Now up at Daily Science Fiction, Nine Songs, my little slipstream story about, well, Nine Songs. My titles tend to be fairly literal.

And also now available, one of the rare poems where I plunged into marine biology, sorta, "Madrepore," in Spelling the Hours: Poetry Celebrating the Forgotten Others of Science and Technology. The poem is about Anna Thynne, a 19th century marine biologist who, among other things, studied reproduction in stony corals, and also was one of the first to develop salt water aquaria capable of keeping stony corals alive.

The overall collection, as the title says, celebrates other mostly forgotten scientists.

Enjoy!
Over at Tor.com, the commenters have shocked me by displaying an unexpected interest in mollusk ecology.

Unfortunately, I deleted my original four paragraphs on the subject since they were boring (really!) and focused on Florida and Chesapeake Bay issues rather than the California ecology H.M. Hoover is talking about. But, given the interest, I decided to try to answer the question anyway...

...and as so often happens, found myself writing far more than I originally intended to (or originally did, since I'm fairly sure my original paragraphs did not go into bioaccumulation), far too much for a comment on Tor.com. So, I'm putting it over here, under a cut for those not interested in mollusks, ecology, Chesapeake Bay oysters, and dinoflagellates, which is apparently fewer of you than I thought.

Here goes. )
This week is a little different over at Tor.com: for one, Tor.com is focusing on the ever cheery subject of dystopia (which had the decidedly negative effect of reminding me that Zardoz actually exists, AUUUGH, which had the further side effect of reminding me of a certain night in Binghamton where I actually sat through the entire thing, and, and this point cannot be emphasized enough, absolutely did not have enough booze to endure it. AUUGH.

But on the positive note, this means two - two - posts from me this week, starting with The Children of Morrow. Presumably the post about its sequel will pop up on Thursday at the regular time.

Like many of the books I've been covering over at Tor.com, I'm struck once again by the contrast between how I approach books now, and how I approached them when I was 11. Partly because I now approach many books studying structure and setup and worldbuilding, reading them -- especially on a reread like this -- for clues of how to do something right, and how to do something wrong.

But in this particular case, something else has changed: my knowledge base. When I originally read the book, I knew nothing about crustaceans and mollusks except that people occasionally ate them. Most marine biologists would assure you that I still know nothing about crustaceans and mollusks, and I would agree (one of the side effects of doing grad work in marine biology is that it teaches you just how little you know about anything, and in particular, invertebrates, which are beyond not my specialty.)

But I did know enough to know how much Hoover, in her earnest attempt to provide a well meant ecological lesson, got wrong (particularly about mollusks). And I found it utterly distracting. (Especially since Hoover had clearly done her research in some respects.)

This is not the first time I've gotten distracted by scientific errors in books, but I couldn't help comparing the kid me, who read along eagerly without any concern for the mollusks (which, despite the impression I'm giving here, don't really form that large a portion of the story) to the adult me, pounding the bed in irritation at every error. I kinda envied that kid, although maybe if I knew enough about mollusks for it to be useful, I might feel a bit different about it.

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