Summer in Lovecraft Country

Yes, I’m still alive. Busy writing, and nearing the halfway point of the new novel, at least in terms of word count—because of the modular nature of the story I’ve been jumping back and forth a lot as I figure out various plot points. This week I’m focused on a section called “Hippolyta Disturbs the Universe,” in which one of my characters pokes around in an abandoned astronomical observatory that is neither abandoned nor (merely) an observatory; earlier this month I worked on “Abdullah’s Book,” in which the Prince Hall Freemasons try to keep an arcane text from falling into the wrong hands.

In other news:

* The Mirage is a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Best Long-Form Alternate History. The winner will be announced this Saturday. Wish me luck!

* I watched season one of Orange is the New Black, which is as good as you’ve heard. Also good: the first three seasons of Damages (some great performances and a really interesting story structure) and 42 (much better than I’d been expecting from the trailer).

* Wilton Barnhardt, the author of Emma Who Saved My Life and Gospel, two of my favorite novels, is back with his first new book in fifteen years. Aimee Bender has a new book out, too.

* A great-great-great-grandson of Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian died last month at age 77. His Times obituary makes for interesting reading. Pitcairn Island, where he lived, is looking for new residents. But.

* “Due to the sheer size of the sloths, you must be at least 50″ tall and 80 lbs to participate in the ‘Sloth Immersion’ experience.”