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Praise and [Mild] Guilt and Back to “…Burma”

I was feeling chuffed a couple of days ago, and it continues. A couple of mentions of me have slipped onto my radar lately, and both of them made me go Woah. If you’re interested in seeing nice things written by esteemed people, they’re in the extended section of this post.

First off, I noticed that the esteemed Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote this in her August Recommended Reading List:

Sellar, Gord, “Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues,” Asimov’s, July, 2008. This novelette is a tour de force of voice, music, and storytelling. In an alternate timeline where jazz musicians are taken to the stars by an appreciative alien species, things aren’t exactly as they seem. Written like fine jazz itself, capturing the voices of musicians as well as the era, and managing to write well about music (I heard [or perhaps I should say reheard] a lot of the pieces in my head as I read), this story is extremely well done. The most memorable story I’ve read in the magazines this year.

Which is enough to make me go woah, because Rusch is a hell of a writer, right? Though it’s kind of scary, because that was one of my first sales, and my first story in Asimov’s. But then I saw what Sheila Williams wrote in the editorial for the current issue of Asimov’s:

Over drinks, Vernor Vinge and I discussed the science and music in a story by a brand-new author named Gord Sellar that Vernor had critiqued at the Clarion West Writers Workshop and that I’d scheduled for the July 2008 issue of Asimov’s. It’s new writers like Gord and Stephen and past winners of the Dell Magazines Award who will take science fiction into its unpredictable future.

Which makes me feel like I’d better dig up a leather flight cap and goggles, but you know, in a good way. Quite flattering, though having high expectations from someone else is somehow different from having them of oneself.

Feels good, though. The only problem is I’m feeling a little guilty at being relatively unproductive of late. I could say it’s the housing disasters and work, the paper I presented this summer and personal stuff, but whatever the reason, I haven’t produced much fiction in a month. So I think once I’ve moved, I’ll be back to the grindstone. A Killing in Burma, I think — let all the other side projects sit, for A Killing in Burma really wants to get written. It’s about time, too — I’ve been working on or burbling about it for a year or so, now. And to get it done, I’ll be using a time-honored approach: sequestering myself for most of the day on weekends.

And the scary thing is, I already know it’ll feel good. Like relief.

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