Lately, my updates have all been write-a-thon related, so here’s something on a different tack altogether.
I booked my tickets to Japan (but not to Russia — I’m considering using the trans-Siberian railway next summer instead, and seeing Vladivostok at that time instead, though I may take a brief jaunt up to Sakhalin Island from Hokkaido, if I can get the visa easily and things look doable. There’s a ferry, at least…). So instead of Far-Eastern Russia and Japan this summer, I’m going to do a little more time in Japan and spend the remainder probably here in Bucheon, reading, and traveling a little within Korea. I haven’t seen Haeinsa and the woodblock tripitaka, the DMZ, or Jeju Island yet, so those sound like sensible things to do this summer prior to my trip to Japan. Besides, I have a lot of reading I want to do…
I got a bunch of stuff I’d ordered in the mail, including a couple of reprints of old Superman strips and the Tom de Haven novel It’s Superman recommended by my pal/classmate Ben. If you’re curious, you can see some of the other stuff — most of it from the Big Huge Novel Research Stack — in the My Newest Books feed in the footer of this page, or at least, some of them are showing up there. The weirdest one is HG Wells’ A Star Begotten. I was thinking of writing a story about Wells and his last lover, Moura Budberg, from her point of view, where he gets obsessed with an idea about aliens covertly messing with human evolution (not slowly, but within the space of a generation or two) through an alien STD which, profligate as he was, he is sure to have caught and helped to spread to both America and Russia. Turns out this novel by Wells is about aliens messing with human evolution too, a little-known sequel to The War of the Worlds. Very weird, though it doesn’t mean my own little counterfactual story couldn’t work.
In other news, I still have to dig into some editing I have waiting on my desk, and Lime and I are going to go see a piano concert by some child genius, I think this Saturday. Likewise, next Friday there’s a live show by a Korean group that plays traditional Irish folk music at the House Concert, which sounds bizarre enough to me that I cannot imagine missing it.
Anyway, I need now to churn out 3000 words a day (actually a bit more than that) for the next couple of days, so I think a good
night’s morning’s sleep would be a good idea.