All the Snake Handlers I Know Are Dead: A Tor.Com Original

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Before O. S, before the betrayal and the drinking and "the Incident at the Tower," before Captain Commanding that jerk! In the Cave of the Delicate Singers by Lucy Taylor is a horror story about a woman with a rare form of synesthesia who can feel sound waves and the dangerous rescue mission she undertakes in a cave Young Ballou lives alone with his mother in an old house on the shore.

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And then there are the secrets that get you shunned. The first kind are surprisingly un-useful at helping with the second. The corpse-jumping body mercenary Nev is used to filling other people's shoes. When his assistant Tera recognizes the most recent waterlogged cadaver they bought off the street, though, he This tale is an unusual take on an engineering exam that explores new concepts in machine design and function.

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A neglected museum gradually succumbs to the elements. A music box rusts beneath a bell of glass. Fragmented texts are pieced together which tell the history of a lost love, the destruction of a The Thyme Fiend by Jeffrey Ford is a dark fantasy novelette about a young man who can only prevent seeing visions by eating or smoking thyme.

When he finds the skeleton of a missing man the The Shape of My Name by Nino Cipri is a time travel story about what it means to truly claim yourself. Some heroes don't carry blades or go to war. Some heroes are fathers desperately trying not to fail their sons. Of all the crime scenes in all the timelines in all the multiverse, Detective O'Harren walks into the basement on West 21st. In every possible universe, Johnny Rivers is dead. But the questions that At the pinnacle of this demanding sport, artistry and balance is found in two moving as one.

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A tale of fatherhood, motherhood, what you'd give, and what you'd become. This is her version of a Runyon tale—this one dealing with the architectural Published here for the first time in English, "Where the Trains Turn" won first prize in the Finnish science-fiction magazine Portti's annual short story competition and then went on to win the Vlad has grown distant from his wife. His son has trouble at school. And he has to keep his sharp teeth hidden. By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well.

Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on Tuckitor Hatterask had a fierce desire to go for a swim, even though a storm was brewing and he knew it wasn't a good idea to go into the water. But the forces pulling him toward the ocean were much Makino's mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly Tikanu, land of laws and patterns, magic and wild mint, is not found behind hidden doors. It passes across borders and takes root wherever its people settle.

This collection of seven commentaries He's invited by his friends to go night-fishing on one When Mr. Sorensen - a drab, cipher of a man - passes away, his lovely widow falls in love with a most unsuitable mate. Enraged and scandalized and armed with hot-dish and gossip and seven-layer Claire's lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire's unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or Generation after generation, engineers have maintained the barricade, a shield that protects civilization against Turbulence, this strange force that destroys both minds and machines.

As Turbulence Colonel Keaton is in trouble. His wife has retreated into a virtual heaven and his son remains missing after joining an extrasolar mission to track down an alien race. He is presently tasked by his A new adventure of Peter Crossman, special agent of the Knights Templar — a man prepared to administer last rites with one hand while wielding a flamethrower with the other. Now an ancient manuscript Com Original A. Dellamonica, is a science fiction story about one of a series of time travelers sent back to the past in order to buy more time for the human race, which in the future Combustion Hour by Yoon Ha Lee is a story about the eschatology of shadow puppets.

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Scant years after the Civil War, a mysterious family confronts the legacy that has pursued them across centuries, out of slavery, and finally to the idyllic peace of the town of Rosetree. The shattering Returning to the world of Stormwrack where she set the tor. Dellamonica offers a new story that takes us deeper into this fascinating world, the site of Because of a quirk of history during the Spanish flu pandemic of , present-day America is rigidly divided between people who live and work during the hours of darkness—Smudges—and those known His new novel, Lockstep , will be published in March Dropped on a frozen planet under suspicious circumstances, a group of marines struggles to discover the true objective of their mission.

For to see mad Tom o'Bedlam, ten thousand miles she's traveled. The second in a series of story groupings based upon a pre-existing work of art, in this case a Richard Anderson painting. The first such group, The Palencar Project , was published by Tor. Time travel doesn't actually solve problems. It just makes them more complex…. Some people will tell you that world-class fame is better than living to a contented old age.

