Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Asimov's Contributor Copies

Contributor's Copy: October/November 2009 Asimov's

My Asimov's contributor copies have arrived. This issue contains my poem "Derivative Work" and novelette "Flotsam." Took this photo at the post office, soon as I ripped off the plastic wrap. :-)

From the intro to "Flotsam": "Elissa Malcohn burst into our pages in November 1984 with her intensely powerful story 'Lazuli.' Although another tale appeared in our Mid-December 1986 issue, we've been waiting twenty-three years for the third. We're delighted that the hiatus ends with 'Flotsam,' a story that was partly informed by Elissa's employment at a government contractor during some of those intervening years."

My story in the mid-December 1986 Asimov's was "The S.O.B Show," a fond spoof informed by five years of volunteer planetarium work. The title took its name from the field's nickname for the "Star of Bethlehem," or Christmas, show.

"Lazuli," a science fictional treatment of childhood sexual abuse and my first professional sale, single-handedly placed me on the final ballot for the 1985 John W. Campbell Award.

Mary and I have been hunting for the planet Uranus.

Image courtesy of

Uranus reached opposition on the 17th, which means it's up in the sky all night -- located just south of the Circlet, an asterism in Pisces. (An asterism is part of a constellation that's recognizeable in and of itself. The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation of Ursa Major.) Here, Uranus is represented by the bluegreen circle with an arrow pointing up.

Here's a close-up of the Circlet and Uranus's position:

Graphic courtesy of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society.

Earlier this week the sky was clear around midnight (enough to see the Milky Way), so we were out with binoculars and our Astroscan. I'm still not sure if I found Uranus, but I think I may have. I pushed the Astroscan to just about its maximum magnification capacity (around 200x) and thought I barely saw a disc, which would indicate a planet rather than a star. Then again, the Astroscan is a bear to focus when the magnification is that high. The night was very still, to the point where I couldn't tell what twinkled and what didn't.

While we were outside, we got in a good look at Jupiter and its Galilean moons (all four were visible, two to either side of the planet), along with the Andromeda galaxy. By about 1 AM some haze had crept in.

Cover for Deviations: Covenant, Second Edition Cover for Deviations: Appetite

Vol. 1, Deviations: Covenant (2nd Ed.)
Vol. 2, Deviations: Appetite
Free downloads of both volumes here.

Go to to access Covenant and Appetite in even more formats!

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