One other thing about Perfect Circle/Firecracker: it's short, which came up in a conversation between myself and Hal Duncan in the pub that despite the lengths of the books we both write, there's a lot of appeal in writing something much shorter. Firecracker is maybe three hundred pages - a rough estimate gave me a word count of between seventy and seventy-five thousand words. That's a little over half the length of the three books I've written so far for Tor UK. One of those can take me anywhere from three to six months to write, once I've got the intricate details of the plot worked out. I figure a book the length of Firecracker might be closer to six weeks, eight maximum. There's a lot of appeal in that because it means I could write a book outside of a contract 'between' contract books.

I did start writing a radio play a couple of weeks ago, but it stalled rapidly, partly because of outside stuff, and partly, maybe, because I was still tired after competing Stealing Light. I dug out the outline for A Hundred Houses - sort of a gothic horror-thriller - having forgotten how thoroughly I'd worked out the details of the story. It's all there. I can't help wondering if it might not be a good idea for the New Year to sit down and write the damn thing before I get lost in terminal procrastination.

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