Other people disagree. One of those other people might possibly be the protagonist of The Eighth-Grade A new take on an old Russian fairy tale: the quest for a blessing from the elusive firebird. In this iteration, young Ekaterina celebrates her fourteenth birthday, and a rare firebird sighting sets Few things can be as terrible as to get your heart's desire. The Christmas Show , by Pat Cadigan, is the perfect Christmas story about a pair of sisters under a mysterious curse that forces them to travel around the US producing local theatrical Stories about mortals travelling into hell have been omnipresent in our literary canon for almost as long as weve had one, but young writer Su-Yee Lin has still managed to find modern resonance and Rosenbaum is a software Just in time for Halloween, we have a funny, sweet, and slightly skewed short story by Aaron Corwin, an up-and-coming writer from Seattle.


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Is it all in her head? Or is the sea really coming Wakulla Springs, in the deep jungle of the Florida panhandle, is the deepest submerged freshwater cave system in the world.

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In its A teenage boy walks away from his father's wasted farm to An all-new tale of Marcus Yallow, the hero of the bestselling novels Little Brother and Homeland -- as he deals with the aftermath of a devastating Oakland earthquake, with the help The story of a secret, privately funded, late 60's space mission as told by the science fiction writer who was aboard. You're the greatest writer of the age, gone to ground and subsiding into drink. You always said you wanted to catch some of those Nazi bastards in the waters around your beloved Cuba.

What happens Lockhart and Word Horde have a reputation for putting out some wonderful anthologies, among those are The Book of Cthulhu and Giallo Fantastique. Eternal Frankenstein shines alongside them with an intensely dark and beautifully macabre mix of tales. This anthology is dedicated to Mary, and her monster.

The writing within is a true testament to the love shared for the classic penned by Shelley, even after so many years have passed her inspiration endures. Each story is its own take on the making of monsters, the defiance of god and the realization that death can be more than an ending.

Be it the doctor or his creation, these stories explore many differing interpretations and shades of creation and god complex. Ross E. Lockhart has done a fantastic job of corralling a wonderful selection of intriguing tales, all warming themselves around the same fire. While the themes and motifs overlap a bit, each author builds a new and fresh creation out of the flesh and blood of monster movies and tales past.

Frankenstein transcended the boundaries of life and death and, as this book proves, his legacy—and that of Mary Shelley, his own creator—will live on eternal. If you like Frankenstein, if you wonder about the capability, and morality, of humans creating human life, you should check out Eternal Frankenstein. Order your copy of the Eternal Frankenstein trade paperback today! So, we decided to run a last minute year-end coupon. Lockhart, featuring fourteen all-new stories of the strange and supernatural by Matthew M. McDermott, S.

Set in , the point of transition from heavy metal to punk, An Augmented Fourth blends inter-dimensional eldritch horror, David-Cronenberg-movie grotesquerie, and psychedelia in a thrash-metal twenty-minute-guitar-solo of a story. McMillen has a knack for dialogue and that helps the action and the story move forward at breackneck speed. Finally, Nadia Bulkin has come to drag us kicking and screaming into the horrors of The Endless Now with a collection of hip, ultracontemporary, politically astute, and chilling stories.

If you read and enjoyed any or all of these Word Horde books in , we ask that you consider nominating those books in their respective categories in the Hugos, Locus Awards, Nebulas, Bram Stoker Awards, This Is Horror Awards , or similar awards. Likewise, the Novellas, Novelettes, and Short Stories we published this year that are eligible for your awards consideration.

Thanks for your consideration, it means the world to us! Today marks years since Jack the Ripper began his deadly spree. Lansdale, E. Catherine Tobler, and Mercedes M. Yardley, among others. The catch? A link to the original music video is below. The first two novels, "Empire Games" and "Dark State", were undoubtedly improved by his diligence, but it served me as a crash course reminder in why I had resolved never to work with David again after the first series.

If you've ever had a charming but intensely annoying micromanager: it was like that. So we were just getting to grips with "Invisible Sun", a couple of years late that kind of delay happens when your editor edits the first two books three times Luckily David wasn't my only editor on this project.

David was ish; at that age, sudden involuntary retirement is a risk publishers plan for. So my UK editor picked up the pieces and carried on. Losing a parent cannot be recommended as a positive experience. In my case, it killed a year of work I'd just put in on a new space opera, "Ghost Engine" which is now going to be even later than a very late thing indeed. GE will still, I hope, see the light of day: it's just that it was indellibly associated in my skull with my father's terminal illness, and I needed to get some distance.

