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Some of you have probably heard me rambling over the past year about the Writer in Residence fellowship at Exeter. It’s a sweet deal — room and board, a stipend, and nine months of total freedom to finish your first book. In exchange, you act as an informal mentor to students interested in writing. Stanford, meanwhile, has a fellowship with a slightly different emphasis. It also provides the time and the means to work on a book, but includes weekly workshops with other fellows and spans two years.

I’ve been working over a book idea in the back (and occasionally front) of my mind since January, and I’ve decided quite at the last minute to crank out the first 50 pages in time to apply for these fellowships. It’s fiction with science, which is a thing quite different from science fiction, and which really needs a catchier name.

Accordingly, as the deadline is Friday and I have 25 pages to go, my posts here will be a little anemic this week.