Archive for June, 2010

This Year’s Bulwer-Lytton Contest “Winners”

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The gratifyingly horrible winners can be found here.

I’ve won Dishonorable Mention three or four times in the past, but haven’t been submitting the last couple of years. I’ll try to rectify that next year.

And here, for a defense of the career of Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron of Knebworth, is Jess Nevins.

So I Need to Drink MORE Diet Dr Pepper?

Monday, June 28th, 2010

According to this study, people should consume 500 mg of caffeine a day (which works out to about five cups of coffee a day) to help ward off Alzheimer’s.

My caffeine delivery vehicle of choice is Diet Dr Pepper, which contains (according to this chart) 41 mg of caffeine. Now I’m clearly walking in the realm of the “caffeine achiever,” as I regularly down 6-7 cans of Diet Dr Pepper a day. However, by this new measure, I’m not getting enough caffeine, and should be downing a minimum of 12 cans a day.

I’m willing to give it a try, but I’m not sure I can do that without acting like this guy:

ApolloCon 2010 Pictures

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Some pictures from the 2010 ApolloCon in Houston, just concluded today:

The lovely and talented Stina Leicht, celebrating her forthcoming novel by going blue in both ocular and follicular realms.

Gabrielle Faust, putting on her best “Who, me?” expression.

The dealer’s room. Neither Willie nor myself dealt there this year, meaning Edge Books was the only real bookdealer there this year.

SF Signal’s John DeNardo. I think the smug was entirely unintentional.

Scott Cupp, no doubt contemplating some book he’s owned, or will soon own, both of which are extremely target-rich environments.

GOH Catherine Asaro. This photo doesn’t show her high-heels. Without them, she’s actually only 3’6″.

Karen Burnham, searching her tattoos for the identity of the killer she’s hunting.

A fairly interesting tabletop boardgame featuring smooth pucks that you flicked to knock out your opponent’s pucks, sort of a cross between marbles and shuffleboard, except there are some screws around the circle in the center that you can bounce the pucks off of and which provide something of an obstacle. The name was “crocsomething,” but not crocodile. Please note that searching for “game” and “screw” is probably not something you should do at work.

Updated to add: The game is called “crokinole”.

Clockwise from lower left: Judy Crider, Lou Antonelli, Bill Crider, Scott Cupp. I think we were talking about bad movies yet again.

A pair of con-goers decked out to the nines in Steampunk attire. This takes an extraordinary amount of dedication. In Texas. In summer. Wait, did I say “dedication”? I meant “complete insanity.”

The Shrine O Dolls found at the “in-room convention party.” Sadly, there were no book dealers there either…

Toy Wire

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A mashup of Toy Story and The Wire (complete with Wire language).

Hat tip: Mike Godwin’s Facebook feed.

Worst. Song. Ever.

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

So a while back, some scientists took a survey to determine the most and least popular musical elements ever. From the survey, they then produced the Most and Least Wanted Songs ever. The Most Wanted Song sounds like many an insipid Oscar nominee for Best Song.

The Least Wanted Song combines all the least popular elements into a twenty-two minute long concoction of cowboy poetry, bad rap, bad opera, tuba, bagpipes, 8-bit bleeps, and a repeating children’s choir celebrating every holiday with the exact same tune. It’s not the worst song ever (LARD’s “I Am Your Clock” still gets my vote for that), but it’s so weird that it’s actually pretty funny. Here are all three parts in their dubious glory.

It’s oddly fascinating, but I don’t think it’s going to end up on my iPod anytime soon…

Hat tip: Karl, who points out (correctly) that it’s frequently much more pleasant than much of Hidden Agenda.

Jonah Hex Review Now Up

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Over at Locus Online. Howard and I agree that it was better than Wicker Man.

Taking a look at the current movie top ten, the only thing I would say Jonah Hex looks clearly superior to is…Marmaduke.

I can see the poster now: BETTER THAN MARMADUKE AND WICKER MAN! That should pull the crowds in…

Books Read: Eric Frank Russell’s Wasp

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Eric Frank Russell

Despite being very obviously dated (the “aliens” in the book talk and act exactly like New Yorkers in the 1940s, and the agents of the evil alien government act exactly like Nazis), the book itself is still quite a bit of fun. It depicts the efforts of a single disguised human agent to destabilize an entire alien planet in preparation for an invasion. Anachronisms aside, this is a swift-moving novel that holds your attention, and if you’re looking for something short, old-fashioned and engrossing, this admirably fits the bill.

Everett F. Bleiler, 1920-2010: RIP

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Locus is reporting that Everett F. Bleiler has died. For those unfamiliar with his work, he was perhaps the preeminent science fiction bibliographer and historian. His Checklist of Fantastic Literature was the first truly important SF bibliography, and his books Science-Fiction: The Early Years and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years are probably the most extensive and exhaustive coverage of pre-Campbellian SF ever published. His bibliographic knowledge of the field was so extensive that, among the living, only George Locke and Lloyd Currey even come close. (Though Texas’ own Jess Nevins is getting there.) I’ve reached for one of his works many a time, as have every serious SF bibliographer, historian, book seller or book collector. He will be missed, but people will still be consulting his books a century from now.

Slightly More Plausible than that Greg Egan/ Kelly Link Collaboration…

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

…but only slightly.

Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter to collaborate on two novels.

Houston Rockets Schedule(s) Cupcakes

Monday, June 14th, 2010

If I were in Houston Monday, June 21, I would totally buy a cupcake from Shane Battier.

Ummm, cupcakes…