Sunday, April 22, 2007

Relief, Request, Reviews

Okay, well, somebody's out there. And you care. So far so good.

But can anyone tell me how to thread comments in Blogger? All I seem able to do is paste comments onto the bottom of the stack; I can't seem to post a comment in direct response to someone else's comment. There must be a way-- it happens in LJ all the time-- but I can't find reference to it on any of the Blogger help boards. Maybe I'm using the wrong keywords.

A couple more Blindsight reviews in the hopper. Alma Hromik over at SF Site finds the novel "brilliant" enough, and its ascension to Hugo nomineehood "inevitable" (which shows far more faith in it than I ever had), but can't really warm to it for all that. The ol' unsympathetic-characters problem again. And what can I say? It's a fair cop (although I do wish people found Siri a bit cuddlier than they seem to...)

Now over here we got a review by one Toni Jerrman, and I have to take his word that it's a rave because it's all in Finnish. But that's cool. The guys at Tähtivaeltaja have liked me since way back before anyone else even knew I existed; they even interviewed me after Starfish came out. So when they say that I "syöksyy ensi yrityksellään kovan avaruus-scifin eturintamaan", well, I can only shuffle my feet and thank them for the compliment.



Blogger eileen said...

I loved your Siri Keeton! I enjoyed his thoughts and interactions and found his relationship with his father extremely poignant. You're one of the best character...portray-ers around!

April 22, 2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

I'm under the impression that you can't thread comments in Blogger. Which is part of why I jumped to LJ.

April 22, 2007 4:34 PM  
Anonymous david ellis said...

A real blog!

About fuckin' time. Your books (and blog) bring up topics I, and I'm sure, lots of your other readers would like to discuss and debate. This will make it quite a bit easier.

April 22, 2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Eileen: Why, thank you. I am pretty good, if I do say so myself, at portraying pathetic loser characters. I just wish I was better at portraying some other kind.

Leah: Stupid Blogger. Can you relocate an LJ blog to your home URL? Can you customise it with rifters-consistent graphic menus?

David: That's kind of what I'm hoping. That's kind of what I'm afraid of.

April 22, 2007 10:38 PM  
Anonymous kevin said...

weird. i've been watching since it went online it seems and have since been awkwardly convincing the occasional friend into reading your work. in the spirit of constructive affirmation, i hope you'll delve into a broad spectrum of topics (as your schedule allows) and try to create something that serves as more than one-stop for all things Watts. not that you do that already, or that that would necessarily be a bad thing for any particular reason, it's just that many authors' blogs tend to get all "blah" with the personal updates and such. i understand the need behind it, but readers want the chance to converse, not gush. or at least this one does.

at any rate, congrats on the hugo nomination; blindsight couldn't be more deserving.

April 22, 2007 11:54 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

*waves hi*

Grats on the nom!

April 23, 2007 2:58 AM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Kevin: I'd always hoped the self-aggrandising stuff would get balanced out by the science postings. I've admittedly dropped the ball on that balance in recent months, because a) a lot of Wattsy stuff has been going down lately, and b) I've been so preoccupied with other things that I've fallen seriously behind on my background reading.

But I hear you. Today's entry is science. Assuming I get around to making it.

Deanna: *tries to check profile*

I can't see which Deanna you are-- are you the Recently-Enprogenied Yukonian, or the World's Hottest Copy Editor?

April 23, 2007 8:37 AM  
Blogger Fraxas said...

Threaded comments are so 2002. I mean, 1999. I mean, 1992. Yeah, we don't *do* that here. Not on Web 2.0!! (I think you can engage 3rd-party commenting systems, but I haven't found any that don't suck donkeys.)

And with regard to characterisation, I found Jukka Sarasti quite easy to identify with, thankyouverymuch.

April 23, 2007 4:55 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Bear said...


Welcome to the blogosphere. Even if you are resorting to emotional blackmail to make us comment.

We had fun without you at Penguicon, but it would have been more fun *with* you.

(And what's wrong with cutesy fucking icons?)

