Archive for May, 2011

Out of the Running for Principle of the Year

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Bad: Smoking meth.
Much Worse: A teacher and a principle.
Get a Rope: In the principle’s office.

All Hail Our Aggie Cyborg Softball Overlords!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I root for the Texas Longhorns over interstate rival Texas A&M, but man, you can’t help but be inspired by this story about Aggie softball slugger Meagan May’s recovery from a near-fatal car accident to play again in less than a year. Especially given this awesome Borg-queen photo of her:

Yugoslavian Communist Monuments from the Future

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Dwight sent me this link to Yugoslavian communist monuments. Almost all of them look to be taken from a book by Belgian photographer Jan Kempenaers called Spomenik (“Monument”).

While some are awful crap, others have this cool science fictional “decaying monuments from some long-vanished race of Intergalactic Overlords” feel to them. This one looks like it’s the control bunker for the Doomsday Beam:

Of course, don’t forget that Tito, being a Communist, killed plenty of his own countrymen, though several orders of magnitude less than his fellow communists in other countries.

Roger Ebert Wasn’t Wild About Thor Either

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Thor is failure as a movie, but a success as marketing.”

It’s comforting to know that Howard and I weren’t the only ones disappointed in it.

Library Additions: January 16—May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Time for another roundup on my serious mental illness the latest acquisitions for my professional science fiction library since the last time I listed them. All these are first edition hardbacks in Fine condition, with Fine dust jackets, unless otherwise listed.

Books that I have available for sale through Lame Excuse Books are marked LEB (though a few of those titles won’t appear on the stock page until after I send out my next book catalog).

I’ve included scans of a few of the more uncommon titles.

  • Bacagalupi, Paolo. The Alchemist. Subterranean Press, 2011. LEB
  • Banks, Ian M. The Spheres. Novacon, 2010. Chapbook, Fine, with Novacon 40 program book.

  • Bear, Elizabeth. The White City (with Twilight chapbook). Subterranean Press, 2011, one of 200 signed, numbered copies, with chapbook, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
  • Blaylock, James P. The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs. Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 1,500 signed copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. LEB
  • Brackett, Leigh. Lorelei of the Red Mist: Planetary Romances. Haffner Press, 2007.
  • Brackett, Leigh. Martian Quest: The Early Brackett. Haffner Press, 2002.
  • Buckell, Tobias S. The Executioness. Subterranean Press, 2011. First edition hardback, one of 300 signed and numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. LEB
  • Cady, Jack. Rules of ’48. Night Shade Books, 2008. Trade paperback original.
  • Dick, Philip K. Clans of the Alphane Moon. Gregg Press, 1979. Fine, sans dust jacket, as issued. Replaced an Ex-Library copy.
  • Dick, Philip K. The Complete Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume 1: The King of the Elves. Subterranean Press, 2011. LEB
  • Eshbach, Lloyd Arthur. Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era. Oswald Train, 1983. Non-fiction.
  • Grant, Donald M. Talbot Mundy: Messenger of Destiny. Donald M. Grant, 1983. Non-fiction.
  • Heinlein, Robert A. Assignment in Eternity. Fantasy Press, 1953. See here for full details.
  • Howard, Robert E. The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 750 copied signed and numbered by the artist, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, in slipcase. LEB
  • King, Stephen. Little Sisters of Eluria. Donald M. Grant, 2009. First edition hardback, one of 4000 artist’s copies signed by Michael Whelan, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase.
  • Kuttner, Henry. Terror in the House: The Early Kuttner, Volume One. Haffner Press, 2010. LEB
  • Kuttner, Henry, and C. L. Moore. Detour to Otherness. Haffner Press, 2010.
  • Lake, Jay. The Baby Killers PS Publishing, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. LEB
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Christmas with the Dead PS Publishing, 2010. First edition hardback, one of 300 copies signed and numbered by Lansdale, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. LEB
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Christmas with the Dead PS Publishing, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Trade edition. Signed by Lansdale. LEB
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Devil Red. Knopf, 2011. Inscribed, with promotional postcard laid in.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Dread Island. IDW, 2010. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies with signed square bound in, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Hyenas. Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 400 signed, numbered copies. LEB
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Hyenas. Subterranean Press, 2011. Trade edition. Signed by Lansdale.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. The Magic Wagon. Chivers Press, 1988. First British Edition. Fine in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Lansdale.
  • Leicht, Stina. Of Blood and Honey. Night Shade Books, 2011. First edition trade paperback original, Fine. Inscribed by the author. LEB
  • Moorcock, Michael. The Vanishing Tower. Archival Press, 1981. A Fine copy, sans dust jacket, in slipcase, as issued.
  • Moore, Ward. Cloud by Day. Heinemann, 1956. First edition hardback, a near Fine copy with non-authorial gift inscription, in a Near Fine dust jacket with faint spots of foxing to inner flaps and a bit of edgewear and crinkling at head.

