I'm moving to Raleigh to start an MFA program in the fall. Liese and I visited over the weekend, met current students and faculty, made--I think!--some future friends. More than anything, I was struck by how comfortable the place was: conversation about Jonathan Coulton and "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" flowed easily, the city was weird and warm and overgrown with trees, the North Carolina State Farmers Market was crammed full of tasty temptation. (I know this outs me as a poorly-traveled country boy, but dude: fresh seafood!) I came home orders of magnitude more relaxed than when I left, and I'm already anxious to go back. As much as I love this area, as much as I know I'll miss it, I'm way past ready to move on. And the next step looks kind of awesome.

In other news, Charles Tan interviewed me about Shine over at SF Signal. If you want to read my babbling about "The Earth of Yunhe," Nancy Kress, Terry Bisson, optimistic science fiction, etc, then, hey, yeehaw. If not: also yeehaw.


Today's the official US release for Shine. It's available at all the usual online retailers, and should be showing up on shelves at B&N, Borders, BAM, etc. Reviewers have been pretty nice to it so far: Charles Tan and Nick Mamatas both had positive things to say, and Barnes and Noble Explorations was downright ebullient, describing my story like this: 

Eric Gregory’s sublimely powerful “The Earth of Yunhe” takes place in a region of China devastated by a flood of toxic coal waste, [following] a dissident native son who risks everything to find a solution – a solution that could transform the entire planet.

While you're waiting for your dozen copies (from each retailer!) to arrive, you can download or listen to Kate Baker's wonderful podcast of "The Earth of Yunhe" over at the Shine blog. I hope I learn to narrate half as well as Kate someday -- her reading is suffused with a broad, lovely empathy, and she brings every character to unique life. I'm thrilled and honored to see my story get such an excellent treatment. 

Over on my fancy blog, I've been doing more fancy-blog-only posts than in the past (dealing with, among other things, Ponyo and some recent story recognitions), so feel free to click on over there if you'd like a smidge more in the way of reviews, politics, and shameless self-promotion.


Around the Internet

Kids today (at Language Log):

[The teacher] described the unmannerly behaviour of his pupils during a solemn lecture, a presentation to which a wider audience was admitted. He had ordered a slave to call the students in. They hardly budged, continuing to chat, laugh and sing the top hits of the day. Finally, they condescended to enter the hall, yet their lackadaisical attitude roused the ire of those already present and made them resentful. Finally the lecture could begin. The students, however, were winking at one another, were talking about this, that and the other, about charioteers, mimes, horses, pantomimes, and fights among students. Some students lolled about like statues, arms folded, while others picked their noses with both hands at once, remained utterly unmoved while everyone applauded, forced enthusiastic members of the audience to fit down. Their behaviour could be even more disgraceful: they clapped at unsuitable moments, prevented others from applauding, strutted ostentatiously through the lecture-theatre and tried to lure as many people as possible out of the hall by concocting false messages or by spreading round invitations to the baths.

Choice conversations from Nixon's White House (at The Edge of the American West): 

Nixon: I do not mind the homosexuality. I understand it. (14-second beep to hide personal information) But nevertheless, the point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality… even more than you glorify whores. Now we all know that people go to whores. …we all have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? What do you think that does to 11 and 12 year old boys when they see that? …You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates.

Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television had.


Weekend Update

Liese had to work yesterday afternoon, so I hung around Damascus, writing and reading and taking pictures of the creek. Learned or re-learned several valuable lessons, such as:

a) Wow, you find statues of Greek gods in the weirdest places
b) I "write" in the same sense that glaciers "move." (200 words in two hours. What is that shit?)

Valentine's Evening was lovely. I made downright edible scallops, chocolate and strawberries were transmogrified into freakish abominations of deliciousness, and at least one feature film was roundly ignored. Pretty much perfect. 

Boot Log, 2/11

Words: Uh, fiddled around with some phrasing. For a few minutes. Not a big writing day.

Miles: 1 + 30mins on stationary.

Music: And the Moneynotes, live in Bristol. We actually went to see Holy Ghost Tent Revival, but the opening band from Scranton, PA ran both long and awesome, and by the time they were done we felt a) old and tired and b) like we'd gotten our money's worth. And the Moneynotes mine roughly the same vein as the Avett Brothers--ultra-energetic, multi-vocalist Americana--but more loudly and a bit less seriously. They put on an excellent, thoroughly recommended show, very casually building a fun, intimate atmosphere with a mid-sized crowd. Lots of well-crafted shoutalongs and fistpumpers. The kind of dynamic that you sadly can't record.


Boot Log, 2/10

Yesterday was ugly snow and four hours of work. Which led to Liese and I alternating between Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age for, um, a totally healthy and mature length of time. I'm not sure if that's shamefully boring or kinda really awesome.

500 or so. Plodding along.

Miles: Too snowy for miles. 45mins on stationary bike.

Also: I'm in my first year of eligibility for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and my profile page is up on the Campbell site now. Attending and supporting members of WorldCon vote for the Campbell, and voting's going on now. J.M. McDermott highlights several writers who would have my vote over at his blog.

Tonight is pizza, beer, and loud music. Friday comes early!