Coming up for air

I’ve been making good progress on the new novel, hence the lack of recent posts, but with The Mirage paperback publication coming up in two weeks, it’s time for me to come out of my little room and practice talking to people again. (I also need to shift gears mentally from 1950s Chicago and New England, where I’ve been for the last six months, to alt-universe Baghdad; I expect some culture shock).

I’ll be doing readings in Seattle and Portland in conjunction with the publication; my current schedule is here.

In other news:

* The late, lamented Seattle indie bookstore Queen Anne Books is being reincarnated as the Queen Anne Book Company! It’ll have a new owner and new management (and is, technically, an entirely new bookstore), but it’ll be in the same location and at least some of the old Queen Anne Books staff will be returning. The grand opening is March 1. You can follow the new store on Facebook and Twitter.

* I’ll have a separate, longer post about this soon, but the National Endowment for the Arts is currently accepting applications for their 2014 Literature Fellowships in Prose. These are grants of $25,000 for fiction and creative nonfiction writers who are either citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The deadline for applying is February 28.

* Iran is claiming it launched a monkey into space. No word on which monkey, but I have my suspicions. In semi-related news, Bigelow Aerospace is partnering with NASA to test an inflatable space module. The prototype will be attached to the International Space Station, but the long-term goal is to develop a line of standalone orbital bouncy castles for rich people. Warren Ellis is skeptical.

* Rat City Rollergirls season 9 has started. The next bout is February 9 at Key Arena. Grave Danger will be going up against the Throttle Rockets, and the Sockit Wenches face visiting Terminal City Rollergirls team the Bad Reputations.

* Livestream kitten cam!