What am I doing in my retirement? (Or what was I doing over the past couple decades when not at work?) Updated November 2020:
January June 2021:
IN WORK FOR COMPLETION IN 2021: Expanding the Scope of the Science Fiction Awards Database
This entails completing the ranked lists of stories and novels. So far short stories and novelettes have been posted. The rankings for novellas, sf novels, and fh novels have been done for some time, but are awaiting annotation (at least of the top 20 on each list) before posting.
IN WORK FOR COMPLETION IN 2021: Family History and Pics; Personal Narrative (Memoirs)
The narratives are mostly done, as of 2020, though they can always be amended as new thoughts or memories occur to me. The backlog now are the photos I’ve scanned or have already digitally that haven’t yet been posted. And unscanned are still most of the slides in the metal boxes of slides I inherited from my father in 2001, photos of my parents’ early life an family trips while I was growing up.
ONGOING INDEFINITELY: Science Fiction Awards Database (sfadb.com)
Aside from the rankings described above, this project is simply to maintain the sfadb site as new awards data — nominations and winners — are announced.
ONGOING INDEFINITELY: Reading
Currently my reading consists mostly of reading or rereading many of the “classics” of science fiction, and of reading substantial nonfiction books, about science, philosophy, and religion. (For 30+ years we’ve been a golden age of substantial books written for the lay reader about these subjects, and I’ve amassed several hundred of them.) Ideally I’ll post comments about each book here on the blog, but I’m usually behind on those.
ONGOING INDEFINITELY: Reviews for Black Gate
In January 2020 at the invitation of the site’s editor, I began contributing biweekly essay-reviews of the classic sf books mentioned above to Black Gate. There have been interruptions due to hospital stays, but I plan to keep going as long as editor John O’Neill is open to them.
ONGOING INDEFINITELY, but with a potential conclusion: The Book
My provisional project is to write a book that integrates my Provisional Conclusions (based on life experience and reading all those nonfiction books), with close readings of foundational science fiction works, both novels and short fiction, to examine how science fiction works to anticipate and explore humanity’s ideas about reality and the future.
Update November 2020: The title will be Unfolding Infinity: Science Fiction as a Prism in the Dawn. The parallel with a well-known book by Carl Sagan is quite deliberate.
ONGOING, IF INCIDENTALLY: support for Locus Online (locusmag.com)
I founded this website in 1997 as the online counterpart to Locus magazine, for which I had doing a monthly review column since 1988. I ran the website pretty much single-handedly for 20 years, in that I controlled the design and manually posted the vast majority of pages, from news to reviews to various listings and indexes, some generated from MS Access databases. (By 2009 or so I began implementing parts of the site in Blogger, then WordPress, to allow the magazine staff to post directly, especially news.) The awards site (above) began as a section of Locus Online. In 2017 the publisher of the magazine and her staff took control of the site, with a redesign in WordPress that I did not have any say in and that I don’t particularly like (too many differently sized graphics; too many places on the homepage where new content might appear).
As of 2019 I still contribute a couple weekly listings, and I solicit and edit the reviews by Paul Di Filippo and Gary Westfahl. A history of my tenure, with a timeline and (at the bottom) images of what the site looked like over the years, is here: 20 Years of Locus Online.
While some of the routine chores (like index updates) may be transitioned to the Locus staff, I plan to continue posted occasional “blinks” and to solicit and edit Paul Di Filippo’s reviews.