It’s been a couple of years since I posted something from Tears Run Rings, so here’s “Mind the Wire.”
Tonight the curtain falls on Austin’s Mall of the Living Dead. Highland Mall will close tonight to complete the conversion over to an ACC campus.
Once Austin’s premier mall, Highland was killed by changing demographics, bad management, online shopping, and the inexorable march of time. I worked retail sales there my last year in college, and pretty much all the stores were leased out then. It’s been a shell of itself since the last anchor stores closed in 2011, and the last time I visited it only seemed to be 1/4th full.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Here’s a moderately important literary first that also happens to be on the Pringle Modern Fantasy 100 list.
Updike, John. The Witches of Eastwick. Franklin Press, 1984. First edition hardback, a limited edition signed by Updike (which precedes the trade edition), a Fine copy in decorated leather boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Pringle, Modern Fantasy 100 91. Bought off eBay for $19.99.
The day Updike died, at lunch I spotted the cheapest Fine copy online (which I think was something like $40) and got the dealer to agree to hold it. By the time I got home from work (this being back before I owned an iPhone, and thus no access to my home email), the dealer had already sold it to someone else. So I bided my time until an even cheaper copy presented itself, which it finally did.
I suspect the fact I got this so cheaply is a sign of the general price decline of hypermodern literary firsts in general and Updike in particular. A few months ago, Heritage Auctions sold off someone’s Updike collection, and I don’t think the prices most things went for were particularly high.
And here’s Philadelphia-based Nothing with “B & E.”
It’s a long piece, but well worth it…
“Brenham-based Blue Bell Creameries is pulling all of its products from the shelves after more ice cream samples tested positive for a life-threatening bacterial infection.”
The voluntary decision, announced Monday, is the latest and most sweeping development to plague the Texas business icon since a recall last month, the first in the company’s 108-year history.
It came after an “enhanced sampling program” that found half-gallon containers of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced on March 17 and March 27 contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, company officials said.
“The latest tests mean the company had several positive tests for Listeria in different plants.”
Pretty hard to fathom a wide-spread outbreak in multiple plants. The only explanations I can think of:
Anyway, if you have any Blue Bell in your freezer, it’s probably safest to throw it out…
Here’s an odd Philip K. Dick item it took me a bit of effort to track down:
Dick, Philip K. (Frank T. Hollander, editor). Young Author’s Club: The Wartime Adolescent Writings of Philip K. Dick. Frank T. Hollander, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, #58 of 100 copies signed by the editor/publisher, a Fine copy. A 94 page chapbook containing Dick’s published writings from 1942 to 1944 in the Berkeley Daily Gazette newspaper, consisting of fiction and poems, some of which are fantasy. Includes bibliographic information and story notes. Something likely to drive Dick completists crazy. I’ll have one copy available in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.
Shadows are, as usual, a scanner artifact.
Still grooving on Echodrone’s new album Five. My favorite piece from the album is “Noisebed,” which has some absolutely lovely harmonies:
So consistent is their sound that only after repeated listenings to Five did I notice that original lead singer Meredith Gibbons had left and been replaced by Rachel Lopez (who seems to have a bit higher range).
Not seeing it on YouTube just yet…
Here’s a book I read about in By the Book World Remembered that sounded intriguing.
Hind, Charles Lewis. The Enchanted Stone. Adam and Charles Black (London), 1896. First edition hardback, a Very Good copy with repaired hinges, slight spine fading, bookplate on insider front cover and uneven foxing on front and rear free endpaper. By the Book World Remembered, page 106, which describes it as a “Fantastic tale of a vast Chinese city under London.” Tietler, By the World Forgot, page 53, which notes that this UK first edition has an extra chapter not in the American edition. Bleiler, Checklist (1978), page 100. Reginald, page 253. A very odd sounding Wainscot (to use Clute’s term from The Encyclopedia of Fantasy) indeed. Bought off the Internet for $36 plus shipping from Canada.