So, after some hasty editorial conferences, we agreed that I'd bring "The Labyrinth Index" forward a year—I already had it planned, so writing it would be straightforward. And indeed, I squeezed it out and it was handed in only about three months after the original deadline for "Ghost Engine". It's normal for authors to take multiple years off after the death of a parent. I was so busy patting myself on the back for being only three months behind schedule that I hadn't even noticed that the due date for the final redraft of "Invisible Sun" was a month after the delivery date for "The Labyrinth Index".

I wrote the first draft of "Invisible Sun" in , but in the process of finalizing "Dark State" David hacked the first two chapers off "Invisible Sun" and turned them into the ending of the middle book, so it needed a total re-write to turn it back into a novel. Anyway, I sat down to work on "Invisible Sun" in January I got there eventually. I turned in something vaguely book-shaped in late June, just six months late. Reader, I always hit deadlines. I spent years as a corporate technical author and then as a freelance journalist.

Deadlines are holy. So, six months late? Is not business as usual in my world: in fact, it's a first, in just under 20 years of selling books. With a six month delay, my editors at Tor UK and US agreed to delay the book by 12 months, providing lots of extra time to catch up. With on-going burnout, my agent and I agreed I'd take the last six months of as a sabbatical from writing.

Travel, read, lie on a beach, whatever. I don't generally do holidays: when I travel there's usually a work engagement or three along the way. I last took a sabbatical in I'd been aiming to take one in , but dad's illness came up instead. So, that relaxing sabbatical in the second half of ? She didn't die, but she's now in a nursing facility with no prospect of recovery. If she makes it to April she'll turn to be honest, I didn't expect her to come out of hospital alive. Every week is a bonus, and I'm making weekly round trips to visit her.

All the Snake Handlers I Know Are Dead: A Tor.Com Original

If you've wondered why my public appearances have dropped through the floor since last autumn, it's because I don't want to be too far from the bedside. However, at some point during the last eight months, the period of burn out ended. I was allowed—my sabbatical rules—to work on a side-project: no contract, no deadline, no requirement that it even be publishable: just writing for the hell of it, anything I wanted, the way I did before the hobby turned into a day job.

The side-project in question has the working title of "Lost Boys" it almost certainly can't be published under that name, because the movie dominates the Google search ranking and SEO is important to book titles these days. I can't really say too much about it yet because it's not finished, much less sold to a publisher, and it certainly won't be published before at this point, but it's set in the Laundry universe but has nothing to do with the existing Laundry Files series, and it aims to do for "Peter Pan" what "Equoid" did for unicorns.

I mentioned "Invisible Sun" getting a one year delay, didn't I? Which means that the publishers' production pipeline expects inputs at a specific point, and I need to do a final edit pass on it once my editor at Tor UK sends me an edit letter. Which brings me back to the present. I'm working on "Lost Boys", with the goal of having a Laundry spin-off novel ready for next year.

I'm expecting the edits on "Invisible Sun" to arrive this week, and it should, I hope, come out at the end of Just wanted to say as a fan that I'm always amazed by your volume of output. Thanks for treating us to your work over the years, and take care of yourself. I'm looking forward to Invisible Sun and Ghost Engine whenever they come out!

Minmum train-time between the two appears to be about.. Ok, 73 mph, not bad, but As for people dying It don't half screw things up doesn't it? My sympathies to you Charlie. Aside, the big problem of getting older, one year at a time, is that everyone else gets older one year at a time, except they have a headstart on you Oh, chicken's tits, what a horrendous catalogue of disasters. Here's hoping this year is some kind of improvement. And as I've said before please don't feel you need to apologise for not having written as much as expected: having to wait a bit longer for a book is far preferable to having you fuck yourself up trying to get it written quicker.

Charlie, it sounds like your life really sucks. I'm sorry to hear how bad things are and hope your life gets better ASAP! One aspect I'm not particularly fond of in the US, is the assumption that you're entire family could be wiped out and you'll be expected back in the office the next day. I'm glad you've taken time and your publishers were ok with you taking time to digest this, and I'm sorry for your losses. Ahem: you might want to re-read or read "Peter and Wendy" by J. Barrie as an adult.

It's a free download on Project Gutenberg, at least in the US. Before Disney got his hands on Peter Pan, Peter was scary. Peter Pan is He did this because there is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you breathe, a grown-up dies; and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible. On a similar note, when I was drunk at uni I once wrote a "fairy genocide" program that consisted of an infinite loop that printed "I don't believe in faries! That'll learn em! Unicorns were never really all that nice; the supposed source of unicorn legends was an especially gracile Ice Age rhino species.

