October 2023

Donald and Kristin were in Houston the weekend before last, so they went to look at rockets.

You can't tell from the picture, but it was about 95 F / 35 C (a big difference from Boston right now, where our heat is going on in the mornings and we needed to add an extra blanket to the bed).

Donald has been traveling back and forth to Houston a lot for work (his day job, not science fiction publishing), and since he was going to be stuck there for two straight weeks, Kristin decided to go for the weekend and make sure he didn't just stay in his hotel room and play Baldur's Gate 3 on his Steam Deck the whole time.

Saturday we went to NASA. Donald had never been, and Kristin hadn't been in over 20 years. It was cool to see all the space stuff and get more up to date on what NASA is doing these days. (We're too busy being science fiction editors to pay attention to actual space exploration news.) For instance, we hadn't realized there's a plan to send a crew of four astronauts up to circle around the moon in 2024 (Artemis II), and for humans to land on the moon again in 2025 (Artemis III). (We considered including the NASA link to the Artemis program instead of the Wikipedia link, but it's long on PR and pretty pictures and short on details.)

On Saturday evening, we spent the twilight hour at James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace on the Rice University campus. Twice a day, at sunrise and sunset, viewers can look at a square aperture in the white roof of an open structure, while the roof is illuminated with colored lights to create interesting contrasts between the brightening or darkening sky overhead. Kristin found it fascinating how much the color of the roof affected our perception of how light or dark the block of sky was. We had a perfect cloudless evening for viewing; though perhaps the air temperature was not ideal (it had gone down into the low 90s/30s by then).

Two of Turrell's Skyspaces are in Quaker meeting houses (James Turrell is himself a Quaker), where the practice of sitting in silence for an extended time to watch the light takes on a more overt religious significance. But, even in secular spaces, there's something of the Quaker worship tradition that visitors are being invited into. It's an interesting example of an artist's faith informing their work without the work needing to be obviously about or focused on faith. (Just to be clear, here at Mysterion we do want fiction that is obviously about or focused on Christian faith or ideas, though it doesn't need to be written by Christians or necessarily affirm the Christian perspective. We appreciate reading work that's less overt, but it's not what we're trying to publish.)

On Sunday, we spent the afternoon at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, mostly looking at Antiquities, Art of the Islamic Worlds, and Arts of Asia. We kept walking back and forth through a corridor that was also a James Turrell artwork.

The food highlight of our weekend for Kristin was Hamsa, an Israeli restaurant near Rice University. The lamb hummus was especially good, and they also have excellent cocktails. Donald's favorite restaurant, though, was Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, because, steak! (Kristin liked it too.) We also liked Kâu Ba, billed as Vietnamese-Cajun fusion, though we didn't see much evidence of the Cajun part. It mostly just seemed like Vietnamese food, with a bit of a Texas twist, and there are three good Vietnamese restaurants within walking distance of our house. However, Kâu Ba had much better cocktails than any of them. (Kristin sticks with the non-alcoholic drinks at our local Vietnamese places.) 


Not much, honestly. We continue to read story submissions from July, and have started editing the November and December stories.

Our October story will be "Among the Birds" from Australian author Will Greatwich, a supernatural horror tale about an ornithologist who finds himself in bird hell. Look for it here on October 23rd. (No, it's not a coincidence that we scheduled a story about death and hell for the week before Halloween and All Saints' Day.)


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Our spoiled cats now have three litter boxes and three water fountains. But Maxwell also hasn't been to the ER or urgent care for urinary tract issues (or any other issues) in over three months, so it's worth it.

They also seem to have gotten used to Donald's frequent business travel. However, now that Kristin is often the one to play with and feed them in the evening instead of Donald, Marie seems to think that when Donald is home, both humans should play with her each night. (And, presumably, that she should get a second dinner too.)

Thank you for reading, and don't forget to come back to read our next story on October 23rd!

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