Leviathan 3, edited by. Forrest Aguirre & Jeff VanderMeer
The Years Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, edited by Bill Congreve & Michelle Marquart
Polyphony 4, edited by Deborah Layne & Jay Lake
All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, edited by David Moles & Jay Lake
Adventure Vol. 1, edited by Chris Roberson
Album Zutique, edited by Jeff VanderMeer
Horses Blow Up Dog City & Other Stories, Richard Butner
Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang
The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories, Jeffrey Ford
The Course of the Heart, M. John Harrison
Dogs in the Moonlight, Jay Lake
As The Sun Goes Down, Tim Lebbon
Stranger Things Happen, Kelly Link
Foreigners and Other Familiar Faces, Mark Rich
Other Cities, Benjamin Rosenbaum
Bittersweet Creek & Other Stories, Christopher Rowe
R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before
Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land, John Crowley
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, Cory Doctorow
Blood Follows, Steven Erikson
Mortal Love, Elizabeth Hand
One King, One Soldier, Alexander C. Irvine
TWOC, Graham Joyce
Tainaron, Leena Krohn
Move Under Ground, Nick Mamatas
Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
In the Palace of Repose, Holly Phillips
Here, There & Everywhere, Chris Roberson
A Handbook of American Prayer, Lucius Shepard
Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams, Catherynne M. Valente
The Labyrinth, Catherynne M. Valente
London Revenant, Conrad Williams
And that's not including the ones I managed to cart back in my luggage. Or the books I picked up at WorldCon and still haven't got round to reading. Or the ones I picked up at Eastercon for that matter, which are also still sitting on my To Read shelf (or on te floor under it now, actually). So much to read. How do I choose? Fuck, how do I choose? Actually what am I talking about? Having just finished Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek: An Afterword (and bloody brilliant it is too), and currently working my way through M. John Harrison's Viriconium, which only took over from Anna Tambour's Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales because Harrison's a guest at Eastercon (so I thought I should actually read his, um, groundbreaking classic, you know, in case I actually run into der meister), and with Tamar Yellin's Genizah at the House of Shepher, which also had to get put to one side for Ink, also waiting patiently for me to go back to it, and a proof of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamorra which looks like excellent fun from the first few pages, and... FUCK!!!! How will I ever get time to read all of this?
Thank fuck I'm quitting my job.
I did mention that, didn't I, the resignation thing? Can't remember. Was it more than a minute. Well... anyway... yes, I finally decided to jack in the day job after swithering about it for months. It's not quite the dramatic, grandiose "For I shall be an Author!" declaration it might sound at first, given that I'm a programmer who's been working with VB.Net since the beta and should therefore, if necessary, have the requisite experience and skill-set now to crowbar my way into contract apps development (3 months working, 3 months writing sorta thing) or even (eek) back into a full-time job if, after a couple of years, things don't look too healthy.
Thing is, for now I'm just looking at the various instalments of the advance and payments for foreign rights that will be coming in from VELLUM & INK over the next couple of years and, well, I reckon I can survive for a good wee while. So I had a wee talk with my boss a week or so back, did the nice guy thing, told him that rather than give a month's notice and leave the team high and dry during a six week development push which will be critical to the project, I'd stick around till the end of that development, and then give them a few more weeks on top to get a replacement in and trained, so as to make the handover as smooth as possible. But as of Easter it's adios, amigos. Hasta la vista.
Still, even with the fallback of a return to programming, am I shitting myself about the risk? Is it way too early to make that kind of decision? Isn't it a foolish gamble, dangerous risk, yah de yah, blah de blah, yackety schmackety? Well, sure. I know the realities of writing, that making a full-time career out of it is, for most of us, the sweet-smelling smoky stuff of pipe-dreams.
But fuck it. There comes a time, I think, when you have to just lock & load, wrap yer lucky rubber band around yer wrist, pull tight the straps on the parachute, and take that leap out of the plane into the roaring gulf of sky. And right now seems to be that time for me -- with a good response to VELLUM, with INK coming out this year, with translations and whatnot -- seems like its time to stub the cigarette out, give a thumbs-up to the pilot, and sky-dive into the luckosphere.
Might not work, but in the words of Achilles, in that classic of 80's cinema, ROBOJOX...
Crash and burn, my friend. Crash and burn.
And at least I'll have time to catch up on my reading.