Translating famous books, watching TV, and ICON!

Sorry I haven't been posting. I've been knee deep in a translation, which I am about to finish. This is my first time working on a major work of fiction which is neither science fiction nor fantasy. It's terribly exciting and daunting all at the same time. This is a famous novel, and justly so. It's also my first book for a fine, major publisher which I won't name at this time. So if it's well received, it could be a major breakthrough for me in many ways.

This isn't a very happy novel. I'm actually very glad that it's fairly short. When I translate a novel, I become immersed in its world. It becomes my biggest point of reference. And I sometimes view the world through the lens the author and the lead characters use. So translating this dark novel has not been an easy time for me emotionally, and I was very glad I took a break during the stretch run to watch a bit of TV, and that I picked the show I did. I'm referring to the season premier of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I haven't gotten to see the previous season, and now I am a bit sad for it. This was an hour and a half of television that I can only describe as joyful. Seeing a community band togther to help build a house for an exceptional family was genuinely uplifting, and truly gave me the boost I needed to finish the work. This episode had a clear religious bent to it, as the community banded together at the local church, and there were many refrences to "a higher power" being involved. But as a secular man, I saw something very different. I saw the power of community, of friendship, and of family. These were good people helping other good people, and they didn't do it because god told them to. They did it because of friendship, community, and family. They did it because they are clearly good people, and because the family they helped were good people.

Finishing this book when I do is well timed – just in time for one of my favorite times of the year: Icon. I've been invloved in Icon for nearly every year since 1999, when I was one half of the programming committee (those were simpler times, when the committee could have only two members. we had nine or so in this year's committee). This year, I'm involved in programming, and I'm also coordinating events with our guest of honor, Guy Gavriel Kay. I'm also giving a lecture on Kay 101, and moderating a panel with Kay about his work. It's a very Kay-centric Icon for me. But if, for some bizzare reason, you don't like Kay, or haven't read his work, Icon isn't only about the guy (or, as the case may be, Guy) who wrote Tigana. We've got lectures, movies, TV episodes, gaming, a rock show and a planetarium. This Icon will be supercool, and may rival last year's amazing experience. If you're in Israel during Sunday-Tuesday next week, and you're even vaguely interested in SF, Fantasy, gaming, comics, anime or manga, you have to come. Be sure to say hello, too. I'll be around for most of the con, except the early morning thingies.

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