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What a month. I am going to make a blanket assumption that everyone reading this is at least as terrified as I am at the political climate change going on, which is almost as dangerous to the future of humanity as the natural climate change we have even less control over.

But in the tradition of artists in times of crisis, and I am going to keep on doggedly doing what I do, as hard and as best that I can. To that end I’m extremely pleased to announce that Heliopause put out three new titles this month! The long-overdue third rotation of Driving ArcanaProfessor Odd #9, and last but not least the Perihelion 2017 issue of Apsis Fiction! You’ve probably already seen the covers, but I’m going to share them again, because I am so proud of them.

Looking forward to next month (tomorrow—eep!) things are going to be very busy on the Professor Odd front: we have Episode 10, “The Thousand Songs” coming out as a single, and—hopefully—the Complete Season 1 (episodes 1-6). The Season 1 volume is still in the process of being put together, but I can share with you the cover for “Thousand Songs” (which can also be found in Perihelion 2017).


It has been an interesting winter here in Oregon. Snowy and cold, we’ve had a minor respite these past ten days, but the prediction is for another good dump this week followed by rain—and just when the roads were beginning to recover! Oh well. It’s given me an opportunity to put to use the shoveling skills I honed cleaning up after horses as a teenager, and I’ve been keeping in practice for mountain biking by navigating the icy, slushy, snowy streets and bike/ped paths between my house and the gym, where I’m doing weight training and lap swimming. Gary Silver (my hardtail) has been tricked out with studded tires, fenders, lights, and flat pedals, so I can ride him in my snow boots. All this combined has rendered him a more reliable means of transportation that my poor little Fit, who performed beautifully in the snow and ice with her own studded tires, but was bested by the deep slush and has spent the last ten days hiding in my garage. But as this is what she often ends up doing even in good weather, it is of no great loss to me. My trusty Blue Sky Cycle Cart has been sufficient to haul the week’s groceries home from the nearby store, though dodging the potholes on the return journey (for the sake of the eggs) has made these trips quite exciting.

Bend is beginning to feel more like home, and less like some surreal, never-ending vacation. Part of this I am sure is that I have set to work in earnest on the titles scheduled for release later this year, and my studio is at last getting the use it so richly deserves.

And on that note I shall leave this post and return to it!

Ice bikes of Bend! Gary Silver is in the background.

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Keep burning

Some thoughts on the recent spate of cultural icon deaths…


It is destabilizing to lose an anchor of inspiration.

Like looking to your lodestar and finding it dark.

Maybe, you feel, a piece of you has also died.

But the fact is we exist in a continuum. We are not fixed points. We are a reaction. A combustion.

We are fire.

Fires burst into life, flare, crackle and shine, and eventually go out.

We are temporary marvels of the universe,

like rainbows

and sun dogs.

But unlike combustion, or rainbows, our consciousness is greater than the physical reaction that creates it.

We are webbed together by our love and passion and fear.

And through this, though the carriers may change, the fire spreads.

The carriers may die, but the fire rises.

It rises through the embers shot out

by those who came before.

Bowie, Lee, Prince, Fisher—whoever your torchbearers were—were and are part of this great conflagration.

And their torches are still burning.

Even as I grieve, I put my hand into that fire

(it does not burn me; I am fire too),

and I rise.

I rise.

We rise.

And shine.

Keep burning.


(adapted from this tweet string; dedicated to the spirit of Carrie Fisher. 🖕🏼 )

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If I’ve been more than usually quiet this last month and a half it’s because I’ve been preoccupied moving to Oregon. Turns out there’s even more to it than renting a large truck, packing up your life’s belongings and driving for twelve hours. There’s insurance and licensing and you find out how much stuff you truly need. Like blinds. Bike stands. Waste baskets. Spare sheets. A vet.

