Deerie Me

by wjw on September 22, 2021

Here’s a new friend I made over the weekend. The scarcity of people in the pandemic has made animals less shy around people, I guess, and she let me hang around for quite a while. This photo was taken from maybe ten meters away.

Kathy had a major home improvement project scheduled for the weekend, and I thought it a good idea to make myself scarce before a group of home improvement workers descended on our rancho brandishing noisy tools. As it happens the event got canceled, but my reservations were non-refundable, and off I went to Taos Ski Valley anyway.

The weather was sunny and warmish, with just a few of the aspen leaves beginning to turn gold. I hiked, ate at some of my favorite local restaurants, and took a lot of power naps. Also wrote and finished what I hope is the penultimate chapter of the next Praxis book.

But the highlight of the weekend was my new ungulate friend. I hope she becomes more wary around people before hunting season starts.


I found some duck breasts at the market, and it occurred to me that I liked duck breast but had never cooked one, and that this could serve as the seed for another fine culinary adventure.

The label assured me that the duck breasts were antibiotic-free and had been raised vegetarian (which isn’t the case at all with ducks in the wild, who enjoy chowing down on a nice frog now and again).

So I looked up recipes online, and they were all basically in agreement, so I picked one, cooked the breasts sous vide for a couple hours, then seared the skin on the stove top till it was crackling, and served it with a sauce of apricots and oranges, couscous, and fresh sweet corn from the farmers’ market.

And the results were, well . . . okay. The corn was very good, the couscous was couscous, the sauce was a sauce. The duck skin was crispy, the breast was medium-rare, and the taste . . . well, it just didn’t taste like I expect a good duck breast to taste. The taste was a little muddy and altogether boring.

So sometimes the magic just doesn’t work. Since everything but the taste worked out I’m inclined to blame the duck breast. It wasn’t raised right, or just had bad taste genetics, or something. Clearly more experimentation is required.

Maybe it just needed more frogs in its diet.


Hero State

by wjw on September 10, 2021

Over the summer I’ve been participating in a multi-episode online superhero campaign run by Matt Yancik, all installments of which are available on YouTube. The series is modeled on comics, naturally, and first introduces all the characters as if they were appearing in their own title. Then comes the two-parter finale crossover, wherein the assorted heroes form their own Avengers/Justice League and set out to save, if not the world, at least Fenway Park (and maybe the world too).

There are other sorts of crossovers, surprises, and guest appearances going on, so watch carefully so as not to miss them.

Watching other people play roleplaying games has become quite the thing online, and if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat, your boat will be floated for some thirty-odd hours of entertainment.

Perceptive viewers will notice that my perpetual Harvard student Josh Dole is based to a large degree on the protagonist of Roger Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand. Though of course my guy has Plastic Man’s powers, and Roger’s character did not. (I’ve always envied Plastic Man his powers, which I thought would be extremely useful even if I never became a crime buster.)

Here’s the whole series in order of appearance:

Steve Kanaras as the Canadian Cavalier

Larry Tremblay as Bombast

Eric Witmer as the Dimensional Detective

James MacKenzie as the Eternal Trooper

Jarod Riley and Frank Tallarico as the Warchalker and the Helix

Walter Jon Williams as the Elasticized Man

Hero State Issue One (crossover)

Hero State Issue Two (crossover)


Episode 1015

by wjw on September 8, 2021

Hank Garner interviews me on Episode 1015 of his Author Stories podcast. He’s obviously had a lot of experience interviewing authors, so give it a listen!


Audio Me

by wjw on September 5, 2021

The Best of Walter Jon Williams has just been released as an audiobook from Tantor Audio. You can buy it most places where audiobooks are sold, or you can get it here for free.

I’ll send a download code to the first three people to reply to this post. Be sure to make certain that I can email you the reply.

In other audio news, it seems I’ve sold my early historical fiction, the privateer books, to Blackstone Audio. I never thought this would happen, so I feel fairly pleased with how this turned out.

Happy listening!


Chin Up, Bear

August 26, 2021

Alas, Covid has forced Taos Toolbox 2020 to postpone for the third time. We hope to hold the 2020 workshop sometime in mid-2022. I couldn’t see putting 16 people in a classroom for six hours per day over a two-week period and trusting that no one would get sick. And of course if someone did […]

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First to Die

August 21, 2021

So a few years ago we booked a hotel online in Rennes. Though this wasn’t obvious from the online site, the hotel was brand-new, and sat in a half-completed industrial park just outside the city proper. The street it was on was so new that it wasn’t to be found on any map. We had […]

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I Am Dragon’d

August 14, 2021

Fleet Elements has been nominated for a Dragon Award, given at Dragoncon in Atlanta over Labor Day Weekend. It’s been nominated in the Military SF category, which I suppose ends the discussion over whether the Praxis series is MilSF at all. I’ve always maintained the book isn’t about the military, but about people who happen […]

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Reviews in the Nick of Time: The Green Knight

August 13, 2021

The Green Knight is a film that makes absolutely no sense, but the nifty thing is that it makes no sense in exactly the way that medieval romance made no sense. The characters live in a liminal world. Miracles happen all the time, sorcery is common, magical objects clutter every cupboard, prophetic dreams descend on […]

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Electric Boogaloo

August 8, 2021

I had all sorts of pleasant things to post here, about the Colorado trip and some other things, but then my electric fixtures began to act up, and it’s using up all my energy. The day after the return from our trip, the air conditioner died, and will need to be replaced. Unfortunately it will […]

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