I finally heard some more from the editor on my novel. He's still excited about it, but the publisher is less so, and the editor would like me to make some changes to make it more acceptable to the publisher. I consulted with my agent about it, and he says that if I think the novel would be improved by the suggested changes I should go ahead and do them. Which, since some of the problems the editor has identified are also problems I've been fighting the whole way through, I'm going ahead and doing. So I spent the whole weekend revising, making the aliens more alien and increasing the friction between the aliens and the humans. Thanks to mkhobson, curiositist, nnaloh, and Jim and Denny WANOLJ for brainstorming assistance.
I've rewritten the first 50 pages so far, including fairly significant changes in Clarity's introduction and the funeral scene. Mostly what I've been doing is adding exposition -- a sentence here, a paragraph there -- and rewriting a few scenes to make them more dramatic and conflict-y. The total word count change so far is only about 600 additional words.
In other writing news, the January 2006 issue of Asimov's, including my story "The Last McDougal's," has been reviewed at Tangent Online. "Levine paints the future with a clever brush.... His down-to-earth and realistic portrayal of family and the dynamic between two distant generations is refreshing and timely." Watch for the issue on newsstands or in your mailbox soon.