Gene Wolfe, Pringles, Mental Floss and Me

August 31st, 2015

Mental Floss is one of those sites that does a lot of lists (“o celebrities That Played Chess,” etc.). Oddly enough, this week I turned up in the 12 Crispy Facts About Pringles list, touching on Gene Wolfe’s involvement in designing the machine that makes Pringles potato chips.

Funny the things you actually get remembered for…

(Hat tip Bill Crider.)

For Shoegazer Sunday, How About An Entire Slowdive Concert?

August 30th, 2015

Here’s an entire hour-long Slowdive concert that took place less than two weeks ago at the Paredes de Coura festival in Portugal. Evidently this went out on Portuguese radio (in mono), and includes nice versions of “Catch the Breeze” and “Machine Gun.”

And just as soon as Slowdive puts out a live album from the current tour I’ll be in full “shut up and take my money” mode…

The Salt Lick Sues The Salt Lick

August 28th, 2015

Dispatch from the BBQ Wars:

Salt Lick BBQ is picking a legal fight with a Georgia company it claims is infringing on its name and reputation.

In a lawsuit filed in Texas’ Western District U.S. Court, the Driftwood restaurant chain claims that the Salt Lick Sausage Co. of Cordele, Georgia, is violating the Central Texas company’s trademark by offering barbecue products for sale via its website www.saltlicksausage.com, which is similar in nature to www.saltlickbbq.com.

Salt Lick claims the Georgia company is using marks and iconography that are similar to its own, and that Salt Lick Sausage stands to benefit from the international reputation and publicity enjoyed by Salt Lick.

The ironic thing, of course, is that the sausage is far and away the least impressive of the Driftwood Salt Lick’s signature meats.

But here’s a revealing tidbit:

“The Austin-area company generated more than $25 million in revenue and served more than 650,000 customers at its main restaurant in Driftwood.”

Having been there fairly recently, I can believe it…

John Clute’s Library Going to Telluride Institute

August 26th, 2015

I had no idea when I posted that tardy donation news for Allen Lewis’ library yesterday that this would be Great SF Collections Ending Up In Libraries Week.

Critic John Clute’s considerable SF library is ending up at the Telluride Institute, where Clute is a trustee.

Allen Lewis Donates His Entire Collection to The University of Iowa

August 24th, 2015

Well, how did I miss this news? Science fiction collector Allen Lewis donated his entire collection of science fiction first editions to the University of Iowa. Here’s another story on the donation, with a few more quotes and pictures of Al in front of his library. (Sadly, the pictures are not large enough to read the titles.)

I’ve sold many a book of Al over the years (and bought one or two from him). Al was famous for hauling a minivan’s worth of books to get signed at SF conventions. He would frequently get a dealer’s table, less to sell a few extras, but to have a base to store his own books from which to hit the autographing lines.

It would be nice to browse through the list of what he donated, if they ever get it online…

Shoegazer Sunday: The Big Sleep’s “Sleepykid Waltz”

August 23rd, 2015

Yep, another Waltzy bit of Shoegaze, this one from Brooklyn’s The Big Sleep.

Photos from Worldcon Part 2 (The 2014 London Worldcon, That Is)

August 19th, 2015

And here’s Part 2 of those London Worldcon pics.

Note that some pictures are labeled “…and company.” This is code for “I’m slightly less embarrassed about not remembering your name a year later than I would be about getting it wrong.”

P1000808

The lovely and talented Gail Garriger contemplates her next cup of tea.

P1000869

It’s only a matter of time until leopard-skin gloves are all the rage…

P1000802

Tobias Buckell, straight from his performance in Hipsters of the Caribbean.

P1000811

I’m 99% sure this is Martin Hoare with David Langford. After all, it’s Worldcon. How many bearded, gray-haired men with glasses could there be?

P1000870

Apropos of nothing in particular, here’s Mike Walsh.

P1000816

John Kessel.

P1000835

John Kessel in jacket.

P1000836

John Kessel in jacket and the shoes he stole from Lew Shiner.

P1000795

Michael Bulmlein.

P1000817

Jo Walton contemplates the five kilometer hike to her next panel.

P1000822

Your Humble Narrator and Ian McDonald.

P1000826

Stephen Baxter, taking a short break from 100,000 words of galaxy smashing.

P1000827

The ageless Ben Yalow. He stays the same while the original painting for Confessions of a Crap Artist gets older.

P1000828

Signs of the horrific mental degeneration that comes from being a science fiction bookseller…

P1000840

Just ask George Locke!

P1000829

Charlie Stross, caught in the middle of a very geeky plan for world domination.

P1000830

Ben Bova.

P1000831

Ben Bova and Your Humble Narrator.

P1000832

Lawrence Watt-Evans.

P1000833

Lawrence Watt-Evans and company.

P1000834

Lawrence and Lawrence, coming this fall to Fox!

P1000842

Matthew Hughes

P1000843

Ann VanderMeer

P1000844

Jeff and Ann VanderMeer.

P1000845

Stephen Jones.

P1000847

Joe Haldeman, Gay Haldeman and Jim Burns.

P1000849

John Douglas.

P1000852

Michael Swanwick, yet again.

P1000855

“Come, Mrs. Peel, we’re needed!”

P1000860

Henry Wessels, rocking the seersucker.

