Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Memorial Service for My Father on Friday

Monday, January 18th, 2016

The memorial service for my father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr., is set for this coming Friday:

His family invites you to celebrate his life at Unity Houston, 2929 Unity Dr. Houston 77059 at 10:30am Friday January 22nd, 10:30 AM Friday, January 22nd, with a reception immediately following in the same building.

Shoegazer Sunday: Under Electric Light’s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Under Electric Light‘s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall” starts off an awful lot like David Bowie’s “Heroes,” then goes off in its own direction.

RIP: Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (1943—2016)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

My father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (May 1943—January 3, 2016) passed away in his sleep this morning in Houston after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July of 2013, and after surgery to remove it doctors discovered it had spread to his lymph nodes. In early December 2015 scans showed it had stopped responding to the chemotherapy that had previously kept it in check and he was put on hospice care in his own home, as per his wishes.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delois Person (who cared for him in his final illness and was at his side when he passed), his sister Sharon Evans, his son Lawrence Person, his daughter Camille Person Prevo, and his granddaughter Lyric Prevo. He was a member of Unity Church of Houston, where he managed ushering until stepping down due to his illness.

My father was a smart, stubborn, and occasionally difficult man. He obtained an accounting degree from night school at the University of Houston, and spent his life supporting his family working as a CPA and comptroller for a variety of companies. He had interests in science fiction (and read The Hobbit and part of The Lord of the Rings to me at bedtime when I was a child), astronomy and coin collecting. I generally got along well with him, the only difficulties arising because we were entirely too much alike.

My father had competed in football and track in high school, but his terminal illness gradually robbed him of his strength, as the aftermath of the surgery (including a return stay for an infection) and the regular visits to MD Anderson wore him down. During his own father’s terminal illness, he said “There comes a point when a dying man needs to die like a tired man needs to sleep,” and he had finally reached that stage and was ready to go. Assistance from Houston Hospice (including an in-home hospital bed and liquid morphine) greatly eased the difficulties of his final days.

I came home for Christmas and said goodbye to him on December 29, while he was still (intermittently) lucid.

As he donated his body to science there will be no funeral, but will likely be a memorial service in Houston later this month.

Bring Back MST3K Biggest Video Kickstarter Ever

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

The final fundraising tally was $5,764,229, plus $600,000 in “add-ons.”

Bring Back MST3K “became the most successful crowdfunded video project of all time, surpassing the Veronica Mars movie, which previously held the title with $5.7 million.”

Joel Hodgson and his team did a masterful job generating momentum over the course of the kickstarter (Felicia Day! Jerry Seinfeld!). Now they’re going to make 14 new episodes, which wasn’t even a stretch goal when the started out.

Now all we have to do is wait until November 2016…

Kickstarter for New MST3K episodes?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Joel Hodgson just launched a kickstarter to produce new episodes of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Let me get the obligatory meme out of the way:

But fans have been calling out for an MST3K reboot for years. Why only now?

Simple: Jim Mallon sold his share of the rights to Shout Factory:

Shout! Factory has acquired cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Variety has learned.

The news of the acquisition comes the same day Joel Hodgson, the creator and writer of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new season of the show.

With the new deal, negotiated by Shout’s David McIntosh, Shout! Factory now has the proprietary rights the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” from Best Brains, Inc., including all brand assets and global intellectual property. The media company is partnering with Hodgson and his company Alternaversal, LLC on future endeavors surrounding the “MST3K” brand, including plans for new content development, digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication to international territories.

The one caveat I have is evidently there will be a “new cast” for the show. I think the consensus is that the MST3K faithful would love to have Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff back in their old roles (and possibly J. Elvis Weinstein back as the original Tom Servo; given his attachment to RiffTracks, Kevin Murphy seems unlikely to reprise the Tom Servo voice role). But I’m certainly willing to give the new cast a chance.

So, yeah, I signed up.

Here’s the pitch video:

Shoegazer Sunday: Moonlit Sailor’s “Fresh Snow”

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Moonlit Sailor gets tagged as a post-rock, but they remind me strongly of Midsummer minus the vocals, and since Midsummer has always struck me as a Shoegaze band, here’s Moonlit Sailor’s “Fresh Snow.,”

Shoegazer Sunday: Beach House’s “Wishes”

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Since this wonderfully choreographed and delightfully weird video for Beach House‘s “Wishes” (off their album Bloom) already has close to 2 million views, it looks like I might be a little late to this party.

(Hat tip (indirectly): When the Sun Hits.)

SMU Banned For Rules Violations

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Though it’s basketball rather than football, and it’s just a post-season ban rather than the “death penalty.” Also seems to be academic cheating rather than handing players envelopes full of cash.

And SMU coach Larry Brown is suspended for nine games. Honestly, I had no idea Brown was actually coaching SMU these days, which has to be a big letdown for a man that’s won an NBA Championship. He has the reputation as one of the bast basketball teachers in the world, but just can’t manage to get along with people.

Gene Wolfe, Pringles, Mental Floss and Me

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Mental Floss is one of those sites that does a lot of lists (“10 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.)