Threaded comments are actually kind of a pain when you get a lot of comments: lj collapses them.

There is no system that does not suck.

April 23, 2007 6:40 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...


Yeah, like I was gonna go anywhere near a con where you got to get your Inner Jenny on with "Geeks & Guns". I'm staying out of range of the lot of you.

Fraxas: I was going to get all huffy with your spelled-out-in-full-for-ego-surfing-purposes remark, but I can't think of a way to do that without proving your point. So let's just pretend it never happened.

April 23, 2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Bear said...

Hey. I only point that thing downrange.


April 23, 2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Ray Neilson said...

All systems suck until they are configured properly. Then they might suck somewhat less. But there's a time/frustration equation that deals with these things, and Peter, you can do the game theory as well as I can.

April 23, 2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

Heh. I'm the forty-year-old mother-of-two copyeditor Deanna. But hey, hottest? I'll take that. ;-)

I don't know why my name isn't showing up full with Blogger, actually. :-/ I'll have to figure that out.

April 24, 2007 6:06 AM  
Blogger Deanna Hoak said...

Just testing to see if I fixed it...

April 24, 2007 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I found that I identified with Kiri. Then, I found it a little disturbing that I would identify so well with someone of completely flat affect. Finally, I realized that if my identification disturbed me, then it was a false identification and that I'm ok and that I'm not really a sociopath.

I post this one anonymously because I fear the google. (Last thing I need is potential employers googling me and finding that I identify with sociopaths)

April 25, 2007 8:52 AM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

I wouldn't worry about Google-- what kind of villainous bosses would stoop to using an engine built by a company whose motto is "Don't be evil"?

Besides, they've probably nailed you already with the keystroke logger they installed on your station last month during "routine maintenance".

April 25, 2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Thread? Ing? What on earth is that? We don't indulge in such conveniences here on planet Google.

And what's with all the bloggers bitching about comment threading anywyw? Back in my day, we coded our way uphill both ways and liked it!

April 25, 2007 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Mark Teppo said...


I just finished Blindsight this morning and, well, yeah, I'm going to need a lot more time (and another read through probably) to really wrap my head around a lot of it. However, I really loved the ride and the characters. I found Siri very sympathetic, actually, tragic even. And the rest of them were just, well, damaged goods doing as best they could. I don't track the connection to "unsympathetic," but then I prefer characters that are a little out of the norm.

I had been watching the BBC series Blue Planet with my son over the weekend and had been stunned to see a sequence of jellyfish being born (the whole clicking off the stack and turning from flower petal to organism motion). I was tickled to match up that visual to your description of how the scramblers were grown. ("My God! Yes! I caught Peter Watts putting his biology background to work!")

Anyway, thank you.

May 9, 2007 10:43 AM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Hi, Mark. And thank you.

Yeah, "tragic" was what I was going for with Siri (hell, with pretty much all the characters, except for Helen I guess). But the fact remains, of all the criticisms that have been levelled at Blindsight, the most common by far is the charge of unsympathetic characterization. I'm glad it worked for you — but the fact that it didn't for a lot of others means I've got to try harder next time.

I'm starting to feel up for it.

May 9, 2007 5:57 PM  
Blogger Mark Teppo said...

It has been some time since I've read Starfish, but my recollection of the book was that I thought Lenie a much harder sell as a sympathetic protagonist than Siri ever felt. In fact, I'm planning on going back to Starfish soon because I'm curious. Was it my reluctance to get into a book that made me work a little bit (as compared to, say, John Scalzi's The Lost Colony which isn't making me work and, as a result, I almost feel like I'm cheating myself), or was Lenie that much more of a prickly recluse?

Either way, and all complaints of unsympathetic characters aside, I think one of Blindsight's real strengths is that all of your bleeding edge freaks felt VERY human to me. I could understand and identify with all of their motivations and reactions, which is a pretty good trick because most of their physical and psychological environments were/are radically different than my mundane unaltered existence.

May 10, 2007 12:22 PM  

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