Book stuff first. The 14th anthology was delayed because I thought I was waiting for one last aurthor contract to come back. If it was the Halloween or Christmas ones I’d have been nagging but the Spring anthology isn’t fixed to a date so I let it ride while working on the cover and interior formatting.
Anyway. Turns out it was in the spam folder all along. So that part’s all done.
It matters because until each aurthor agrees to their contract, I don’t have the right to publish their work. I don’t have copyright to any author’s work, that is always with the author. What I pay for is the right to use their story in the anthology. But I do have to have their agreement. In writing.
At any point up to the agreement, the author can decide ‘nah, I don’t want to be in it’ and withdraw their story. It’s never happened and probably never will but I don’t take the chance. In such an event, even distributing the interior PDF file to the authors, with the withdrawn author’s work in it, would risk legal action. Sure, it’s unlikely to ever happen but if someone wanted to make life miserable for me, they could set up such a scenario.
And since I have been, shall we say, a bit ‘off the narrative’ concerning the current Covid farce and the insanity of the experimental vaccines, there are likely to be those who might try. Far more important people than I will ever be have felt the Wrath of the Woke lately. Paranoia? Maybe. In the world today that’s probably the only safe way to be.
Still. Contracts are all in. I can progress the book. I hope it’s out by the end of April, otherwise I’m really going to regret not calling it ‘The Clotted Bloods of May’.
Now. About this new plague. It looks rather more concerning than Covid at first. So far it seems confined to an area within New Brunswick in Canada and there is no definite clue as to its cause. There have been 47 cases to date.
Symptoms include rapidly progressing dementia, muscle spasms, atrophy and a host of other complications.
It sounds like a beefed-up version of Mad Cow disease. Remember that? That was only producing around ten cases a year (in the UK) and it was a much slower progression of dementia than this. I don’t think it had the spasms and atrophy symptoms either, but it was (is?) a prion disease so there wasn’t much microbiology could do about it.
That one was spread by eating infected meat, especially beef. The prions were fairly heat resistant so could certainly survive in rare beef. As for me, I use my grandmother’s cooking method for most things. If you stick a fork in it and the outside shatters, it’s ready. This applies especially to chicken, for entirely different disease-risk reasons. I cook chicken until you can carve it with a sharp glance.
This new brain disease is still under study. Nobody knows what causes it. At least it hasn’t been claimed as a Covid symptom yet, which is slightly surprising since everything is a Covid symptom now. Including having no symptoms at all. As a smoker, this has been quite a relaxing year. Everything that used to be caused by smoking is now blamed on Covid.
Just heard that it seems the first case was reported in 2015, which cuts down the scariness factor by a lot. Rather than 47 cases in recent months, that means around 8 cases a year. Which is on a par with the old mad cow disease, although this one seems a lot faster and nastier. Still, if it’s stayed confined to one locality for six years, it’s not easily transmissible and is most likely dietary or environmental.
So this isn’t the End Times bug. It’s also not Covid and nothing to do with vaccines. It’s a local problem most likely tied to some local and very specific cuisine or environment. Its appearance now and its reporting as something that has just appeared is going to scare a lot of people.
But then scaring people is all the rage now. Governments are doing it all over the world. That annoys me for one very important reason.
Scaring people is my job.