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Month: October 2012 Page 1 of 2

Clarkesworld Slush Update – Hurricane Sandy Edition


Due to extreme weather conditions, it is unlikely that we’ll be maintaining Clarkesworld’s normal 24-48 hour response times this week. Hopefully when this clears, I’ll still be able to get to Toronto for World Fantasy Convention. Supposedly, I’ll have power and internet there, so at worst, I’ll catch up then.

On my path to becoming a robot…

Yesterday was my big meeting with the cardiologist. The results from my MUGA scan revealed that I have an ejection fraction of only 27%, which is only half that of a normal person. The short version of this story is that the next stage of my recovery will involve having a defibrillator installed in my chest. It also means that the damage to my heart is quite permanent. It might recover a bit more, but not much. Up until now, I’ve had that hope that things might be better, but now, well, this is the way it will be for the rest of my life.

The good news, of course, is that I am still alive. The extent of the damage just reinforces that I was very lucky to survive the heart attack. With proper exercise, this shouldn’t have much of an impact on my life expectancy. The side-effects caused by the damage probably won’t start surfacing in a significant way for about ten years and all of them can be controlled by adding or changing medications to my morning handful.

The defibrillator is a safety net I hope I never need, but I will have it. I explained it to my children as similar to the Invisible Fence for dogs, but in this case, if my heart misbehaves… ZAP and back to normal it goes. I think I’m more upset by what this symbolizes (the severity of the damage) than I am by the procedure (give me a few days, the words “screw” and “heart” should never be used in the same sentence) and my impending cyborg status. I live. I’ll whirr. Maybe I can get them to install some more “fun” devices while they are in there…

Weekend with Kid2

My wife and oldest son are off at a Sheep and Wool festival this weekend. (Don’t ask.) My other son (age 9) and I spent the weekend building blanket forts and watching these guys:



Many cities were destroyed for our entertainment.

Health Update

Since my heart attack, there has been a red circle around the three month mark. It’s not much of an anniversary, but it’s the time that the doctors make their more-or-less final damage assessment. The date is somewhat arbitrary (something about a federally-assigned window), but there is general agreement that testing before that wouldn’t reliably show the difference between permanent and stun damage.

Yesterday, my calendar emailed me a reminder that the big test was today and it freaked me out a bit. Since the heart attack, I’ve noticed that I feel anxiety differently. I can’t describe it, but it has a physical component to it now that can add an extra level of fear to the mix. The reminder about the MUGA scan had me on edge and it took a good chunk of the day to shake it. I knew this was it… the big test that says whether that initial 20-25% regional damage number holds… the test that determines whether or not a defibrillator will become part of my life… the test that reminds me just how lucky I was to survive this thing… and from there it is easy to wander to  the dark place I try so hard to avoid. Being at home seems to help minimize all that.

Today was easier. The test was uneventful (except for my insane fear of needles making a double appearance) and now I have a week of waiting for the results. Defense mechanisms are in full-force. My mind is wrapping itself around the fact that my blood is currently radioactive and taking that to fun places. I fully expect to hit anxiety mode again, but for now, I think mutant superpowers and remember that either way this thing goes, I’m still alive. 7 days to go.

The First Batch of Clarkesworld Chapbooks

One of the things on my to-do list for Capclave weekend was to finish proofreading issues 64-73 of the Clarkesworld Magazine chapbooks (January-October 2012). Despite having someone wander off with the October proof during one of my panels (HEY!, not cool), Sean and I managed to get it all done. The changes have been made, uploaded to the printer, and my order has been placed. They should arrived just in time to be packed up and dragged to World Fantasy Con, where they will be available at the Prime Books table. Contributor copies and online purchasing options will be handled when I get back.

Proof Copies of Issues 64-72

“England under the White Witch” in Clarkesworld Podcast

“England under the White Witch” by Theodora Goss is the latest Clarkesworld Magazine story to be added to our podcast. You can listen to it now, subscribe to our podcast (free), read it online (also free), or pick it up in the ebook edition of the current issue.

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