Sunday, July 3, 2022

Status Update • 3 July 2022

More than a few people have written to ask, “Where did you disappear to? Four weeks ago everything seemed to be cooking along just fine, and then

“What the Hell happened?!”

Sometimes there isn’t a simple, single-cause answer to that question. Yes, Stupefying Stories #24 is teetering on the brink of release. The authors have all signed-off on their copy edits and have been paid. The book is well along in production and almost finished. I think, if I can get just get two or three more uninterrupted days to focus on building and testing the master file and then to get it uploaded…

Finding that uninterrupted time in these past four weeks has been a challenge, though. I can’t easily put my finger on a single cause, either. Looking back at my planner for June I see I had a long succession of days that started off with clear plans and great promise, and then by mid-morning had gone totally off the rails. There were no dramatic crises, no major medical emergencies, no technical catastrophes—well, aside from Microsoft’s continuing crusade to make the Exchange/Outlook365 software stack even less useful than before.

[N.B. If you use Thunderbird, be advised that Microsoft is ending POP/IMAP support in Exchange on Monday, July 11, which means it will stop supporting Thunderbird. You must switch to using either Outlook365, Mail for Windows, or Mail for iOS by that date.

[The bad news is that Mail for Windows is nowhere near as useful as Thunderbird. The good news is that it’s easier to configure and more useful than Outlook365. The infuriating news is that I am still finding email from authors that the Exchange server decided I didn’t need to see and stashed away in various Junk or Spam folders. I have no idea how many messages have gone missing. If you need to contact me, please use the address. All email addresses remain unreliable.]

Looking back on June, it appears that what happened was the Universe decided it needed to redefine our concept of “normal” again, but this time in a subtle, gradual, and somewhat insidious way. Chaotic days became chaotic weeks, and then the weeks became a month, but we seem to have a handle on things now. We’ve adjusted. Adapted. Made changes in our daily routines and our habits of mind. 

This being the Independence Day holiday weekend, we’re actually going to take some time off today and tomorrow to rest, regroup, and eat suitably holiday-appropriate grilled foods—yes, we did get a new grill after we launched our old Smokey Joe into low Earth orbit—but beginning Tuesday morning we’ll be back with the beginning of a new serial from Pete Wood and the CODEX crew, a new batch of stories from the Pete Wood Challenge, and assuming the Universe does not have one more spanner in reserve to throw into the works, a lot more information about Stupefying Stories #24.

So enjoy the holiday, exercise caution if you plan to mix alcohol with fireworks, slip your dog a Melatonin, and let’s all meet back here on Tuesday with our eyes, ears, and fingers intact, okay? 

Bruce Bethke



ray p daley said...

I'll stick with Thunderbird, supported or not.

~brb said...

This is Microsoft Exchange server-specific. If your email hosting company is not using Exchange on the back-end, lucky you, I'm jealous, everything should continue to work. But if your email hosting company is using the Exchange server back-end, Thunderbird won't be able to receive new messages once Microsoft shuts off POP/IMAP support.

Have I mentioned lately how much I loathe Microsoft?

Pete Wood said...

July 4th? Who are you kidding? We all know you folks in Minnesota are more or less Canadians. The big holiday up there is July 1st.