell of (possibly) defective batteries. Bit by bit, the impossible over-the-top mad science of the Milkweed books becomes realityâ€¦