Writer: 3, Fate: 2


First things first, the really good news!
I just received news that I have been accepted into UC Irvine (University of California). I’ve not accepted the admission yet–waiting on UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis first–but it is good news to know that they have accepted me into their English program at Irvine as it relieves a lot of pressure of whether or not I will get into any university at all. Now, I’m in. Plain and simple. If I don’t get into any of the others, well, oh well, I can transfer to Irvine–although when I think about it there aren’t many reasons why I wouldn’t go to Irvine in the first place. Irvine has a decent creative writing program, it’s not in Sacramento (can’t stand Sac…worst city in the world…), and it’s in L.A. (which is a good and a bad…good because there’s lots to do there, bad because L.A. is a horrible city). But anyway, on to my other stuff!Alright, I’m keeping a tally now on this whole writer/fate battle. Any time I set out to do something, whether it be hunting down a new book in local stores, or whatever, and I fail, fate gets a point. But if I succeed, well, I get a point. So right now I’m apparently winning!

So goals for this weekend? I became rather curious by an idea presented by Rebecca from Of Making Many Books. She’s decided to read and review the entire ALA’s Best Books For Young Adults 2007 list. And so I set out trying to find a decent list someplace of SF/F works so I could do the same thing, but at the same time I didn’t want a list as long as the one she is doing (76 books). I ended up having to come up with my own list simply because there wasn’t one that really fit what I was looking for out there (although I found an awesome list of recommended fantasy authors list here). As such, starting at some near point after the Philip K. Dick Award winners are announced I will begin reading in order of losers to winner all the novels nominated. I will be doing the same with the Nebula Award’s and also the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy both found here. I wanted to do the Nebula and Hugo’s, but the official ballot for the Hugo’s won’t be announced for a while. Since the awards mentioned have not been announced, here is the list as of right now in no particular order:

1. From the Files of the Time Rangers by Richard Bowes
2. The Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford
3. The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
4. To Crush the Moon by Wil McCarthy
5. Farthing by Jo Walton
6. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
7. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalesteir
8. Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
9. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
10. Midnighters Book #2 by Scott Westerfeld (I will read book #1 first of course)
11. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (he got two nominations for the same award…)
12. War Surf by M. M. Buckner (previous winner of the Philip K. Dick award).
13. Recursion by Tony Ballantyne
14. Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson
15. Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
16. Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
17. Spin Control by Chris Moriarty (I will read Spin State first of course)
18. Catalyst by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
19. Idolon by Mark Budz

That’s the list! Over the next few months I’ll be gathering all those books up so I can read them and present my reviews. Now if someone can just magically tell me how to acquire some advanced reading copies of books so I can feel special in reading certain author’s works early that would be great. So, one point for me on making this list!

Now, obviously I’ve quite a bit of books to pay for. Thanks to the IRS I got my tax refund back. It’s only about $350 since the IRS likes to screw me just like everyone else out of my hard earned dollars by spending it on things like blowing people up and arguing over whether or not Public Schools should include religious sermons as required classes instead of teaching the “THEORY” of Evolution (stress on THEORY, not fully proven, but scientific nonetheless…gravity is a theory too by the way…). So I’ve used a little to buy some of the books and some others at the local thrift store. Why do I love thrift stores? How can you go wrong with buying a bunch of books by old and new authors for 25-50 cents a pop…I mean really…so good. So this is where it gets tricky. I managed to get a good chunk of the books I wanted from the list, but at the same time over half the books weren’t even in Borders! I went to the Thrift Store before making the list, so my binge there is unrelated (and I spend about 10 bucks at the Thrift Store for about 150 dollars worth of books…). So, one point for the writer in successfully scoring some deals, but a lovely point for fate for screwing me out of some of the books I needed :(. I’ll post the list for another post, otherwise this one will end up beyond long, and my chapters for WISB are long enough on here and I haven’t a clue how to do that little thing on Blogger so that posts have a ‘read more’ tab so you can have more posts on your page without dragging the scroll bar down 500 miles.

Now, for the second point that fate earned. I realize I had fate at -2 a while ago; that was simply a joke. Redchurch over at Quantum Storytelling was talking about these notebooks by a company called Moleskine on this post. Apparently he discovered them at his local Bed, Bath, & Beyond on a huge discount.
So, I decided, well those look awesome and would be great for me to lug around, and set off on my journey into Folsom (the nearest city of culture to where I live…but that’s not saying much for culture…) to the BB&B there. Sure enough, no moleskine’s whatsoever. Went to target, none. The huge art’s store (Michael’s or something like that) who should have had them if anyone did, none. Borders, none. So I went home after getting what other stuff I needed. Fate had beat me. I didn’t want to have to order them online simply because I wanted them ‘NOW’. Unfortunately I have lost that battle and ordered a few for myself and a few for my sister online. I even got one with graph paper rather than standard ruled paper so I can draw little maps and what not whenever I have a spare moment.

So, that was sort of what my weekend was like. All day Sunday (I’m writing this post Saturday and posting it Sunday) I will likely have wasted away hours of my life cleaning up this ramshack mansion I live in so that my grandma can sell it. This comes as lovely news for me because I’m leaving for college at the end of summer and if they manage to sell it before then, I’m screwed.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

12 thoughts on “Writer: 3, Fate: 2

  1. Nah, it can’t be that bad! If you wrote anything at all this week you can give yourself a free writer point. Really! Fate loses in the end anyway because he cheats…

  2. Sorry you went looking and couldn’t find the Moleskines. Borders usually has them. If the ones in San Fran don’t, I’d try a stationery shop. San Fran HAS to have one of those. heh

  3. The good thing about his cheating and dealing from the bottom of the deck is that you have even greater satisfaction in having beat him senseless in whatever your ultimate goal is.
    Trust me, I might be winning in my official tally, but watch when this semester ends and I start sending stuff out again and getting rejected :P. You’ll see fate beating me pretty bad. Well, maybe not, I might get lucky. I’ve got some good stories I need to send out :S. I’ve had a few people critique Soul For Sale and Artemis, and mostly they all liked it, just some minor bits I need to edit lol.

  4. Cognratulations on getting into college!
    The work from the endless admission process is finally paying off. Good riddance to it.

    And keep pushing fate away! IMO, anyone who has the time and effort to voluntarily write more than 50 pages of anything has already struck mundane fate a tremendous blow.

    Good luck on the reading. It’s bad for fate too. πŸ™‚

  5. Man I’ve well crossed that 50 page mark with WISB lol. It’s close to 200 right now I think, and not nearly done. I’m wondering if this will turn into some sort of trilogy or some such…who knows. I’ve already made it practically impossible for James to get his friend back lol.

  6. Character torture? That’s my speciality! πŸ˜€

    Heh. “Feeling evil today: be glad my weapon of choice is a pen” I have to get me one of those …

    Congratulations on:

    Getting into college
    Beating fate, for now
    Coming up with a cool system like that
    Being brave enough to want to do all those reviews!

    You’re going to be busy …

  7. Congrats on college! Tis exciting and no doubt it will all work out … even Grandma’s house.

    I must say I like your system too. Does blogging actually count as writing?? Prolly not πŸ˜› My score “Writer: -100, Fate: 200”

    Take care! And best of luck on the reviews. Oh, the journals look like a good investment too πŸ™‚

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