Now, given the general descriptions of black rhinos in Africa A Peter Hathaway Capstick terms them "Old Dimwit" and generally equates them with unpredictable and erratic natural disasters , a gravile and fast-running rhino would be extremely bad news most of the time. It would be especially bad for humans because like most extant rhinos, it would have had poor eyesight, a very acute sense of smell and a combination of curiosity, hair-trigger aggression and general stupidity that would make it extremely unpredictable and very dangerous to encounter, or even move around up-wind of. All Charlie has done is point out that unicorn-like animals in his universe are predatory, vicious and very, very dangerous to encounter.

Something like the Peter Pan legends would likely be similarly a combination of malice, predatory zeal, intelligence and enormous cognitative blind-spots. Well, there should be 70, words of a projected 95, words by the end of this week, so that's a good bet. And my mother Single-digit weeks are more likely. So the schedule is indeterminate and I'm not making any promises. So that just sucks! I truly hope is a better year and your mother is comfortable and content. Look after yourself Charlie. Charlie, you have my sincerest sympathies and also my thanks.

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My father had a massive heart attack in January, received quintuple bypass surgery, and spent most of two weeks in a hospital intensive care unit. It was honestly some of the best money I've spent in a long time. It was a great distraction from events beyond my control, and a dark laugh at the same time. Thanks again for writing such a great series. Mhari is also my favorite POV character so far--and I've loved all of them. I was also amused by how world events keep overtaking you.

The Mandate's evil plans for the UK were murderous, but still seemed somewhat restrained compared to what's been happening in real life. I'd take current events as a license to be even more zany going forward. Dunno what happened this morning, but after putting it off for a couple of weeks, I just bought and started reading Labyrinth Index. I'm very sorry about your dad; on the other hand, you had him this long. I lost my father when I was 38, and my mother when I was At least then, I still had my late wife.

Not easy or fun, in any way. Troutwaxer, since I couldn't respond on the "what I published in ", you said "you're here" - where? If you're in DC, tell me, and let's have dinner. And it's not like it's a fine science, as I discovered in We knew my mother was in her final illness, but expected it to be a few more weeks on the judgment of the nursing home staff , so we went off to Bradford for Eastercon, because we needed a break from all the shit that was happening.

Yeah, Unicorns. Ha ha, I stopped writing just words short of there a moment ago so that I could go past 70, words first thing tomorrow. Think I'm going to keep going on this one until that edit letter arrives. Who knows? At this rate it could be baked within another fortnight. Yikes, that's a hard couple of years! Take your time well as much as your willing to and publishers can allow , and spend as much if it as you can with your mum.

Much better to have you sane and functional with a number of delayed books than completely burning out or starting to produce rushed work you don't feel good about.

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Holy shit, what a string of disasters! I hope to hell thats the end of it and you can put your life back together now. Good luck. I retired from the Department at the end of , my dad died nine days later at "home" hospice. My mom then tried to push everything out of the house that reminded her of him. Big mistake. She collapsed eight months later and ended up in thirty day "recovery" paid by Medicare to get her strength back. She lived fairly well for three more years, giving her time to get everything ready for her own death.

She fell down in the backyard, and didn't feel it until the next day when she couldn't move for the pain from the massive bruising. She literally fell, then bounced back up embarrassed that she "tripped". We then spent the next four months dancing her through the system, in and out of hospitals and "recovery" centers. Here in America you don't go to a hospital to get well, you go for expensive procedures, so every Thursday morning when the staff changed the new doctor would kick her out of the hospital and into a "recovery" center rather than deal with her.

Even if it was in the middle of a procedure, out she went. Then at the "recovery" center she would crash, be sent to the emergency room, stabilize, then be kicked out at the next Thursday shift change. This went on for months until she was finally transferred to hospice care paid by Medicare. At the hospice she perked up, everybody had the chance to visit and say their goodbyes. She appeared to be doing so well that on the Thursday shift change the doctors were going to kick her back to the "recovery" center; she obviously wasn't dying fast enough for them.

That upset her so much that she shut down and they let her stay to die. That was on Good Friday. She was basically gone by Easter, but wasn't officially dead till the following Wednesday when her body finally got the message that she was gone. BTW, The mistake my mom made when dad died was being upset by the fact that everything reminded her of him.

