Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Library Additions: Chacal #1 Signed by Tom Reamy

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

I just got a big box of books from a dealer holding a 70% off sale, which I’ll probably be cataloging for the next week or so. This is the item that made me start piling things in the virtual basket for immediate purchase:

Chacal No. 1. First edition magazine original, a Fine- copy with slight bumping to top of spine. Signed by contributors Tom Reamy, Howard Waldrop, Richard Corben, Tim Kirk, and publisher Arnie Fenner.


Reamy Sig

Tom Reamy was widely acclaimed as the very best SF writer in Texas, winning a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer as well as a Nebula Award for “San Diego Lightfoot Sue.” Reamy died of a heart attack on November 4, 1977 at the horrifically young age of 42. Reamy had no books of his own published during his lifetime, and things signed by him are genuinely rare and seldom come on the market.

Chacal was Arnie Fenner’s first magazine, a big color glossy magazine featuring first-rate fantasy fiction and art. (After two issues this would be followed up by Shayol, which had more of a science fiction focus, co-edited with Fenner’s then-wife Pat Cadigan.)

Howard believes that this was almost certainly signed at the 1976 Worldcon in Kansas City, which is the only time he recalled all of them being together at the same place and time after it was published.

Price paid: $29.99.

That’s It? That’s Your Guest Lineup?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

I haven’t gone to Aggiecon for about a quarter century for reasons too detailed and annoying to get into here. But I have watched from a distance as serial administrative blunders have reduced the con to a shadow of its former self.

With that in mind, I thought you might be interested to know that Aggiecon has announced its guest lineup this year.

Both of them.

That’s right, a convention that used to boast such guests as Jack Williamson, Fred Pohl, Harlan Ellison, Roger Zelazny, Greg Bear, Joe R. Lansdale and George R. R. Martin now has a guest list of two: a guy who co-writes a podcast and an anime voice actor. I’ve had better guest lists in my living room. Hell, I’ve had better guest lists in my living room when it was just me and Howard Waldrop.

I think I’ll be missing it again this year…

Updated to add: Someone has alerted me that Aggiecon has announced more guests on their Facebook page. Still no names to conjure with, but at least there are more of them. It also suggests that they’re so organizationally dysfunctional they can’t update their own website less than a month before the con…

Neal Barrett, Jr., RIP

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Dang. Just heard that Neal Barrett, Jr. has died. One of the great Texas Gonzo writers with an impressive body of work.

He will be missed.

Condolences to his widow Ruth, his family and friends.

Bum Phillips, RIP

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Former Houston Oilers football coach Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr. has died at age 90. It’s pretty much impossible for anyone who didn’t grow up in Houston during the “Luv Ya Blue” era of of the Earl Campbell Oilers to tell you how much Phillips meant to the city. He may be the most beloved NFL coach never to even reach a Superbowl. Bud Adams firing Philips (and then trading Campbell to New Orleans for a sack of doorknobs) was one of the many, many, many things Oilers owner Bud Adams did to earn the enmity of the city he would eventually deprive of the Oilers.

Philips was an ornery cuss, but a classy one, and 100% Texan. He will be missed.

Edited to Add: Oiler player tributes to Bum. “Everybody loved Bum.”

Fertilizer Plant Blows Up in West, Texas

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Crap. Supposedly leveled portions of the town.

I have relatives in West, albeit it ones I haven’t seen in over 30 years.

Very brief video:

Updated: Explosion caught on video (might take a few minutes to load). Holy crap…

Update 2: Now embeddable video of explosion

Sold a Story to Rayguns Over Texas

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

My story “Novel Properties of Certain Complex Alkaloids” will be appearing in the Rayguns Over Texas anthology edited by Rick Klaw that’s to be published for LonestarCon 3, the 2013 San Antonio Worldcon. It’s sort of a Greg Egan story by way of Timothy Leary and H. P. Lovecraft…

Texas Tax Free Weekend August 17-19

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

It’s that time of year again. Texas is having it’s annual tax free weekend this weekend, August 17-19, for back-to-school goods like clothing under $100, school supplies, etc. And this year, the previously tax-free but now-tax-covered Amazon is participating as well.

Official state guidelines for what is and isn’t covered.

Serial Killer Followup

Friday, March 30th, 2012

You may remember my mention of Robert Ben Rhodes (the truck driver accused of torturing, killing and raping as many as 50 women) who was awaiting trial in the same Big Spring, Texas jail that also housed child-abusing polygamist Warren Jeffs.

Rhodes has been sentenced to life imprisonment rather than the death penalty. This is disappointing, since he was already serving a life sentence for murders committed in Illinois and if any U.S. criminal currently behind bars in the U.S. deserves the death penalty, it’s Rhodes. But he’d been awaiting trial since 2009, which suggests there was some problem with prosecution evidence. And since he’s already 66, there was a good chance Rhodes would have died behind bars before the sentence was carried out anyway…

2011: Texas’ Dryest Year Ever

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Official confirmation, just in case you needed it:

Federal scientists confirmed Friday that Texas had its driest year on record in 2011.

The statewide average rainfall for the year totaled just 14.88 inches, according to the National Climatic Data Center, beating the previous low of 14.99 inches set in 1917.

And keep in mind that it was even worse than it seems, as several inches in that final tally only turned in the last few weeks of the year where, as welcome as it was, it did jack-all for farmers.

Actual, Real, Honest to Goodness RAIN

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

For the first time since it rained about five minutes one night three or four months ago. And before that it might have been another three or four months.

A good thing, too, since it’s been so dry here the cacti have been dying of thirst:

I took that picture along the Rattan Creek greenbelt earlier this week…