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Bits and pieces

It’s been a crazy week. I wrapped up some stories for a client, snagged another contract, and ate delicious cake at a belated birthday celebration. (My birthday was last week. I turned 29.) Oh, and did my taxes. On time. Like a 29-year-old.

I was also interviewed at Civilian Reader regarding vN.

What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m very short. Like, five feet. It’s the thing that tends to surprise people when they see me up close. It’s not that they thought I’d be taller, or anything. They’re just surprised at the size. One time I was standing in line for a department store cashier, and a little girl in the line beside mine pointed at me and said: “Mommy, why is she little?” True story.

Then, Julia at The Creators Project asked me (and lots of other people who have more degrees than I do) to talk some more about the New Aesthetic:

…not only does the New Aesthetic take as given a heretofore-feminine vulnerability among the humans being surveilled, but also treats the surveilling machine eye as technologically immature and therefore morally innocent. By returning to the blocky, colourful 8-bit world that informed the childhood experience of so many artists of the New Aesthetic, they imbue the surveilling eye with a similar youthful innocence. They have looked into the black dome, and seen their own naiveté reflected in its gleaming surface.

And then to cap it off, vN received a jaw-droppingly good review at io9. (So good, in fact, that Karl called us during dinner just to let us know about it. At first, from the way Dave stopped chewing, I suspected terrible news. But no! It was great news!)

It’s a strange, dazzling look at the world through the eyes of a rogue artificial woman, who sees things in an off-kilter fashion, and becomes the most dangerous robot in the world as a result. You get drawn into the lush, disturbing world, seeing it through the eyes of a robot, and soon enough you’re losing your whole sense of reality. The familiar human world will never look the same again.

Damn. I’m really humbled by those words. They make all the hard work worth it. Dave read this review aloud to me (and to our very patient dinner companions), and I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry or drink more of my Guinness. I may have done all three.

Speaking of Dave, he was also interviewed this week, about his upcoming novel Rasputin’s Bastards. In the interview he describes our office:

I just moved into an apartment in a space that was the hayloft of an old stable in east-end Toronto, along with science fiction author Madeline Ashby. For all the rustic romanticism of that description, the apartment is quite modern and the workspace is pretty standard-issue home office.

This is an accurate description, but it’s lacking our cat. Lucy, the elderly babushka brown tabby with the bad hip that we took in last March, usually spends her time watching one or both of us while we’re writing. Her habit is to yowl and moan until one of us retrieves her and deposits her on the unoccupied chair, at which point she dispenses a stern lecture to anyone who will listen, curls up, complains about her hip, and then falls asleep. Seriously. It’s just like having a co-worker who tells everyone about her terrible arthritis, and the only time you get anything done is when she falls asleep dreaming of mice.

  • Madeline Ashby…

    ...is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

  • Books

    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 342
    ratings: 2160 (avg rating 3.43)

    Company Town Company Town
    reviews: 232
    ratings: 1217 (avg rating 3.68)

    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
    reviews: 73
    ratings: 439 (avg rating 3.66)

    Social Services Social Services
    reviews: 3
    ratings: 10 (avg rating 3.50)

    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

    More of Madeline 's books »
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