Two Highlights of the Forthcoming Bonhams Book Auction

May 26th, 2016

Bonhams has a book auction coming up on June 8. There are a lot of interesting things outside of fiction (like Mohammed Ali’s passport), but very few items of interest to science fiction collectors.

However, there are two quite notable exceptions:

  • A first edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged inscribed to Barbara Branden. For those unfamiliar with Rand, Barbara Branden was one of Rand’s closest friends before the break between Rand and her protege/lover Nathaniel Branden, Barbara’s husband. Rand and Barbara Branden would later reconcile toward the end of Rand’s life, after which Barbara Branden would write The Passion of Ayn Rand, so even though this is quite a worn copy, it’s among the best possible association copies of Rand’s most influential book.
  • An autographed letter from Thomas Pynchon. I don’t need to tell you how rare a Pynchon signature is, do I?
  • Pynchon Simpsons

    Shoegazer Sunday: Catch The Breeze’s “The Shallow Bed”

    May 22nd, 2016

    A shoegaze band named after the first Slowdive song I ever heard? How can I resist?

    Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “She’s Gone”

    May 15th, 2016

    I consider Brain Jonestown Massacre more of a psych than Shoegaze band, but this is the final song they played at their set with Slowdive in Austin, and that’s good enough for me.

    Important Safety Tip

    May 11th, 2016

    Try not to kill anyone over cutting in line for a taco trick.

    Just after bar-close at 2:38 a.m. on Sunday, May 8th, the Austin Police Department responded to a report of gunfire at what appears to be the Tortillas Hecha a Manos taco truck in Lanier Village, just south of Peyton Gin and North Lamar. When police arrived, they found 39-year-old Rigoberto Jose Castillo dead and three others injured, one critically.

    You may be asking, what could have caused all this mayhem? As the story goes, it all began when someone allegedly cut in line for tacos.

    According to witnesses, a fight started over who was in line for tacos first. Nobody appreciates the wait for a taco, but police say that Mr. Castillo took special exception to the alleged line-cutting when two men, Osiel Benitez Benitez, 44, and Juventino Benitez Carbajal, 38, allegedly attempted to order out of line.

    Things escalated to fisticuffs between Rigoberto and Osiel Benitez, the police report says, leaving Benitez unconscious on the ground, before all hell broke loose. Police go on to claim that a moment later Carbajal went to his truck, pulled out a gun, and began firing into the group of patrons. In addition to Castillo’s death, three women were also injured.

    It’s also a bad idea to try and cut in line for a taco trailer. Upside: You get your taco faster. Downside: Getting shot to death over tacos. Plus it’s just not polite…

    (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)

    Library Addition: Signed First Edition of Ray Bradbury’s Let’s All Kill Constance

    May 9th, 2016

    Yet another signed Ray Bradbury first edition:

    Bradbury, Ray. Let’s All Kill Constance. William Morrow, 2003. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed and dated by Bradbury. Bought off eBay for $19.95, which is $4 off cover price.

    Bradbury Kill Constance

    IMG_0644

    Shoegazer Sunday: Scarlet Leaves Covers Slowdive’s “Catch the Breeze”

    May 8th, 2016

    Since I played Slowdive doing “Catch the Breeze” live last week, here’s Brazil’s Scarlet Leaves covering it this week.

    Library Addition: Michael Swanwick’s 5 Seasons

    May 2nd, 2016

    Dragonstairs Press has been unusually busy this year. Hot on the heels of their last project, here’s another Michael Swanwick chapbook:

    Swanwick, Michael. 5 Seasons. Dragonstairs Press, 2016. First edition chapbook original, #69 of 100 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Five one page stories about the seasons.

    5 Seasons

    Unlike last month’s Dragonstairs book, I’ll actually have copies of this available in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog, currently in preparation…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Slowdive Playing “Catch the Breeze” Live in Austin 4/29/16

    May 1st, 2016

    After Levitation Fest was cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather (the site is near the Colorado, the ground was already a bog, and the forecast called for nonstop rain that didn’t actually materialize), there was a last minute makeup show with Twin Peaks, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and, yes, Slowdive! Andrew Wimsatt was able to snag us a couple of tickets for the show at The Scoot Inn on east 4th at the ridiculously low price of $7.50 each. Good thing he was at his computer, as the show sold out in two minutes.

    It was a great show, the weather was pretty close to perfect (with a nice breeze), and I only had to wait a quarter-century to see Slowdive live.

    Alas, they didn’t play “Primal,” but the did play “Golden Hair,” “Machine Gun,” and “Avalyn.”

    They also played “Catch the Breeze.” Andrew was kind enough to record the entire show on his iPhone, and the sound and video quality are surprisingly decent, so here it is:

    Levitation Austin Music Festival Cancelled

    April 28th, 2016

    Well, this sucks:

    Due to safety concerns regarding dangerous weather, Levitation 2016 has been cancelled. This decision is heartbreaking, but it’s a decision officials have made for the safety of festival attendees, and safety is our first priority.

    We’ve been working with county officials trying to find a way to carry on, but at this point the decision has been made, and it is beyond our control. The cancellation is due to dangerous weather conditions in the forecast combined with weather complications to the grounds and the Colorado River.

    We are completely devastated. We have been working for a year, looking forward to this weekend and seeing you all at the ranch. We know that many of you traveled from far away, and that this news is extremely disappointing for everyone.

    At this point, the projected impact of the storms has intensified, and we are now left with no choice but to cancel. You may remember that in 2015 we had severe weather warnings as well, but were able to get through the weekend. The difference between 2015 and 2016 is the severity of the storms being predicted, including high wind, large hail and tornado warnings, combined with high water levels from last week’s flooding.

    We have tried every avenue to continue with the festival, and the county has been working with us to find a way, but today at 5:00pm the final decision was made to cancel the festival due to public safety concerns related to severe weather. Following this announcement, the festival has to evacuate the site, meaning that staff and equipment must be loaded out. This leaves us with no opportunity to continue the festival later in the weekend. Even if the weather has improved drastically on Sunday, we would be unable to produce an event at the ranch.

    We will be working to keep everyone updated. Please see information on refunds, potential venue shows and other important info below.

    Refunds will be issued, but those may take up to 30 days to issue.

    Obviously the universe just doesn’t want me to see Slowdive…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Unreleased Slowdive Soundtrack Album I am the Elephant, U are the Mouse

    April 24th, 2016

    Next weekend is the Levitation festival in Austin, where Slowdive will be headlining Friday night. In celebration, here’s an entire unreleased Slowdive soundtrack album. Some of these are minor fill pieces, and others you’ve heard before (“Cranium (Film Mix)” is “Blue Skied an’ Clear”). And I already post “I Believe” a while back, but it’s worked its way into my Slowdive Top 10.

    More information (and a download link) here.