February 2011 Newsletter
MOVED—lord a’mighty I’ve moved again! This time to an assisted living facility. I spent some good years in the Karric Place apartment—September 2006 through January 2011. Now I’m about 3 blocks away from there, at:John Dalmas
4880 Tuttle Road, apt 307
Dublin OH 43017-7533
My E-dress is as above. My new phone number is (614) 376-4065
(Two mallard ducks just waddled by outside my window, across several inches of snow. They are less than 10 feet from me. Their feet function nicely as snowshoes, but have no apparenti>protection against the cold. A physiological mechanism I suppose. Meanwhile all the local ponds have several inches of ice.)
My new home feeds well, the employees seem remarkably cheerful and able (they are employed, after all), and my digs are pleasant, if a tight fit. But I had to off-load perhaps 80% of my books; Jill, my daughter-in-law asked the hard questions: "Is this something you might refer to, or reread?” Accepted my decisions matter-of-factly, then arranged for their surprisingly profitable exchange. My role was more difficult—selecting what books to let go of. My entire Poul Anderson (Poul Anderson yes!) collection went to the book orphanage! "Waah!” May they find a good home wherethey will be appreciated, even loved.
(The duck just ran at the drake and pecked him [perhaps for telling her Ohio is in the tropics], then they took off together, perhaps this time to Florida. Hopefully they will not land within reach of some nearly submerged log [alligator].)
Baen Books picked up the eBook rights to my small-press short-fiction collection, Otherwhens, Otherwheres, and I have tweaked the introductions to some of the stories; it is scheduled for re-release as a Baen eBook in April.
Also I have reworked the historical novel Armfelt, and characterized it on the title page as a "novelized documentary,” so that hopefully, prospective readers won’t expect an intense and focussed story arc.
Armfelt has a story arc, but it is guided by the very irregular course of the historical campaign, and subordinate to its historical, personal, and cultural happenings . . . and to what they tell us about that era, and about humankind. If you have Scandinavian roots, you might well find this documentary novel—this piece of fennoscandian history—especially interesting. Even riveting.
Set in the Great Northern War (1700-1721), it describes the invasion of Trøndelag (a Norwegian Province) by a war-battered Finnish army, bolstered by two green regiments of Swedish infantry and a battalion of Swedish cavalry. They were much like the population they were invading, and not so very different from the peasant immigrants who came to America from those three countries in the closing decades of the 1800s.
It is hardly what publishers are looking for now—a headlong plunge into ever wilder and more harrowing action. Instead it’s a study of individual and cultural responses to severe odds, under hardships meteorological, medical, and logistical, in an era when feeding your army might depend largely on plundering: one’s own farmers as well as those being invaded.
Meanwhile I’m slowly, intermittently, proceeding on two other projects: primarily the re-formatting and tweaking of my own out-of-print novels, for eBooks (any volunteers?), and a novel of the Lake Agassiz frontier in the early 1930s, inspired by communities I knew in the 1940s and early ‘50s. The foremost was Littlefork, Minnesota, but borrows from places in Upper Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and the north shore of Lake Superior.
I’m scheduled to fly to Washington state on Feb 18 for—what else? A science fiction convention—RadCon, at the Tri-Cities. Of that more later.