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Short story challenge!
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November is National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo, as it is known, attracts thousands of writers from around the world, challenging them to write a novel (actually only 50K words, but close enough!) in one month. Up until today, I was undecided about whether to participate this year.

Between the varying demands of the job-hunt and the two trips we have scheduled this month, I didn't think I'd be able to meet the target of 50K. I already have a novel left unfinished and short stories to work on, so any attempt at creating a new novel from scratch would definitely halt work on my other projects.

So does this mean I'm just going to sit around while everyone in NaNoWriMo busts a gut trying to write a novel? Hell, no! Instead I'm planning on setting myself a different challenge, which I have dubbed the Short Story Challenge (original, eh!) :)

As part of this challenge, I will attempt to write at least three new stories this month. I'll also try to submit Heavy Rains before the month is out. Sounds too easy, you say? Maybe for some people, but there's no need to stop at three stories if things are going well!

It'd be cool if a bunch of other writers read this and decided they too would like a challenge other than NaNoWriMo this month. Any takers? The more the merrier, I say!


Today I finished reading the July 2003 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. As usual, this month had some great stories. Kage Baker's novella, The Empress of Mars, was a good read with an interesting take on Mars colonization. My other favourites this issue were Robert Reed's Hexagons (an alternate history tale following a provincial election race), Mike Resnick's old-school SF tale Robots Don't Cry, Don D'Ammassa's Curing Agent (a race for a cure, set in Morocco), and Lee Allred's chilling compact tale, Our GŁnther Likes To Dig. I tend to agree with the editor of Asimov's (Gardner Dozois) that this is indeed a new golden age for SF!

Last night I finally ordered the last piece of hardware for the computer system I'll be building next week! I scoured the web for deals on the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro video card and eventually found a place with a good price on the retail package. Hopefully that'll arrive in a timely fashion and hopefully the company I've ordered from (Ateck) is reputable (from the ratings I've seen, they seem to be). The downside with this card is that it really chugs the juice, requiring a power cable to be connected from the case power-supply! This card is also more expensive than the Radeon 9600XT I was looking for, but the performance is roughly doubled when compared with the 9600XT. Needless to say, this system should perform very well when Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 come out :)

What I'm Reading:
Realms of Fantasy, October 2003
Four Seasons in One Day
by Jason Erik Lundberg and Janet Jia-Ee Chui

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