But I seem to be nearing the end of the turbulent times of change. Routine is creeping in again, even if that routine is necessarily different from my previous one. In the space it has lent me I’ve been writing, both fiction and letters, and hanging pictures. I have a studio now, and it is assembled to the point that I might begin working in it soon. Which is good, because we are already behind schedule on Perihelion 2017, and we have another ten titles to publish next year.

Which reminds me, I really must apply for that Business Permit.

Bend is a funny sort of city, which is probably why I like it so much. It was until quite recently not a city at all, and there is a tension here between all the people who want it to stay small, yet at the same time really want to be here and are proud of the place they live in. There are a lot of transplanted Californians, which gives the atmosphere a kind of comfortable familiarity. At the same time, these are largely Californians who have self-selected as the kind of person who is compatible with the Oregonian spirit, which appears to be slower, more relaxed, and less inclined to dance in the streets when it rains. There are many other out of state immigrants, but the common thread I find is that most of us came here from places that were not right for us, and, having found Bend, understand just how lucky we are to be here.

For myself I find I am not only a Californian in Bend, I am a writer in Oregon. I feel myself developing a new (if still not complete) understanding of Ursula K. Le Guin. I think it has something to do with the volcanos and the high desert.

So far I think the thing I like best about it is that, within walking distance of my house, there is a yoga studio, at least two bike shops, a frozen yogurt café and a hardware store, plus more coffee shops and restaurants than there was in the entirety of my old hometown.

Instead of being thirty minutes away by car, the vet is five minutes. I can ride my bike to the farmer’s market. I can also ride my bike to the dirt trails which lead up into and across the Cascades. The place is riddled with off-leash dog parks. The place is riddled with dogs, period.

Many people have asked in perplexity, “Why Bend?” when they heard about the move. But these have uniformly been people who either didn’t know me very well, or didn’t know Bend, or both. Everyone who knows me, who has visited the city, has looked at the quirky cafés, the bike shops, the dogs, the artwork rampant in the roundabouts, and nodded sagely.

“Of course,” they say. “This is your city.”

It’s not, of course. (I only just got here.) But somehow, though I never visited before 2013, I have managed to grow up into the sort of person who lives here.

And now I do.

I run. I bike. I work. I walk my dog over streets whose asphalt is made lumpy from all the roots growing under it. The houses crowd in tightly, craftsman and prairie style or modern custom built with funky windows and odd angles. There are ponderosa pines and quaking aspen. Every garage has at least two bikes in it. And there are dogs everywhere.

Now there’s me, too.

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It has been quite a week. Month. Whatever. I am moving house and business across state lines and had to leave things half-finished to go attend MidAmeriCon II. Which was wonderful. And exhausting. And exciting. And would have been enough to lay me out for a whole week but I had to move right on to Toronto, where I am writing this now, for a dear friend’s wedding.

So this will be the briefest of recaps:

Everything went well. Art show. Panels. Demos. Book sales. Print sales. Everything went well. I made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. Missed David Stein who I learned broke both his legs recently. (!!!!) Once again I have come away inspired by the F/SF fandom and filled with new drive and inspiration to take my work to the next level. Don’t let the quietness fool you: my reserve is only growing while the creative output is on hold during these times of change.

But I have managed something, at least: Aphelion 2016 is finally out! The Heliopause master post is over here. Please refer to it for all the relevant links to purchase the book (electronic or print) from your preferred retailer.

Brief and incomplete thanks to: Greg Ketter, for selling my books for me. Brian McCullough for being a fantastic handler. Rob Carlos and Teddy Harvia and Chronographia for their doodles in my guest book. In fact, everyone who signed my guest book! You are all awesome! John Picacio for everything between heaven and earth. And Nina Niskanen, Sunil Patel, Ann Leckie, Morgan Swim, Karen Bovenmyer, Mur Lafferty, Kyell Gold (you know who you are), Will Frank, Courtney Schafer, Kinuko Y. Craft, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, Foz Meadows, Lyda Morehouse, and PAT CADIGAN.

Keep being you.

So many awesome memories, but at the moment one thing stands out so that is what I will put here.

