I spent the last week working from home. Working from home is weird. Even though I'm just barely adult enough to actually work when I'm working from home, it's not something I'd ever want to do on a regular basis. Office work, good old-fashioned corporate office work, is an underrated thing in my opinion. Being able to walk down the hall and talk to people is important to my being able to do my job, or, more accurately, to do my job well.
So it was a strange week. My sleep schedule got badly out of whack; I woke up at my normal time but wound up working far later than I normally would have and didn't get to sleep until late. I'm sure it's something to do with separating your work space from your living space and enforcing those boundaries but I'm a little limited in my options, space-wise. I wore the same type of shirt and yoga pants* every day and somehow drank even more coffee than my normal, disturbingly large, intake. No matter how much work I did, I felt like I needed to do more or document or something since no one was there to see me working.
On the plus side, I managed to get my Hugo nominations completed and submitted almost two weeks before the deadline. The nominating is a good deal more time-consuming than the actual voting since there are so many more works to choose from. I was a little disappointed in the options in the novel category. I think last year's crop was strong, which makes the act of vandalism against the awards that much worse.
For me, the tough one was deciding whether or not to put Seveneves on the list. If the book had ended after the second section, it would have been not just a no-brainer nominee, but the likely winner. The last third of the book was just such a mess that I wound up leaving if off my list. Is 2/3's of a brilliant novel followed by 1/3 "um, what were you thinking?" enough for a Hugo? I understand why people would nominate it, but for me, it just wasn't there.
Speaking of terrific writers and science and the future, let me go into full-on shill mode and tell you that if you're not currently subscribed to Warren Ellis' Orbital Operations newsletter, you're missing out. Here's a taste from today's installment:
Maybe the chase for engagement metrics just encouraged toxicity. Maybe there's very little maybe about it. Comments sections told the story fifteen years ago. It's just that Twitter etc made it obvious. But perhaps it was just a bump, as audience/artist interaction was in the Sixties. Perhaps these are early signals of a return to plain old top-down broadcast. Even the platforms that previously sold themselves on engagement want you to sit quietly and watch exclusive video.
Wouldn't that be a thing? The interactive, engagement-seeking digital world falls down because people are generally just fucking horrible.
For someone who can do amused cynicism so well, Mr. Ellis can be as positive and hopeful about the future as anyone other there (read Orbiter if you want an example.) I've been reading Ellis in all of his multi-media incarnations for a long, long time, and he's yet to bore me. Anyway, you can sign up for the newsletter here.
Back to work on Monday. I'm looking forward to it, if only to get my schedule back on track. It turns out that I like some structure in my life. Who knew?
* The Prana Sutra men's yoga pants are the best pants I've ever owned. They're comfortable, sure, but they're very, very durable and the hemp/cotton blend won't wrinkle no matter how hard you try.