Friday, October 7, 2022

Status Update • 7 October 2022


“What’s going on with Stupefying Stories?”

I’ve been hearing that question a lot lately, in various emotional tones, sometimes with expletives. To tell the truth, I’ve been wondering that myself. Everything seemed to be moving forward nicely in July and still rolling along in August, and then… What the Hell happened?

Fortunately, I keep a fairly detailed daily planner. Depressingly, I can look back at it and find the answer. Karen’s battle with cancer has not been going as well as we might have hoped. At this stage it’s like playing a high-stakes game of whack-a-mole. We treat the cancer with this treatment here; it vanishes quickly but just as quickly pops up again there, only in a new form that requires a different treatment. Beginning in July and accelerating through August and into September, my calendar filled up with specialists, referrals, diagnostics, oncology, radiology, cardiology, PET scans, CT scans, MRI scans—here’s something I’d never heard of before, a “Multigated Acquisition Scan,” I’m still not sure exactly what that was or what it was supposed to examine—sometimes multiple appointments miles apart in a single day.

On August 30th we learned that the cancer was visible in her liver again and a new lesion had appeared in her spine, so she’s back on radiation therapy. She’s also on a new chemotherapy drug that’s so new, it was only approved by the FDA on August 5th. I’ve had to learn to become a very discerning reader of medical journal articles and clinical study results. I used to think it would be really cool to be living right out there on the leading edge of science and research. Now, not so much. 

Concurrent with all of this, blogspot—the engine behind the Stupefying Stories web site—shut down our email subscription feed. Apparently they’d been planning to do this for some time and had put notifications that they were going to do so on their support forum, but since I was not following their blog, this came as a surprise to me. I have been able to recover our mailing list, but… 

“Officially, we don’t have a recommendation. Unofficially, try Mailchimp.” 

Oh boy. Another thing for me to set up in the spare time I don’t have. 


We haven’t given up on Stupefying Stories and Rampant Loon Press. While my attention has been elsewhere, Henry Vogel ported his entire catalog of books over to wide distribution. As of the last time I checked all the Scout books, the Fugitive Heir books, the Recognition Run series—basically, all of them are now available on Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, BorrowBox, Vivlio, Baker & Taylor. Whether that will make a significant difference in sales remains TBD. I am as always cautiously optimistic.

Likewise, Pete Wood has continued running The Pete Wood Challenge, and we’ve accumulated a fresh pile of flash fic stories that we’ll begin running next week. The Odin Chronicles came to a somewhat desultory close, and for that I take full responsibility, as I was supposed to write the series wrap-up and episode guide for September 16th, but had—hmm, six medical appointments that week, including three in one day. We are not done with the Odin Chronicles, but we are done with what I like to think of as the first season. What’s in the future? I can’t say. Would you like to see a season two? Let me know.

Meanwhile, I have a pile of email to plow through and answer. Duotrope wants to know what’s going on with Stupefying Stories. I don’t know what to tell them. I have an invitation here to address a futurism conference in Sarajevo next year; I have no idea how they got my name or why they want me. Guy Stewart is just about done with Emerald of Earth.  We need to decide what we’re doing next with that. I owe Eric Dontigney something important. In a minute, I’m sure to remember what it is. I have…

I have to step back from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and then figure out the three most important things I need to do right now, and do them.

One day at a time.

—Bruce Bethke


Leatherwing said...

Thanks for the update. I can't imagine the struggle. I'll keep Karen, and you, in my prayers.

Mark Keigley said...

Thanks for the update. All my best to you and Karen!