I got to speak briefly with Robert Silverberg, who I didn’t recognize as Robert Silverberg at the time because he was not wearing a suit and up on stage at the Hugos. He asked me how I got the name Ogawa. So I explained about the being quarter-Japanese thing. I then went on to explain that Goldeen was a Jewish name (from Goldenstein). He squinted at me sideways.

“I am a quarter Jewish,” I explained.

“Yes,” he said. “But from where?”

I gave a disjointed explanation about my maternal grandfather’s ancestors and their journeys around Ukraine, Romania, Crimea, their problems with the Pogroms, etc. when he stopped me.

“So you are Eastern European Jewish,” he said.

“A quarter, yes,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said. “But that means you’re my people.”

“I am?”

“Yes,” he said. It was then I realized who I was talking to, and was rendered speechless. Which was just as well, because he went on:

“My family is Eastern European Jews. I’ll think of you as my Japanese niece.”

I got him to sign my guest book, too.

This was Sunday night in the Marriott lobby, and as that was essentially the end of my World Con, it’s not a bad place to end this post.

Until next time…

-Robert Silverberg’s Japanese Niece.

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MAC2 Schedule

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For more information, or to add events to your schedule, go here! Very excited that they gave me so much stuff to do!

Some notes:

  • Cultural Influences in SF Art will be helmed by my man John Picacio co-starring GoH Kinuko Craft along with myself and Kurt Busiek. Should be a good show.
  • Fursuiting Demo will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into bringing Tachyon to life, a brief overview of the different aspects of fursuiting, and a special guest appearance by a brand new character I’m developing!
  • If this Literary Beer is anything like the Kaffeeklatches I’ve attended in the past, it will probably be BYOD (alcohol is not required) and there will be more relaxed conversation than High Literary Discussion. Kids (in body or spirit) welcome.
  • I’ll have extra brush pens and bristol board on hand if anyone wants to have a go! No previous experience necessary!
  • Come promptly for my Reading on Sunday to catch the pre-show! I aim to have time for questions afterwards but if we run out of time I plan to go camp at Greg Ketter’s table afterwards, where there will be copies of my books for sale!
  • In the Art Show you’ll be able to bid on the originals of the Burrowing, Tawny, Whitefaced and Barred Strange Owls, as well as some never-before-seen works involving owls and metallic paints! Should be good fun! I’ll also have a giant print of Nebula on display in the ASFA Lounge.

Hope to see you there! If you’re on twitter and want to track my movements, following @GrimbyTweets would be a very good idea.

Cheers!

P.S. Happy Birthday to me!

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Belated, I know, but if there is any overlap in between my readership and members of WorldCons 2015 (Sasquan), 2016 (MidAmeriCon II), and/or 2017 (WorldCon 75), and you’re having trouble filling out your Hugo Nomination ballots, here are my Hugo-eligible works, and their respective categories:

Best Novella

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 17,500 and 40,000 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Dogs of Canary Island”
  • “Missionary Man”

Best Novelette

(A science fiction or fantasy story between 7,500 and 17,500 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.)

  • “The Moonfoot Problem”
  • “The Case of Countess Baronia”

All of which can be found in Apsis Fiction: Aphelion 2015from Heliopause Productions, July 2 2015.

In addition, my own person can be considered for Best Pro Artist thanks to the examples below:

07DogsofCanarySm

RotationTwoCoverSm06MonstersDaughterSmAphelion2015CoverSmHugo nominations are open until midnight (11:59 Pacific DST) March 31 2016. Look to your email for your member number/PIN, and happy form-filling!

Best,

G

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On this final Sunday in March, in honor of #DWJMarch and all fans of Diana Wynne Jones, I present a very tired author reading from Dogsbody, as suggested by Dragonrose, plus a bonus of my own choosing. It also features accompaniment from the iPad-Who-Would-Not-Be-Silenced, and my own dog, Frieda, on Squeaker (fairly certain not a Zoi) Toy.