  • Morris, Mark, editor. Cinema Futura. PS Publishing, 2010. Non-fiction.
  • Powers, Richard. The Gold Bug Variations. William Morrow, 1991.
  • Robinson, Kim Stanley. The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson. Night Shade Books, 2010. LEB
  • Rucker, Rudy. Jim and the Flims. Night Shade Books, 2011.
  • Shea, Michael. The Autopsy and Other Tales. Centipede Press, 2009. One of 500 copies signed by Shea, Fine, sans dj, as issued.
  • Sheckley, Robert E. Immortality Delivered. Avalon Books, 1958. A Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with moderate spine-fading.

  • Stephenson, Neal. Zodiac: The Eco Thriller. Subterranean Press, 2011. First hardback edition, one of 500 copies signed by Stephenson, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread, in slipcase. LEB
  • Straub, Peter. Sides. Cemetery Dance, 2007. Signed by Straub. Non-fiction.
  • Swanwick, Micheal. Dancing With Bears. Night Shade Books, 2011. LEB
  • Totten, Michael. The Road to Fatima Gate. Encounter Books, 2011. Signed by the author. Non-fiction.
  • Vance, Jack. Dangerous Ways. Subterranean Press, 2011. Omnibus edition.
  • Vance, Jack. Trullion: Alastor 2262 with Marune:Alastor 993 with Wyst: Alastor 1716. Underwood/Miller, 1984. First hardback editions, Fine copies in Fine dust jackets, in slipcase (though these are the unsigned editions, the slipcase appear to be the one they issued for the signed edition).
  • Williamson, Jack. The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson Volume 4: Spider island. Haffner Press, 2002.
  • Williamson, Jack. The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson Volume 7: With Folded Hands and Searching Mind. Haffner Press, 2010.
  • Zelazny, Roger. Blood of Amber. Underwood-Miller, 1986. First edition hardback, one of 500 signed/numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, in a Fine slipcase.
  • Digital Camera Bleg

    Monday, May 23rd, 2011

    So I have a Kodak Easyshare V803 camera that’s given up the ghost; the telescoping lens no longer retracts.

    I like the quality of the photos it took; it was what I used to take convention photos (such as those here, here and here). I also like the Kodak interface, and need a camera that I can just slide into my pocket. However, I fear the pop-in/pop-out lens mechanism is one that is likely to fail over time.

    Does anyone have any recommendation for a slim profile digital camera, at least eight megapixals, that’s not too expensive? (I think I paid around $100 for the Easyshare.)

    Supper’s Ready (or, Music for an Apocalypse)

    Saturday, May 21st, 2011

    Everyone else is doing it, might as well hop aboard the “I Don’t Believe In the Rapture, But Here Are Some Snarky Blog Posts” bandwagon. Which brings up the question of what music is best for an apocalypse.

    Putting aside the blindingly obvious choice of REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I feel Fine),” my favorite apocalyptic song has always been Genesis’ 23-minute long art-rock epic “Supper’s Ready,” the ending of which is a pretty literal description of the rapture. Plus it lets me continue the recent Peter Gabriel trend.

    So here’s not one, not two, but four full length complete lives versions of the song. Some of the videos are slideshows and the sound quality varies, but some of Steve Hackett’s swoops and slides still give me chills.

    This one is a very rare live concert video of the entire song:

    Finally, this is not the entire song, as it includes several different snippets of various songs, but it also features live concert footage and the end of the song:

    As a bonus, here’s an animated Tony Banks describing how the song came together:

    Crappy TV Movie Validated by Science

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

    From Slashdot comes news that the local atmosphere heated up right before the Sendai earthquake, and that such heating can be detected (and presumably photographed) via infrared.

    What struck me about this story was that it validates the deeply unlikely premise behind a mediocre 1974 TV movie called The Day the Earth Moved. In it, an aerial photographer takes pictures of desert landscapes using a flawed film that reveals where earthquakes will strike due to a red line running down the middle of the fault zone. Naturally, the pictures reveal that a quake will strike a local town, and the usual race against time ensues.

    So congratulations to writers Jack Turley and Max Jack. You were one of those thousands of shotguns firing in the dark that actually hit something.

    Now If They Could Only Make Them Talk

    Monday, May 16th, 2011

    The final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour will be carrying baby squids into space.

    I’m sure that both Margaret Atwood and the staff of Space Squid are delighted at the news.

    Man 1, Nature 0

    Thursday, May 12th, 2011

    At lot of people, faced with record floods, would leave.

    Then there’s this guy. He built a sandbag wall, then expanded it to a moat and a berm, with pump in the moat, all the way around his house and barn in DeValls Bluff, Arkansas. It’s not a work of particular complexity, but it works, and it looks like it took a Herculean effort to build.

    Bonus: At about 1:30 into the second video, it sounds like Boomhauer from King of the Hill is in the boat with them…