After her collapse, I finally made it clear to her that the memories were a feature, not a flaw. Not a day goes by that I'm not reminded of mom or dad, and I always say, "Thank you". I cherish the memories of both, celebrating what they taught me about life, both good and bad. When it comes to finishing "Invisible Sun" and Hartwell, embrace the memories, finish the book as if he were right there helping you, because he is.

That's a feature, not a flaw. Modern audiences are not thinking "Peter Pan" when you say "Lost Boys". People often hold back for the Holidays, or literally wait till you have left the room before dying. Mom fell after Christmas , then held on four months. The only reason she held out till April is because grandfather and dad both died in a January near my brother's birthday. Mom literally did not want to add her death to that list. In January, while she was in the first "recovery" center, we joked about that. I told her that I always knew that she would die before my birthday, so that it was all right with me if that happened.

It's all right. You can die now. Welcome to the future. This is what we all get to go through in the next decades as the Boomers die off and us Xers follow them. It always sucks, but I think the sucktastic thing is that we're embedded in a society that is less than matter-of-fact about the innate tragedy that life is generally too short and dying is generally too long, and compounds the harm by indoctrinating us that the best death is both instantaneous and tidily inconsequential, so that it won't bother the rest of us.

It seldom works that way, though. Oh, and about Lost Boys? I Amazoned it and found that the vampire movie had spawned sequels, so yeah, that's a bit too muddy for a good title. On my bookshelf is a row of books that you put there. They are among my favourites and I don't think that any of them have been read less than 4 times. They are a joy to read and they brighten our world.

I don't visit the antipodes very often: it's a hell of a long way. There's a point in the ocean about km directly south of the south-east corner of South Island, NZ, which is literally the opposite pole of the planet from where I live. However, the worldcon is due to be in NZ next year, and I plan to be there if at all possible and will probably want to spend some time exploring, then change planes over a couple of weeks in Sydney or Melbourne on the way home—last visited either of those cities in roughly I would just like to note that contemporary American and British cultural taboos around death and dying are as opaque and forbidding as their Victorian era counterparts' taboos around sex.

And the relative openness about sex today had its counterpart with public models for death and mourning back then. So, it looks like you won't be needing any of those ideas I tagged on to the end of one of the recent threads after the 1, item. And having now handled four of them, death of parents doesn't get any easier.

I work with an 80 year old ex-academic, and when I mentioned the loss, he said it didn't get any easier even after thirty years. But I figure you've worked out most of that already. I had a string of years where this stuff was a bit unrelenting, with deaths and illnesses involving close friends and close family and a dog!

But I think everyone thinks or says that at some point :. For the last year or few this would most likely not happen. Hospitals new get penalized if people cycle in and out. At least for Medicare covered people. The current emphasis is to kick you out as soon as you are well enough to not be back for at least 30 days. My father passed in and every now and then I think I'll call him to ask his opinion for till I remember he is gone. I would just like to note that contemporary American and British cultural taboos around death and dying are as opaque and forbidding.

My wife and I have been talking about writing down a lot of things that are not normally in a will so our children will have some guidance about how we feel about things. Especially after dealing with all of our parents passing after refusing to discuss any end of life issues. And on a side note, for those in the US, you need to put into your will or maybe a hand written witnessed letter that any data stored anywhere in the world that in past times would have been on paper can be legally be treated as if it is still on paper.

Talk to a lawyer. Some many? Assuming you would want such to happen. Take care of yourself. I had a year a while back where a counselor said 'Wow! You've got it rough! I don't have a link to the article, but a father, daughter, shared his Kindle books. They read them together. Once he died, she no longer had access to the books. If I remember, the TOS of most systems forbid writing a copy of the passwords, etc So anything important that is virtual needs to be made real again and physically stored if you want family to keep it, copied to DVD, etc Once I make large enough money, I'll figure something out.

Mom did everything right, after she recovered from dad's death. Part of her was surprisingly relentless about getting things done: Power of Attorney, having our names on her accounts; checking, CDs, etc The wall we hit was on the Power of Attorney. It only worked as long as she was alive. We did not know that was going to happen. Luckily I had money to pay bills. Then we just had to have copies of the Death Certificate to do the rest. One of the things they both did to prepare, decades ago, was put my name on the house title so that we didn't have to go through probate.