P1000864

John Clute and company.

P1000867

Teddy Harvia fooling around with a married woman known only as “Mrs. Thayer.”

P1000868

Robert Jackson Bennett, who I somehow had to travel 5,000 miles to see.

P1000814

Andrew Porter.

P1000871

Scott Edelman.

P1000876

Jeff Orth, one of the three chairs of the 2016 Kansas City Worldcon. Expect him to look approximately 30 years older 380 days from now.

P1000881

James Patrick Kelly, of the Gets-photographed-a-lot-at-Worldcons Patrick Kellys.

P1000885

Has anyone seen Jack Dann and Russell Blackford in the same room at the same time?

P1000886

Janeen Webb.

P1000888

Betsy Mitchell.

Photos from Worldcon Part 1 (The 2014 London Worldcon, That Is)

August 18th, 2015

So this year’s Worldcon is this week, and you’re posting photos from last year’s Worldcon?

Yep.

And didn’t you already post some of these photos?

Yep.

So why do it again?

Last year at Worldcon, I uploaded these photos in a big bunch to Facebook, then linked to the Facebook photos from this blog. However, Facebook, evidently hating the idea that people outside their walled garden of changing preferences and sunglasses spam might see said photos, keeps changing their URLs, thus breaking links to them. So the photos themselves disappeared from the old post. These I’m uploading directly to my blog.

Also, I didn’t blog all the images I meant to, so there will be some new ones in Part 2.

So without further adieu…

P1000746

Leigh Kennedy, who I had lunch and dinner with the Monday before the con. We have loads of common friends, but knew them at different times, so there was a lot of trading stories…

P1000853

In profile.

P1000765

Cory Doctorow, exhibiting his unique sense of style…

P1000766

…and with an actual top to his head.

P1000781

John J. Miller of Wild Cards fame, with Gail Gerstner-Miller.

P1000767

Kim Newman, in his usual natty, multilayered attire. Wear this in Texas in August and you’re asking for heatstroke.

P1000769

Jonathan Strahan and David Hartwell.

P1000793

Pat Murphy, all scarfed-up.

P1000789

Lavie Tidhar, who used to do reviews for me back in the Nova Express days.

P1000820

Ian Watson and Lavie Tidhar, signing books at the PS Publishing table in the dealer’s room. I asked Watson what the genesis of the Watson-Aldiss feud was. “I’ve gotten to the age when I’m not sure I remember it properly anymore…”

P1000779

Connie Willis.

P1000790

Liz Hand.

P1000862

And looking slightly less crazed.

P1000848

Ellen Datlow and Liz Hand fan themselves and look down upon the peasantry.

P1000812

Elle Datlow solo.

P1000791

Guest of honor John Clute.

P1000788

Adam Roberts.

P1000786

Geoff Ryman peers at me suspiciously.

P1000784

Gary K. Wolfe.

P1000782

Andy Duncan.

P1000819

Didn’t get all the names, but this is something like 75% of the Israeli SF publishing industry.

P1000794

Kim Stanley Robinson.

P1000818

John Gibbons.

P1000805

Michael Swanwick, Geoff Ryman, and Ellen Datlow.

P1000803

Michael Swanwick and Gordon Van Gelder, looking way too befuddled for the first day of the con.

P1000806

Lisa Tuttle, who I had lunch with, joined by…

P1000809

…George R. R. Martin.

P1000810

George R. R. Martin and the Spanish George R. R. Martin.

P1000850

Michael Swanwick and George R. R. Martin, enjoying fine dining in an atmosphere of unpretentious ambiance.

P1000875

Parris McBride Martin.

P1000796

Alastair Reynolds.

P1000815

Pat Cadigan.

P1000846

Pat Cadigan in green.

P1000878

Pat Cadigan with fan-drawn cyberpunk.

P1000880

Finally, Pat Cadigan with her spiffy Doc Martin boots.

P1000823

The elusive Richard Calder.

P1000854

Michael Swanwick showing off his outfit. “This shirt is bespoke! Bespoke, I tell you!”

P1000883

Finally, Michael Swanwick showing off the t-shirt for MidAmericon II, the 2016 Kansas City Worldcon he’s Guest of Honor at. (Pat Cadigan is Toastmistress.)

Library Addition: Kirk Hammett’s Too Much Horror Business

August 17th, 2015

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is one of the world’s premiere collectors of horror movie posters and memorabilia (toys, games, masks, etc.). After reading about the Hammett collection in Heritage Auction’s Intelligent Collector magazine, I’d been interested in the book documenting it, so I picked one up from the Cold Tonnage 40% off sale.

Hammett, Kirk. Too Much Horror Business. Abrams, 2012. First edition oversized hardback, a Fine- copy with wear at points, sans dust jacket, as issued. (Note: The wear on the front cover lettering is faux-wear, as you can tell from the same faux-wear on the title and half-title page.) Hammett has a truly amazing poster collection, possibly on par with that of Robert V. Borst (documented in Graven Images), whose range of collection included more science fiction and fantasy than Hammett. Bought for £12 marked down from £20.

IMG_0422

IMG_0427

Here’s a video on the book and Hammett’s collection:

Shoegazer Sunday: School of Seven Bells’ “Windstorm”

August 16th, 2015

For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s “Windstorm,” a nice song from earlier in School of Seven Bells’ career.