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dogsbody

Dogsbody is a standalone novel, but like so many of her works, its world is deep enough that it leaves one wishing for more stories with set in the general vicinity. I first read it in the same mad imaginative growth spurt  during which I read Homeward BoundersArcher’s GoonTime of the Ghost and a number of her other standalone works (this was in the early naughts, before Year of the Griffin had been published), and at the time was deeply unsatisfied with the story in a sore, cold-foot-ache (to borrow a phrase from Jamie) sort of way, because although I wished for a happier ending, I understood even then that it was the best possible ending it could have had.

In revisiting portions of it in preparation for this reading I discovered, to my astonishment, that it has a downright miraculous ending. Still bittersweet, yes, and it still gives me that cold-foot-chest-ache, but it is altogether a wonderful and beautiful thing: unflinchingly realistic in its depiction of humans and human behavior, and yet it injects into a very dark and troubling story an unmitigated beam of optimism, which, though narrow, is bright and sharp as a polished knife. And it is that, I now realize, which hurts. Because there are a lot of Duffies in the world, and precious few Miss Smiths.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland was perhaps the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I ever read. (Aunt Maria was the first I encountered, but I didn’t muster the courage to actually read it until some years later). It has, more than any other work, influenced me in my decisions of what not to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Diana Wynne Jones read-aloud! If you want to revisit any of the episodes, you’ll find them all collected in the DWJmarch read-aloud 2016 tag. Enjoy!

And follow, follow, follow…

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This week’s DWJMarch read-aloud was requested by my Wonderful Mother, who asked for something from The Spellcoats!

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spellcoats

The Spellcoats is the third book in the Dalemark Quartet, though it takes place prior to all the others. However, like the Chronicles of Narnia, these books are best read in the order in which they were written: Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet (this author’s personal favorite), The Spellcoats and finally The Crown of Dalemark, which brings together threads from the three preceding volumes in a truly masterful and epic fashion.

One last week to send in requests for my DWJ March read-aloud! Shoot your ideas over to goldeenogawa@gmail.com!

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This week I’m blogging from the road, but I’ve still got a snippet of Diana Wynne Jones for you! This time it’s my own selection, from my personal favorite: Hexwood.

 

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hexwood

Hexwood is a standalone novel—sadly. But what a novel! Robots! Dragons! And a definite treat for anyone interested in a new take on European mythology. Given infinite time and money I would acquire the publishing rights to it and reissue a hardcover with my own illustrations. Lots of them. More than any other work by Diana Wynne Jones, it’s imagery has stuck with me. Perhaps by the time I have the means to do so, my skills will be up to the task of bringing what is so strongly cemented in my mind out into the real world.

Got a suggestion for me? Go ahead and send me an email! goldeenogawa@gmail.com ! And I’ll be back with another reading next week!

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Good morning! And welcome to the first edition of my Diana Wynne Jones Read-aloud for DWJMarch! This week I’m reading an excerpt of The Magicians of Caprona, as requested by Kristen M of webereading.com. Enjoy!

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caprona_us_pb*The Magicians of Caprona © 1980 Diana Wynne Jones is the second novel she wrote which takes place in the related worlds of the Chrestomanci multiverse. It is notable as being the only novel which does not feature the multiplicity of worlds, but focuses on one aspect of the Chrestomanci’s home universe. Commonly listed as Book 4, it takes place sometime between the events of Charmed Life (1977) and The Stealer of Souls (2000), but this blogger recommends reading it second, after the aforementioned Charmed Life. See my handy Reading Chrestomanci post for more opinionated rambling.

It can be found pretty readily in paperback, either alone or as part of the Chrestomanci omnibus editions, as an eBook, and audiobook. Amazon is a good place to start looking if you need to add any of these incarnations to your collection. This blogger highly recommends it as a Gateway book for those not yet familiar with Diana’s style, both for young readers and adults.

Got a suggestion for me? Go ahead and send me an email! goldeenogawa@gmail.com ! And I’ll be back with another reading next week!

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