Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Gene Wolfe, Pringles, Mental Floss and Me

Monday, 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.)

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

Tuesday, 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…

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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…

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In profile.

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Cory Doctorow, exhibiting his unique sense of style…

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…and with an actual top to his head.

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

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

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Jonathan Strahan and David Hartwell.

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Pat Murphy, all scarfed-up.

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

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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…”

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Connie Willis.

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Liz Hand.

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And looking slightly less crazed.

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

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Elle Datlow solo.

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Guest of honor John Clute.

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Adam Roberts.

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Geoff Ryman peers at me suspiciously.

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Gary K. Wolfe.

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Andy Duncan.

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

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Kim Stanley Robinson.

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John Gibbons.

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Michael Swanwick, Geoff Ryman, and Ellen Datlow.

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

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

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…George R. R. Martin.

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

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

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Parris McBride Martin.

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Alastair Reynolds.

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Pat Cadigan.

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Pat Cadigan in green.

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Pat Cadigan with fan-drawn cyberpunk.

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Finally, Pat Cadigan with her spiffy Doc Martin boots.

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The elusive Richard Calder.

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

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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.)

Shoegazer Sunday: Mermaids’ While Spectres Waltz

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

My search for waltz-time Shoegaze continues apace with Mermaids’ “While Spectres Waltz.”

Shoegazer Sunday: Echodrone’s “Glacial Place”

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Echodrone’s new album Five is now out, which is cause enough for Shoegaze fans to celebrate.

The video below is for the song “Glacial Place”:

The footage in the video is taken from the Philco Ford Corporation’s 1967 industrial futurist film The Home Of The Future: Year 1999 A.D.:

As glimpses of retrofuturism go, it hits a lot closer to the mark than most, offering a central home computer (“which is secretary, librarian, banker, teacher, medical technician, bridge partner and/or all-around servant”), computerized learning, bookeeping, etc., and lots of glowing screens. It even predicts online shopping! As always, the hairstyles immediately tell you the film’s actual era.

Philco actually manufactured the Mission Control monitors NASA used well into the 1990s. Ford sold Philco to GTE, and since then the brand has been broken up and licensed to various companies around the world.

“They’re Depleting Our Strategic Velour Supply!”

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

People impose their own sense of style (or lack thereof) on their homes. Sometimes the results are awesome.

And sometimes they’re not. The theme of this house is “Velour.”

Lots and lots and lots of velour.

In some ways you have to admire the singular pursuit of their own vision. “Screw your definition of good taste! I like velour and my house is is going to have enough of it to crush an elephant!”

(Hat tip: I think I originally saw this house on the now-deleted Lovely Listing site, from which I’ve shamelessly stolen the blog post title.)

Shoegazer Sunday: The History Of Colour TV’s “I Keep Seeing People I Think I Know”

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

The History of Colour TV are based in Berlin and another St. Marie Records band.

You may be cool…

Friday, March 13th, 2015

…but you’ll never be “Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark delivering a bionic arm to a seven year old boy” cool…

Library Additions: Two Olaf Stapledon First Editions

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

I recently picked up a lot of Olaf Stapledon books from an Australian book auction, for AUD$119.50 plus shipping. For that I got imperfect firsts of two of Stapledon’s novels (plus a second printing of Odd John that will go in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog).

  • Stapledon, Olaf. Last and First Men. Methuen, 1930. First edition hardback, first state, as per Currey (2002), with 8-page publisher’s catalog at rear dated 630, a Very Good- copy with FFE excised and slight loss to paper at gutter, foxing to gutter, moderate spotting to outer page block edges, a small circular stamp reading “Dempsters Clenferrie” (possibly an Australian bookstore stamp) on half title page, and a few sports to first few pages, lacking the dust jacket. His acclaimed epic novel describing several million years of future human evolution.
  • Stapledon, Olaf. Odd John. Methuen, 1935. First edition hardback, first state binding (light blue binding lettered in dark blue) in Currey (2002) A2 issue (catalog at rear dated 835, no priority between issues 1 and 2), a Very Good- copy with lightened spots on spine, slight spine lean, modest wear at heel and points, and spots of foxing to first few pages, lacking the dust jacket. His celebrated novel of a mental superman.

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  • While I was in London for last year’s Worldcon, I dropped by Peter Harrington’s main bookstore, which had a number of lovely items far out of my price range. Among them was a set of inscribed Olaf Stapledon books in dust jacket they hadn’t finished cataloging yet, including at least one with a multi-page letter from Stapledon laid in, that I think they were going to price between £5,000 and £10,000 each…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Ulrich Schnauss’ “Clear Day”

    Sunday, February 1st, 2015

    Ulrich Schnauss seems to have played with half the people in Shoegazerdom, from Mojave 3 to Asobi Seksu. Here’s “Clear Day” from one of his solo works, which sounds a bit like Malory.

    Product Endorsement: Working Hands

    Monday, January 19th, 2015

    Because I walk my dog mornings and evenings, every winter my knuckles would crack and blister from the nylon leash loop chaffing them in the cold, even through gloves. I tried various over-the-counter lotions to alleviate this, but none helped much.

    Until now.

    O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream actually solves the problem entirely. I put a tiny dab on my knuckles before gloving-up for an outdoor walk, and I haven’t had any cracking or blistering since I started using it. It’s also pretty cheap, and is effective in such tiny amounts that the one container I bought should last me at least two or three winters easy.

    If you have the same problem walking your dog or working outdoors in the Winter, I suggest giving it a try.