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April 01, 2005

Bits and Pieces

No, I'm not doing anything clever for April Fool's Day, although if you like you can hear me get frustrated when Athena doesn't fall for my April Fool's Day prank. Kids can be too clever sometimes. Grrr.

In other news, Tor's ordered a fourth printing of Old Man's War. As the kids say: w00t!

Also, Old Man's War gets what I think is a really very good review by Russell Letson in Locus this month -- good in the sense of very well-considered, not in the sense of "uniformly positive." Indeed, the version of the review I've seen (graciously forwarded to me by the reviewer at my request, since I don't yet subscribe to Locus) begins "Once in a great while I find myself reviewing a book that annoys me..." which was enough enough to make me laugh out loud (the second part of the sentence is a little better for me: "... or, to be precise, a book that I enjoy enough to finish even though I might spend a lot amount of time arguing with it."

I enjoyed this review because the reviewer got into a dialogue with the book, and I think it's interesting to have someone feel like he wants to keep reading even when from time to time he wants to hurl the book across the room; what I really like is the suggestion the book had him spending time thinking about the issues it raises. To be sure, it's not an unqualified rave; it's not even close (the reviewer has a headful of nits to pick), but perverse fellow that I am, I don't mind mixed or even negative reviews if the review is thoughtfully done, and this one is. Naturally, I encourage you to seek it out.

Also noted in the April Locus: Elizabeth Bear's Hammered at #3 on the paperback bestseller's list. Rock on, Ms. Bear! No, Old Man's War is not on the bestseller list. I'll make it through the pain somehow.

On a completely unrelated front, I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and get myself a Mac. Because, you know, I want one, and since none of y'all picked up the hint to buy me one, I guess I'll just have to get it myself. My thought was to buy one in time to start writing The Ghost Brigades, but the complication here is that Apple is very likely to announce upgrades to its OS and possibly new models within the next few days, and it makes no sense to buy the current models until the updates are announced. Stupid product cycles.

In case you're curious, the Mac I have my eye on would be the 20" iMac, which is in the sweet spot for me in terms of price and power (this is one of the models they're likely to upgrade this month as well). As I mentioned previously, this doesn't mean I'll have "switched," since I intend to keep my current PC up and running because the PC universe still has a number of advantages, and at some point (probably a year to 18 months from now), I'll probably upgrade on the PC side as well. I'll be proudly biprocessorial. I swing both ways!

That's what's going on my world.

Posted by john at April 1, 2005 11:44 AM

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Brian Greenberg | April 1, 2005 03:37 PM

John - if you're going to be biprocessorial, I think your marriage may be null & void (or maybe you'll have to move to Massachusetts).

It's so hard to keep track...


elizabeth bear | April 1, 2005 04:36 PM

Heee. Sounds like a great review. Does this mean I'm off the hook, then?

Byron | April 1, 2005 04:57 PM

My guess is that Apple will do its hardware bumps at NAB later this month---that would be a pretty good forum for a minor upgrade.

Mikhail Capone | April 1, 2005 05:51 PM

So no Mac mini? You could even use your PC monitor/keyboard/etc..

Jill Smith | April 1, 2005 06:15 PM

Yayyy! This iBook user congratulates you on your excellent taste.

John Scalzi | April 1, 2005 09:50 PM

"So no Mac mini?"

No, for the same reason that if you're going to have a dog, you shouldn't get a toy chihuahua.

David Goldfarb | April 2, 2005 05:53 AM

Cute MP3...your child is obviously a budding ham. (Now there's a mixed metaphor for the ages.)

I got myself a 20" new-new iMac a month ago and I love it, so good choice there.

Dave | April 2, 2005 01:16 PM

Rumor has it that most Macs will be updated in April. The rumors of an iMac with a 22" HD monitor sound particularly sweet, though the impact on price may be... uncomfortable.

Combine that with rumors that the release of Mac OS X 10.4 (aka Tiger) is close and it looks like April will be a good time to buy. Apple usually has to release at least a minor revision of the OS to deal with new models, so synching up with a Tiger release (as well as the pending release of 10.3.9) would make some sense.

It's always worth checking out the Mac Rumors Buyers Guide. It'll tell you how long each model has gone since its last upgrade. I wouldn't worry about it too much, because after all, you'll never get less computer than you expect. But all the signs point to new OS and new machines Real Soon Now.

Bet you knew all that, though. =)

RooK | April 2, 2005 05:28 PM

I'm reminded of all the times I've heard my own voice played back to me, and been aghast at what I sound like. I suppose I feel a little bit better now.

Sue | April 3, 2005 09:31 AM

Welcome to the dark side, John. We've been Mac people since 1996 and I'll never go back.

jlb | April 4, 2005 11:45 PM

I just started "Old Man's war" and it's excellent thus far! (Favorite line "...in a decade you'll be eighty-five, and then the only difference between you and a raisin will be that while you're both wrinkled and without a prostate, the raisin never had a prostate to begin with.")........OT: So, so sorry to hear about your cat. I have one who's 15 and starting to have problems. I loved your description of kitty heaven; I'll think of Pepper playing with Rex when she goes........jlb

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