BACK TO, UH, NORMAL?
It seems gmail has recovered, and you can now get back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'm having a few connectivity problems, but that's all to do with phone lines and nonsuch, so be patient over the Easter break as I might not get in until the Telstra linesmen sober up.
Just so everybody who has expressed surprise at the notion (despite a year or more of me saying it) is on the same page: Lyn and I will not be at Swancon this weekend.
Enjoy it if you're there.
BEN AND THE DITMARS
I've had a few emails asking my opinion on the Ditmars, and Ben Peek's nominations/ lack of withdrawal from the same. Perhaps it's because our fall-outs have been so public that whenever he does something to get up people's noses, I get a whole lot of questions.
Anyway, fwiw, I actually don't have a problem with Ben being nominated for an award, and choosing not to withdraw, whatever his stated position in the past. Despite my lack of regard for him as a person, I've always maintained that his stories are good work, and good stories deserve nomination. It's not his stories that I have the issue with. If his participation in a set-up designed only to hand out the warm and fuzzies is a sign of his growing maturity, then all the better.
As I've spouted at every opportunity, your career is your own responsibility. What you choose to be a part of, or not, is up to you. I'll confess to not being interested in Ben or his career, and as I'm not going to the Natcon this year, I'm not much interested in the Ditmars either. But I've always felt that if you're going to work in an industry that hands out awards it's always nice to be nominated, and if you're going to be nominated, you might as well win. Despite the bloc-voting and the constant attempts to derail the process, the Ditmars are a nice way for everyone involved to throw their arms around each other (metaphorically speaking) and say Love youse, maaaaaate.
So good luck to him, and the other nominees. As to my thoughts on Kathryn Linge's review of Through Soft Air being nominated for the Atheling (and thanks to everyone seeking my opinion on that), well, my opinion of Ms Linge's critical faculties are pretty well known. All hail the bloc-vote.