Tor.com has released the cover for a story I sold Ellen Datlow not long ago, “The Color of Paradox.” The image is by Jeffrey Alan Love and it’s very creepy and appropriate. I feel as though I could fall into it, staring for endless hours… or possibly just until the kittens do something irresistible. (Attention spans are lamentably short at Dua Central right now.)
The elongation of the figure and its placement in the upper left corner draw the eye first, delaying the moment when you track down to the city and see that Bad Things are happening. The brushwork is delightfully scratchy, and naturally I headed right off to Love’s blog to see what the rest of his work looked like. He’s got an image for Tolkien’s Beowulf that is sheerly amazing, and I liked his take on Excalibur, “The Sword in the City” very much.
“The Color of Paradox” is a first attempt to write something I have been trying to wrap my head around for years: a series or novel or some damned thing set in a universe where there’s time travel, but it only moves backward. All of the missions are one-way missions. You can receive instructions and resources from the future, but your only option for responding is to essentially leave time capsules where nobody else will find them.
It is also one of those stories that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I dropped everything and wrote it in a bit of a mad haze. It’s very different from Stormwrack and the impulse was probably driven by a desire to write in a different key.
Another thing about the story that delights me is having gotten to work with Ellen Datlow again, because she is a brilliant and generous editor and it had been too long since I had anything to send her.
It will be live on the Tor site and readable, for free, on June 25th, the same day Child of a Hidden Sea hits bookstores.
This week’s Buffy essay covers “Dirty Girls.” I hope you all enjoy it! One of my favorite things about S7 is the return of Faith, in her new, less evil and slightly more grown-up persona. It’s still a delight this time around.
It has been an action-packed few days: Kelly and I attended the SpecFic Colloquium hosted by Chizine Publications. One of the guests, writer and editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia, stayed with us, and it was a pleasure to get to know her better. (Silvia has recently bought a story, “Snow Angels” from me for her FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN APOCALYPSE anthology.)
Later this week we’ll be hooking up with more friends of ours from Vancouver–Rachel Ashe is in town and has an art opening at the Gladstone; the show is called “If These Walls Could Talk.”
Before then, though, there’s grading to be done and the penultimate Buffy essay to be written. I am a few weeks ahead of Tor, of course, so I’ll be writing about “End of Days” this week and “Chosen” after that. I can’t believe I’m so close to wrapping up the rewatch!
Kelly and I have officially locked into a deal to buy a new home!
When we came here last year, the idea was to rent a place for awhile and scope out Toronto’s many delightful neighborhoods. And some scoping did occur, though I admit we were far from meticulous. Being in the heart of downtown really works for us: Kelly’s commute from the current Chez Dua is 25 minutes, on foot, and we’re within easy walking distance from everything from Lake Ontario and the CN Tower to the subway, the yoga place, and the AGO.
The new digs are even closer to everything but the lake. We’ll be around the corner from the gallery, five minutes from the subway, fifteen minutes from Kelly’s current office, and just a hair nearer to all the things of downtown. We’re about to be nearer the Chinatown produce stores and the Kensington market.
As many of you know, there is a riff whereby Canadians located elsewhere have it that Torontonians view their home patch as the center of the universe. Since we’ll be even more smack in the middle of Toronto, we have decided the official title of the new Chez Dua will be: The Center of the Center of the Universe. DuaCentral, for short.
Also… it’s a nice little place. Very cute, very us, very nicely laid out.
Needless to say, we are insanely excited.
Moving will commence in the spring, sometime between mid-April and May.
Last week was full of petty frustrations and upheavals, nothing huge, but enough to put a glower on my face, from time to time, and shadow my attention to the many things, big and small, that were lovely and delightful about the week.
Some of the things that were, at times, overshadowed by the grump: The launch for Priscilla Uppal’s new book Projection: Encounters With My Runaway Mother was really fun, and the book is, in part, about movies. Each chapter is named for a film: it starts with Blade Runner and there’s a Throw Momma from the Train chapter. Very promising!
On Saturday we went with Linda Carson to check out Hop Day before making and devouring a delicious fall feast together.
Here’s one of the Hop Day attendees confronting a painting I really liked; it’s called Orphan:
I finished a story, and am quite pleased with it. The construction dudes seem to be on the verge of finishing our courtyard, and have not only turned on the water feature but have added gorgeous blue lights to it. And Bird TV is back on the air–the sparrows have found our suet feeder and the cats are wildly attentive.
Even the iO7 upgrade offered a bit of fun and entertainment.
I have stumbled over a couple terrific art boards lately and have begun gathering up portraits of women as a result.
Many of the women on my Painted Ladies pinboard may be familiar to you–a lot of them are celebrity paintings by celebrity painters. Others, though, are newer or more obscure.
It has been fascinating collecting these, and what I’ve realized is that there’s a real difference between a photographic portrait–even if it’s fanciful–and something painted from scratch. The element of imagination is different: the painter imbues their subject with personality in a way that seems less about capturing reality and more about creating or amplifying it.
(From this you can tell I am not versed at all in art criticism.)
What was most exciting, though, was to stumble over Kneeling Girl, by Thomas Saliot. This is as perfect a picture of the protagonist of my next novel, a woman named Sophie Opal Hansa, as I could ever have wished to discover.
Today’s moving-related discovery: Revenue Canada will let us write off a ton of our moving expenses this year.