Library Addition: First Edition of Robert A. Heinlein’s The Star Beast

June 25th, 2015

It’s taking me a while to finish cataloging a big Roger Zelazny purchase (consider that a teaser), so I’m going to do a few single book listings that have come in since to catch up.

Heinlein, Robert A. The Star Beast. Scribner’s, 1954. First edition hardback (with Scribner’s seal and letter A on copyright page, as per Currey), a Fine- copy with slight bend at head and heel, slight dust soiling at head, and a tiny faint green pinprick dot at heel, in a Very Good+ dust jacket with very shallow (1/32″) chipping at head and points, a 1/2″ closed tear at heel, and very slight dust soiling to rear cover. A very nice copy of this well-regarded Heinlein juvenile. Bought for $200 from Lloyd Currey. Currey (1979), page 234.

Star Beast

Don’t Order the Chong Chin Chicken at Asia Cafe

June 23rd, 2015

For twenty years worth of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy, I’ve had good dishes and bad, but never before until this past Saturday had I just sent a dish back as completely inedible.

The Chong Chin Chicken was described as seasoned with lots of hot peppers and peppercorns. I didn’t really see the peppercorns, but I definitely saw the hot peppers; it looked like they dumped a giant fistful into the dish. Though a chilehead, I’ve never had that many dry hot peppers in any dish before.

That’s not why I sent the dish back.

The first few bites of the dish seemed incredibly dry to me, and it tasted like they hadn’t used any sauce whatsoever, which was an odd choice.

That’s not why I sent the dish back.

After a few bites, my tongue’s taste receptors just seemed to shut off, ruining the taste of the dumplings Dwight and Andrew had ordered. Shortly thereafter I realized what the big problem was: it was the most salty dish I’d ever tasted in my life.


An image of the chef preparing the dish.

Normally my tolerance for salt in my meal is higher than most, but this was beyond the pale. I had my co-conspirators try it, and they all agreed it was inedible salty, even Andrew, who loves salt more than I do.

A dish too salty for Andrew and too hot for me; it was like some sort of anti-miracle.

So I sent it back and got some orange peel chicken instead, which was far more edible.

I wouldn’t discourage you from going to Asia Cafe, but unless you look like this:


The only diner who might enjoy the Chong Chin Chicken at Asia Cafe.

I would strongly urge you not to order the Chong Chin Chicken…

(Cross-posted to The Logbook of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy.)

Shoegazer Sunday: Mermaids’ While Spectres Waltz

June 21st, 2015

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

Shoegazer Sunday: SPC ECO’s “Fuck You”

June 14th, 2015

SPC SCO’s Rose Berlin seems very out of sorts with you for some reason…

Teaching Robots to Sword-Fight

June 11th, 2015

Via Scott Adams comes word that a team in Japan is teaching robots to fight with swords.

I’ve seen enough movies to know that this won’t end well.

But honestly, this entire post is just an excuse to show the robot sword fight from Exterminator City.

(Remember, that’s the best scene of the worst film ever made…)

Library Additions: Three Random Books

June 1st, 2015

This is a deck-clearing post, since I just made another major purchase of Zelazny manuscripts and first editions that it’s going to take me some time to catalog…

  • Asimov, Isaac. In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920—1954. Doubleday, 1979. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with slight sun darkening to the very tops of inside flaps. Non-fiction. The first volume of Asimov’s massive two volume autobiography (I already had a first edition of the second volume, In Joy Still Felt).
  • Brunner, John. Tomorrow May be Even Worse. NESFA Press, 1978. First edition trade paperback, a Fine- copy with a tiny bit of bumping at points. Signed by Brunner. Small book of verse (one SF topic for every letter, arranged from A to Z), illustrated by fan artist ATom.

    Brunner Worse

  • Honan, William H. Visions of Infamy: The Untold Story of How Journalist Hector C. Bywater Devised the Plans That lead to Pearl Harbor. St. Martin’s Press, 1991. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Fellow collector Chris Skillings sent this to me after reading about how I picked up E. H. Fitzpatrick’s The Coming Conflict of Nations, or the Japanese American War. Bywater sounds like he was a very interesting guy…
  • Shoegazer Sunday: Windermere’s “Trailer Park”

    May 31st, 2015

    As far as I can tell, this Windermere is a defunct Post-Rock/Shoegaze band from Denmark, not the current band from New Jersey. They sound a bit like Jeniferever if the latter’s lead singer could sing a bit better. “Trailer Park” is a pretty song with a long build.

    Library Additions: Signed Neil Gaiman Tasmanian Cave Spider Book

    May 27th, 2015

    So a while back I got word of Neil Gaiman being involved in a benefit for a project involving (I kid you not) Tasmanian cave spider sex. He’s evidently quite the Tasmaniophile, having spent his honeymoon with Amanda Palmer in Hobart. It sounded like an odd, interesting project, and the sort of thing to drive Gaiman completists crazy if they didn’t presupport, so I went ahead and ponied up for the deluxe package, which was, IIRC, a bit over $100 for both books.

    Now, finally both books from the Sixteen Legs project have come in:

  • Gaiman, Neil, with Niall Doran, Craig Wellington and Jodee Taylah (artist). Sixteen Legs Production Art: A Visit to the Queen of the Dark. Bookend Trust, 2015. First edition hardback, one of an undetermined number (though probably just over 100 copies, given that there are just under 100 names (including my own) listed under Premium Supporters on page 43) of the Limited Deluxe Edition signed by the three authors and the artist, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket in decorated boards, as issued.

    16Legs QueenB 1

  • Doran, Niall, Alastastair Richardson, Joe Shemesh. Kinky Love: Mating of the Tasmanian Cave Spider. Bookend Trust, 2015. First edition hardback, one of an undetermined number of signed copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket in decorated boards, as issued.

    16Legs Kinky

  • Appropriate Music for Austin Right Now

    May 25th, 2015

    What, too obvious?

    Plus information on where it’s flooding in Austin right now.

    For Auction: Queen Victoria’s Lacy Underthings

    May 20th, 2015

    Finally something for the ultimate Steampunk enthusiast/Queen Victoria fetishist: an auction lot of her underwear.

    Yes, for a mere £1,500 starting bid, you can own Her Majesty’s Bloomers.

    The Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction takes place on May 21 BST, which means you’ll either need to place a bid online or get up fairly early in the morning (if you’re in the U.S.) to bid…