Saturday, April 28, 2012


When I finally crawled into bed at 6:25 a.m. this morning, I was exhausted and planned to sleep away the day. A little before noon, I got up, worked for a while, and then returned to the welcome arms of my bed for a nap. I repeated this process two more times.

During one of the periods when I was at my computer, I read Neil Gaiman's recent interview of Stephen King. Fairly late in that interview, King talks about stories as found things, and about how sometimes the idea you need just appears when you need it. I believe there's a lot of truth to that notion, because your subconscious is working on your stories more of the day than your consciousness.

Further, some ideas, some images, some plots bubble up during dreams and near-dreams, as if you'd drilled earlier and weakened the barrier between those ideas and your awareness.

The last time I rested in bed today, a short near-dreaming nap under a bright sky shining directly on my head through the skylight above me, an image burst fully formed into my mind.

A young man and a young woman were hiding in the vacant area between two industrial buildings. The asphalt under their feet was surrendering finally to nature, cracks running through it like scars, grass and dirt and weeds and even small yellow flowers thrusting defiantly into the light. As the two people crouched near a dumpster, their heads swiveling as they tried to watch every direction at once for signs of their attackers, a black car running in reverse screeched into the space and stopped less than a yard from them. A sleek, tapered sports car with a small fin over its trunk, it was black on every surface, windows and body and door handles and tires and rims, everything and everywhere black.

Except its license plate. The perfectly white license plate bore no state insignia or other identifier. Instead, on it in thick, strong, sans-serif type were these characters:


I woke up then.

I have no clue what that means. It probably means nothing at all.

I love it, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if one day I use it, at least those four characters, maybe the rest.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lobo on dumb questions

Relatively early in No Going Back, Jon is tired and wants to go to sleep when Lobo says they need to talk about two problems. Here's their interchange:

I very much wanted to sleep. “These can’t wait?” I said.

“Imagine a world in which I disturb you without significant cause,” Lobo said. “We call that, ‘fantasy.’ To put it differently, sure, it can wait, as long as you are willing to let me decide your future for you. That has not, however, been your past preference.”
Ah, Lobo. I love his sensitivity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I'm writing now

is a new Jon and Lobo story. Publisher Toni nicely commissioned it for, which means you will get to read it for free. How cool is that?

There's just one problem: I'm terribly late. It was due April 15.

So, I'm going back to it.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's playing in my car right now

I'm late to the party with Basia Bulat, but I'm enjoying her music.

I'm also late with Diamond Nights.

Finally, the two-disc live set from the Decemberists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Three fun facts about No Going Back

As frequent readers know, my next novel, No Going Back, is due in bookstores and online on May 29. (You can already buy the electronic advanced reading copy, or eARC, at Over the next month, I hope to spread the word about the book, because a book's first-week sales are very important. As a bit of a teaser, here are three interesting tidbits about this fifth Jon and Lobo novel:

1) Lobo reveals big things--very big things--about himself.

2) The title is not hyperbole: a great deal changes in non-reversible ways.

3) As I've mentioned at a few cons, Jon really does get laid.
Yeah, that's right: more Lobo keen data than you can shake a stick at, big surprises, and, finally, Jon has sex.

How can you resist that combination?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lobo on the benefits of killing your enemies

From No Going Back, with, as usual, no context. For that, you have to buy the book.

As for anyone pursuing us, that’s possible only if we leave enough of them behind for anyone to find something. Kill them, then blow them into sufficiently small pieces, and that problem vanishes.
Ah, Lobo, such a soft touch.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tesla won't sell me an electric car

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted an electric car and was having trouble buying one. My first failure was with Tesla Motors.

Led by celebrity CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has been selling a roadster for some time now. Last year, they announced a sedan, the Model S, that looked like just the ticket for me. Luxurious, easily capable of carrying four passengers in comfort, with a performance edition that would go from zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds and have a 300-mile range, this baby was both a great car and just the ticket for out-smugging Bill in his LEAF.

So, even though the price was crazy high, I tried to order one.

No luck. They're going to sell only 5,000 of these in 2012, and already 8,000 people are on the waiting list for the 2012 units. They told me this in January.

January. That means that between January and August, when the first Model S units are due to appear, they could not figure out how to boost their production capacity. Given the price of the car, they are leaving something on the order of a couple hundred million dollars on the table.

I promise you that if you guaranteed me in January that our company would have 60% more work by August, we would be ready to do that work.

Consider Tesla's financial state. The company has had to go back to investors for more money. Lots more money. It took hundreds of millions of dollars in bail-out money from the U.S. government, i.e., from all of our pockets. Yet it cannot find a way to make more cars.

This is appalling. I'm sure there are many complexities I do not understand, but surely Musk and his team can find a way around them and take our money--and succeed more. Perhaps they need to hire more Americans to build the cars; fine, with all the money from the orders and the bail-out, surely they can do that.

But, no. Instead, thousands sit on a waiting list.


So, no Tesla Model S for me.

By the way, Elon, if you and your team read this post and want to sell me an early unit, I'll consider letting bygones be bygones--but I'll still be right that you should do the same for everyone else on the waiting list.


Blog Archive