I'm the one who had access to a laser printer and word processor, so I had to create them for them. You have to be flexible with that. Mom had a pacemaker put in a decade before she died. We looked at it like having a pair of glasses on, an assist to living, not a violation of the wishes they set up. The doctors and nurses are trapped by Living Wills, they cannot do anything to resuscitate without fear of being sued.

They can be, and were, quite vicious in challenging our understanding of the Living Will. When they were waiting to put the pacemaker in, mom's heart stopped in her room. My sister and a nurse was there. The nurse said sometimes a poke in the arms starts it up again, and she did just that.

No extraordinary measures. While mom was in hospice my sister kept using euphemisms about death. The doctor kept demanding, "Go on? Go on where. Leave us, where is she going. I don't care about where she lives. The staff was not allowed to talk about death unless we did. They could not even say the word until we stated it explicitly. You have to have somebody say the words and stick with it, otherwise too many people are polite, use euphemisms, and nothing gets done. I was the one who had to be the adult in the room when mom could no longer speak.

The number of bizarre things that happened during that time is still inexplicable to me. Much will someday appear in the books I publish. They can only be understood through Story. Good luck on nonphysical data, that usually vanishes or is locked once people die. Kindle books. I'm not so much thinking of the crazy world where there is a 3rd party with "rights" involved of DRM'd books and such. I'm referring to things like my email collection, financial records stored in a cloud services, the 30, photos in AWS, and so on.

Charlie, I lost my beloved Dad to fast-moving aggressive cancer in and I know how badly it affected me. I still miss him desperately and think about him every day. Please accept my sincerest condolences to you and your family. Charlie 23 Yes, when the inspiration comes, use it OTOH, we have our own demons He also left a large envelope with "to be read after I'm dead - no you fool after I'm dead!

He and my mother had spent the best part of a week clearing through paperwork at my grandad's place before they found the house deeds, and that was another thing he was not going to do to me. Given I was an orphan at 36 he made it as easy as it is possible for that to be. As others, you have filled a shelf of my bookcases and this after donating the 6-volume Merchant Princes when the 3-volume Author's Cut was released. Ah yes, being as prepared as possible up front does help and I'm sure Charlie and his family are.

My mother entrusted Enduring Power of Attorney to my wife not me, my wife — Yorkshire women trust each other , and also made her the executor of her will. As mother was initially in a care home and then a nursing home, she was never going to be able to return to living in her house, so we put that up for sale.

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We had to inform the buyers that it was possible that mother would die while before the sale completed, and that that would cause a delay as we applied for probate, but that it would be as short as possible. Also, my wife became a joint signatory on mother's bank accounts. The current checking? I am not quite from that background, and my father died when I was 8, causing a traumatic move to the UK, which took me a couple of decades to adapt to insofar as I have.

At 10, our English teacher was talking about euphemism and 'breaking news gently' using Shakespeare's "full fathom five", said it was much less harsh to the bereaved, and asked the class. I was the only person to disagree, strongly - but was the one with the experience! Quite a lot of this is because people are not accustomed to unexpected deaths happening, especially to children - I was, though only to the level of the Victorian upper-class - the Victorian working class encountered it frequently, and had to go to work the next day.

I know that some of the Victorian upper-class were completely doolally about it, but I also know that many were not, though I have no idea of the proportions and reasons. I do not know enough about your and your mother's situation to wish for anything, but know death was a welcome release for my grandmother and mother. I kept hoping for news of my mother's death - and also knew that she had wanted to die rather than be incapacitated by strokes - unfortunately, she was 2 years with essentially no ability to communicate or feed herself.

That's not something I say often, because it is often claimed to be disloyalty. It's similar in the UK, but not identical. In particular: when my father was in his terminal stage, the GP would visit at home—but was waiting for someone in the event, me to use the words "terminal" and "palliative care". At which point it was like throwing a switch—suddenly Macmilan nurses home end-of-life specialists began turning up, all sorts of stuff was installed to make him comfortable at home with hospice-level care, and so on.

I think the reasoning here is that if the doctors appear to be pushing the family towards end-of-life decisions they may be held liable afterwards if the family don't want to go there. But if the family have a realistic outlook and make the call, the medics are free to take appropriate action without personal risk. My cousin was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal brain cancer for which chemotherapy and radiation treatment weren't possible, and given six months to live. His wife He succumbed to total aphasia about 3 months before the end, so she took it on herself to act as his mouthpiece.

