That Seems to Have Worked Out Well

by wjw on June 27, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 1.22.15 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.37.07 PMMy new sale has put Voice of the Whirlwind at #1 for SF at Kobo, and landed me on Amazon’s best-seller list.  Which is not bad for a thirty-year-old book.

Should you desire a copy for your ownself, feel free to click the link to AmazonGoogleSmashwordsBarnes & NobleiBooks, and Kobo.

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WRX– First Impressions

by wjw on June 24, 2016

0b828c21184c8543ac1a385d70bdb567Britain didn’t merely shoot itself in the foot, but managed somehow to slice off both legs below the knee.  At least it will be cheap to visit there in the future, if I can avoid being eaten by the starving cave dwellers lurking in the cellars of the once-great metropoleis.

But anyway I want to talk about something more cheerful, namely my new car.

The WRX has been immense fun, though so far most of my errands have been pretty mundane, and I’ve had relatively few occasions to really let the car fly.  Unfortunately I live on a very well-policed stretch of road.

But last week I was in the mountains for the Rio Hondo workshop, and I was looking forward not just to seeing so many of my friends, but to driving there, particularly through the canyon of the Rio Grande, which is a two-lane road with a lot of nice twisty parts, though often blocked by RVs and pickup trucks full of old furniture, cattle feed, and ofttimes people.

The turbocharged boxer flat-four left the RVs and the pickups very nicely in the dust, and the four-wheel-drive glued the car to the corners as if the car were in a trough.  But the highlight was Highway 64 in the canyon between Taos and Angel Fire, which is full of hairpin turns, corners bare of guard rails, and guard rails without reflectors, so that at night you don’t know they’re there until you’re right on them.  There’s a double yellow line through most of it, so I couldn’t pass the 25mph horse trailer that chugged along in front of me for 20 miles or so; but I got to drive the same road later, at night, with no traffic and with Oz Drummond in the passenger seat egging me on, and the resulting high-gee maneuvers were an excellent source of stimulation to the adrenal glands.  And again the 4wd kept the car firmly in its lane, without a hint of breaking free or even squealing tires.

I’m still learning the car, so I still haven’t driven it to its (or my) limits, but I’m still having fun.

The chief disappointment has been gas consumption.  The dashboard reports mileage, which has consistently been good, but I’m beginning to suspect that the logarithms were borrowed from Volkswagen’s engineers.  My trip to Rio Hondo was reported by the car as achieving 29.5mpg, but actual mpg was 23.3.  The mileage on the return trip was reported as 30.6, but actual mileage turned out to be 27.7.  Which is an improvement, though that route is mostly downhill, so it’s sort of what I’d expect.  I will continue to collect data.

And continue to have fun, I reckon.

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Return of the Whirlwind

by wjw on June 22, 2016

VotW15smallThe recently-ended promotion of Hardwired turned out to be the best ever, so I’d like to thank those of you who clicked the buy button.

On the theory that one should reinforce success, I’m hoping to repeat or even top Hardwired’s sales with a 99-cent sale on Voice of the Whirlwind.

You may find VotW at Amazon, Google, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

Voice of the Whirlwind takes place in the same universe as Hardwired, about eighty years later.

Here’s the pitch:

Steward is a Beta— a clone. In his memories, he’s an elite commando for an orbital policorp— but because his Alpha never did a brain-scan update, Steward’s memories are fifteen years out of date . . . and in those fifteen years, everything has changed.

An interstellar war destroyed the company that held his allegiance. His wife has divorced him, along with the second wife that he can’t even remember. Most of his comrades died in a useless battle on a world called Sheol, and those who survived are irrevocably scarred. An alien race has arrived and become the center of a complex and deadly intrigue.

And someone has murdered him.

“Fast-moving, hard-driving, with a robust well-handled plot . . . a stirring and heartening performance.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Walter Jon Williams proves that he is a master of action, character and galaxy-spanning plots.” — Fantasy Review

“A combination of fast action, gritty realism, and high-tech polytechnics that is certain to be popular with Williams’ growing audience.” –Booklist.

“(Williams) is a master of the intricate yet fast-paced plot— the essence of thrillers and novels of political intrigue.” –Locus

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Smokin’

by wjw on June 16, 2016

gumbosmallSo I was making the black roux gumbo of Chef Francoise le Vison, and when I make the roux there’s enough smoke to set off every fire alarm within a hundred yards.  But this time the alarm for the whole lodge went off, and the whole building was evacuated except for maybe half a dozen of us standing on our balcony, drinking wine and telling the people below that nothing was on fire but the chef.

We had to call off the fire brigade, and I tipped the maintenance guy who was sent to turn off the alarm.  So far we are not arrested.

If we are, though, it will have been worth it.

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Dueling Hams

by wjw on June 13, 2016

Does anyone remember the TV series “Slings and Arrows,” which opens with the theater manager being run over by a truck full of hams?

That’s probably how Tim Minchin feels in this tribute to the Bard, which features a rather formidable cast.

This one’s been around for a while, but it hasn’t been available in North America due to copyright issues.  See it before it gets taken down!

[via Oz Drummond]

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How Much Work Could a Workshop Shop if a Workshop Could Shop Work?

June 13, 2016

I’m up a mountain in northern New Mexico, at the Rio Hondo Workshop.  We’re in a  beautiful valley of the Sangre de Cristos, so what did I do?  Hike in the beautiful mountain wilderness?  Go bird-watching?  Get a workout on the ol’ mountain bike? Nope, I spent the day cooking a meal for twelve people. […]

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The Scum Also Rises

June 7, 2016

It’s been a couple months since we’ve heard from the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million documents extracted from the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca, and detailing the financial shenanigans of the rich, famous, and connected. After various revelations about Putin’s clique, David Cameron’s father, Li Xinping’s relatives, the prime ministers of Pakistan and Iceland, […]

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Nothing to See Here

June 7, 2016

“There would be absolutely nothing wrong with that except for the fact that absolutely everything is wrong with that.” You may have seen this already, but I thought it deserves as wide an audience as it can get, so here it is. There are all sorts of ways to buy debt in our country, and […]

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Greatest

June 4, 2016

So, who was the greatest martial artist of the 20th Century? Here’s a clue: he died last night. There are always going to be arguments about who could beat who, under what circumstances, under what rules.  Maybe Joe Louis (or Joe Lewis) could have beaten Ali in the ring, maybe someone named Gracie or Silva […]

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Champagne When I’m Thirsty

June 3, 2016

So last night I dreamed that I went fishing in the Jémez with Muddy Waters.  Howlin’ Wolf and BB King were along, but I was mostly hanging with Muddy.  He loaned me his Pocket Fisherman, and I pulled in some beautiful blue-and-gold butterfly fish, which is not exactly what you expect from a New Mexico […]

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