Sydney Sizzles

My apologies for not posting, responding to comments, or answering much mail for the last week or so.

I’ve been finishing the rewrites on Specials, which included writing a totally new ending—a much better one, I hope. I have to turn the book in tomorrow night, so that it can be released on schedule. (Maybe early! I’ll let you know.)

In a related story, Cory Doctorow gave the Uglies trilogy a lovely write-up on Boing Boing yesterday, pushing my Amazon ratings into three figures. (I believe that is a w00ting offense.)

In the meantime, Sydney weather has been weird. On New Years’ Day, temperatures reached their historical record for this time of year . . . at 11AM! By 2PM it was the second hottest day on record in the city ever. The temperature? 45 Centigrade. But what’s that in Farenheit? Ah well, allow me to give you Americans a little lesson in metric.

As readers of Uglies know, I’m a fairly metric guy, and I think we’ll all be metric-users at some point in the future. But temperatures are much harder to convert than most measurements, because the zero-point is different. Metric uses the freezing point of water; US measurements use the freezing point of salt water. (Which I find slightly random.)

So when I came to Australia I learned this handy Centigrade poem:

30’s hot.
20’s nice.
10’s a jacket.
Zero’s ice.

Pretty easy, huh? Except you will note that 45 isn’t in there!

Well, to assist your imagination, we have this handy photograph:

That’s from today’s Sydney Morning Herald. It’s happening not terribly far from us.

This is the arid continent, after all. When it gets up to 45, things start to burn. At present there are 27 bushfires out there blazing on the edges of Sydney. I live in the middle of town, so you don’t have to worry about me. But do give a thought to the fireys (as they say here) who are out saving people’s homes.

And just so you know, 45C is 113 Farenheit. A hundred and thirteen!

Here’s the weirdest thing: After the southerly breezes finally arrived last night, the termperature dropped freakishly fast, down to 20C (68F). The discrepancy was so great that this morning when Justine and I made breakfast, the air that spilled from the kitchen cupboards was still noticeably hot—like opening an oven.

How weird is that?

Specials will be finished tomorrow, and I’ll start blogging more and answering fan mail again. Thanks for all your patience.

WARNING: The comment thread of this post contains massive spoilers if you haven’t read Pretties.

55 thoughts on “Sydney Sizzles

  1. Lindsay-
    Yes, Specials comes out as a hardback first, and later as a paperback, but I don’t know how much later. The change in format was requested by bookstores, actually. And btw, if you’re in Australia or New Zealand, you’ll get a paperback version first and only. (They don’t like hardbacks so much down here, and my publisher is being cool and putting out a special antipodean edition.)

    Thanks for sticking up for Zane! And that’s a good point about first love not always being forever. Of course, now that SPECIALS is done, I know who Tally ultimately winsd up with. But I am OF COURSE not saying!

  2. So that seasonal stuff is way interesting. Thanks for the warning that this would spoil Pretties. I had to skip reading a lot of you guys. Dude though, Wisconsin should be cold but it looks like spring instead of winter. There’s only small little piles of snow and clean driveways. That really grinds my gears. And furthermore, no snow days this year. What gives?! Stupid warm states got snowdays with like one wimpy layer of ice. Losers.

  3. By the way, that little poem about centigrade is fantastic. The US needs to get with the rest of the world as far as measuring goes. I don’t know anyone who would opose it.

  4. Hey Bailey And Mindy,
    From your Jan.3 write, at least you get snow!! It only snowed once this winter so far(I live in New Mexico *YAWN*).And scott cool well actually more of a hot poem!!I so dont know what centegrades are so ya it sounds wierd (for me ) when people say the US should change the system.I would be so lost.

  5. Sure, people would be lost for a bit. But our system is so old! To foreigners it is 12 inchs in a foot, 3 feet in a yard and 5280 feet in a mile. totally random. while everyelse it’s nice and even. just add a zero or whatever

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