Three days before the end, while he was half-paralysed, unable to communicate, and clearly dying, she was so convinced he was being poisoned by the mercury amalgam in his dental fillings that she paid the dentist to come to their home and remove all his fillings. This is the kind of person who doctors live in terror of, because as the wife of a senior partner in a law firm, if anyone is going to try and sue the shirt off your back for malpractice, it's going to be her. I very strongly recommend taking longer than you think to tour NZ, especially the south island - you may find a month feels short, unless you start missing city lights after he first week.

And remember that tight schedules are bad, especially in the south island and most of all on its west coast , as roads DO get blocked without warning. You need to go to 1password and generate and print an emergency recovery sheet—password, URLs, secret key, QR code, and so on. That way, even if you die while you're logged out of your computer so they can't get into it, they can install 1Password on another machine and get into your account.

If you use gmail, or google services for photos and similar, also set up the Google Inactive Account Manager. It's a dead man's switch, to notify designated trusted contacts and give them access or wipe your content — it's your choice if you drop off the net and don't respond to emails for a pre-set period typically 3 months, then 1 month to respond before google goes "yup, they're dead—hand the keys to next of kin".

IIRC Apple and the other big walled gardens have similar ways of pre-setting what to do in event of a user's death. If someone complained about that dentist on professional ethics grounds, he could be in serious trouble. Your cousin's wife must have been, er, very persuasive. Ilikeitupthebum and all that but I'd have thought they would both be in trouble. Unless the dentist turned up, saw what the situation was and told her to do one. When my dad was dying - he was given three months, and lasted 13 - my mom figured he hung on to give the rest of us the chance to get used to it - they got him to sign papers.

My mom did nothing. I have versions on my computer at home, and I've been saying for years I need to update it. Then I'll print it out, along with instructions and directions, and put it in a labeled envelope in the fire-resistant lockbox under my desk. My kids know the box is there, and what kinds of things I keep in it.

No heroic measures, though. You have described my mom. Or someone from the same mental zone. My mom was in denial about my dad in many crazy ways. And at her time and most of her life also about her condition. Which only made it harder. The closest I'll get to there Beyond that I've been talking for a loooong time about, if Amtrak still offers them, a three-zone fair, and take the grand tour.

That, of course, would include the Coast Starlight My kids can also get into my phones and iOs devices. So with that and 1password they can get into everything eventually. With inbox access they can basically reset any password they might need, including 1Password. But as I shut down my personal email server I will have to move more to a document with a lawyer or similar. Plus since my wife and I often travel with my grown children we need to make arrangements with some trusted non relatives who can hand things over to the state or some more distant relatives if needed.

Plane or car crash or some such. Gets hard to deal with as we have relations with some of my closer relatives become strained over the orange one. When my mother was dying and then did die her 3 sons and spouses spent well over hours sorting through piles of paperwork to figure out what was where. Biggest scare was a bank loan on her house that could have been called. They basically agreed not to get too excited that she was dead and allowed us to keep making interest only payments on the house until it was sold. But that required almost of year of waiting for things to go through the probate process due to lack of planning.

Oh, yeah I yelled loudly and finally convinced my brother, the executor, to form a LLC for the house to limit anything we do or have done in our past from impacting the sale of the house. PS: In the US a bank safety deposit box can be a real pain when someone dies. It CAN take an executor weeks to get into it depending on lots of details that may exist. Speaking of deadlines, Charlie, I'm reading Labyrinth Index, and that, along with a satirical quote from Borowitz that's gone viral Trump: "I don't need intelligence!

Now that the UnEnlightened can't read this, you need to be careful writing things like this, if it comes to the Attention of Certain Persons. Now, I've got to wonder if McConnel doesn't resemble a turtle, but is, in fact, more And eating the Orange Thing's "brain" is like eating one orange cheese puff. I'm a rabid enough fan of yours to have read avidly everything you've written as soon as it's been released, starting when I read Accelerando at the perfect age to enjoy it. You explode my brain in the best way possible. My sympathies, Charlie. You have nothing to apologize for, health problems in family, loss of close relatives are hard.

Take your time, recharge your batteries - we have patience. I will wait for your next book as long as it takes you to write and publish it. Also, I really want to read your take on Peter Pan; lovecraftian unicorns were wicked. Do you have similar ideas about non-Western European folklore? Classical literature? Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to share my love for your books, because very few people read English here.

By the way, do you plan visiting this year's Worldcon in Dublin? Met you in Helsinki in , and since that time want to make text-to-speech device to read your books in your voice.

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